Celtis No 1

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Celtis No 1

Post  Frojo on Thu Dec 08, 2016 1:46 pm

Hi everyone, greetings!

This is my first tree that I'm posting here, took me a long time just to get where I am now.

Some time ago I received a few small Celtis africana (2 - 3cm trunks) from a neighbor and decided that I wanted to grow my own bonsai tree, basically from scratch.
I planted them in the ground to thicken up and to try to develop an even nebari (I used pipe clamps).
This tree was in the ground for 3 or 4 years with some work on the nebari every year, but without digging it up, just removing and moving some roots.  

I moved and the tree was dug up and replanted in a tyre with drip irrigation.

In 2010 I decided to chop it:



We had a very late but severe frost that killed off all the new growth and the topmost part of the left trunk never recovered. I had buds between the two trunks but only low down on the outside. I had to chop it very low down.

2012:



2013 I wired some branches:



2014



2015 I dug it up and planted it in a large training container.

This spring it was pruned back and has really taken off.

Here it is today:




It is now in need of its first real wiring, to me a daunting task. I need some encouragement.
Come on people talk me into it.

Frojo
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Re: Celtis No 1

Post  AlainK on Thu Dec 08, 2016 4:52 pm

Hey, that's a great project!

The nebari is excellent.

I don't know the rate of growth where you live (but you mentioned "severe frost"), maybe a clip-and-grow approach would be better than wiring. In temperate climates, it takes a bit longer but when the overall design is chosen, I think it's the best way.

I don't know much about Celtis, but it's like early June in the southern hemisphere and I bet it can be pruned, or even defoliated now, like most deciduous. Or do some kind of "hedge pruning" to quote Walter Pall (in red, a more drastic approach, but maybe not the one I would choose...)



I'd like to see comments from people more savvy on that species because your tree seems has a lot of qualities.

Very nice tree, excellent example of "building bonsai from scratch". ThumbsUp
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Re: Celtis No 1

Post  kevin stoeveken on Thu Dec 08, 2016 6:27 pm

Frojo wrote:It is now in need of its first real wiring, to me a daunting task. I need some encouragement.
Come on people talk me into it.

just do it !
the only way to get good at wiring is to wire...

and then wire some more
and then wire some more
and then wire...

you get the idea...

just watch how long you leave the wire on...

there is a good FREE video out there in the interwebs by colin lewis about wiring... worth watching.

and i agree with alain... great "from scratch" start !!!

this really will be an incredible lil tree !

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Re: Celtis No 1

Post  BobbyLane on Thu Dec 08, 2016 8:02 pm

Great before and after! Fantastic base....i think both methods will work great for this tree, clip n grow or wiring. since its lending itself to a broom form, clip n grow might suit the branch structure best. guide wire on heavy branches and bits of wire here n there to position rather than bend.
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Re: Celtis No 1

Post  my nellie on Thu Dec 08, 2016 9:08 pm

This is an excellent nebari you have created! Bravo!
A combination of clip/grow and wiring is the best choice, to my opinion.
It will be a very interesting tree!
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Re: Celtis No 1

Post  juniper07 on Fri Dec 09, 2016 2:54 pm

From the looks of it, I think you can treat it like a Zelkova. Looks like an informal broom, that some slight structural wiring and mostly clip and grow will work. Keep in mind that when you clip, the last bud should face where you want the shoot to continue; In most cases that would be outwards.
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Re: Celtis No 1

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Fri Dec 09, 2016 5:18 pm

Celtis,

doesn't need wire - just grow and clip.
Beautiful work.

Fertilise for a month, you can use a lawn fertiliser at 1/3 strength for a month, into moist soil.
I use Osmocoter or Phostrogen, American or English made stuff.
Then clip back to the first leaves.
Allow extensions of say 6 leaves and keep clipping back to one leaf.

Keep up a once a week fertiliser programme, during your growing season.

Mine from seed [ about 90's ] and no where as nice as yours.
Laters.
Khaimraj

url=https://servimg.com/view/19002756/131][/url]
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Re: Celtis No 1

Post  BrendanR on Sat Dec 10, 2016 11:53 pm

You don't say where in SA you are, but with severe frost I am guessing Highveld? Anyway, this tree will shrug off the winters and grow like mad in the summer. Clip and grow. Be aggressive and go for the last set of buds on a branch and I'd be amazed if it did not give you a perfect bifurcation.

To be safe try it on one side of the tree with, say, 15% of the branches. If they work out then go mad.

Those roots are spectacular.

Unfortunately this tree will not teach you to wire - go start something else as you seem to have the knack, and wiring is fun!

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Re: Celtis No 1

Post  Frojo on Tue Dec 13, 2016 6:52 am

Thank you so much for all the kind comments. Very Happy

AlainK, I have a basic structure going sort of the way that I wanted it (informal broom) and the tree is approximately the height I think it should be. It could even be a few cms taller, giving me room to ramify. So I'm not going to do any drastic pruning.
Bobby, Nellie, Juniper, thanks, I tend to use any method that works to get branches where I want them. A combination of wire, stays, braces & clipping, whatever, it's not pretty but it does the job.
Very nice tree Khaimraj, from seed? Now that's literally from scratch!  cheers
Brendan, I'm about 30k from Bloemfontein, In an odd low lying spot with a weird micro climate. On cold days we seem to be a few degrees colder than the forecast and on hot day a few degrees hotter. For 3 out of the last 5 years we have had a great September, everything budding and then a month or so later, middle to end of October we have a night or two where it goes down to -3 or so and it all turns black. It really is extreme here, in the last week we have had 2 days where it went over 40.
Ok Kevin, I went for it! Or at least made a start.
Yesterday I gave it a rough, very conservative prune and defoliated it.
Celtis indeed seen to get a bit of a boost from defoliation and tend to shoot buds almost everywhere they can.

Now to start positioning branches...

I haven't taken a pic yet, will do before I start.

Thanks again!

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Re: Celtis No 1

Post  Frojo on Tue Dec 13, 2016 10:31 am


Frojo
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Re: Celtis No 1

Post  Richard S on Tue Dec 13, 2016 5:02 pm

That's a very handsome tree you've created there!

Excellent work.

Regards

Richard
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Re: Celtis No 1

Post  my nellie on Wed Dec 14, 2016 9:12 pm

Very special tree! I would like to see it in foliage!
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