Melaleuca bracteata

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Melaleuca bracteata

Post  GerhardGerber on Tue Mar 29, 2011 8:32 am

Hi All

Melaleuca came to my attention during a small local bonsai exibit. A bonsai buddy has a very nice one (my favourite of his trees) but he never knew the species.

A local nursery has some, good trunks (3/4/5cm in diameter), about 1m high in wonderful clown lollipop style.

Any questions about backbudding has been answered by the trees, no problem.

I'm worried about the roots - I would appreciate any info on whether they can be bare rooted, what the roots are like (woody etc?) and how much work they can tollerate?

There are a few Melaleucas about town, if not bracteata then very similar, and they do very well locally, my only concern is that since the ones in the nursery are largish already and in small nursery bags I expect the roots to be a mess.

Much as I like the plant in general I've made peace with the fact that I don't have patients to fix a crappy rootball over many years, "building" the tree from scratch will take long enough and there are other species I don't have yet.

I would love a Melaleuca, so please share any experience you have.

Cheers
Gerhard

PS: Don't ask why I don't belong to the local bonsai club who held the exhibit.......I tried to join, I failed (which says a lot), and then the buddy I mentioned told me about his experiences......let's just say if some know-it-all broke a branch off my prize-winning tree he's spend some time in hospital..... affraid

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Re: Melaleuca bracteata

Post  -Brent- on Tue Mar 29, 2011 9:41 am

Hello again Gerhard

I'd suggest searching the bonsaisite forums for threads on this species as there are several. A frequent poster known as Lennard has a couple, as does another guy going by the name Frojo, to whom you could send a PM for a quick turnaround.

I've also been on the lookout for good specimens to airlayer over the past year as I think they would make outstanding bonsai, but I don't have any as of yet myself.

With regards to the roots, you should consider ground layering the nursery stock which will solve the problem without much effort at all, leaving you to concentrate on the portion above ground! Just a suggestion though.

Cheers
Brent

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Re: Melaleuca bracteata

Post  handy mick on Tue Mar 29, 2011 9:59 am

Gerhard,
They are native to Australia as you probably know by now. However I din't have much experiance and only bought one myself two weeks ago, apparently they are fantastic to use as bonsai.
As they are native to Australia you should join, ausbonsai.com.au this is our local bonsai site/forum, we are actually just starting our native awards comp, you should join. There is much info on this site about your species.

Mick

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Re: Melaleuca bracteata

Post  GerhardGerber on Tue Mar 29, 2011 11:35 am

Hi All

Brent - it was a Mame exhibit (which they spelled Mami.... Embarassed ) and the melaleucas were the stars as far as I'm concerned, due to the small leaves and growth habbit I think you need to be careful or cookie cutter results, but they were seriously cute.
My friends' tree is (I guess) broom style, that perfect round crown, and the tree has presence....

I've never done a ground layer (or as of yet a successful air layer for that matter), but that's a great idea, thanks. Payday, so I guess I'll go buy it on Saturday so I can stare at it in frustration till August/September! Laughing Laughing

Mick - I was put off Ausbonsai because you need to register to view the pics.
I'm carefull about registering on forums, prefer to lurk a bit and test the water, but with no pics lurking is kinda pointless.
Considering that a lot of your natives do well here (surprise surprise Very Happy ) I guess it's a worthwhile effort.

Cheers
Gerhard

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Re: Melaleuca bracteata

Post  newzealandteatree on Wed Mar 30, 2011 4:19 pm

Gerhard, there are a few sub specie of Melaleuca Bracteata - Golden Gem, Revolution Gold, Revolution Green, Green Globe. Which one is yours ? I have all of them and they do behave differently. If u can let me know specifically which one, then I can give u a specific answer. I have been growing them for about 10 years and will very much like to help u.

Cheers,

CJ
http://newzealandteatreebonsai.blogspot.com/

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Melaleuca bracteata

Post  Jota3CL on Thu Mar 31, 2011 6:38 am

Hi Gerhard
I have just done a search on AusBonsai and there are numerous discussions regarding M. bracteata. The url is: http://www.ausbonsai.com/forum/search.php?keywords=melaleuca+bracteata&terms=all&author=&sc=1&sf=all&sr=posts&sk=t&sd=d&st=0&ch=300&t=0&sid=5100214082da684054b8467a1440a406&submit=Search.
I hope this helps.
p.s remember, as they are endemic to Australia they will need protection from frost and snow and even very low overnight temperatures. That being said, however, they are outside bonsai and will need to be placed outside in a protected area for some time during your winter and early spring rather than being kept inside. If you have a heated greenhouse that may be suffficient, however, not having such a greenhouse, I am happily open to being contradicted.
Take care
Michael

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Re: Melaleuca bracteata

Post  GerhardGerber on Thu Mar 31, 2011 7:30 am

Hey Michael

"Sorry but you are not permitted to use the search system." Laughing Laughing Laughing When I follow your link....

Guess I'll just have to bite the bullet and register @ ausbonsai! Laughing

We can get frosts in certain parts of town, but it's actually rare. Snow Laughing Laughing - we had snow once while I was a student on holiday, slept a bit late thanks to a hangover and missed the "snow" by many hours.

As mentioned there are some large Melaleuca about town, never seen any effect on them.

My main concern is getting it out of the nursery bag and into a more shallow development pot without killing it.
I've been relatively good at this through my short bonsai carreer, but I've killed 8 out of 10 trees I got for group plantings during this summer almost behind us..... Crying or Very sad Embarassed

Thanks
Gerhard

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Re: Melaleuca bracteata

Post  newzealandteatree on Thu Mar 31, 2011 2:16 pm

Here is one of my Golden Gem.

Cheers.
CJ
http://newzealandteatreebonsai.blogspot.com/

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Re: Melaleuca bracteata

Post  newzealandteatree on Thu Mar 31, 2011 2:32 pm

Here's another type of Melaleuca.

Cheers.

CJ
http://newzealandteatreebonsai.blogspot.com/

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Re: Melaleuca bracteata

Post  -Brent- on Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:00 pm

Both marvelous trees CJ. I particularly like the Golden Gem. Do you have any Revolution Gold - which seems to be close to if not the same as the "Johannesburg Gold" we have here?

Brent

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Re: Melaleuca bracteata

Post  GerhardGerber on Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:15 pm

Hi CJ

Your 1st tree is very similar to the wee ones I saw at the exhibit, thanks

The second tree......hmmmmm.....I'll need many trunk chops & plenty patients.
cteata
I've registered at ausbonsai and did some reading, I'm stopping at the nursery after work to grab a Melaleuca (hope the nice one I eyed is still there) and some Ficus B. Natascha "seedlings" to rebuild a base.

I'll try very hard to resist the temptation, but the same nursery has a Melaleuca with red foliage, very similar to the bracteata but a different variety if I remember right.

My biggest problem is I'll have to make peace with just staring at my purchace until August, days are getting shorter and winter is around the corner...

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Re: Melaleuca bracteata

Post  newzealandteatree on Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:39 pm

Brent, thanks. Yes I do have the Revolution Gold but it is a little more difficult to control. Revolution Gold grows into a tall tree while Golden Gem is a bush. In terms of growth characteristics, the Golden Gem is more conducive to bonsai than the Revolution Gold.
Gerhard, where about are u located ? Yes. Ausbonsai is a good place to get lots of info on Australian Natives. A little guidelines to start u off:
1. Try not to bare-root. They may or may not come back.
2. Do not completely defoliate. It may lead to branch die back or worst case, kill the tree. Use a sharp knife to cute the roots down to fit into your pot with enough space to fill in more soil. The best time is mid to late Autumn in the climate of Western Australia. So pls adjust your timming according to your weather.
3. They are greedy and grow fast. Feed them with a fertilizer tailored for Australian Natives ( they have low phosphorous ). Constant prunning to keep in shape.
4. They bud back easily. Watch out for strong water shoots which if left uncheck can grow very quickly to destroy the overall design of your tree.
Hope this helps and happy bonsaing.

Cheers,

CJ
http://newzealandteatreebonsai.blogspot.com/

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Re: Melaleuca bracteata

Post  Jota3CL on Fri Apr 01, 2011 4:17 am

Sorry Gerhard
I thought you could access the search results page.
I'll have a look through the posts on ausBonsai and see if there is anything that I can share with you and the other members.
Take care
Michael

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Re: Melaleuca bracteata

Post  GerhardGerber on Fri Apr 01, 2011 9:36 am

Hi All

Nursery was closed by the time I got there Laughing Laughing , today then!

Michael - I've registered so I can access the search function, got in about 2 hours multitasking reading in yesterday, thanks.

CJ - I'm in Windhoek, Namibia, so our seasons are about the same.

Thanks for the additional info, have to admit I'm not exactly chuffed to hear bare rooting is not a good idea, I already have Acacia where this will be a major headache in the near future....

Enjoy the weekend all!
Gerhard

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Re: Melaleuca bracteata

Post  GerhardGerber on Fri Apr 01, 2011 1:43 pm

Typical....

1. "My" tree has been sold...
2. Nursery used a permanent marker on the labels to increase the price into the realm of "are you %#$@(* nuts?"
3. At age 35 I'm too old to get results in my lifetime from those I can afford.
Mad

Now I need to decide if the only slightly less ridiculous price for a crab apple is worthwhile.....

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Re: Melaleuca bracteata

Post  -Brent- on Fri Apr 01, 2011 4:48 pm

What a pity Gerhard.

"As mentioned there are some large Melaleuca about town..."

With that in mind, keep your eyes peeled for good, interesting branches, and if(when) you see a suitable candidate, stop off and ask the owner for permission to cut it off, then airlayer it. Done deal - a thick trunk with a flat root system in a year!

"Thanks for the additional info, have to admit I'm not exactly chuffed to hear bare rooting is not a good idea, I already have Acacia where this will be a major headache in the near future...."

Acacia I think are more resilient in terms of rootwork - just last year I bare-rooted a nursery-bought Monkey Thorn and removed about 70% of the roots with no problems thereafter.

-Brent-
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Re: Melaleuca bracteata

Post  GerhardGerber on Mon Apr 04, 2011 9:02 am



Hi

Went to another nursery and found this bargain.
It was less than half the price of other Melaleucas with the same size trunk, obviously a reject and from the weight I have to assume there's very little soil left, foliage is also not very healthy. I've cut off some dead branches and topped off the soil and fertilized.
Twin trunk would have been the way to go if only the other (nicer) trunk wasn't dead, but at this stage a blank canvas that first needs to get healthy again.

I also bought a Myrtus Comminus and Prunus Cerasifera, the three together for less than one (thinner) Melaleuca at the other nursery.

Basic information on the labels so no idea on the varieties.

Stickman - I'm scared sh1tless to repot my big Monkey thorn, dreading the day....
The only Melaleucas I can get access to is on the patio of a Nando's - kinda doubt they would let me air layer! Laughing Laughing

I did check my Elm air layer this weekend, and there are indeed roots! cheers

Cheers
Gerhard

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Re: Melaleuca bracteata

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