Fault in design

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Fault in design

Post  Guest on Wed Feb 27, 2013 2:36 am

Hi IBC.
I made this topic to accommodate Robert's response and for us to learn more, not just in Phempis but in some other mistakes on other species as well.
For our part, like I said in the other thread, My personal observation on some reason for the mistakes were due to the "first" interactions between foreign "teachers" and local students (in most cases audience in a demo). When we invite foreign masters and ask them to work on a local material alien to them, they tend to use the knowledge they have in the species they handled and which they are accustomed to, and were often copied and misinterpreted by the viewers.. One example of this is the "Phempis acidula" turned "Juniper". During the early period of our local bonsai history most of our teachers/visitors were Taiwanese visitors and Japanese source materials (books). To make the story short, just observe the foliage pads on some Phempis here and compare them to Junipers and see the similarity, like cloud foliage formation branching etc. I think these "mistakes" were now being pass on from one generation to another. The same thing is happening now to most casuarinas here. There are still few people doing casuarinas locally but based on what I personally saw, they are turning into "junipers" again and not a "tropical" bonsai.
This is basically the same problem elsewhere where local species were turned into something else, and the "culprit" --imitation!.. in the colder climates most bonsais are turned into "Japanese trees".
For tropical trees which were designed otherwise sometimes the results were early death of trees.

... No offense meant for anyone specially for my Filipino brothers. It is just my personal observation and Hypothesis.


This picture below was still in its early stage of development, I was trying to adopt what I saw THEN from other local Phempis...but later on I find something is not quite right. Then Robert Steven came and explained the "fault" in the local branching style.





Here Robert tried to explain the branching system suitable for tropical design.




This is a winning tree (for now), but eventually will lost its luster and die back occur if not addressed properly.



Maybe Robert can explain further? Wink


regards,
jun Smile





Last edited by jun on Wed Feb 27, 2013 4:52 am; edited 5 times in total

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Re: Fault in design

Post  Todd Ellis on Wed Feb 27, 2013 3:39 am

I would love to hear Robert's treatise on this topic. Thank you for sharing your observations Jun!
Todd

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Re: Fault in design

Post  dorothy7774 on Wed Feb 27, 2013 3:48 am

Todd Ellis wrote:I would love to hear Robert's treatise on this topic. Thank you for sharing your observations Jun!
Todd

I second that! Have the feeling this is the same problem that folks have when constantly pinching junipers and other trees..

Thanks for the thread, jun!

Best,
Dorothy

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Re: Fault in design

Post  Guest on Wed Feb 27, 2013 4:46 am

Thanks Todd and Dorothy!

..and please people do share your experience , photos and observations as well on your local areas. this discussion is open to all.

regards,
jun Smile

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Re: Fault in design

Post  Robert Steven on Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:44 am

Thank you Jun for your passion to share this important issue especially with our friends in Philippine. I realized this was a rather sensitive issue for some reoson, and it's good that you dare to speak out for good sake.

I had seen thousands of top class Pemphis bonsai in Philippine died due to this problem..and still thousands are continuing to die and I feel so sad !!! (I am sure Jun can agree with me about this).
Me and Jun once visited a good friend who had thousands of first-class Pemphis where almost all were in dying stage. If I were in Philippine, I am ready to help without condition to save those; I offered him to send experienced trainers from Indonesia for a rescue mission, but seems he was not that enthusiastic. I told Jun to buy those from him, but I doubt because this guy does not need money... Crying or Very sad Crying or Very sad Crying or Very sad
Someone should do something to rescue those dying treasures to show our respect and responsibility after digging from nature.

I had also told him to take immediate action to save as much as he could, but I doubt he did. I will post the pictures I took at that place and talk about the problem. Please give me sometimes to write the complete resume, I have been thinking to write a complete article about this, but still don't have the time to do so. It's a "design" and "technical" problem that lead to the "physiological" problem...



Last edited by Robert Steven on Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:47 am; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : mistyping)

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Re: Fault in design

Post  my nellie on Wed Feb 27, 2013 9:40 am

So, we are looking forward to reading you, Mr. Steven.
Thank you so much!
Thank you Jun, too!


PS: ....Jun, it's not that the olives will die out of this kind of styling but at my part of the world one most often sees olives styled like pines

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Re: Fault in design

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Wed Feb 27, 2013 9:51 am

Much thanks for this Jun.
Much thanks to Mr. Steven
Waiting to read.

Alexandra,
if I try pruning my African olive to get pads, like a Shimpaku, the tree begins to die back. This is why I let it do what it wants to do.
I mentioned this on the IBC many years ago [ either the list or when I first showed the tree.]

Hopefully my much taller, but idiotic Pemphis from seed will get bigger, eh Jun - chuckle.
Later.
Khaimraj

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Re: Fault in design

Post  Robert Steven on Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:16 pm

my nellie wrote:So, we are looking forward to reading you, Mr. Steven.
Thank you so much!
Thank you Jun, too!


PS: ....Jun, it's not that the olives will die out of this kind of styling but at my part of the world one most often sees olives styled like pines

It's NOT only at your part of the world, but many other places around the world, that's why this is one of the issues I always emphasize at any chance. Many deciduous bonsai are trained in conifers manner. Olive may not die, but pemphis does.

BTW, PLEASE don't call me Mr. Steven, this make me nervous..and wondering should I call you My or Mrs. Nellie..same to Mr. Seepersad Rolling Eyes


Last edited by Robert Steven on Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:17 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : mistyping)

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Re: Fault in design

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:37 pm

Robert,

on my side of the world, the Mr. part is respect [ for your abilities and character ], you have to give me permission to call you Robert. Otherwise I would appear, perhaps too forward / rude.

Or as my senior, it could also be Uncle Robert, also a sign of respect.

We are, those of us that are part Chinese or Old world or both, still using the original forms of hello.
Later Sifu.
Khaimraj

* Or would you prefer the North American version - Bob or Rob or Bert - chuckle

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Re: Fault in design

Post  Robert Steven on Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:42 pm

Khaimraj Seepersad wrote:Robert,

on my side of the world, the Mr. part is respect [ for your abilities and character ], you have to give me permission to call you Robert. Otherwise I would appear, perhaps too forward / rude.

Or as my senior, it could also be Uncle Robert, also a sign of respect.

We are, those of us that are part Chinese or Old world or both, still using the original forms of hello.
Later Sifu.
Khaimraj

* Or would you prefer the North American version - Bob or Rob or Bert - chuckle

Uncle make me feel old..apart of that, all sound good to me.. (In Indonesia, mostly they call me Bert) Very Happy

BTW, I will come back for the Pemphis...

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Re: Fault in design

Post  Robert Steven on Thu Feb 28, 2013 8:48 am

Despite of why so many Pemphis (deciduous bonsai) are designed like conifers as addressed by Jun, from my experience, my observation dan my practice, it’s true that such design will lead to a serious die back on Pemphis. What I mean design is not the overal composition, but the technique of how the foliation is made by densed twigs pointing up.





They will look perfect at one period of time, but if such condition is maintained by constant pinching, then the twiggy foliation will lead to a serious condition which may cause die back; and if no correct technique to handle, then it will lead to a total death.





After long discussion with experts and studies, observation and practices, I found it is the fact that Pemphis is one of the very sensitive species to the mechanism of biological growth sensors, which involves the two important growth regulator hormones, auxins and cytokinens. The problem of Pemphis we are discussing is due to the disturbance of the signal communication balance between these two hormones in their “self reinforcing cycle” which lead to the malfunction of growth generators. The disturbance is due to the densed foliation and the constant piching on the tiny twiggy foliation.

Before I go further, this is so called the “self reinforcing cycle” on the plants’ growth system I mentioned above.
Cytokinens, produced by the roots, and auxins, produced by the leaves and buds. These two hormones are in constant signal communication via the plants vascular pathways. Healthy terminal buds or healthy terminal shoot growth produce a strong auxin signal travels down the pathways to the root tip where it serves as a powerful growth regulator for the root tip. The strongly growing root tip produces cytokinen which follows the same pathway back to the terminal bud or shoot where it serves as a strong growth regulator.

The constant pinching on the twiggy foliation tips of pemphis will once create shady condition; the inner side of the foliage will have no leaves except only on the very tips. As there are no new buds opening and regeneration on the terminals, the exsisting tiny twigs will get older and weaker, consequently the buds will produce less auxins which cause weaker signal to the root tips. With the weaker signal received by the root tips, there will be leass cytokinens to be send to the buds to generate growth.

In fact, auxins also has a function to suppress bud break at all the buds behind it on the branch, certain pinching and prunning will actually disturb the auxins in certain level and generate new buds behind it to break (we use this concept for clip-and-grow technique or to grow thicker branch by letting the apical tip to grow without disturb); but due to the densed condition which caused shady, there are no rooms for the new buds to break and grow; and that’s why the overall situation causes the imbalance growth signal communication. Consequently, the twiggs start to die, leaves drop, less leaves less auxins, less auxins less cytokinens and so on the cycle…







If no proper recovering steps are taken and the condition is getting worse, then it will be too late to rescue. Pemphis does not like hard defoliation !

Will be back for solution and correct ramification for Pemphis…

Robert Steven
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Re: Fault in design

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Thu Feb 28, 2013 9:49 am

Thank you Sifu,
waiting and appreciating.
Khaimraj

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Re: Fault in design

Post  Jed Franco on Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:05 pm

Thanks Robert, that's an eye-opener for me....share some more of your knowledge...and thanks in advance.. Very Happy

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Re: Fault in design

Post  Robert Steven on Thu Feb 28, 2013 3:08 pm

The correct way to form foliation for Pemphis is to create cluster-like foliage with short twigs, side way open instead of upward, sparely open instead of densed. Create more spaces for the lights to get though inside, more spare spaces for new buds to shoot out when necessary. In order to have such foliation, an ideal ramification structure should be formed by clip-and-grow by open each opposite terminal at every section of the branching.



With such ramification, we can control the healthy buds. When some twigs get older and weak, we can replace easily with new buds. In another word, Pemphis needs to be “refreshed” once a while to maintain the growth balance. We should not maintain Pemphis’ foliation by constant pinching on the densed tips. We should avoid too densed foliation to form shady condition to the inner side.





So how to handle or to avoid the above problem on Pemphis if they are already set in the “wrong” technique ?
If the condition is not that bad yet, we can start to prun some twigs to open the structure by cutting off the middle part.





By doing so, we will stimulate new buds break to form cluster-like foliation in spare structure. The we maintain as described above.

But if the condition already very bad, then we should handle the situation with extra care.

Check the soil condition and make sure if the drainage is working well. If necessary, we can repot depends on the tree health condition. If the drainage is still working well, the best way is to change the soil around the outer side. We can put slow release fertilizer at this time.

Now we can do gradual hard prunning, but we should leave some healthy buds or leaves at every end of the branches we cut in order to keep the vascular pathways in function. By doing so, we can expect new shoots to form new ideal structure to replace the old ones.





At this time, we can spray hormones and vitamins to stimulate better growth. When the whole growth is strong and healthy, then we can do total repotting.












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Re: Fault in design

Post  Sam Ogranaja on Thu Feb 28, 2013 3:29 pm

WOW!!! This is why I still come here to this forum. Because of contributors like Jun and Bert...err....I mean Robert Smile

Thank you so much for taking the time to teach this Robert. This is not a species I have or am familiar with but I'm certain whoever does will find this information useful.

Still looking forward to meeting you one day.
Have a great weekend!!!
Sam

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Re: Fault in design

Post  Robert Steven on Thu Feb 28, 2013 3:33 pm

Thank you Sam, for your nice words.

Bert Cool

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Re: Fault in design

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Thu Feb 28, 2013 3:44 pm

Thank you Sifu,

strangely enough you are using the technique, I use for creating domes with negative spaces, as the mango trees grow down here. Got it from the Lingnan folk [ grow and clip ] and how we draw trees in Landscape or Imaginative compositions.
Thank you so very much Sifu.
Khaimraj

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Re: Fault in design

Post  Cockroach on Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:33 am

Jun and Robert,

Thank you for your observations, posts and especially your explanations on why things happen and their correction. It makes gaining a greater understanding of bonsai and the trees' needs much easier and I love reading posts like this and even revisit them occasionally to ensure what was written sinks in.

Well done and keep them coming!

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Re: Fault in design

Post  Robert Steven on Fri Mar 01, 2013 2:14 am

Thank you Cockroach and Khaimraj. Bonsai indeed is a multi-discipline art...

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Re: Fault in design

Post  Nigel Parke on Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:28 am

Robert,
Thank you for sharing your knowledge and I echo the sentiments expressed by the others.
It is posts like these that increases your knowledge and understanding of bonsai......Art married to Science.

Nigel

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Re: Fault in design

Post  Robert Steven on Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:47 am

Thanks Nigel.
This is what I found on Pemphis which shows its sensitive respond to the plant physiological system among others e,g. Baeckea. We can handle Pemphis but still not yet found the right way to handle Baechea. I don't know if there are other species which reach the same problem due to the constant pinching or other wrong treatment. However, there are so many horticultural knowledge that we can apply to our bonsai practice..but seems we are lack of such experts involving in bonsai community.

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Re: Fault in design

Post  Guest on Fri Mar 01, 2013 5:01 am

Sam Ogranaja wrote:WOW!!! This is why I still come here to this forum. Because of contributors like Jun and Bert...err....I mean Robert Smile

Thank you so much for taking the time to teach this Robert. This is not a species I have or am familiar with but I'm certain whoever does will find this information useful.

Still looking forward to meeting you one day.
Have a great weekend!!!
Sam

Thank you Sam for the kind words!

This problem of applying the wrong technique to particular species is not confined to this species of Phempis alone. Like what Robert stated, Many deciduous and tropical trees were design patterned to conifers. Correct ramification is the key in achieving a healthy and artistically designed tree. That is why I said that this thread is open to all and not to Phempis discussion alone.
I also think that the triangular shape of bonsai that most people are so accustomed to, whether conifers, deciduos, and tropical trees were also based on the techniques applied and suitable only to conifers with single /apical dominance, which we will not find in other trees.

regards,
jun Smile

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Re: Fault in design

Post  mokster on Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:05 am

Wah, I got goose bumps reading this post. Information on how to grow Santigis well is one thing but the treatment of how to balance style, plant species and cultivation is something I now really need to think about when developing Bonsai.

Thank you Jun and Robert.

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Re: Fault in design

Post  Robert Steven on Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:17 am

Thanks Mokter. That's also the reason why our friends in Malaysia and Singapore always claim that Pemphis cannot grow well and die..

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Re: Fault in design

Post  mokster on Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:37 am

Robert Steven wrote:Thanks Mokter. That's also the reason why our friends in Malaysia and Singapore always claim that Pemphis cannot grow well and die..

Guilty as charged!

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Re: Fault in design

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