Andre`s Baobab - Adansonia digitata

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Andre`s Baobab - Adansonia digitata

Post  Andre Beaurain on Fri Jan 23, 2015 3:58 pm

Midday and its 44 degrees outside...my eyebals dry out so quickly I cant blink enough, so I decided to come in..

I think its time you guys meet my Big Trees.....  The first one everybody wants to buy , but of course there is no price for love....

This Baobab has been in a pot for 15 years.   And it was probably 10 - 15 years old already since the taproot were removed, and rescued from a garden, by a guy who owns a Big Tree Nursery, And then I talk about 20 000 - 50 000 Litre trees !

The Baobab tree moves under roof in winter as soon as the first leaves turn yellow.  And then from then it receives not a drop of water till the new growth appears in September with the onslaught of the glorious  spring.

Now to show you how important this is just follow the picture trail...

What makes this Baobab spectacular is the amount of branches it has and the straight smooth trunk line,  that is visible the entire length, without any scarring, form branches removed.

It also has a hollow trunk that is so reminiscent of old trees.  Altough this trees shape represents a young baobab, so under 500 years old..

On Baobabs you will never find dead wood.  Curious isnt it.  Wounds will always heal from the inside out and form a new callus under the dead wood, and in time will 'scab' off the dead wood (Or rot away)   to show brand new bark.  ( Like Portulacaria and Crassula.. actually with all Succulent trees..)  But nothing has to 'grow over' a wound, it comes form the inside.  
So a hollow trunk like this will also have bark on the inside.  

Not only is the hollow so typical of the Baobab, but at the bottom of the tree a band can be seen,  which show the use of the bark, for rope making, and also Elephants eat the bark, so a tree with a scarred bottom is very representative.


Scarring from Rope making



Baobab rope.



Here I start to wire the tree for the first time in its life.  Took me almost two days..  


After wiring the tree I lifted it to plant in a new soil mix.

No remember this tree didnt receive ANY water since Mei 2014... this picture was taken in October 2014 just after I noticed the buds appearing. That is six months without water, and still standing in very bright light (Fiberglass house).

I found a rotten root!

This means either two things...something ate the root, (Which I doubt) or I damaged  the rootsit when I moved it inside from the shaking around in the pot.  The soil was still wet from the late watering.  What happend it started to rot,  and because it was rotting the tree itselfe seeped water into the soil which in trun encourage the rotting and so on it went for the whole winter.  

Now if I didnt transplant this tree, I would have lost it in two years, without even nowing that it was rotting till it was too late.

So REGULAR root inspection on the Baobab is imperative .

Look how much water is between my fingers where I squeeze it...




I remove the rotten root bit by bit till I get to lightly coloured healthy tissue...then I dust the whole thing with Lime sulphur ....










I here she lies on her side for a whole week to dry out completely and form a scab under the damaged tissue.




The soil mix very gritty.....free draining


Instead of putting organic material within the soil, I put it as a mulch layer on top after planting.  This is safer this way.

Here I use rotten horse manure..




The top of the tree where the old top was removed, see what I mean by the scar that healed from the inside out, there is no overgrowth.




BEFORE WIRING







AFTER WIRING







After two weeks....



My Baobab compared to some of my other big trees that I just worked on.
Baoba on right then Ficus nataleinsis,  Cork Oak, which I will show soon, and my Bald Cypress that you all know..



Will show a pic tomorrow in full leave standing in a corn field....

Love and Light

Andre Beaurain
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Re: Andre`s Baobab - Adansonia digitata

Post  JimLewis on Fri Jan 23, 2015 5:52 pm

One of the best I've seen of that species.

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Re: Andre`s Baobab - Adansonia digitata

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Fri Jan 23, 2015 5:53 pm

Andre',


ThumbsUp ThumbsUp ThumbsUp ThumbsUp ThumbsUp

Would you change the shape and depth of the pot in time ?

Thanks for showing.

Waiting for he who walks in - front - of the corn Laughing
Inspiring!!
Laters.
Khaimraj


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Re: Andre`s Baobab - Adansonia digitata

Post  kevin stoeveken on Fri Jan 23, 2015 8:15 pm

thanks kahi !!!
now i'm gonna have "children of the corn" scary dreams affraid Twisted Evil affraid

andre !!!

very impressive... never seen one with that much branching...
well done and i hope she pulls through !!!

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Re: Andre`s Baobab - Adansonia digitata

Post  Richard S on Sat Jan 24, 2015 10:54 am

Andre

Great tree! Looks even better after wiring, very naturalistic.

Like Khaimraj I was going to question the shape and size of your pot but after having seen the root "ball" I can see why that pot might have been necessary. Still, I think a wider shallower one would look better, if possible.

Either way it's a great tree.

I know nothing about this species but I know I like the look of it. Will you update when it's fully in leaf?

Regards

Richard

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Re: Andre`s Baobab - Adansonia digitata

Post  Tom Simonyi on Sat Jan 24, 2015 2:28 pm


Wonderful work, Andre....thanks for sharing. I too think it is one of the best of this species that I have seen.

Best regards,
Tom

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Re: Andre`s Baobab - Adansonia digitata

Post  fredman1 on Sat Jan 24, 2015 8:47 pm

WoW that is one impressive tree Andre. I love the balance of the trunk and branches. Luckily you know it will look at its ultimate in a better pot ne Very Happy
I thoroughly enjoyed the pics and the running commentary. Very well done. I now understand how I have killed them in winter time through pure love.....Sad
Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to the mielieland foto Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
Question.... Did you create the hollow? Will it eventually heal itself from the inside? Do you maintain the hollow so it doesn't grow over/under?

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Re: Andre`s Baobab - Adansonia digitata

Post  Andre Beaurain on Sun Jan 25, 2015 10:00 am

O Wonderful!

Thanks guys, you honor me with your compliments, and I'm sure the tree feels the same...hi hii

Thanks Jim, great compliment!

Thanks Khaimraj, Yes pot is problem, what do you suggest. Its got to be in a larger deeper pot because of the caudex, and as little soil as possible... so it can dry quickly between watering.

Thanks Kevin, she will definitely pull though there is no question about it!

Thanks Richard, the photo is up next!

Tom, Great ! thank you.

Thanks Fredman.. the hollow also occured naturally through root damage, that whole area use to be underground. Went trough the same drying and dusting treatment.
Same what do you suggest for a pot.

Here comes the Mielieland (cornfield) photo....

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Re: Andre`s Baobab - Adansonia digitata

Post  Andre Beaurain on Sun Jan 25, 2015 10:21 am

Ever since a child I was obsessed with small things, I mentioned this before.

Now I forever tried too breed smaller chickens smaller vegetables ect.  One day I came upon Mielies called Pink Pop Corn, with tiny cobs...





I ordered seeds from the internet showed them in the veggy patch and harvested many Mielies that summer...cause I have a plan...
Out of this cobs I chose the smallest kernels to plant in my bonsai dish..



I have this image in my head of Baobabs standing between the Cornfields (Mielieland) in the Nothern parts of our country, driving past seeing this lines and lines of perfectly planted Mielies, and in between this absolutely absurd remarkable trees with contorted huge branches...to contrast for me was awesome, even the colours of dark green foliage of the Baobab against the cultivated light green of the mielies.......

So I tried to recreate that mood and feeling and here she is.... My Baobab in between my bonsai Mielies...



I checked the wires and I think its ready to take off!

Love and light

Andre Beaurain
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Re: Andre`s Baobab - Adansonia digitata

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Sun Jan 25, 2015 5:14 pm

Andre',

is it that it needs less soil or you have to invent a soil for your tree?

For the ficus on this side, we had to return to builder's gravel at 90 % with 10 % compost by volume and upgrade the size to 5mm.
This has allowed the growth to be finer and more even, which should allow a much more refined tree, than the rampant growth which often occurs and you end up with a coarse tree.
As the soil ages, teaspoons of sifted compost are sprinkled on the surface and allowed to water in.

So how does the Baobab, react to rain and type of soil in nature that allows it to grow well.

Nice observation on the healing factor.

Okay, if we assume you have the optimum soil, what about the pot, is it going to be porous ?

We get the best results on the J.B.pines, using concrete or glazed porous earthenware pots, in combination with a soil that is just builder's gravel and sifted compost.
The glazed earthenware pot is not glazed at underneath.
Additionally, glazes today can be made to look like stone, or even allowed to be porous.

I leave the shape to you, I know you can easily match the pot to the tree.

I wish I knew what type of Baobab that you have there and could get seed ------- your work is that encouraging.

Years ago I had baobab seed, but as to which one ???
Please educate the novice.

Keep up the excellent work!!

By the way does the tree respond to airlayers?
Roots are surface or not seen ?
Later,
Khaimraj

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Re: Andre`s Baobab - Adansonia digitata

Post  fredman1 on Sun Jan 25, 2015 9:09 pm

Ha Ha....!!! Love the cornfield Andre. Hope you get a few cob heads from there. Original thinking there mate. Very original Wink  
As to the pot issue. I'm sort of sorry I mentioned it, because you have put me on a spot that I don't know much about. What the right pot is I really don't know.
I'm still in my  bonsai infancy. Not at the pot stage yet.  I'm at the stage where I'm still trying to grow them BIG so I can make them small..... Sad
I'm trying to figure out what my eye is telling me. I think its saying its a great looking pot but its more like a temporary pot. Not sure what I don't like but something disturbs my eye (I sound like a Master don't I? Always wanted to say that Razz ) If I have to stretch my limited imagination, I would think that a little bit flatter and wider pot would enhance that majestic trunk more. The question is  square, oval or rectangle. (my uneducated guess would be oval) I'll have to Google that and come back to you..... Cool
I hope some of the Seniors give some input. I would love to know what they think.

Best of luck.
Freddie

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Re: Andre`s Baobab - Adansonia digitata

Post  rolex dragon on Tue Jan 27, 2015 10:01 am

amazing work andre.
have seen giants in the namib/african plains.
a baobab in the pot is equally a sight to behold

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Re: Andre`s Baobab - Adansonia digitata

Post  Leo Schordje on Tue Jan 27, 2015 7:03 pm

Hi Andre
Wow, what a tree. Definitely the best Baobab I've ever seen. Outstanding. Love the smooth trunk, interesting hollow at the base, and the smooth taper without reverse taper. Superb work.

Understanding that the root system requires you to keep the pot small and somewhat deep, I think maybe a round or oval, that is very plain, much like that used for a literati, might be a good choice. The gray square you have it in is a nice pot, but a pot without ornament may be better. Or you could go the other extreme, a highly ornate Chinese style container. The plain pot may allow you blend visually with accent plantings such as Pop Corn.

Love the miniature pop corn. My brother-in-law is a retired crop geneticist, and for a 10 year period was breeding colored strains of pop corn. Now he is mostly retired, only handling one project breeding rapeseed. Genetics are fun, I used to breed guppies as a kid. Orchids occasionally still. It does not take many selection seasons with corn to create a major change in the growth pattern. Love what you have done. The combination is intriguing. The baobab is large enough and the corn is small enough that visually is works. Nice. In a formal exhibition it could be striking.

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Re: Andre`s Baobab - Adansonia digitata

Post  Richard S on Tue Jan 27, 2015 7:33 pm

Regards the pot, my feeling is that it's too deep, too narrow and perhaps more problematically it has quite a pronounced taper. This taper combined with the depth and narrow width creates a feeling of instability. 

This taper (in the pot) wouldn't be such a problem if it was wider but unfortunately it is only a little wider than the trunk and narrower than widest branches. As a result it makes the whole assembly appear as though it's trying to balancing on a point. If that makes sense?

This tree has a very thick trunk and good trunk taper but it is also pretty tall relative to the trunk. I think a tree with that height to width ratio needs a considerably wider pot. Depth is probably less of an issue because of the thick trunk.

Of course how you'd secure a tree like that (with no real nebari) into a wider pot is another question. Wiring it in is bound to be problematic. I guess you could wedge it in with wooden blocks below the surface perhaps?

Any how that's just my (non expert) opinion.

Still a great tree even in a semi cascade pot!

Cheers

Richard

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Re: Andre`s Baobab - Adansonia digitata

Post  Arthur Joura on Wed Jan 28, 2015 5:06 pm

Hello Andre - Your baobab is a very enjoyable tree! This thread is instructive, too, and much appreciated. I have been growing a couple of baobabs, produced from seed, over the past dozen or so years, and I have been bumbling my way along, learning by doing. Your detailed information helps.

My thoughts on a container - I see no problem with a deep pot (which also helps with drainage), but agree with Richard that it might be wider than the current one. A round, bowl-like container with a rim would work well for me. Also, if I was living in Africa, as I believe you are, and working with a native African species, I would jump at the chance to put my baobab bonsai in a pot that looked African in its character.

Thanks for posting!

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Re: Andre`s Baobab - Adansonia digitata

Post  fredman1 on Wed Jan 28, 2015 9:39 pm

Now that is the best idea Arthur. Challenge to Andre. Drop it in an African pot and surprise us all Very Happy

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Re: Andre`s Baobab - Adansonia digitata

Post  kevin stoeveken on Thu Jan 29, 2015 3:06 am

see, andre... ? Very Happy

same as i suggested for your tokonowhatchamacallit...
let your african sun shine, brother !!! sunny Beaurangel

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Re: Andre`s Baobab - Adansonia digitata

Post  Marco Giai-Coletti on Thu Jan 29, 2015 4:24 am

Amazing tree! I like the idea of a pot with an African feel.

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Re: Andre`s Baobab - Adansonia digitata

Post  Andre Beaurain on Fri Jan 30, 2015 11:41 am

Khaimraj Seepersad wrote:Andre',

is it that it needs less soil or you have to invent a soil for your tree?
Less soil means that it dry quickly after watering, and yes I mix my own soil for the succulent Bonsai.  2 Part grid, 2 coarse river sand, 1 part Pottingsoil mix, and then mulch with compost.

For the ficus on this side, we had to return to builder's gravel at 90 % with 10 % compost by volume and upgrade the size to 5mm.
This has allowed the growth to be finer and more even, which should allow a much more refined tree, than the rampant growth which often occurs and you end up with a coarse tree.
As the soil ages, teaspoons of sifted compost are sprinkled on the surface and allowed to water in.

So how does the Baobab, react to rain and type of soil in nature that allows it to grow well.
In Nature they get hard rain almost every day in summer with no ill effects, they are actually sub-tropical,  but are bone dry still in summer...... but after tampering with the taproot, and it being in 'captivity' , and having Winter rain....the rules change.

Nice observation on the healing factor.

Okay, if we assume you have the optimum soil, what about the pot, is it going to be porous ?
Absolutely, glazed pots stay wet for much much longer.

We get the best results on the J.B.pines, using concrete or glazed porous earthenware pots, in combination with a soil that is just builder's gravel and sifted compost.
The glazed earthenware pot is not glazed at underneath.
Additionally, glazes today can be made to look like stone, or even allowed to be porous.

I leave the shape to you, I know you can easily match the pot to the tree.

I wish I knew what type of Baobab that you have there and could get seed ------- your work is that encouraging.
Adansonia digitata. The only Baobab in Africa.  Seeds can be obtained from 'Seeds for Africa'

Years ago I had baobab seed, but as to which one ???
Please educate the novice.
It is Very Interesting:  Africa the whole vast Continent has only One Baobab;  Adansonia digitata      .......well till recently....     Like a Star @ heaven
                               Australia has only one specie of Baobab, the whole continent!  Adansonia gregorii
                               And Madacascar have 6 Species!   affraid


Keep up the excellent work!!

By the way does the tree respond to airlayers?
It does, but the bark also grows back if you strip it off, so it is a race between roots and bark.
Roots are surface or not seen ?
I think, can be both...  But the tree takes a long time to form an adventitious roots system once the taproot is removed.
Later,
Khaimraj


Like a Star @ heaven a Professor from Australia theorized that Africa must have another specie of Baobab, because he found out that where as all the Baobabs from Madagascar and Australia where diploid ( as the norm), Adansonia digitata was a Tetraploid!  Which means it was a hybrid....  So he moved to Kenya, and started to search, and lo and behold he did discover a new diploid African species, and called it Adansonia kilima.!!
Which means that Adansonia digitata was spread all over Africa by Us!!
How cool is that.


And thanks for your interest Khaimraj
Love and Light

Andre Beaurain
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Re: Andre`s Baobab - Adansonia digitata

Post  Andre Beaurain on Fri Jan 30, 2015 11:55 am

Thank you Freddie, Dankie pel.

Thank you darling Rolex, compliments are the best!

Wow Leo 6 compliments in one sentence, that must be a record for both of us...hihihhi ii
Thanks for the thumbs up on my display and feel.

Thanks again Richard...

Arthur thanks mate, thats great!

Kevin my friend you are funny, and believable ..

And Thanks Marco

..............................................I'm gonna go with all of your advice and input regarding the pot and Freddie said it first with the Oval design and Arthur's input with it being African.... So this morning at Art classes I started to do research on african pots and made some drawings..... will show later..

Love and Light

Andre Beaurain
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Re: Andre`s Baobab - Adansonia digitata

Post  Neli on Tue Feb 17, 2015 1:19 pm

MMMMMMMMMM! Delicious!

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Baobab seedling in Colorado - keep in small pot

Post  Dan D on Wed Feb 25, 2015 6:50 pm

so, love this Baobab, influenced me to get some seeds.

Now, I have a Baobab seedling calling me "daddy", and I have no clue what to do now!

I understand:
Summer: Lots of light, warmer room/outdoors
Winter: keep indoors, less water if any

but, should I put it in a deep pot or a bonsai pot for it's toddler years?



I'm in Colorado, USDA zone 5.

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Re: Andre`s Baobab - Adansonia digitata

Post  LanceMac10 on Wed Feb 25, 2015 6:52 pm

Hey dand, are you out in Black Forest?

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Re: Andre`s Baobab - Adansonia digitata

Post  Dan D on Wed Feb 25, 2015 6:55 pm

about 2 miles south of Black Forest. They are definately in zone 4b.

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Re: Andre`s Baobab - Adansonia digitata

Post  LanceMac10 on Wed Feb 25, 2015 7:02 pm

Lived in the Springs then Green Mountain Falls twenty-some odd years ago. My Pop and bro still out there. Good luck with the Baobab!! No advice I can offer besides pickin' Andre's brain,(careful, don't get lost in there, surely tons of stuff up there. Beaurangel Beaurangel Beaurangel

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Re: Andre`s Baobab - Adansonia digitata

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