Podocarpus macrophyllus - advice and/or thoughts?

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Podocarpus macrophyllus - advice and/or thoughts?

Post  bonsaibrady on Fri Jun 14, 2013 7:19 pm

Hello All!

I am new to Bonsai and very interested to learn. I recently attained some material from a nursery near my home including a nice trident maple, hinoki and a boxwood. Anyways my question is actually pertaining to this Buddhist pine i recently bought. I purchased this before i really started doing alot of study into some of the main rules or advice on good bonsai. For some reason something about this tree really gets my attention and i really want to do something with it. But now after reading so much and seeing so many bonsai i am bit concerned with it. 

First with how it has the two branches coming out low on the trunk and them being bar branches. Also this causing reverse taper and the trunk not being so big anyways.

Are these ok in some circumstances? Maybe because they are so low on the trunk?

I am thinking about either taking the left branch off all the way or wiring the left one down away and the right one a bit up, possibly creating the illusion they are coming from different locations.

I am just curious if you all think this has any potential and if so what modifications would you do to allow it to blossom.

The first picture is the tree how it is and the others are some of my ideas. Any help or thoughts would be appreciated.













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Re: Podocarpus macrophyllus - advice and/or thoughts?

Post  JimLewis on Fri Jun 14, 2013 7:57 pm

That's a pretty nice little tree.  I wouldn't worry about the branches.  Podocarpus is a kind of conifer, so you shouldn't think about "blooming."  They're tough trees, and will stand some cold weather, but would need winter protection in your area.  They do OK indoors, but only OK and should be outside anytime the weather is above freezing.  Mine have been outside unprotected in the mid 20s and with protection (covered by a sheet) in the teens, but I usually bring them inside into a sun room in the coldest moths.  

Pinch new growth through the spring and summer.  I'd shorten these side branches and take a bit off the top.  Grow it in a pine-tree shape and you will approximate their natural growth habit.

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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: Podocarpus macrophyllus - advice and/or thoughts?

Post  bonsaibrady on Fri Jun 14, 2013 8:07 pm

Thank you very much Jim for the comments and advice.  I was actually using the word "blossom" metaphorically, but after reading it again i don't think its in the best context being that we are talking about trees and some do actually blossom!  Smile

I do really appreciate your advice and i feel a lot better about it now.  I just read all of these "rules","guidelines" and i wasn't sure if the branches were going to be a huge problem or not.

Something about the tree really speaks to me, so i guess if nothing else that's good enough...

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Re: Podocarpus macrophyllus - advice and/or thoughts?

Post  bonsaibrady on Sat Jun 15, 2013 1:24 pm

Jim,
In your experience when is the best time of the year to root prune and repot this species?

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Re: Podocarpus macrophyllus - advice and/or thoughts?

Post  JimLewis on Sat Jun 15, 2013 4:59 pm

I don't know where Hardy, VA is, but you can do things to these into early summer if you are careful.  Yours looks like it was fairly recently potted, though, so I'd exercise caution about repotting this year.,

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Podocarpus macrophyllus

Post  moyogijohn on Sun Jun 30, 2013 1:47 am

I found your post on your podocarpus.. i really like the tree by the way !! one question Jim did not say, the left branch crosses the main trunk,, i thought branches doing that is not a good thing.. i am not trying to be negitive or picky but is there a branch above that one to use on the left ??? Jim gives good advice always,,shorten branches ect.. please repost and show what you have done.. take care john

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Re: Podocarpus macrophyllus - advice and/or thoughts?

Post  JimLewis on Sun Jun 30, 2013 1:40 pm

Hmmm. As I see it, that branch crosses another branch, not the trunk. However, I wouldn't worry about it in any event at this stage of its life as a bonsai.

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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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podocarpus macrophyllus

Post  moyogijohn on Mon Jul 01, 2013 1:32 am

JIM,, Maybe you are right !! I can,t see the main trunk really.. anyway it is a nice looking tree,,one i have thougth about to find one to buy... good luck with it,,take care john

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Re: Podocarpus macrophyllus - advice and/or thoughts?

Post  bonsaibrady on Mon Jul 01, 2013 11:02 pm

Moyo- Yes, that's what i was thinking when i first got it but for some reason it really speaks to me. I really love this tree and think it will be amazing in 10 years.

Man, this thing is growing like crazy right now. I have been doing some work on it, wiring down branches and bit of trimming.

I am very cautious about what to trim and pinch, i guess cause i am new to it all. I will post a pic up shortly with what i have been doing with it.


Jim- Do you ever trim off the old needle growth?

I seen a site where a guys shows you can cut off old needle growth and then cut new growth in half and it will backbud.

I was just wondering if you could give me some specifics of how you trim these?


thanks!!

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Re: Podocarpus macrophyllus - advice and/or thoughts?

Post  JimLewis on Tue Jul 02, 2013 12:44 pm

Jim- Do you ever trim off the old needle growth?

Yes. As the branches turn woody and bark stsrts to form.

I seen a site where a guys shows you can cut off old needle growth and then cut new growth in half and it will backbud.

Podocarpus backbud pretty well, but don't go overboard in taking off leaves.  Yours is still VERY young.  It needs to grow more than it needs styling.  Id remove the ends of needle bundles after they have extended an inch or so, taking off perhaps three whorls of needles.  But no more than that for several years.  

I was just wondering if you could give me some specifics of how you trim these?

On more mature trees, you will always remove leaves/needles (they're not rally needlelike, art they?) that droop below the branch.  Again, you're not there yet with this tree.

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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: Podocarpus macrophyllus - advice and/or thoughts?

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