Crassula Ovata Forest Progression

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Crassula Ovata Forest Progression

Post  Precarious on Fri Jul 24, 2015 5:33 am

Here is a jade forest I started mid-October 2014.  It was from ye local plant rescue, and had been dropped off by someone who no longer wanted to care for it.  It had a very compact area of roots at the top, and about 10 inches of soggy potting soil beneath.  I was amazed that it had lived so long.
Long story short, I brought it home, pulled it apart, made a frame to hold the trunks secure, then repotted it in free-draining substrate. Now I'm asking what people might offer as the next step in creating an old forest.  I would like to see some backbudding, but don't know how realistic that is...  Does this need other basic changes before canopy development?  One suggestion I've already received is to switch from an oval to a rectangular pot and to create an uneven surface(high and low ground).

Kevin, you've asked people in the past to include a picture of themselves so a face can be put with a name, so here you go.  The plant seems quite healthy at first glance.
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The miserable root ball.  How did it support the plant??
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All torn apart.
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Here's the frame I built.
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Here it's all chopped, planted and trussed up.
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Spring 2015, the binding removed now that the plants seem to be firm in the soil.  I don't like the empty middle.
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Summer 2015, now free of its cage and with one tree 're-angled' to fill in the middle better.
" />

So... critiques welcome!


Last edited by Precarious on Fri Jul 24, 2015 5:37 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : clarify time period)

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Re: Crassula Ovata Forest Progression

Post  kevin stoeveken on Fri Jul 24, 2015 12:51 pm

Precarious wrote:Kevin, you've asked people in the past to include a picture of themselves so a face can be put with a name, so here you go. So... critiques welcome!

well for starters i'm not crazy about the goatee... mainly because the doily doesnt match the drapes.
and by the looks of that blossom, i would lay off the gin...
but on the plus side, you can never go wrong with wearing dark shades whilst indoors.

oh wait.........................
did you mean a critique of the forest ?

ok - if so, then my main suggestion would be a wider pot...

in my imaginarium i see those fat trunks forming a wide, dense, co-mingled canopy,
but with more room between the trunks for all manner of creatures, great and small, to meander...

good save on the rescue !!!

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Re: Crassula Ovata Forest Progression

Post  Precarious on Fri Jul 24, 2015 4:58 pm

Thanks for the feedback. Cool
I think bigger too, but maybe only by 2 or 3". The current one is 17". I have a 19x1" deep oval- don't think that will quite do...

As to the canopy, I imagine it to be uneven but solid. I think that once that develops, back budding in the shade beneath will be tough w/o etiolation.

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Re: Crassula Ovata Forest Progression

Post  kevin stoeveken on Fri Jul 24, 2015 10:27 pm

but they wouldnt backbud in nature under that canopy either... Wink

maybe keep the top thin until you get what you need down below well established and then let the top rip...

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Re: Crassula Ovata Forest Progression

Post  leatherback on Sat Jul 25, 2015 8:07 am

I like the plants, and love the girth you get on them. Obviously, they are doing great.
But.. This species does nothing for me as bonsai. Sorry. I prefer plants that you can get some refinement on the branches, which I have not really seen in this species (Except for a few exceptionally large specimens).

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Re: Crassula Ovata Forest Progression

Post  Precarious on Sat Jul 25, 2015 2:46 pm

I have been admiring specimens in the two foot range, and many have considerable refinement. Whether or not I can achieve that level remains to be seen...

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Re: Crassula Ovata Forest Progression

Post  LanceMac10 on Sat Jul 25, 2015 7:16 pm

How did you photo shop all the life-like everyday items and stuff around your shades, nose and goatee?? Must work in IT.....small trees need to be smaller. clown

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Re: Crassula Ovata Forest Progression

Post  Precarious on Sat Jul 25, 2015 10:11 pm

Psychologimists could have a heyday with that one Lance haha!

Thanks for the tip about the small trees!

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Re: Crassula Ovata Forest Progression

Post  Andre Beaurain on Mon Jul 27, 2015 7:39 am

beer city snake wrote:
Precarious wrote:Kevin, you've asked people in the past to include a picture of themselves so a face can be put with a name, so here you go. So... critiques welcome!

well for starters i'm not crazy about the goatee... mainly because the doily doesnt match the drapes.
and by the looks of that blossom, i would lay off the gin...
but on the plus side, you can never go wrong with wearing dark shades whilst indoors.

o

Kevin...Very funny indeed!

David I think you did a marvelous job in creating your forest, and can only become more beautiful.

I also think the pot is fine for now, and your planting is very well balanced.

You can start nipping the growth points, as the tips are getting to long now, I nip them at every node as to create a compact growth.

The poor root system is because of over watering no doubt.

I love Crassula as bonsai as they respond so readily every time.

My one Jade tree that is standing in the Nursery is the one tree that everyone want to buy, and encourage a lot of people to pot theirs up. You have seen it before.

Anyway, well done!

Love and Light
Andre


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Re: Crassula Ovata Forest Progression

Post  Precarious on Mon Jul 27, 2015 4:49 pm

Thanks for your encouragement, Andre! The bad summer heat has been for the most part a no-show, and the plants look to be pretty healthy, so I appreciate the suggestion to prune- yes you're right it's time.

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Crassula Ovata Forest Progression

Post  BrendanR on Thu Jul 30, 2015 9:06 am

I think the previous poor roots were due to the soil being too water retentive. You need to put these in a completely free draining medium, as they are completely meant for desert-like conditions and are extremely drought tolerant. Basically you need to make them suffer to make them grow. They are native to South Africa (where i am from) and they grow in places where rain might not fall for 6 months at a stretch.

Love the planting!

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Re: Crassula Ovata Forest Progression

Post  Leo Schordje on Thu Jul 30, 2015 10:15 pm

I think the pot is okay for the short term. A good enough training pot. After the roots fuse a bit to unite the clump as a whole, you can go for a larger more shallow pot, or even put them on a slab. But before you put them on a slab, the roots have to be intertwined enough that trees won't just fall over. So down the road, a shallow pot or slab would be in order. In the mean time, this is nice.

Sorry, was paying bills earlier today, no humor left over to make a smart ass remark. Though I would love to.

I need to go outside and play with my trees.

Yikes, that could sound bad. Oh well.

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Re: Crassula Ovata Forest Progression

Post  Precarious on Fri Jul 31, 2015 11:26 am

Well, they were suffering after a sort, I guess- flooded. The current mix is a majority 1/4" granite chips and the rest pine bark, about 60:40. Such fascinating plants plants, Brendan. We talked in another thread about Spekboom creating a Spekboomveld through branches of one plant touching the ground and taking root. Does the jade spread that way as well?

All work and no play makes Leo a dull player with trees. lol! Well, the entwining of roots makes sense for holding it all together, but that means I'd better get to where I'm happy with the composition sooner rather than later. And I'm thinking of a switch to pumice rather than granite at the next repot.

Thank you both!

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Re: Crassula Ovata Forest Progression

Post  kevin stoeveken on Fri Jul 31, 2015 12:43 pm

david - swapping pumice for granite sounds like swapping a meat for a vegetable
(even first thing in the morning i can make a smart ass remark Twisted Evil )

if you are looking for something to swap out for the granite that might have some of the sharp-edged-high-speed-root-splitting (Razz ) properties of the granite, but has some of the water retentiveness of pumice, try small lava.

a bit spendy, but not terrible and perfect size and ships free to your door
http://www.menards.com/main/heating-cooling/fire-pits-outdoor-heating/black-lava-rock-10-lbs/p-2010788.htm

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Re: Crassula Ovata Forest Progression

Post  Precarious on Fri Jul 31, 2015 2:56 pm

I bought pumice and lava rock from a supplier to experiment with both. Both were listed as 1/4" and pre-washed, pre-sifted. While the pumice is pretty uniform in size, the lava had a large variability. The picture from your link looks a little more uniform. Could a BBS actually outdo a bonsai supplier? Not sure how free of anything toxic Menard's is worried about though... And what advantage do you see in lava over pumice? I am mostly looking for something lighter than granite for my big pots. Don't want to get TOO svelt. Laughing

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Re: Crassula Ovata Forest Progression

Post  kevin stoeveken on Fri Jul 31, 2015 3:41 pm

Precarious wrote:And what advantage do you see in lava over pumice?  

i wasnt referring to any advantage of lava over pumice - just remarking on the extreme difference in what you were "swapping"

but as far as advantages, and depending on your pumice source:
one is ugly as a substrate (grey/white)
and one is less so (red/black/grey)

lava has a bit more weight by volume over pumice
lava has the sharp edges that pumice lacks

due to pore size:
pumice might hold less water longer
lava might hold more water for less longerer

one might be easy to source
one might be difficult to source

and as far as a big box store vs a "banzai" supplier... you dont always get what you pay for Evil or Very Mad

as i type, i realize i aint telling you anything you probably dont already know so i will stop... Wink


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Re: Crassula Ovata Forest Progression

Post  Precarious on Fri Jul 31, 2015 4:28 pm

We're getting off topic here... but hey wait, I started this topic so I have the pooowwwwerrrr! Twisted Evil
I had been using the same size pine bark with #2 chicken grit for my succulents that I am with #1 grit, but now am switching to 1/4" pine bark for better size uniformity.  I think the changes will offset re: water retention for the most part.  Basic monitoring should keep me on the straight and narrow. Beaurangel   So, back to Menard's lava Kevin... do you wash it before use?

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Re: Crassula Ovata Forest Progression

Post  kevin stoeveken on Fri Jul 31, 2015 4:49 pm

nah...
probably wouldn't hurt but i don't bother...

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Re: Crassula Ovata Forest Progression

Post  DreadyKGB on Sat Aug 01, 2015 7:46 pm

Here's a picture of my jade tree forest. I put it together a couple years ago after getting tired of having to many rooted cuttings. The roots are well fused together now. I don't do much to it these days except pulling the central bud on branches I don't want longer. In the winter I think it may get water 3x at the most. Planted in pure turface.

Todd


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Re: Crassula Ovata Forest Progression

Post  Precarious on Sat Aug 01, 2015 8:45 pm

I like the uneven ground, and the smaller trees in back give a real sense of depth. What is your fertilization regimen for this forest?

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Re: Crassula Ovata Forest Progression

Post  DreadyKGB on Sun Aug 02, 2015 3:02 pm

I hit it with lots of osmocote through the summer. Its looking a bit yellow from the very rainy July we had.

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Re: Crassula Ovata Forest Progression

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