Star Magnolia.

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Star Magnolia.

Post  creekfield on Sat Feb 26, 2011 12:42 am

This is a star magnolia which I just bought from a local nursery. I may be able to do a root cut, or style, or do both at the same time.
Any suggestion? Thanks in advance.

Best regards,





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Star Magnolia

Post  bonsaisr on Sat Feb 26, 2011 2:41 am

It will have to be a very large bonsai for the flowers & leaves to be in scale. Why that species?
Iris

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Re: Star Magnolia.

Post  Russell Coker on Sat Feb 26, 2011 4:18 am

bonsaisr wrote:Why that species?

Why not that species? So what if it's big? The flowers are on naked branches in the spring, and the leaves reduce nicely. Magnolia stellata makes a wonderful, if uncommon, bonsai. I've been looking for a good one for a while now. You have a nice start. Do your styling and root reduction NOW, you are about to loose your window. Good for you for thinking outside the box!

R

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Re: Star Magnolia.

Post  Randy_Davis on Sat Feb 26, 2011 4:38 am

I too have been looking for a good candidate tree to start working on as well! Star magnolia, along with the other deciduous forms have a rather fleshy root and don't like them worked on to agressively. I would start by just teasing out the roots from the nursery container to flatten them out in a lower container and not take more than 20-25% off (maybe even less). I would also after the initial work, us a well draining soil and water it in to the new soil well but then keep it on the dry side to allow the roots to heal over rather than be too wet and rot. This is one of those trees that is on display when it is in flower and nude of leaves then it's to the back of the bench for the rest of the year so leaf size is unimportant in my book.

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Re: Star Magnolia.

Post  David Brunner on Sat Feb 26, 2011 6:00 am

Hello Creekfield,

I think Russell and Randy have a point – M. stellata is a very appropriate tree for bonsai. It can be very beautiful in early spring, just as the Japanese plum – in fact they look great together; M. stellata with several big white blooms on fairly coarse leafless branchlets, and P. mume with many bright pink blossoms on tiny and tightly ramified leafless branches. In the SF Bay area they typically bloom at very similar times, however, as I am sure you know, given our microclimate variability you should watch the landscape around your local area to verify. If you want a display of bloom in the Feb to Mar window, M. stellata will be a good choice. Don’t expect that it will be a pretty thing to view in the middle of summer or worse in the fall when the leaves are mostly done for and sere around the edges. But for an early spring effect in the south SF Bay area – you’ve got it spot on!

Good luck with your find! Randy has given you good advice about care with root pruning. I lost several collected Mags by being too aggressive with root reduction – but these were all collected specimens (I think some around here call them “urban yamadori”) that needed aggressive treatment for “extraction purposes.” They took years to finally succumb to my brutal extraction methods – but succumb they did! The same procedures yielded great results with conifers, maples and the like – so I concur with Randy that Mags are sensitive to rough treatment.

David B.
San Francisco

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Re: Star Magnolia.

Post  Dave Martin on Sat Feb 26, 2011 10:13 am

Well done, its nice to see someone willing to try a new species.

However it is one which is used in Japan, Kunio Kobiyashi has a number, if you can get hold of a copy of International Bonsai 2007/1 that has articles relating to Magnolias. Even the larger flowering Kobus and Liliflora varieties are used surprisingly enough.

It buds back readily when pruned, and I have found it to have few vices.

It is best to buy the largest specimen you can afford the one you have looks full of potential for an informal upright, I especially like the diameter of the trunk which appears to have a good root spread.

Dave Martin
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Re: Star Magnolia.

Post  creekfield on Sat Feb 26, 2011 7:54 pm

Hello Iris, Russell, Randy, David, Dave. Thanks you all so much for the help and advice you have shared with us.

Have a nice weekend to you.

Best Regards,

creekfield
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Re: Star Magnolia.

Post  Russell Coker on Sun Feb 27, 2011 7:44 pm

This isn't stellata, I think it's 'Ann' or 'Jane'. It looks like one of the lilifloras that Dave mentioned. Don't judge too harshly, it was 20 gallon nursery stock last year.

R


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Re: Star Magnolia.

Post  Randy_Davis on Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:40 am

Russell Coker wrote:This isn't stellata, I think it's 'Ann' or 'Jane'. It looks like one of the lilifloras that Dave mentioned. Don't judge too harshly, it was 20 gallon nursery stock last year.

Russell,

That's a lovely magnolia! I'd love to see it when it flowers, I'll bet it's just brilliant!! Make sure and take a picture of it when it does flower.

Randy

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Re: Star Magnolia.

Post  Russell Coker on Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:57 am

Thanks Randy.

I haven't really done anything with this one yet, but I think it has tons of potential. This is the front - for now anyway!

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Re: Star Magnolia.

Post  Randy_Davis on Fri Mar 04, 2011 2:16 pm

Russell Coker wrote:Thanks Randy.

I haven't really done anything with this one yet, but I think it has tons of potential. This is the front - for now anyway!

Russell,

There's a M. kolbus in the US National Bonsai Collection that looks very simular to your tree that you might check out.

R

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Re: Star Magnolia.

Post  creekfield on Sat Mar 05, 2011 1:39 am

Pics update,

One week after chopping off some unnecessary branches and re-potting to new pot, it start blooming.
Suggestions for future style are welcome.

Regards,

Front---->

back --->

creekfield
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Re: Star Magnolia.

Post  coh on Fri Jul 27, 2012 6:38 pm

Anyone have any updates on these magnolias? I just started working with one ('Leonard Messel') this spring and have my eye on another ('Jane', I think) that I bought "for the yard" (as I told my wife)...curious to hear how these are doing and what people are learning about growing/training them.

Also have been offered a great deal on a magnolia sieboldii (oyama magnolia) that I am considering...anyone have any experience with that variety? As a landscape tree or bonsai...

coh
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Re: Star Magnolia.

Post  Fore on Sat Jul 28, 2012 4:34 pm

I too have a Jane variety that I got from a nursery last fall. It's had one basic prune in late winter and repotted in the spring. It's growing very well, though pretty lg. leaves, 8"ish. Not sure how much reduction in size can be done over time, but an interesting tree to play with. I'd love to see an update too! Yours is quite nice.

Fore
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Re: Star Magnolia.

Post  coh on Sat Jul 28, 2012 7:48 pm

Leaves are large on the Leonard Messel as well...don't think they'd ever reduce enough to really be in scale (anyone? can they?), but I think the main attraction of these is the winter branch silhouette, the developing flower buds in spring, and of course the flowers themselves. I think the rest of the season they get relegated to the back bench with the wisterias...

P.S. I notice "Creekfield" hasn't logged on in over a year so I doubt we'll get an update from him/her. Hopefully Russell will chime in...hint, hint!

coh
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Re: Star Magnolia.

Post  Russell Coker on Sat Jul 28, 2012 10:14 pm



Hey y'all.

Chris, I think you're right about the leaf reduction. Maybe after a long time in a pot and decades of pruning, but none of us are there yet. I think any of the decidious species/varieties have potential, and the stellatas and kobus are probably the best. Boon posted a wonderful fat little stellata in this forum. Remember that winter with buds and early spring with flowers are the objective, so big leaves and course branching don't really matter.

Oyama is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful magnolias, but I don't recall seeing even a picture of one as bonsai. I can't grow that tree this far south but I have a friend who tried one a few years back in north Alabama, planted on top of a mound of oyster shells (alkalinity and drainage). Don't know if it made it or not.

Russell Coker
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Re: Star Magnolia.

Post  coh on Sun Jul 29, 2012 3:29 pm

I am probably going to acquire the oyama as the nursery is practically giving it away. However, I have my doubts about its suitability for bonsai. The leaves are very large and with it being a summer bloomer, there's probably no getting around that problem. Will just plant it in the ground and see what happens, maybe try some layerings to experiment with.

coh
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Re: Star Magnolia.

Post  Fore on Sun Jul 29, 2012 5:17 pm

Thanks Russel for the info. And Chris, I'm with you, it's an interesting experiment to try. And at the very least, I can have a magnolia in the front yard ;-)

Fore
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Re: Star Magnolia.

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