Some pics of my initial collection, tips/ideas welcome

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Some pics of my initial collection, tips/ideas welcome

Post  general.electrix on Thu Dec 13, 2012 1:59 am

My girlfriend and I have just recently gotten interested in bonsai, and we've acquired a small collection of inexpensive starter material to work with to get some practice on techniques. Tips, opinions, and styling ideas are more than welcome. Especially if you see me doing something obviously dumb here.

Trees in mushroom land.

The gang of five hanging out on the rooftop of my warehouse.

What's a tree like you doing with a deer skeleton like that?


First two trees are a pair of Boulevard (sawara) Cypress. Before pruning they both looked pretty much like this:


After some fierce pruning, Boulevard #1 is looking better. Needs some significant branch adjustment, and if I can't get any backbudding down the branches this tree may never quite work out.


Boulevard #2 turned out to have a pretty ugly twin trunk arrangement. I decided to entirely defoliate the center trunk. The half-foliated right trunk suggested a possible slant style. I'll train all the branches on the left over towards the right.


I'll soon remove the bark from the center trunk and jin it.


I found this Chinese Juniper hiding in a corner at the nursery we've been frequenting. It started off growing in one direction, I repotted it in a bigger nursery pot at a more extreme angle to eventually go cascade with it.


A view from the top; I'm thinking of training the smaller trunk upwards and the larger trunk into a cascade.


Variegated common boxwood. A teeny little guy, but cute and the variegated leaves are pretty. Done a bit of pruning, need to wire it to shape before I go too much further.


Thorny Elaeagnus. This tree has a funny habit of growing crazy straight branches across each other in an angry thorny knot. Very pretty, though very dense hard wood won't bend well. We've done some initial pruning, needs a lot more.


The trunk of Capt. Thornypants. Nice movement and branch structure, one cool little squiggly root.


A small piece of tranquility in a rough neighborhood.

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Re: Some pics of my initial collection, tips/ideas welcome

Post  JimLewis on Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:25 pm

Looks pretty good for a start. Can you keep those trees outside in that area without worrying about their growing legs?

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Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Some pics of my initial collection, tips/ideas welcome

Post  general.electrix on Thu Dec 13, 2012 8:07 pm

They're pretty safe. You'd need a pretty tall ladder to get on our roof, and moreover, these trees aren't made of cannabis : ) Most crackheads probably won't look at a potted plant and think it has resale value, let alone enough to get up on a roof and try to make off with them.

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Re: Some pics of my initial collection, tips/ideas welcome

Post  Guest on Thu Dec 13, 2012 8:43 pm

just a simple question, but is it your intention to keep the trees on that roof? depending on the roofing material, the heat can accumulate to very hot temperatures and radiation heat would also be an issue then. Just wondering, i'm not sure how hot it gets out there but temps on big flat roof areas can rise much higher

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Re: Some pics of my initial collection, tips/ideas welcome

Post  general.electrix on Thu Dec 13, 2012 8:49 pm

Our climate is extremely temperate; even in the summer it never gets much above 80, and only then for maybe a week at most. It's pretty much 50-70 year round, little rain, but modestly humid. The roof isn't very flat, actually, and it's finished in a shiny reflective silvery coating. It doesn't get very hot up there, and it gets a decent light breeze off the bay. I've never not been able to sit up there.

Also, I have no other outdoor space to utilize, so they're staying these until I decide to move somewhere else...

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Re: Some pics of my initial collection, tips/ideas welcome

Post  Guest on Thu Dec 13, 2012 8:54 pm

general.electrix wrote:Our climate is extremely temperate; even in the summer it never gets much above 80, and only then for maybe a week at most. It's pretty much 50-70 year round, little rain, but modestly humid. The roof isn't very flat, actually, and it's finished in a shiny reflective silvery coating. It doesn't get very hot up there, and it gets a decent light breeze off the bay. I've never not been able to sit up there.

Also, I have no other outdoor space to utilize, so they're staying these until I decide to move somewhere else...

ok if you say its not an issue, then its not.
Have fun experimenting with your starters !

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encouragement

Post  john blanchard on Sat Dec 15, 2012 8:07 pm

Hi, the boulevard's won't backbud. However they are very workable trees'. I find that you can use them to give the impression or style of most evergreen coniferous trees'. What I mean by this is that you can style them to look like Pine,Juniper,Spruce,Cedar,Larch,Hemlock or Sequoia. And you can style them to mimic any style,age or distance view. They are a little thirsty but enjoy free draining gritty soil. So you could use a percentage 20-25 of organic soil in their planting medium or less if you use a fairly deep pot. With good pruning and foliage pinching you will get nice tight foliage clouds.
Good selection.

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Re: Some pics of my initial collection, tips/ideas welcome

Post  general.electrix on Sat Dec 15, 2012 8:19 pm

Thanks for the encouragement! I found out about the no backbudding problem after we got those. At this point that tree will probably be wiring practice, and maybe we'll do something goofy with it later. I have a lot more hope for the twin-trunked one; I have a pretty decent vision of what that tree could look like as a slant, and the branch structure will work pretty well, I think.

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Re: Some pics of my initial collection, tips/ideas welcome

Post  drgonzo on Sat Dec 15, 2012 11:53 pm

With a few more Cypress like those say 3 -5 more of differing trunk thickness's you could assemble a nice little shohin forest or simple group planting with them say in a shallow 10 inch pot?? It would give you something a bit more 'finished' to enjoy as you gain more experience in the hobby. Might look really nice actually.

just a fun thought
-Jay

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Re: Some pics of my initial collection, tips/ideas welcome

Post  john blanchard on Sun Dec 16, 2012 1:55 am


This is a Boulevard of mine I'll be working on next year. I also have one of similar size (about 4feet) that has an aged scots pine upright style. And I have a forest of 5 trees' on a fibreglass tray pot.

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Re: Some pics of my initial collection, tips/ideas welcome

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