Mock Orange for bonsai?

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Mock Orange for bonsai?

Post  leatherback on Mon Jul 07, 2014 8:33 am

Hi all,

Currently I have the option to 'rescue' a decades-old overgrown mock-orange from a front-yard. I cannot find any information for this species as a bonsai, which makes me stop and wonder.

Has anyone tried this species for bonsai?

Looking at the branches, they will probably be dificult to style, and prone to sudden die-back, with hollow stems? However, in growth habit they look similar to Forsythia, which makes crude bonsai, but with wonderfull flower displays in early spring.

Any thoughts?

leatherback
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Re: Mock Orange for bonsai?

Post  damianos on Mon Jul 07, 2014 4:27 pm

Maybe it is an interesting opportunity for you to be a pioneer!
Rescuing trees is something wort trying, according to my opinion, so I would suggest that you give it a try and let us know how you did.

damianos
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Re: Mock Orange for bonsai?

Post  M. Frary on Mon Jul 07, 2014 7:47 pm

Have one in my yard. I cut it back like a rose every year like a rose. If I don't it doesn't flower as well.

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Re: Mock Orange for bonsai?

Post  JimLewis on Mon Jul 07, 2014 8:36 pm

I look in Google Images for "Mock Orange bonsai" and didn't find anything worth calling a bonsai that could have been Mock Orange. I have one in the yard and have toyed with the idea. but I no longer have the time to develop anything from it so in the yard it stays.

_________________
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: Mock Orange for bonsai?

Post  Leo Schordje on Thu Jul 10, 2014 3:11 pm

I dabbled with a Philadelphus, or Mock Orange for about 2 years, and due to taking a vacation and it not getting watered by 'the help' it perished. In many ways the growth pattern reminds me of the same problems I have with trying to work with Honeysuckle, Lonicera, in that the twigs are thin, often with long internodes, they tend to come in multiples from the same point on the stem. The opposite leaf pattern means maple styling techniques are more appropriate than elm techniques. It seemed to shed first year branches that had been pruned, in favor of new shoots, often from the base, at the cost of the main trunk. I would like to try another one. Some of the newer hybrids coming out have been bred for extended blooming season, so you could get sweet smelling flowers all summer long.

I think if you stayed on top of removing unwanted basal shoots, it could be a 'good' bonsai, like it's distant cousins in the genus Hydrangea, we don't see many of them. But there are a few really good examples of Hydrangea as bonsai (see K. Murata's book 4 Seasons of Bonsai), so I think it is a shrub worth experimenting with if you have the time and space. It could be great. If you find any articles about using Hydrangea as bonsai, there may be some clues as what to do with Philadelphus. The good news is that Mock Orange leaves tend to be smaller than Hydrangea leaves, so leaf reduction is not as big an issue with these.

I would like to 'play' with this species again, give it another try, but right now my benches have no space. Fragrance alone is a 'good excuse' in my book to grow a plant.

Leo Schordje
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Re: Mock Orange for bonsai?

Post  leatherback on Thu Jul 10, 2014 8:53 pm

Thx all,

I guess I will not pick this up; Got some lonicera, and I understand erxactly what Leo is referring too (Although with enough trimming, you can get control of lonicera foliage)

leatherback
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