Fukien Tea

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Fukien Tea

Post  Lee Brindley on Fri Dec 17, 2010 6:03 pm

Hi all.
I have an imported Fukien Tea which I have had for about 9 years, but still needs a lot of work. I would like some advice if possible. The top of the tree died back a number of years ago when I allowed it to become dried out, and so has been re-grown. The tree is now taller than it was, and I think is perhaps too tall. The two biggest problems with the tree (I feel) are the reverse taper at the bottom of the trunk, and also, the first branch which actually stems from the back of the trunk and has been crudly bent around to the right.

I have thought about the possiblity of sinking the tree deeper into it's pot so as to submerge and hide the reverse taper. This would also alow me to remove the bottom branch. Below is a photo of the tree at present, followed by an image of what I have in mind. Any input welcome. Very Happy


Last edited by Lee Brindley on Fri Dec 17, 2010 9:46 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Fukien Tea

Post  Diamondlea on Fri Dec 17, 2010 6:09 pm


Hi Lee

I think you may need to re-post your picture, I am not seeing it.


Leah

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Re: Fukien Tea

Post  Diamondlea on Fri Dec 17, 2010 6:10 pm


Ops ! never mind I guess it takes my computer a little time to download..

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Re: Fukien Tea

Post  Lee Brindley on Fri Dec 17, 2010 6:11 pm

Diamondlea wrote:
Ops ! never mind I guess it takes my computer a little time to download..

No, its my bad. My first post on the forum, so I cocked up the first attempt.

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Re: Fukien Tea

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Fri Dec 17, 2010 6:23 pm

Lee,

welcome!

I found the image too dark too see so I brightened it. Hope you don't mind.



Suggestions.
Well you could remove the first branch and allow the second to develop as the first. If you had the space, you could also allow the same second branch to grow a great deal, say 10 feet and it would fix the reverse taper and give the tree a larger trunk, with a better illusion of being a tree.

An airlayer in late spring and you get two trees. Around the zone of the bottom of the reverse taper would work.

In late spring and after a good month of fertilizing, a nick at the bottom of the taper may produce a new shoot to become a branch and fix the taper problem again.

A repot and a new look at the base with the exposed root for a chance at a new style.

And just follow your own instincts.

It doesn't seem to be a complicated tree and you are to be congratulated on keeping it healthy for so long in a cooler climate.
Whatever you decide, best to you.
Khaimraj


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Re: Fukien Tea

Post  Lee Brindley on Fri Dec 17, 2010 6:34 pm

Khaimraj Seepersad wrote:Lee,

welcome!

I found the image too dark too see so I brightened it. Hope you don't mind.

Suggestions.
Well you could remove the first branch and allow the second to develop as the first. If you had the space, you could also allow the same second branch to grow a great deal, say 10 feet and it would fix the reverse taper and give the tree a larger trunk, with a better illusion of being a tree.

An airlayer in late spring and you get two trees. Around the zone of the bottom of the reverse taper would work.

In late spring and after a good month of fertilizing, a nick at the bottom of the taper may produce a new shoot to become a branch and fix the taper problem again.

A repot and a new look at the base with the exposed root for a chance at a new style.

And just follow your own instincts.

It doesn't seem to be a complicated tree and you are to be congratulated on keeping it healthy for so long in a cooler climate.
Whatever you decide, best to you.
Khaimraj


Thank you Khaimraj. That all makes sense. A ten foot branch...? WOW! Yes that would take up some room as the tree over-winters in my bathroom.
Many thanks, Lee.

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Re: Fukien Tea

Post  JimLewis on Fri Dec 17, 2010 7:13 pm

It is, I think, too tall for its trunk. I've taken the op section off. If it were mine, I might do even more.

I've also done some trimming (and growing of interior leaves) on the lower part of the tree.


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Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Fukien Tea

Post  Lee Brindley on Fri Dec 17, 2010 7:38 pm

JimLewis wrote:It is, I think, too tall for its trunk. I've taken the op section off. If it were mine, I might do even more.

I've also done some trimming (and growing of interior leaves) on the lower part of the tree.


Thanks Jim.
Would you do anything about the reverse taper and the bottom branch? I certainly agree the tree is too tall. I thought of taking some of the top as well as sinking the bottom further into the pot. I could remove the top of the tree and train the top right branch into a new apex as follows...




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FUKIEN TEA

Post  moyogijohn on Fri Dec 17, 2010 11:23 pm

LEE ,,first 9 years with a fukien tea is great bonsaing!!!!you have got good information fromthe guys so far...my suggestion for what it is worth,,i would lower the tree like you said..at the little crook up at the apex i see a branch at the front,,i would make that my new apex clipping at the crook..you need all the side branches my opion for the top..prune the low branch also...just a thought take care john

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Re: Fukien Tea

Post  Todd Ellis on Sat Dec 18, 2010 12:43 am

What is buried under the soil? Any twisty, or knarly roots or something which could allow you to tilt the tree into a semi or cascade tree? Before you cut the top...
Todd

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Re: Fukien Tea

Post  Dustin Mann on Sat Dec 18, 2010 2:45 am

The problem with 'burying the bottom 'reverse taper' part is possibility of bottom trunk staying too wet and invitation for fungus(ie. black spot) I was wondering, what if you lay tree on it's side so reverse taper section becomes a root or nebari(in time you could take concave cutter and taper carve top of new nebari so it tapers. The trunk line now becomes a recliming style tree(could look at old books,ie Hu Yunhua, 'Chinese Penjing') so see examples of reclining style. I've only done this with 'S' curve ficus microcarpa because always looks like reverse taper in middle of 'S curve' Best of luck. Very Happy Very Happy Dustin Mann

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Re: Fukien Tea

Post  dorothy7774 on Sat Dec 18, 2010 3:31 am

Lee,

can you post some more photographs from the back of the tree and the side(s)?

-dorothy

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Re: Fukien Tea

Post  Ravi Kiran on Sat Dec 18, 2010 4:39 am

Hi Lee,

Good to see your tree. 9 years is surely a long time and if you have successfully maintained your tree through that time, you have achieved a major milestone.

I'd agree with Khaimraj that you need to put the tree into a growth pot not just for the second branch to thicken but also for the entire tree trunk et all to thicken. I have a tree of the same species, which despite 2 years in a growth pot did not put on much girth. Guess you'll have to wait a little longer than that should you want to. My impatience finally got the better of me and I am restyling the tree into a shohin. Should take about a year or two for the final design to set in.

I also agree with Jim that the height of the tree is slightly more when compared to the overall composition.

On the brighter side, incase you haven't figured it out as yet, the tree species is extremely hardy, you can prune it severely (during the right times of the year obviously) and it also flowers and fruits profusely and in the unlikely even of you running out of Tea Leaves, you can pluck a few leaves off the tree and help yourself to a refreshing cuppa... Laughing Just kidding on the last one.

Cheers
Ravi

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Re: Fukien Tea

Post  Lee Brindley on Sat Dec 18, 2010 4:48 pm

Thanks everybody for the replies.
After looking at my computer generated images, it became quite clear to me that the tree needed a little off the top. so I have already gone ahead and reduced it. I have also wired the bottom branch with the thought of bringing it back into a more natural position, but to be honest, I am now pretty certain it needs to come off. Here is how it looks at present...



I am now pretty much convincing myself that sinking the tree further into it's pot is the way to go. As below...



Obviously there are a few scruffy shoots at the moment, which I am leaving to grow for now, and will use to thicken and extend the existig branches. Here is my vision for the tree in another couple of year's time...


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Re: Fukien Tea

Post  Hawaiian77 on Sat Dec 18, 2010 5:31 pm

Howzit Lee,

I really like Fukien Tea but I never had any luck with them. Seems like they don't like the heat where I live. You've gotten a lot of good advice and I think putting it in a grow box would be best to help thicken it up some. Good luck and keep us posted.

A Hui Hou,
-Tim Cool

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Re: Fukien Tea

Post  Oliver Muscio on Sat Dec 18, 2010 5:37 pm

I don't have any experience with this species, but is there any chance of airlayering (or groundlayering within the proposed mound) the trunk just above that reverse taper?
Oliver

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Re: Fukien Tea

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Sat Dec 18, 2010 5:45 pm

Tim,

a fukien tea not liking heat ??????????????

They don't like poor drainage. I have an entire hedge of 200 feet [ m?] on heavy clay soil, but on the side of a hill. When the dry season arrives, they respond by dropping leaves, but they don't die. Placement is seaside, sea breeze, and full sun 6 to 6.
Khaimraj

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Re: Fukien Tea

Post  Hawaiian77 on Sat Dec 18, 2010 5:52 pm

Howzit Khaimraj,

That's what happen, during the summer the leaves had drop so I thought well maybe after awhile it'll come back. Then months had past and nothing. And now I'm gun-shy to try again.

A Hui Hou,
-Tim Cool

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Re: Fukien Tea

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Sat Dec 18, 2010 5:59 pm

Tim,

if I thought they would reach you, I would just post you seed by the pound, try again, please.
Khaimraj

* Stick a few in the ground by your friend/s and in 4 years you will have a decent trunk to work with. They sprout even from the cambium next to the cut. Roots, nicked will sprout and do have much more personality.
I am presently mowing the ones the birds planted.

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Re: Fukien Tea

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