New Bonsai

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New Bonsai

Post  Storm on Tue Mar 17, 2009 2:39 pm

First of all, since I'm new here, I just want to say hello to everyone!
Then, its the reason for this post: I have just bought myself a new tree. Im really fresh when it comes to bonsai, but this is a thing i've been interested in for a while. The problem is, that I bought it in a shop, a bit far from here, and I cant remember what type of tree it is. Unfortunately I didnt keep the note from when I buyed it. Now comes the time that I need to find out as much as possible for the tree, and was wondering if anyone here could help me identify it. First I thought it could be a Sorbus aucuparia, but the leaves on this tree is soo much smaller than on other bonsai's i've seen from this type.

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Re: New Bonsai

Post  frk_leal on Tue Mar 17, 2009 2:50 pm

Well, i guess that the first thing i should do is to post a picture of it so we could identify it...it's not the most secure way to do so but it could help you to ease your doubt.

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Re: New Bonsai

Post  JimLewis on Tue Mar 17, 2009 3:20 pm

Secure?

Posting pictures of bonsai is what this site is about. I have no idea what security you'd be concerned about.

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Re: New Bonsai

Post  Storm on Tue Mar 17, 2009 3:30 pm


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Re: New Bonsai

Post  Storm on Tue Mar 17, 2009 3:31 pm

Took some time before I got the camera working. But.. I see now that the image is terrible. I dont have a good camera atm, but Ill try taking a new one soon. But, if you can figure anything out, just throw it all out. Thanks for all reply's!

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Re: New Bonsai

Post  JimLewis on Tue Mar 17, 2009 4:16 pm

Looks like boxwood.

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Re: New Bonsai

Post  frk_leal on Tue Mar 17, 2009 5:12 pm

When i've said secure, i've meant that analising pictures to figure out the right species ain't exactly the safest way to do so...many species seem quite alike. I know that showing pitcures is this site idea, i just wanted our friend to know that the identification throught pictures is not 100% for shure.

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Re: New Bonsai

Post  frk_leal on Tue Mar 17, 2009 5:17 pm

The picture ain't that clear...
Again i state, identify species through photo ain't shure thing....
Jim says it look's boxwood. I don't think so... by the type of the leaves and so i thik is more likely to be a Murraya paniculata.

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Re: New Bonsai

Post  Storm on Tue Mar 17, 2009 6:28 pm

Thanks for fast response! I checked them both, and it is probably the Murraya paniculata. It grows really fast which is a sign for the long, thin branches. I've looked for quite some time to figure this one out. Thanks again.

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Re: New Bonsai

Post  Boondock on Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:55 pm

Zanthoxylum beecheyanum, Chinese Pepper Tree

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Re: New Bonsai

Post  Storm on Wed Mar 18, 2009 2:43 am

Just looked that one up. When the leaves were small, it looked identical to my tree. Thank you. Only, it changes alot apparently. But I had no idea there could be any "flowers" on it. Maybe I havent had it long enough.

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Re: New Bonsai

Post  JimLewis on Wed Mar 18, 2009 12:22 pm

But why don't you give us a couple of decent photos: One of the whole plant, including trunk and bark, and a non-fuzzy close up of the leaves.

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Re: New Bonsai

Post  Storm on Wed Mar 18, 2009 7:13 pm

Well, I can do it if I can just get better camera. I used a camera on the laptop for this, and its not easy to get a good view on that, since the camera is always pointing towards me. I think I'll just settle with this for now, since Im 99% certain its the pepper tree.

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Re: New Bonsai

Post  rock on Wed Mar 18, 2009 11:50 pm

Idea

Coprosma repens - Mirror Plant


shiny leaf is the clue

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Re: New Bonsai

Post  Chris Cochrane on Thu Mar 19, 2009 7:39 pm

I think I'll wait to hear David Brunner's guess. It might hinge on something so obscure as, "It smells like a boat that once docked after arriving from Xmaflik Island." On the other hand, he might actually need to see the bark or branching pattern as Jim asks to see.

For Boondock to post an identification after seeing only a sprig might mean David has competition. That would be so interesting. Welcome to IBC, Boondock (I'm reeling after your first post, here, & hope it is a "Zanthoxylum beecheyanum, Chinese Pepper Tree." That might be an amazingly correct & skilled identification or a wonderful longshot.

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Re: New Bonsai

Post  Kev Bailey on Thu Mar 19, 2009 8:20 pm

Actually Chris, there are a few things in the photo that do very closely resemble the species that Boondock mentions. But, as other have said I wouldn't like to bet on any identification from such a poor photo. Take a look at this and see if resembles your tree closely. http://primula.velvet.jp/yaeyama/hire.html


Last edited by Kev Bailey on Fri Mar 20, 2009 10:15 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: New Bonsai

Post  Storm on Fri Mar 20, 2009 2:32 am

I dont think its the Coprosma.. Its true that they have shiny leaves. But they arent stuck together on the same way. Im 99% certain its the Chinese pepper. I have looked at several images, and cant tell anything different about this one. Btw. I bought myself a new Carmona Retusa today which was really dried out! I cant wait to see if it recovers!

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Re: New Bonsai

Post  Storm on Fri Mar 20, 2009 3:11 am

Hey Kev, I cant tell that picture apart from my tree. Only little thing is that I dont have any "flowers" on it yet.

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Re: New Bonsai

Post  David Brunner on Sat Mar 21, 2009 10:54 pm

Hello Storm -

You've heard this from others; the photo is too poor to be certain of any identification. I think that Boondock's guess is a very good one. Another possibility is Operculacarya decaryi, the Jabily or Madagascan Elephant Tree. It is quite common in horticulture and makes a good bonsai subject. I have posted an image of the leaves - as you can see they are superficially very similar to those of Zanthoxylum. As Chris Cochrane suggests - the two trees can be distinguished by the smell of a crushed leaf. The Zanthoxylum will smell green and spicy; the Operculacarya will be pungent and resinous. But an easier way to distinguish them is the young growth. The twigs of Zanthoxylum will be red in color and have paired spines at the base of the leaf, the Operculicarya's twigs will be pale colored and spineless.

I hope this helps,
David Brunner



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Re: New Bonsai

Post  Chris Cochrane on Sun Mar 22, 2009 6:36 pm

Hi David... <...CHUCKLE...> I guess Kev Bailey & Jim Lewis will have to develop a "scratch & sniff" patch for us to use in identification. Is there a standard horticultural set of smells to distinguish plants? In Japanese incense ceremony, there is a modest set of aromas for distinguishing sources of Aloeswood/Kyara-- see
http://www.japanese-incense.com/aloeswood.htm.

"Sweet, salty, bitter, sour... hot, cool... possibly metallic... with beginning, middle and end notes" could be the start of such a standard. Perfumers must have a more exacting set to develop fragrances.

Even with pleasant incense, an aroma which isn't particularly good or bad can get associated with an unpleasant feeling. I noted the web article associating a particular burning wood chip as...
Smells light and enticing, changing like the mood of a woman with bitter feelings. The fragrance is of good quality if it disappears quickly.
Among plant IDer's, your skill is beyond amazing, David. The scents you describe are clearly distinguishable without relying upon exotic nuances. Thanks!

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Re: New Bonsai

Post  David Brunner on Sun Mar 22, 2009 10:31 pm

Chris – at the risk of hijacking Storm’s threat – it’s interesting that you bring up incense here. Both of the species which have been suggested as possible candidates for Storm’s tree belong to groups closely allied to those that provide many of the essential resins in incense and perfume such as Frankincense and Myrrh. It is not uncommon for botanists to rely on the fragrance of a crushed leaf, or even sun-warmed bark, to help distinguish between superficially similar plants in the field.

As to a standard set of aromas for plant identification – I know of none. However, there is an interesting field of study associated with these things called Sensory Science. I had fun studying last summer with one of the field’s leaders, Dr. Jean-Xavier Guinard. Though my studies were not botanical in nature but something more gustatory, the art and science of brewing…

It is also interesting that you note how easily and seemingly irreversibly a particular aroma can be associated with and instantly retrieve a memory. Our sense of smell (and taste) is our oldest sense from an evolutionary perspective, and links up to one of the oldest parts of our brain, the limbic system. Sight, hearing and touch came along later and link up to more “modern” brain structures. Call me a science geek – but I like knowing that when I smell roasted chilies and am almost magically transported back to boyhood and the smell of my grandmother’s kitchen in New Mexico, that I am also touching base with my distant evolutionary past.

Sorry Storm for the highjack!
David Brunner

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Re: New Bonsai

Post  Storm on Mon Mar 23, 2009 10:20 am

No problem at all David! I find it quite interesting reading what all of you are thinking. Allthough, its not so easy for me to identify even how good the clues are, since I have no idea about what variations I have to take into consideration.My tree does not have the "elephant foot" but can it be that type but it havent just grown big enough yet?



Just so you know, I have plans doing alott of changes with this tree, just havent figured out what yet. Its off balanse and not good atm. I even managed to break one of the branches on the right side on the pic. I have learned how carefull I have to be while wiring!

And, if anyone have any good suggestions about what I should do, Ill be more than happy to hear them


Last edited by Chris Cochrane on Mon Mar 23, 2009 3:36 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : pasted photo from servimg.com to thread (pasted it on blank screen icon & okayed))

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Re: New Bonsai

Post  David Brunner on Tue Mar 24, 2009 1:10 am

Hello again Storm -

Your little tree sure looks like Operculacaria decaryi to me. And based on the fig it's sitting next to, if they came from the same source, these were greenhouse grown tropicals.

I think what your tree needs more than anything is "putting on some weight." (I've recently done some of that myself...) I don't know where you are located so recommendations are hard, especially since Operculacaria is very frost tender. It can take a few very light freezes, but temperatures that drop below 30 F (-1 C) will cause damage. If you live in a near frost free area, particularly one that has nice warm summers and not a lot of winter rain, you might consider putting it in the ground for a few years, it will pork up fast that way - but keep it in very well drained soil as this drought adapted tree is suseptible to rot. The good news is that Operculacarya generally likes life in a pot and will put on girth pretty quickly if it is given a pot large enough for it to expand into, a very well drained soil mix, and lots of warmth and sunlight.

It's a favorite of cactus and succulent fans, so if there is an enthusiasts group near you, you might consider reaching out to them for advice to growing Operculacaria in your area.

I hope this is helpful, and thanks for the fun!
David Brunner

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Re: New Bonsai

Post  Storm on Tue Mar 24, 2009 2:01 am

Thank you. It was indeed very helpful. I live in Norway, and have alott of snow during the winters, so I have to keep it inside. Its standing very close to the window, so it gets alot of sun, and water. I have a much bigger pot, unused here. Not really a bonsai pot, but I guess I can plant it into that one for a while. I live in a small town too, and doesnt really know about any others that are big enthusiasts at this field. Ill search around for some more information etc. Thanks again for the info!

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Re: New Bonsai

Post  JimLewis on Tue Mar 24, 2009 12:34 pm

I live in Norway,

Maybe you could put that in your profile?

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Re: New Bonsai

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