Buttonwood

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Buttonwood

Post  dorothy7774 on Sun Feb 24, 2013 11:49 pm

I have started to train this tree about 5 years ago. It is a collected Buttonwood, Conocarpus erectus. The first challenge was to fit it into a pot, any pot. After growing the main structure I am now at the point to develop ramification. The outgrowth this year was focused on the side branches, rather than having those long branches when growing out the main branches.

This Buttonwood develops small strong clusters of smaller leaves, similar like the "red" Buttonwood (the vascular system of the leaf has a reddish color). I am trying not to over-manicure the tree, so that the great deadwood feature aesthetically fits the foliage. Enjoy!

Outgrowth:



Old front after trimming the leafs:



New front:



Deadwood:


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Re: Buttonwood

Post  Mitch Thomas on Mon Feb 25, 2013 12:09 am

That's a very nice buttonwood Dorothy! Looks very healthy !

Mitch

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Re: Buttonwood

Post  Guest on Mon Feb 25, 2013 1:46 am

Thats a lovely tree with a great front, although I was hoping that you could incorporate a little more of the amazing deadwood in the front.

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Re: Buttonwood

Post  tiennavi on Mon Feb 25, 2013 2:02 am

great work! thanks you for sharing! Very Happy

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Re: Buttonwood

Post  Nigel Parke on Mon Feb 25, 2013 2:08 am

Dorothy,
The deadwood on your buttonwood is killer... Very Happy
I like the front but like Aman I'm wondering if you couldn't utilize more of the deadwood in the front. Regardless of whether you do or not its still a lovely tree.
In relation to the ramification do you defoliate completely, or do you only cut the leaves in half and cut back new growth to where the branches lignify to promote back budding?

Love where you're going with this tree.

Regards,
Nigel

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Re: Buttonwood

Post  dorothy7774 on Mon Feb 25, 2013 2:12 am

Mitch Thomas wrote:That's a very nice buttonwood Dorothy! Looks very healthy !

Mitch

Thanks Mitch, yes, it is quite healthy and heavy too. Very Happy

-Dorothy

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Re: Buttonwood

Post  dorothy7774 on Mon Feb 25, 2013 2:17 am

aman wrote:Thats a lovely tree with a great front, although I was hoping that you could incorporate a little more of the amazing deadwood in the front.

Thank you, aman. There are some candidate branches in the cascading part that will end up being jinned, if that's what you mean. These branches got strong due to heavy feeding and outgrowth. They grew so quick the bark is starting to break open.
Also, the top foliage will shift more to the left looking at the tree, when utilizing the new front. It will then embrace more of the deadwood.

Best,
Dorothy

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Re: Buttonwood

Post  dorothy7774 on Mon Feb 25, 2013 2:19 am

tiennavi wrote:great work! thanks you for sharing! Very Happy

Thanks! Since I post much of my work on facebook, I feel like double posting when presenting the trees here too. Let me know your thoughts about it.

How many of our IBC posters really follow facebook in general? That would be interesting to know.

Best,
Dorothy


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Re: Buttonwood

Post  dorothy7774 on Mon Feb 25, 2013 2:26 am

Nigel Parke wrote:Dorothy,
The deadwood on your buttonwood is killer... Very Happy
I like the front but like Aman I'm wondering if you couldn't utilize more of the deadwood in the front. Regardless of whether you do or not its still a lovely tree.
In relation to the ramification do you defoliate completely, or do you only cut the leaves in half and cut back new growth to where the branches lignify to promote back budding?

Love where you're going with this tree.

Regards,
Nigel

Thanks Nigel. I posted some thoughts about the deadwood in aman's reply to his comment. What would you do? I cut the leafs in half to promote backbudding not ramification. Ramification happens by letting the subbranches grow out while keeping the main branch from elongating. I then trim the subbranches. No complete defoliation with Buttonwood, you are taking a risk of losing subbranches or entire branches. I cut the leaves in half only once or twice a year. My Buttonwoods all need regular thinning. They grow so dense you cannot see the tree. In fact all my tropicals grow like that.

Best,
Dorothy

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Re: Buttonwood

Post  Todd Ellis on Mon Feb 25, 2013 3:18 pm

Beautiful Buttonwood Dorothy!

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Re: Buttonwood

Post  Hans van Meer. on Mon Feb 25, 2013 8:10 pm

WOW Dorothy! That's absolutely stunning! Amazing intricate deadwood and than those well defined foliage pads that create a sense of distance, well don!
Cheers,
Hans van Meer.

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Re: Buttonwood

Post  hiram on Tue Feb 26, 2013 1:55 am

Very nice progression, Dorothy. I am still learning this species. Keep up the good work and stay INSPIRED. cheers


Last edited by hiram on Tue Feb 26, 2013 1:56 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : typo)

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Re: Buttonwood

Post  Nigel Parke on Tue Feb 26, 2013 5:17 am

dorothy7774 wrote:
Nigel Parke wrote:Dorothy,
The deadwood on your buttonwood is killer... Very Happy
I like the front but like Aman I'm wondering if you couldn't utilize more of the deadwood in the front. Regardless of whether you do or not its still a lovely tree.
In relation to the ramification do you defoliate completely, or do you only cut the leaves in half and cut back new growth to where the branches lignify to promote back budding?

Love where you're going with this tree.

Regards,
Nigel

Thanks Nigel. I posted some thoughts about the deadwood in aman's reply to his comment. What would you do? I cut the leafs in half to promote backbudding not ramification. Ramification happens by letting the subbranches grow out while keeping the main branch from elongating. I then trim the subbranches. No complete defoliation with Buttonwood, you are taking a risk of losing subbranches or entire branches. I cut the leaves in half only once or twice a year. My Buttonwoods all need regular thinning. They grow so dense you cannot see the tree. In fact all my tropicals grow like that.

Best,
Dorothy

Dorothy,
I think I would do the same things that you proposed to Aman...converting some of the larger cascade branches that don't fit in your design into jins and fill out the foliage pads some more to create the layers of growth (like inverted bowls) that you see in mature trees.

To my mind the promotion of backbudding leads to ramification. When I cut leaves in half and the tree backbuds, once the new buds are in appropriate places these new branchlets are allowed to grow out until the wood hardens or lignifies. The branchlets are then cut back to a suitable length and the leaves are cut in half again to promote further backbudding and over time by repeating the process the targeted areas have increased ramification.

I have never completely defoliated and don't think I would regardless of how healthy the tree is, I think with heavy feeding here on our side we could get away with cutting leaves in half maybe three times a year, though towards the end of October onwards most of our trees start to slow down for winter and depending on the weather some species stop growing until spring.

Sometimes I wish I could defoliate the buttonwoods like I do my ficuses but then I would be having too much fun Very Happy

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Re: Buttonwood

Post  dorothy7774 on Tue Feb 26, 2013 3:32 pm

Todd Ellis wrote:Beautiful Buttonwood Dorothy!

Thanks Todd, you really meant "ugly" right? That's the new beautiful..Okay, I'll keep quiet mods.. Very Happy

-Dorothy

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Re: Buttonwood

Post  dorothy7774 on Tue Feb 26, 2013 3:33 pm

Hans van Meer. wrote:WOW Dorothy! That's absolutely stunning! Amazing intricate deadwood and than those well defined foliage pads that create a sense of distance, well don!
Cheers,
Hans van Meer.

Thank you Hans!

-Dorothy

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Re: Buttonwood

Post  Sam Ogranaja on Tue Feb 26, 2013 3:37 pm

dorothy7774 wrote:
Todd Ellis wrote:Beautiful Buttonwood Dorothy!

Thanks Todd, you really meant "ugly" right? That's the new beautiful..Okay, I'll keep quiet mods.. Very Happy

-Dorothy


Ahahahahahhahhaa Very Happy That was a very well placed joke.

You're funny Dorothy!!!!!

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Re: Buttonwood

Post  Sam Ogranaja on Tue Feb 26, 2013 3:39 pm

dorothy7774 wrote:
tiennavi wrote:great work! thanks you for sharing! Very Happy

Thanks! Since I post much of my work on facebook, I feel like double posting when presenting the trees here too. Let me know your thoughts about it.

How many of our IBC posters really follow facebook in general? That would be interesting to know.

Best,
Dorothy


Very few people I still follow their news feed on Facebook. Yours is definitely one of them.

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Re: Buttonwood

Post  dorothy7774 on Tue Feb 26, 2013 3:39 pm

hiram wrote:Very nice progression, Dorothy. I am still learning this species. Keep up the good work and stay INSPIRED. cheers

Thanks Hiram! The same goes for your wonderful work with trees and drawings! Sometimes I am wondering what folks do to get inspired! And I mean getting inspired, not getting motivated. Inspiration can happen so sudden, one can almost miss it.. Very Happy

Best,
Dorothy

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Re: Buttonwood

Post  dorothy7774 on Tue Feb 26, 2013 3:40 pm

Sam Ogranaja wrote:
dorothy7774 wrote:
tiennavi wrote:great work! thanks you for sharing! Very Happy

Thanks! Since I post much of my work on facebook, I feel like double posting when presenting the trees here too. Let me know your thoughts about it.

How many of our IBC posters really follow facebook in general? That would be interesting to know.

Best,
Dorothy


Very few people I still follow their news feed on Facebook. Yours is definitely one of them.

cheers I know! Thanks

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Re: Buttonwood

Post  Todd Ellis on Tue Feb 26, 2013 3:45 pm

I choose my words carefully and really mean b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l!!! Stunning as well!!!
I can only dream of finding that type of material in Virginia.
I took me a while to get the pun...
Very Happy

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Re: Buttonwood

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Tue Feb 26, 2013 3:48 pm

Beautiful work Dorothy !

AND I am not a fan of Buttonwood either - chuckle.

I am also not much for facebook, joined because an artist friend asked me to, then she dumped facebook. I hardly ever look in on that site.
Thanks for posting.
Khaimraj

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Re: Buttonwood

Post  dorothy7774 on Tue Feb 26, 2013 3:49 pm

Nigel Parke wrote:
dorothy7774 wrote:
Nigel Parke wrote:Dorothy,
The deadwood on your buttonwood is killer... Very Happy
I like the front but like Aman I'm wondering if you couldn't utilize more of the deadwood in the front. Regardless of whether you do or not its still a lovely tree.
In relation to the ramification do you defoliate completely, or do you only cut the leaves in half and cut back new growth to where the branches lignify to promote back budding?

Love where you're going with this tree.

Regards,
Nigel

Thanks Nigel. I posted some thoughts about the deadwood in aman's reply to his comment. What would you do? I cut the leafs in half to promote backbudding not ramification. Ramification happens by letting the subbranches grow out while keeping the main branch from elongating. I then trim the subbranches. No complete defoliation with Buttonwood, you are taking a risk of losing subbranches or entire branches. I cut the leaves in half only once or twice a year. My Buttonwoods all need regular thinning. They grow so dense you cannot see the tree. In fact all my tropicals grow like that.

Best,
Dorothy

Dorothy,
I think I would do the same things that you proposed to Aman...converting some of the larger cascade branches that don't fit in your design into jins and fill out the foliage pads some more to create the layers of growth (like inverted bowls) that you see in mature trees.

To my mind the promotion of backbudding leads to ramification. When I cut leaves in half and the tree backbuds, once the new buds are in appropriate places these new branchlets are allowed to grow out until the wood hardens or lignifies. The branchlets are then cut back to a suitable length and the leaves are cut in half again to promote further backbudding and over time by repeating the process the targeted areas have increased ramification.

I have never completely defoliated and don't think I would regardless of how healthy the tree is, I think with heavy feeding here on our side we could get away with cutting leaves in half maybe three times a year, though towards the end of October onwards most of our trees start to slow down for winter and depending on the weather some species stop growing until spring.

Sometimes I wish I could defoliate the buttonwoods like I do my ficuses but then I would be having too much fun Very Happy

Okay, if using the cutting of leafs in connection with subbranch outgrow and trim, I definetly agree. However, I do the cut of the leaves sometimes at a different time. Depending on variety and health of the tree I will either prune and leaf cut at the same time, or I will trim, then wait for the new growth, let it harden off and then force an additional backbudding by cutting the leafs now. The clue is to be able to read your tree before it does anything. I then repeat the process in late summer (here in my area!).

Best,
Dorothy

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Re: Buttonwood

Post  dorothy7774 on Tue Feb 26, 2013 3:55 pm

Todd Ellis wrote:I choose my words carefully and really mean b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l!!! Stunning as well!!!
I can only dream of finding that type of material in Virginia.
I took me a while to get the pun...
Very Happy

Hey, you can always grow one.. cheers

-Dorothy

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Re: Buttonwood

Post  dorothy7774 on Tue Feb 26, 2013 4:05 pm

Khaimraj Seepersad wrote:Beautiful work Dorothy !

AND I am not a fan of Buttonwood either - chuckle.

I am also not much for facebook, joined because an artist friend asked me to, then she dumped facebook. I hardly ever look in on that site.
Thanks for posting.
Khaimraj

That's interesting to know. I feel weird when posting my stuff on facebook and then repost it later here. Overexposure would be a good term to describe what I mean. Facebook is a good way to share and communicate work unless you have a blog. Same concept to me.

With the Buttonwood it is a strange thing to me. I love the deadwood, the struggly story behind a contorted growing pattern - until you see the foliage. The over-manicured pads (Walter, I hear you) tell another story. Buttonwood will have full foliage, when healthy and vigorous. To show the tree, one needs to find the fine line of successfully reducing the obvious hand that grew it. It's a challenge. Ramification ( not topiary) is the clue, treating every branchlet individually, cutting back ferts in time (year of the show). Just rambling.. They are just so bad trees, really. clown

Best,
Dorothy

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Re: Buttonwood

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Tue Feb 26, 2013 5:02 pm

Dorothy,

I really like the foliage, and the density. One question first, how tall or large is that tree ?

On our side the Buttonwood is a tree, at around 30 x 30 feet [ say 10 x 10 m ] and the older trees have beautiful bark. It moves, like muscles.
The bark is also dark reddish brown, with changeable colours of light, medium and dark browns.
It is extremely beautiful.

I actually have several buttonwood - plants - and am trying to just learn how to effectively mimic the tree in nature and then see where it goes from there. How tall do I have to go.
Your dense foliage gives me hope that I can get what I am looking for.

My next test is to take one of my - plants - and after heavy fertilizing, cut back to the trunk and see how it re-sprouts.
There will be no images, as these tests are just for me to learn.

On my side this is also one of the easiest trees to grow from seed and very rapidly, however the white wood part is also extremely tasty to our woodlice and other borers, and I will avoid any of those effects.
Please feel feel free to ramble, I am at school with you teacher.
Thanks again.
Khaimraj

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Re: Buttonwood

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