Weeping Willow

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Weeping Willow

Post  rrubberbandman on Sun Oct 27, 2013 12:22 am

I have a willow in my yard and it was planted by the previous homeowner in the most un-idea area.......its 4 ft tall...question is do these specie have any place in the bonsai world???
Bryan

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Re: Weeping Willow

Post  JimLewis on Sun Oct 27, 2013 12:06 pm



From a recent Carolina Bonsai Expo.


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Re: Weeping Willow

Post  rrubberbandman on Sun Oct 27, 2013 1:05 pm

JimLewis wrote:

From a recent Carolina Bonsai Expo.

Nice shot Jim,
This tree would dwarf that picture though....i may pluck it out in january or february and get it in a training box and try something.
Bryan

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Weeping Willow

Post  bonsaisr on Sun Oct 27, 2013 2:42 pm

It's been done, but standard weeping willow might be difficult, especially for a beginner. You could try it. Some growers repot it twice a year. The most common bonsai cultivar is 'Rokkakudo,' a more compact form. However, under my conditions I found it too temperamental. Now I'm trying 'Yatsubusa,' a true dwarf cultivar. So far, so good, but I haven't wintered it over yet.
Do you know if your tree is true Salix babylonica or Salix alba 'Tristis?'
Jim, where do you keep yours for the winter?
Iris

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Re: Weeping Willow

Post  Tom on Sun Oct 27, 2013 7:00 pm

rrubberbandman wrote:I have a willow ... do these specie have any place in the bonsai world???
google 'simon temblett willow'

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Re: Weeping Willow

Post  rrubberbandman on Sun Oct 27, 2013 10:33 pm

bonsaisr wrote:It's been done, but standard weeping willow might be difficult, especially for a beginner. You could try it. Some growers repot it twice a year. The most common bonsai cultivar is 'Rokkakudo,' a more compact form. However, under my conditions I found it too temperamental. Now I'm trying 'Yatsubusa,' a true dwarf cultivar. So far, so good, but I haven't wintered it over yet.
Do you know if your tree is true Salix babylonica or Salix alba 'Tristis?'
Jim, where do you keep yours for the winter?
Iris
I have no clue as to the cultivar..........

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Re: Weeping Willow

Post  Marty Weiser on Mon Oct 28, 2013 3:29 am

Weeping willows grow like weeds. I suggest digging and potting up in the spring. Cut it back hard once gets a good growth spurt to create a change of direction (it is probably a straight, uninteresting trunk now). Repeat a couple of times. If the leaves are fairly large make a tall bonsai on the order of 3 ft. (1 m) tall. If the leaves are smaller, make a smaller tree. I set the pots in a saucer so they are wet during in the growing season in my fairly dry climate which they seem to appreciate.

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Re: Weeping Willow

Post  AlainK on Mon Oct 28, 2013 9:38 am

Like Iris, I find it too temperamental. Here, they tend to lose branches at the end of the winter, and I had a very tall contorted one in my garden that died from (probably) marsonia sthg, a fungal disease.

I still have a couple of varieties that I keep in pots (Salix purpurea 'Nana', Salix sepulcralis 'Erythroflexuosa', Salix integra 'Hakuro-Nishiki') but I don't work on them as bonsai, I just keep them in shape: I found that when you prune them in winter, the risk of losing a branch is very high, so I only prune them in their growing season.

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Re: Weeping Willow

Post  Frojo on Mon Oct 28, 2013 11:09 am

They grow very fast.
They keep you busy.
They make you smile.
They are temperamental.
I never attempted to make mine weep.
It made me cry.
I still feel ill.

From to in less than 3 years.

Now all but the bottom two sub-branches on the first branch suddenly died.
I had no problems with it before.
I did learn a lot.
I will try to work on less temperamental trees.

Smile

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Re: Weeping Willow

Post  AlainK on Mon Oct 28, 2013 11:22 am

Frojo wrote:

Now all but the bottom two sub-branches on the first branch suddenly died.

Smile
Oh, that's a pity, it was a really beautiful tree...

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Re: Weeping Willow

Post  JimLewis on Mon Oct 28, 2013 12:50 pm

Jim, where do you keep yours for the winter?
That tree I posted isn't mine.  The only willow I have is a Japanese pussy willow; it grows but so far has made a very unsuccessful bonsai. It stays outside all year.

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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: Weeping Willow

Post  marcus watts on Sat Dec 07, 2013 4:55 pm

I have one here

It's a standard Salix babylonica that I swapped for a white beech group earlier this year. there was a small pile of sawdust on the soil and it turned out the trunk was hollow with an ants nest in it !



Here it is with a mop of branches that were weeping but had no taper. To look convincing the branch needs a downward curve putting in the first few cm's and then being left to grow freely to thicken. Cut the branch back to just the curved little bit and repeat again and again. Pruning during summer was going well but then a willow hawk moth caterpillar found the tree and ate half the leaves in a night or two. This was sept and the tree behaved like it had been defoliated and grew new shoots but it was too late in the year and they all have died back.

Other observations - wiring it didnt go well - even done gently many sections that were touching the bark in pressure areas (outside of bends) started to die off in patches.

Late (Sept/Oct ) pruning of long shoots - not good, caused branches to die back quite a lot.

Plus points - they grow like weeds, grow very fast, make new branches all over the place etc so its no real problem if a branch dies off now and again

I had to hollow out all the ants nest and start to dry the wood out in order to treat it. when the tree was growing it was not being allowed to dry out though so I used lime sulphur as it works best on wet wood. Now it's winter I can use a better preserver on the interior and then tone down the white wood with some ink.



Its not one of the first species to learn bonsai on but certainly a good one for adding a bit of challenge to the hobby

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Re: Weeping Willow

Post  Dave Leppo on Tue Dec 10, 2013 3:13 pm

While I do not have experience successfully over wintering weeping willow, I can recommend that because you can get a branch cut from a tree to root quite easily, find a section of branch in an existing tree that you can use as a trunk to start with; cut it and root it.

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Re: Weeping Willow

Post  marcus watts on Tue Dec 10, 2013 10:30 pm

Dave Leppo wrote:While I do not have experience successfully over wintering weeping willow, I can recommend that because you can get a branch cut from a tree to root quite easily, find a section of branch in an existing tree that you can use as a trunk to start with; cut it and root it.

hi Dave,

that is a good way to get a new tree rather than a way to keep, progress and improve it as a bonsai. without perfecting the care a new rooted branch will just keep dying off

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Re: Weeping Willow

Post  DuncanJH on Wed Dec 11, 2013 1:29 am

Marcus your tree looks fantastic, and you should be thankful for those ants, they made it hard work but now your tree has tonnes of character and a story to tell!
Is it possible to tie down long branches to curve them, without wire touching the top of the curve, or is it just any bending they don't like?

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Weeping Willow

Post  bonsaisr on Wed Dec 11, 2013 2:27 am

A trick that was recommended to me is every day when you go around to inspect or water your bonsai, pull the branches down into a weeping position. You can also wrap them in a hairnet or lingerie washing bag.
It is also possible to improve willow bonsai by singing that song from "The Mikado" to them.  Wink 
Iris

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salix

Post  abcd on Wed Dec 11, 2013 6:11 am

If you want that no branch die, use drip irrigation with chemical fertilizer all the year, and no wires, no cut, but lests at the top off the branches with balls of platicine , simon temblett have a beautifull tree , builded with this technic.

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Weeping Willow

Post  bonsaisr on Wed Dec 11, 2013 3:10 pm

Drip Irrigation only works on all trees if you have very soft tap water or a reverse osmosis supply. I visited a bonsai grower in Israel years ago who was using drip irrigation. You can imagine what the water is like there. Israel invented drip irrigation for field crops, but a tree from a soft water country would be very unhappy.
I'll have to try the plasticine trick with some cut paste.
Iris

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Re: Weeping Willow

Post  AlainK on Wed Dec 11, 2013 3:41 pm

abcd wrote:If you want that no branch die, use drip irrigation with chemical fertilizer all the year, and no wires, no cut, but lests at the top off the branches with balls of platicine , simon temblett have a beautifull tree , builded with this technic.

Clever, I'll try that  Smile 

PS: I suppose lest = weigh down. We non-native speakers often look for the right word and I've found this site a great help:

Linguee

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Re: Weeping Willow

Post  dick benbow on Fri Oct 03, 2014 4:36 pm

Iris, cut paste is maybe more expensive then playdoh, so you could substitute it and get the same results.

I've tried pink and black pussy willow with limited luck. My favorite willow is the locally grown stuff from up in the mountains. I have an alpine willow and a larger leafed variety that I seem to have less trouble with then cultivated stuff.

No doubt the secret is to keep them moist and well fed. Smile

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Weeping Willow

Post  MKBonsai on Mon Oct 06, 2014 10:27 am

Regarding pruning and die back: I have a grey poplar in my garden that I have to prune each year to keep it contained. It is probably one of the only grey poplars in the world that looks like a "normal" tree in terms of its shape - as opposed to being just a tall straight, stick. The only way I can prune it without it suffering a lot if die back is to prune it as the buds break in the late winter / early spring. I've found that pruning when in full leaf or when dormant tends to kill the pruned branches. It may be worth adopting this approach with willows to see if it proves to be more successful than more conventional bonsai pruning regimes. But if anyone else has some tried and tested way of doing it I'd be glad to hear about it. The problem with willows and poplars is their ability to push out very long, straight branches at an alarming rate - I'm still trying to work out how to deal with this.

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Re: Weeping Willow

Post  dick benbow on Mon Oct 06, 2014 3:56 pm

thanks for sharing...Smile I'll remember that and give it a try next spring....

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Re: Weeping Willow

Post  Bruce Winter on Tue Oct 07, 2014 1:46 am

Here's a few. I think the first one on left is by Simon Temblett.

http://tinyurl.com/m5mpf9o

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Weeping Willow

Post  bonsaisr on Fri Mar 20, 2015 5:12 pm

Dave Easterbrook used to have a beautiful weeping willow. Dunno if it's still around. confused
My shohin Yatsubusa is still asleep. Can I put it under the fluorescent lights to wake up so I can repot it, or do I have to wait? The simplest solution I found to bend branches down without complaints is to put a hairnet or laundry net bag over the top.
Iris

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Re: Weeping Willow

Post  Dave Leppo on Tue Apr 07, 2015 2:40 pm

Dave Leppo wrote:While I do not have experience successfully over wintering weeping willow, I can recommend that because you can get a branch cut from a tree to root quite easily, find a section of branch in an existing tree that you can use as a trunk to start with; cut it and root it.

Well, my Willows are alive as of today. I keep them potted in fine substrate, and keep the pots sitting in trays of water. this is how I over-wintered them, in the garage with my other deciduous trees, with electric heat-tape lying amongst the pots on the floor.

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Re: Weeping Willow

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