New Nursery Sequoiadendron 'Glaucum'

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New Nursery Sequoiadendron 'Glaucum'

Post  Anthracyte on Mon Jul 26, 2010 8:59 am

Hi People,

Nice to meet you all, I'm hoping you may be able to give me a few tips and advice. I'll start by saying that up until about... a couple months ago I thought it was ok to keep bonsai in the house(!) affraid , and after becoming bored of simply keeping my little 'mallsai' alive, I thought there had to be more to bonsai then this. So i stepped on the net and have been reading evergreengardenworks and bonsai4me websites probably everyday since. Now my little bonsai is outside and flourishing, although I'll need to get him some new soil, and do some pruning and styling, but not for now, as I think I'll weaken it a bit too much. Probably in the winter.

I have now also cheaply bought a couple of trees from homebase namely a leptospermum (tea tree) plant, and a cupressus evergreen, which I've planted in the ground and will hope to leave them there to grow for a few years before considering digging them up to use as bonsai.

On to the main point then, my favourite tree ever has always been the giant sequoia's so I'm hoping to recreate a pretty large one as a bonsai. Not sure if I'lll succeed but I can try. I was hoping to purchase a nursery plant (I've already sourced a few) and grow it in containers (rather then in the ground) until it is large enough. It seems that the sequoia have very fine roots which if damaged too much will kill the tree, so it didn't seem a good idea to plant this one in the ground.

Hopefully if all goes well I'm aiming for a pretty large bonsai maybe with a trunk thickness at the base of 12-13cm, and maybe up to a metre in height. (Am I crazy? monkey ). Formal upright style with a good taper from base to tip. I'm probably a little concerned about that part, I'm not entirely sure how to make sure to achieve this taper in this style of tree. How is it done?

(Shoot me in advance if I'm missing anything plainly obvious).

Anth.


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Re: New Nursery Sequoiadendron 'Glaucum'

Post  Kev Bailey on Mon Jul 26, 2010 10:15 am

Welcome. Glad to see that you have jumped in and asked the right sort of questions.

Sequioadendron giganteum is a difficult species for bonsai. It has been done but they are touchy about branch reduction and top chopping, which would be the usual way of creating taper. I have one that's about a metre tall in formal upright style that I've been working on for over ten years and it is probably another ten years from being a presentable bonsai. Why not use another related species that is much easier, Metasequoia glyptostroboides is the very interesting Dawn Redwood. It has lovely feathery foliage similar to a Yew but pale green and softer. This one is much more amenable to bonsai culture. Google "Metasequoia glyptostroboides bonsai" images to see.

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Re: New Nursery Sequoiadendron 'Glaucum'

Post  Anthracyte on Mon Jul 26, 2010 11:21 am

Hi Kev,

Thanks for the reply. I've had a quick look on google images and it looks very nice also. I'm going to see if I can track down one of these as well, after doing some more web research. What is the process of top chopping?

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Re: New Nursery Sequoiadendron 'Glaucum'

Post  Kev Bailey on Mon Jul 26, 2010 12:42 pm

Simply cutting off the top and allowing a new one to grow. For some trees this can be done repeatedly, over the course of several years, leading to dramatic taper. The trick is in doing it so that the scars are not obvious. Informal upright Trident maples are one of the trees often produced in this way. If you did this to a Giant Sequoia it would very likely die.

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Re: New Nursery Sequoiadendron 'Glaucum'

Post  Anthracyte on Mon Jul 26, 2010 1:04 pm

Sorry if this is a foolish question, but are we talking making a like a steep diagonal cut from off the top of the tree and then wiring a new leader branch to the top of tree to act as the new leader?

I can't seem to picture how it would work.

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Re: New Nursery Sequoiadendron 'Glaucum'

Post  AlainK on Mon Jul 26, 2010 1:38 pm

I confirm that making a bonsai from a sequoiadendron is a real challenge. I've been at it since 2005, and I'm nowhere near what I had in mind.

But you can have a look at my experiment on my Wiki. For the time being, it's in the wrong pot, needs styling, but I'm leaving it alone until next spring so it can get a bit stronger.

The pictures dated "2008, 27 mars (a) (b) (c)" will give you an idea on how I proceeded.

The main problem is the lower branches that tend to dry out, even if you try to control the upper part by pruning and pinching out new shoots.

The best specimen I've seen so far (the only one actually, except for a picture in Harry Tomlinson's book), is Dan Barton's : Dan Barton's 'Wellingtonia'

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Re: New Nursery Sequoiadendron 'Glaucum'

Post  bonsaisr on Mon Jul 26, 2010 2:49 pm

You mentioned that you also purchased a Leptospermum and a cypress and planted them in the ground. Depending on the species, the cypress may require more sun and a dryer climate than London.
Leptospermum may be very difficult to repot once it is grown in the ground. Are you in USDA Zone 9? Leptospermum is listed as hardy down to about -6 C.
Iris

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Re: New Nursery Sequoiadendron 'Glaucum'

Post  Anthracyte on Mon Jul 26, 2010 2:59 pm

bonsaisr wrote:You mentioned that you also purchased a Leptospermum and a cypress and planted them in the ground. Depending on the species, the cypress may require more sun and a dryer climate than London.
Leptospermum may be very difficult to repot once it is grown in the ground. Are you in USDA Zone 9? Leptospermum is listed as hardy down to about -6 C.
Iris

The Evergreen I bought was called a Cupressus, and from what I can tell think they grow all over the place here, That's South East London, England. I'll have to take some pics of what i have so you can all see. I think the Lepto should be ok, I think in the harshest part of the winter here in england it was still only around -5 or -6 so hopefully it will be ok. I'll do my best with these and see how I get on... I saved them from the scrapheap for having "imperfections"!

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Re: New Nursery Sequoiadendron 'Glaucum'

Post  Anthracyte on Mon Jul 26, 2010 3:02 pm

AlainK wrote:I confirm that making a bonsai from a sequoiadendron is a real challenge. I've been at it since 2005, and I'm nowhere near what I had in mind.

But you can have a look at my experiment on my Wiki. For the time being, it's in the wrong pot, needs styling, but I'm leaving it alone until next spring so it can get a bit stronger.

The pictures dated "2008, 27 mars (a) (b) (c)" will give you an idea on how I proceeded.

The main problem is the lower branches that tend to dry out, even if you try to control the upper part by pruning and pinching out new shoots.

The best specimen I've seen so far (the only one actually, except for a picture in Harry Tomlinson's book), is Dan Barton's : Dan Barton's 'Wellingtonia'

It's looking good Alain, Are you still hoping to thicken the trunk some more? In your 27march pictures in 2008, I noticed you pruned the tree very hard and chopped the trunk also. I was thinking that if I was going to chop the trunk I'd like to have left the foliage there to help the tree recover....?

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Re: New Nursery Sequoiadendron 'Glaucum'

Post  Anthracyte on Thu Jul 29, 2010 12:50 pm

Hi Again chaps,

I think I got your advice a little too late, although I'm still looking into the other trees you have suggested! Anyway, the Sequoiadendron arrived yesterday... it's already very beautiful. My Camera isn't working but I want to take some pictures. I'm going to give it a go and see how we get on. It looks very healthy at the moment.

Although I won't be doing any chopping for a good few years at least, I saw this article:

Chopping

I think I understand that part now, but can anyone explain the other original method, which I seem to be horrendously failing to understand lol. Sorry. geek

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Re: New Nursery Sequoiadendron 'Glaucum'

Post  Kev Bailey on Thu Jul 29, 2010 1:51 pm

Please explain better which part you are failing to understand.

The technique is as shown in those photo's for a formal upright. For informal upright you can chop and then wait for an explosion of budding, then select the most appropriately positioned one and remove any others that aren't needed.

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Re: New Nursery Sequoiadendron 'Glaucum'

Post  Anthracyte on Thu Jul 29, 2010 3:51 pm

Kev Bailey wrote:Please explain better which part you are failing to understand.

The technique is as shown in those photo's for a formal upright. For informal upright you can chop and then wait for an explosion of budding, then select the most appropriately positioned one and remove any others that aren't needed.

That's exactly what I didn't understand.... the explosion of budding after the trunk chop... I was wondering how the tree would move along after the top of the trunk had been cut off, but that makes sense now. Thanks! Sorry for being dumb.

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Re: New Nursery Sequoiadendron 'Glaucum'

Post  Kev Bailey on Thu Jul 29, 2010 4:57 pm

Ah right. Just keep in mind that only some trees will exhibit this budding readily from old wood. You have to know which will before starting. For example Pines and many Junipers cannot be done in this manner as they do not easily bud back on older wood and once all the upper growths have been removed they usually just die.

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Re: New Nursery Sequoiadendron 'Glaucum'

Post  Anthracyte on Fri Jul 30, 2010 1:11 am

Hopefully then since this sequoia is likely to be the same and not explode from older wood, I may be able to apply the other technique of wiring up a stronger branch to be the new leader, along with that concave carving method.

By the way I managed to take some pics of my mallsai, sequoia and the other trees I've planted. Can anyone tell me what my bonsai actually is? I think it was marketed by Homebase as being an indoor bonsai but it's loved the summer air, so it's staying outside! As you can see, this bonsai needs a lot of work. The wonderful 'bonsai soil' I purchased has already compacted quite hard, can't wait to change it but I'll probably wait till spring now.





Here's the sequoia. The trunk is already curved, so hopefully I can wire it to straighten it up. As you can see the roots have already taken over, so I want to get this into a new pot as soon as I can. I need to be careful disturbing that rootball though as I don't want to damage the fine feeder roots. But i'm pretty sure it will need at least SOME disturbance to free those roots.



And finally the Lepto and the Cupressus Goldcrest...Sorry the pictures of the Lepto aren't so great...


Any thoughts or suggestions from experts such as yourselves??

rabbit

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Re: New Nursery Sequoiadendron 'Glaucum'

Post  Guest on Fri Jul 30, 2010 2:44 am

Hello Anthracyte. Your first picture is a Chinese Elm. They are sold as indoor trees but will do much better outside. Your one appears to have red Spider Mite (yellow speckled leaves).

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Re: New Nursery Sequoiadendron 'Glaucum'

Post  Anthracyte on Fri Jul 30, 2010 7:10 am

Man I'm glad I signed up here and posted this as i'd never have known. Thanks for the info there Will. I'll take a closer look at this Elm to check for those mites and also read up on proper care and treatment for it. Thanks!

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Re: New Nursery Sequoiadendron 'Glaucum'

Post  Anthracyte on Thu Aug 26, 2010 11:43 am

Hi again guys,

I've managed to pot the Sequoia in this box I made. I was quite aware of the overpotting issue, and after I made the box I was like, wow that's gonna be HUGE. I was a bit concerned about the repotting, as this plant was seriously rootbound. Some of the big roots had gone round the pot twice!

I was also a bit scared of destroying too many of the white fine feeder roots, which according to what I have read about the sequoia are the most essential roots, without which the tree cannot take up any water and will die. My original soil mix was mostly soil and manure with some cat litter and perlite, but it was hardly draining at all. This current mix is about 60-65% Bark, 20% Perlite, and the rest is some left over soil/manure mixed with cat litter, and it drains very well now.

I'm also wondering if now is a good time to wire the tree or if I should wait until the tree has recovered fully from the repotting. As you can see from the pics the trunk is not straight and kind of curves in an S bend. I want to make it as straight as possible for formal upright style. Currently as the trunk seems quite pliable so I know I will be able to straighten it, but I don't want to stress the tree.

Pics are below, any tips or comments are appreciated. Thanks guys. Smile


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Re: New Nursery Sequoiadendron 'Glaucum'

Post  Dan Barton on Tue Nov 15, 2011 12:11 am

Hi,

I thought you may care to see how the sequoiadendron giganteum that I purchased many years ago from a garden center finally developed after I sold it to a friend a few years ago. This species is fairly difficult as it generates a lot of foliage 'die-back' each year.










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Re: New Nursery Sequoiadendron 'Glaucum'

Post  Anthracyte on Tue Nov 15, 2011 8:23 am

That looks really good. My tree is progressing reasonably well... its grown a little bit in the last year in a big box with loose soil. What is that book you have with the original picture of the tree? Do you still have that information?

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Re: New Nursery Sequoiadendron 'Glaucum'

Post  Dan Barton on Tue Nov 15, 2011 8:57 am

Anthracyte wrote:That looks really good. My tree is progressing reasonably well... its grown a little bit in the last year in a big box with loose soil. What is that book you have with the original picture of the tree? Do you still have that information?


The book is "The Bonsai Book" published by Ebury Press. It was written by me (Dan Barton) and has been reprinted several times. You may be able to find a copy of it on Ebay where it is frequently offered for sale/auction.

Glad to hear your tree is progressing well. Cheers, Dan

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Re: New Nursery Sequoiadendron 'Glaucum'

Post  Anthracyte on Tue Nov 15, 2011 9:49 am

Dan Barton wrote:
The book is "The Bonsai Book" published by Ebury Press. It was written by me (Dan Barton) and has been reprinted several times. You may be able to find a copy of it on Ebay where it is frequently offered for sale/auction.

Glad to hear your tree is progressing well. Cheers, Dan


Nice, Thank you I'll look out for it, looks useful. Also I'm not sure if you can see in the pictures above, the trunk of this tree is a bit curvy, a bit like an S at the moment. Its still quite flexible. Should I be looking at wiring it to straighten it out? And if so when is the best time to do this?

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Re: New Nursery Sequoiadendron 'Glaucum'

Post  sunip on Tue Nov 15, 2011 11:20 am

Hi Antrahacyte,
Here a Glauca of me, bought it a 5 years ago and never did anything with it,
apart of giving him a bigger pot and some feed and water.
Like mine i think you could use a bamboo stick to straighten the stem.
Dan's nice tree gives a little hope.
Why you do not try Taxodium, it is a lovely species to?
Sunip Wink

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Re: New Nursery Sequoiadendron 'Glaucum'

Post  sunip on Tue Nov 15, 2011 11:23 am

[quote. And if so when is the best time to do this? [/quote]
Now is good.
Sunip.

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Re: New Nursery Sequoiadendron 'Glaucum'

Post  Dan Barton on Tue Nov 15, 2011 12:08 pm

Anthracyte wrote:
Dan Barton wrote:
The book is "The Bonsai Book" published by Ebury Press. It was written by me (Dan Barton) and has been reprinted several times. You may be able to find a copy of it on Ebay where it is frequently offered for sale/auction.

Glad to hear your tree is progressing well. Cheers, Dan


Nice, Thank you I'll look out for it, looks useful. Also I'm not sure if you can see in the pictures above, the trunk of this tree is a bit curvy, a bit like an S at the moment. Its still quite flexible. Should I be looking at wiring it to straighten it out? And if so when is the best time to do this?

Yes, you could try using some strong (5-6 mm) aluminium wire or you could strap it to a straight metal rod with some adhesive tape. You could do this at anytime but I think early spring would be my choice.

cheers,

Dan

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Re: New Nursery Sequoiadendron 'Glaucum'

Post  Anthracyte on Tue Nov 15, 2011 12:40 pm

Dan Barton wrote:
Yes, you could try using some strong (5-6 mm) aluminium wire or you could strap it to a straight metal rod with some adhesive tape. You could do this at anytime but I think early spring would be my choice.

cheers,

Dan

Thanks Dan, very helpful. I'll look at getting some aluminium wire. Is this better than copper?

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Re: New Nursery Sequoiadendron 'Glaucum'

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