how to make Baobab bonsai

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how to make Baobab bonsai

Post  gunjanpandey on Mon Jun 07, 2010 5:49 am

I have been able to grow several Australian Baobab (Adansonia gregorii) and African Baobab (Adansonia digitata) seedllings. these are now one year old and are currently dorment because of winters in Australia. Can anyone suggest how to train Baobab from here?

I have couple of specific qestions.

  1. what do I do with the huge root system with bulging roots. the main root has a huge bottle shape bulge and there are very secondary roots coming out. how to trim those huge bulge?
  2. When to start trimming because most of the the plants arr aropund 1/2 m in hight with no branching. It looks like this plants just wants to grown straight up.


Any guidance is highly appreciated

Gunjan

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Re: how to make Baobab bonsai

Post  lennard on Tue Jun 08, 2010 8:59 pm

gunjanpandey wrote:

  1. what do I do with the huge root system with bulging roots. the main root has a huge bottle shape bulge and there are very secondary roots coming out. how to trim those huge bulge?
  2. When to start trimming because most of the the plants arr aropund 1/2 m in hight with no branching. It looks like this plants just wants to grown straight up.


Gunjan

Here in South-Africa we cut off the tubers just below secondary roots and dust the wounds with flowers of sulphur. We let the wound dry out for a week or two before replanting. This process has to be repeated often because the secondary roots will also in time turn into tubers and they would push the tree out of the pot if left.
We do this as soon as we see signs of new growth in early spring.

Don't chop the trees if they haven't reached the required thickness because it will set them back and the branches will grow too thick in relation to the trunk.

And for heaven sake- grow them looking like a Baobab!

Lennard

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Re: how to make Baobab bonsai

Post  Randy_Davis on Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:00 am

lennard wrote:

Here in South-Africa we cut off the tubers just below secondary roots and dust the wounds with flowers of sulphur. We let the wound dry out for a week or two before replanting. This process has to be repeated often because the secondary roots will also in time turn into tubers and they would push the tree out of the pot if left.
We do this as soon as we see signs of new growth in early spring.

Don't chop the trees if they haven't reached the required thickness because it will set them back and the branches will grow too thick in relation to the trunk.

And for heaven sake- grow them looking like a Baobab!

Lennard

Lennard,
I also have A. digitata that I'm training as a bonsai (hopefully looking like a real baobab) and would like some clarification on your process. I noticed the tuber on my tree which is 4 years old now but have not removed it yet. You said that it (the tuber) should be removed just as the tree begins to bud, treatated it with powered sulphur and left to dry out for a week or two. On the drying process I assume that it would be fine to water the tree well, let it dry some, remove it from the soil and take off the tuber and repot it back into the soil and just not water the tree for a week. Would that work as well? In addition, how long should one expect to wait for the trunk to take on a good amount of girth to make it look old? and is there a technique to speed up that process? like, watering often during the active growth season? What kind of process enhances girth development.

here Is my tree as as it stands right now. I hope I can seat the tree further down in the pot when I remove the tuber.


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Re: how to make Baobab bonsai

Post  lennard on Wed Jun 09, 2010 8:41 pm

Randy_Davis wrote:

here Is my tree as as it stands right now. I hope I can seat the tree further down in the pot when I remove the tuber.


Randy, if it were my tree I would let it grow unhindered for another few years before doing anything to it. Cutting the tuber or pinching the top growth is only going to set it back.

For a African Baobab style to be really successful the height of the crown of the tree must always be the same as the width of the trunk.

A bigger pot and a lot of feeding will add to girth, but I dont think it is a good idea to repot it now.

lennard


Last edited by lennard on Wed Jun 09, 2010 8:44 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : removed picture)

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Re: how to make Baobab bonsai

Post  Randy_Davis on Wed Jun 09, 2010 11:12 pm

Thanks lennard.

Actually the style that I'm going for is the Baobab of madagascar Adinsonia grandidieri even though I'm using the African Baobab which is all I have access to. The madagascar baobab is very tall and lean with branching only at the very top of the tree which is just amazingly striking in silhouette. I wish I could find about 4 more trees to work with so I could make a forest of them. If you do a google of "baobab" for images you'll find a picture of it. I would have included it here but it's a copyrighted photo. I'm sure If I had another tree I'd also do one in the African baobab style but not sure I'd live long enough to see the trunk and tree in the right proportions.

Again, Thanks for your knowledge!
Randy

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Baobab

Post  Master of Disasters on Thu Oct 06, 2011 10:02 am

If i let my baobab grow for a few years till the stem is thick enough. Then i cut the tubers and chop the stem. Will my tree still be able to make new lower branches? And is there an alternative for flower of sulpher? Can i use common woundpaste for threes ?

Grtz

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Re: how to make Baobab bonsai

Post  lennard on Sat Oct 08, 2011 5:43 pm

Master of Disasters wrote:If i let my baobab grow for a few years till the stem is thick enough. Then i cut the tubers and chop the stem. Will my tree still be able to make new lower branches? And is there an alternative for flower of sulpher? Can i use common woundpaste for threes ?

Grtz

Wim

Yes, the tree back bud easily when it is chopped.

I don't think using a sealant is a good idea because the cut surface need to dry out. Baobab trees seal the wound almost immediately by a "new bark barrier".

Ordinary household cinnamon is also a good anti-fungal/rot agent.

Lennard

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Re: how to make Baobab bonsai

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