Shohin Crape Myrtle

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Shohin Crape Myrtle

Post  jgeanangel on Thu Aug 12, 2010 3:05 am

Took these pictures this evening...

notice the fly:)

perspective


This Chickasaw Crape Myrtle is 4.5 inches from the top of pot...I purchased this tree from Guy Guidry at World Bonsai Convention in Wash DC in 2005. Within a year I just about killed it. I put in the ground and nursed it back over two years. It went back into a container last year. This is only the second time it has bloomed.

John


Last edited by jgeanangel on Thu Aug 12, 2010 11:20 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Shohin Crape Myrtle

Post  John Quinn on Thu Aug 12, 2010 3:22 am

Nice...even nicer to get it to bloom so compactly! This variety, Lagerstroemia 'Chickasaw' , was actually introduced by the US National Arboretum.

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Re: Shohin Crape Myrtle

Post  Russell Coker on Thu Aug 12, 2010 3:33 am

John,

Love it!! Well, except the pot. Too deep, round and chunky for me.

R

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Re: Shohin Crape Myrtle

Post  Guest on Thu Aug 12, 2010 6:03 am

Russell Coker wrote:John,

Love it!! Well, except the pot. Too deep, round and chunky for me.

R

Same here. A smaller pot will fit well with the tree. Enhancing the visual impact of a "thicker" trunk too with a smaller and more light looking pot. Very nice trunk and beautiful flowers. ThumbsUp

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Morten Albek

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Re: Shohin Crape Myrtle

Post  fiona on Thu Aug 12, 2010 10:18 am

Lovely tree, John, and I'd also agree that it would look better in a different pot.

I remember being very taken by the full size Lagerstroemia in the US National Arboretum as it was the first time I'd encountered the tree. I am currently trying to grow a Shohin one but it suffered quite a bit during our bad winter, and has only thrown out a few leaves this summer. Any suggestions as to bringing it on would be appreciated - I have a suspicion it might our wet climate rather than cold that is causing it to struggle.

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Re: Shohin Crape Myrtle

Post  NeilDellinger on Thu Aug 12, 2010 11:19 am

Really nice little chickasaw you have there John! I do agree with Russell on the pot though.


Fiona,
Although not recently, Sad it rains quite alot in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Crepe Myrtles do wonderfully here. Many of the garden centers and landscapers stopped carrying the chickasaw variety due to its cold hardiness. Even in a relatively warm climate that variety suffered losses due to its ability to withstand any cold. Since that time other hardier varieties such as "pokomoke" have been introduced.

I suspect a cold winter could have weakened you tree, but that is just a suspicion.

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Re: Shohin Crape Myrtle

Post  jgeanangel on Thu Aug 12, 2010 11:32 am

Thanks John, Russell, Morton, Fiona, and Neil!! I appreciate your replies. I certainly agree about the pot:) I used that pot because of the glaze color which I thought might work well with the lavender blooms.

Fiona, I agree completely with Neil about the cold hardiness. I have a few CMs including 'pokomoke' but the only ones that ever have winter time issues are the Chickasaw. A couple of times when I have had them come out of winter and not bud, but the trunk and branches still showed green, I moved the tree into the ground, or in one case to a different pot and that did trigger the tree to bud out.

In general, the only real problem I have come across in my humid garden with this species is the susceptibility to aphids and then as a result sooty mold...I have found that "Pokomoke" is the worst when it comes to this problem.

Thanks again and I completely agree that a better pot is order:)
John

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Re: Shohin Crape Myrtle

Post  fiona on Thu Aug 12, 2010 2:21 pm

NeilDellinger wrote: Although not recently, Sad it rains quite alot in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Crepe Myrtles do wonderfully here.
In terms of relativity, how much is "a lot"? Rain is somewhat of our default position here in the west of Scotland although it is also fairly mild.

NeilDellinger wrote: Many of the garden centers and landscapers stopped carrying the chickasaw variety due to its cold hardiness.
I assume you mean "lack of ability". Mine has overwintered fine for the past three years in an unheated glasshouse so I'm guessing it isn't "Chickasaw".

I think part of its problem is that we have had extremes of weather for this part of the world. A very snowy, icy and prolonged winter (over 40 nights off and on which were below freezing as opposed to a more normal winter of about 10) and then an uncharacteristically sunny spell with little rain lasting most of May and June. Last year the tree put on a lot of decent growth in a not very good summer, yet this year - very little.

Most importantly, as we say around here "it's no deid" and it is showing signs of putting on some new growth now that we're back to some good old Scottish "grizzle" (greyness + drizzle).

Here's hoping it develops into some as good as John's tree.

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Re: Shohin Crape Myrtle

Post  JimLewis on Thu Aug 12, 2010 2:31 pm

My oldest Crape Myrtle -- in a bonsai pot since 1990 -- is a refugee from the road department's mowers in north Florida. I have no idea what kind it is -- probably a hybrid. Anyway it has done OK here in zone 7, but was 3 months late sprouting leaves this spring because of our colder (and snowier) than normal winter. It seems fine now.

Otherwise, all of my dozen or so crape myrtle seem to be doing well, even in the cold and this summer's excessive heat and humidity. My smallest -- a 3-inch mame -- is about to bloom. I'll post a pic when it does.

That is a lovely tree, John. The pot doesn't really bother me, but then, I'd rather give my trees ample root room for their health than have them succumb to bonsai fashion.

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Re: Shohin Crape Myrtle

Post  Russell Coker on Thu Aug 12, 2010 3:18 pm

JimLewis wrote:The pot doesn't really bother me, but then, I'd rather give my trees ample root room for their health than have them succumb to bonsai fashion.

Who said a better suited pot has to compromise the health of the tree?

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Re: Shohin Crape Myrtle

Post  JimLewis on Fri Aug 13, 2010 4:04 pm

Well, maybe it was an assumption, but around here it usually means "your pot is too damned big."

I usually disagree.

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Re: Shohin Crape Myrtle

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Fri Aug 13, 2010 4:34 pm

This is a classic example of what I think makes a perfect bonsai. Not that all trees can't be improved upon...FOREVER!

When I looked at the first photo or two I really couldn't tell what the size of the tree was. Then when he stuck the lighter next to it you almost question the size of the lighter.

I need to go back to the photos to look at the pictures again (and again).

What I really like, is to find a bonsai that, all the expert opinions aside, when you can look at the tree, above the pot, and place it in front of similar full-sized trees and have your eyes try to convince you that it's part of the forest of larger trees...

Then it's just amazing!

This one is close!

I like it, youse guys can work out the pot issue!

Jay

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Re: Shohin Crape Myrtle

Post  Russell Coker on Fri Aug 13, 2010 5:06 pm

JimLewis wrote:...around here it usually means "your pot is too damned big."

In this case I think you are 1000% correct. But that's not what I meant to convey to John. First, that looks more like a little bunjin pot to me, or a kusa-mono pot. I'd put that little crape into a more traditional pot with finer detailing to match the tree's. And how many times have I told someone here their azalea was underpotted? You can lead the horse to water...

I cringe when I see some of the bonsai on this site that look like a fat lady stuffed into spandex pants. And I too have seen comments from people who should know better telling others that their pot is too big, especially when that "too big" pot may be the only thing keeping the tree alive. A tree may look better in a smaller pot, but I hope the people receiving the advice stop and ask themselves "but do I have the time and skill level it takes to keep my tree alive, much less happy, in a smaller pot?". Not all of us live in areas of mild winters or cool, rainy summers. All it takes is a couple of bad days and you have a bunch of dead bonsai before you even know what hit.

R

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Re: Shohin Crape Myrtle

Post  Ian Warhurst on Fri Aug 13, 2010 6:20 pm

I have to agree with the pot`s too big brigade. Sorry Jim but I can`t agree with it being fashion either. It`s about aesthetics, at the moment the pot dominates the tree whereas the two should harmonise and compliment each other. Any tree I have in a small aesthetically pleasing pot are double potted and it doesn`t seem to do them any harm at all. This pottentilla is a good example, it`s been in this pot for as long as I can remember. Just my humble opinion and a little bit of experimenting over the years.

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Re: Shohin Crape Myrtle

Post  fiona on Fri Aug 13, 2010 6:51 pm

Russell Coker wrote: a fat lady stuffed into spandex pants.
Didn't realise you'd visited my cycle club, Russell! flutter eyelashes

I have on occasion compromised to the extent that for shows I'll put a shohin or (in particular) a mame into a smaller pot. But when the show is over, I'll out it back into a bigger "holding" pot. A bit of a kerfuffle for a show, I accept, but it seems to work. I don't do this for all my smaller trees however - only those that I reckon would suffer otherwise.

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Re: Shohin Crape Myrtle

Post  Russell Coker on Fri Aug 13, 2010 9:50 pm

Fiona, that's funny! Are y'all familiar with the term "muffin-top" on that side of the world? We could make a new term like "sumo bonsai" used for those fat little trees (hate that term), and call the underpotted ones "muffin-top bonsai".

I understand exectly what you mean. In Japan we often potted bonsai in a special "show" pot, but pine or satsuki, it was moved back into it's regular pot afterwards. And like you I know which of my bonsai can handle a smaller, restrictive pot and which ones can't. My crape myrtle can't, btw.

Ian, so how hot is it today in North-west England? I never meant to infer that the pot should dominate the composition. Aesthetics are in the eye of the beholder, and I'd rather see a happy bonsai slightly overpotted than a stressed one potted purely for looks. What does that accomplish? I have a feeling that if you lived in my climate you'd have a better understanding of where I'm coming from on this. Your little Pottentilla is beautiful, I'm envious of that material. It would be dead in about 20 minutes here.

Russell

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Re: Shohin Crape Myrtle

Post  Ian Warhurst on Sat Aug 14, 2010 7:44 pm

Sorry Russell I was mearly pointing out that it wasn`t a "bonsai fashion" thing to put a tree in a smaller pot but in my opinion and lots of other bonsai artists I speak to think that a lot of trees we see at exhibition are over potted and maybe for visual effect thet should be in a slightly smaller pot, but you`re right the health of the tree is always of paramount importance, but our friends in the asian region, Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia, to name a few seem to get it right and it`s extreemly hot in those places in the summer.

Ian.

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Re: Shohin Crape Myrtle

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