Lilac clump

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Lilac clump

Post  Guest on Mon Dec 27, 2010 6:13 pm

Here is a Lilac (Syringa vulgaris 'Maiden's blush') bush that seems to have potential as a clump style tree. The trunk is around 9" in diameter, and the root flare is around 13". I haven't created a clump style before, so I need some general guidelines as to what branches should be removed.



Rough virtual:


You can't see the rear, but there is a lot of branching from all sides.

Thanks,
AH

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Re: Lilac clump

Post  Neil Jaeger on Mon Dec 27, 2010 10:20 pm

I have always wanted one of these as a bonsai. Is this your first time trying this spieces? Is this a korean lilac? Do the flowers/leaves reduce well?

Neil

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Re: Lilac clump

Post  Guest on Mon Dec 27, 2010 10:39 pm

This is not a Korean Lilac, this species is vulgare, or the Common Lilac. In nature it can grow between 10' to 15'.

I have played with Lilac a bit in the past, but not enough to know much about it's growing habit. I do know that the leaves reduce, but not very well. Maybe that is why they do better as larger sized bonsai (take a look at Walter Pall's Lilac).

I am pretty sure the flowers of most plants don't reduce well in pot culture (same goes for fruits). So my guess would be that Lilac flowers won't reduce.

-AH

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Re: Lilac clump

Post  Guest on Wed Dec 29, 2010 2:17 am

I wish you luck with leaf reduction but they are rather big. Flowers do not reduce at all but it will give a fantastic display and fragrance.

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Re: Lilac clump

Post  Guest on Wed Dec 29, 2010 2:38 am

Actually the dried up fall leaves I measured on this tree is around 1.5" by 1". Keeping the dimensions of this tree in mind, I am not worried if the leaves don't reduce by much.

- AH

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Re: Lilac clump

Post  Walter Pall on Wed Dec 29, 2010 6:03 am

Lilacs should be larger bonsai because the flowers cannot be reduced. The shohin one has never had flowers. They can be cut back ruthlessly and will repond with buds everywhere. They are very hardy, need no protection in Central Eruope.










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Re: Lilac clump

Post  Guest on Wed Dec 29, 2010 9:32 am

Hi Walter

How high are theese trees.....I love them all, are they all yours?.

Kind regards Yvonne

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Re: Lilac clump

Post  Walter Pall on Wed Dec 29, 2010 9:57 am

Yvonne,

the small one is 23 cm high. The large ones are 60 to 75 cm high. They are all mine. I have about a dozen.

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Re: Lilac clump

Post  Guest on Wed Dec 29, 2010 11:02 am

I imagine they'll look even better when they've been styled Walter.

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Re: Lilac clump

Post  Walter Pall on Wed Dec 29, 2010 11:51 am

You mean styled to look like an idealized pine tree with lilac flowers, Will? Or to look like a bonsai?

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Re: Lilac clump

Post  fiona on Wed Dec 29, 2010 11:53 am

will baddeley wrote:I imagine they'll look even better when they've been styled Walter.
Evil or Very Mad Ooooh. If ever there was a case for using smileys, that was it.

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Re: Lilac clump

Post  Guest on Wed Dec 29, 2010 11:55 am

Walter Pall wrote:You mean styled to look like an idealized pine tree with lilac flowers, Will? Or to look like a bonsai?

Just styled Walter. Perhaps a tree?

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Re: Lilac clump

Post  fiona on Wed Dec 29, 2010 12:34 pm

ENOUGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We've been down the naturalistic vs stylised debate plenty times as it is this year.

To each his or her own!

And I'd like to get to 2011 without having to mop up pools of blood - literal or metaphorical - thank you. Wink



Smileys inlcuded to show this is a polite suggestion/request. Smile
For the meantime.

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Re: Lilac clump

Post  JimLewis on Wed Dec 29, 2010 1:26 pm

Ari . . . any chance we can see a picture of the backside (or all four "sides)?

I have a similar clump (NOT lilac) and am finding that it has fewer and fewer trunks the more I look at it. The "front" also has changed with my perceptions of the plant, too.

That said, I think you're on the right track with your proposed shortening in the virt.

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Re: Lilac clump

Post  Guest on Wed Dec 29, 2010 2:20 pm

I am not against the naturalistic look at all but If anyone else was to post trees like 5,6 and 8, they would get some form of criticism or styling advice. Overly long internodes,scruffy "birds nest" branches and lack of ramification? Is Walter above criticism now?

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Re: Lilac clump

Post  fiona on Wed Dec 29, 2010 4:36 pm

will baddeley wrote:I am not against the naturalistic look at all but If anyone else was to post trees like 5,6 and 8, they would get some form of criticism or styling advice. Overly long internodes,scruffy "birds nest" branches and lack of ramification? Is Walter above criticism now?

Neither am I against the naturalistic look, nor am I averse to decent and informed critical discussion taking place on the forum

BUT - this is not a thread about Walter's trees. Would it not be a better use of forum time and energy giving advice to the person who asked for it and on the tree(s) that person asked about?

If we want to criticise Walter's trees I'm sure he'd be happy to enter into that debate. But on his or your own thread please. Otherwise we will be in danger almost literally - of not being able to see the wood for the trees and the poor old questioner will find his replies lost in a forest of other, unsolicited, information.

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Re: Lilac clump

Post  Guest on Wed Dec 29, 2010 5:53 pm

My most humble apologies to Aman Hussain for going off at a tangent and cluttering up his thread Embarassed

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Re: Lilac clump

Post  Walter Pall on Wed Dec 29, 2010 6:40 pm

Aman,

lilacs are easy as bonsai. They only need a lot of water and sun. Therefore one should water them daily thoroughly. In June and July even twice daily watring is often not enough. Therefore I do a full defoliation by the beginning of June. This helps to get over the hot time because it stops dehydration and produces shorter new branches with short internodes. I also use more peat or coconut stuff or small bark particles in the modern substrate than with most trees. Unfortunately it is not a good idea to place them in half shade because of their thirst. They must have full sun all summer to develop flowering buds.

Lilacs are not much without flowers. Therefore one has to know that the flowers only come on last year's terminal twigs which were in full sun. This means that these all too often are quite long and have long internodes. Similar to Lagerstroemia one usually has a tree then which has too long branches with long flowers on the end. If you cut these off you have a bonsai without folwrs, which does not make much sense with a lilac. Therefore the styling should take this into account. It looks awkward and even ridculous to try to get the shape of a typical bonsai, which is an ideal pine tree.

To overcome this obscle my idea is to try to make a lilac look very much like a natural tree. If some fundamentalist accuses you to have untidy bonsai you know that you are on the right track. Ask them to show their best lilac.

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Re: Lilac clump

Post  Guest on Wed Dec 29, 2010 7:17 pm

Thanks Walter for a detailed response.

My bonsai benches get atleast 7hrs of direct morning through afternoon sunlight. So the light should be fine for flower development. However, for the first 3-5 years I will be removing flowers to focus that energy on branch development. This should speedup the development and healing process a little.

Just my opinion on your statement that "Lilacs are not much without flowers"; I think the sinewy trunks and powerful base really define your Lilac (although flowers add to the beauty). These two features (and the sheer size + low cost) is what sold me to buy this Lilac.

Off the record... I too aim to grow 'trees'. And in all honesty, I am sure the Japanese created these guidelines (rules is a strict term) to create a convincing image of a 'tree' in nature (note: bonsai means 'tree' in a pot). So in my opinion, art of any kind cannot be self-expressing if the artist sticks to a universal set of rules (the aim should be to make a convincing tree). I like to use Nick Lenz as an example with his miniature brick wall behind a tree, or an old rustic tank in the forest, or roots clasping a statue.

- AH

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Re: Lilac clump

Post  John Quinn on Wed Dec 29, 2010 10:04 pm

Thanks for the detailed cultural info, Walter. I agree, just style them for the flower show.

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Re: Lilac clump

Post  Guest on Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:46 am

HAPPY NEW YEAR to Will and Walter!
I hope to learn more from you two gentlemen.

bounce jun

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Re: Lilac clump

Post  pootsie on Fri Dec 31, 2010 4:26 pm

I have a couple clumpy dwarf lilacs dug up from my mum's garden in a redo. I am also finding fewer trunks as time goes on.

I would like to add along with Walter's advice that I have found them to retain more vigor when they are not being chewed on by a basset hound. Embarassed

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Re: Lilac clump

Post  杰遨-jie on Sat Jan 01, 2011 6:04 am

from what i see........Will is the guy who prefers japanese classic way of styling bonsai....nothing wrong with chinese way^^ i actually prefer the way Walter styles his deciduos trees...his Lilacs are beautiful and look to have great age. lets all be nice this new year^^ even those who take posting on this forum seriously and critizing peoples tree's seriously......LETS BE NICEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!! PEACE AND JOY! Very Happy HAppy new year!!!! Razz

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Re: Lilac clump

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