Cinnamomum camphora examples?

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Cinnamomum camphora examples?

Post  Randy_Davis on Tue May 10, 2011 5:42 pm

Hi Gang,

Was just wondering if anybody out there is working on Camphor. Would love to compare notes with others working on this tree.

here's mine

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camphor

Post  Mitch Thomas on Tue May 10, 2011 6:08 pm

Randy
No I am not working on one but, they grow wild here. What are some the growth patterns looks like leaf size reduces nicely.
Mitch

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Re: Cinnamomum camphora examples?

Post  Jesse on Tue May 10, 2011 7:46 pm

I don't have anything knowledge wise to add regarding the type of tree. I just wanted to comment how much I liked your tree.

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Re: Cinnamomum camphora examples?

Post  Randy_Davis on Tue May 10, 2011 8:00 pm

Mitch Thomas wrote:Randy
No I am not working on one but, they grow wild here. What are some the growth patterns looks like leaf size reduces nicely.
Mitch

Thanks Jesse I'm glad you like it. While it's not traditional bonsai design it's one of my favorite trees.

Mitch,

They are quite strong growers both in foliage and roots. They bud back on old wood extremely well and leaf reduces ok. I have found that because the roots are so fiberous they will fill any container in a year or two but should only be repotted every 3 years. In the third year when the roots are packed in tightly the leaves are smaller in size. I'm quite agressive when doing root reduction and just use a large serrated knife to cut off 1/3 - 1/2 of the roots both horizontally and vertically. In the year following the root reduction they will put on strong growth and larger leaves which should be trimmed back to keep it in check. I usually on the second year after repotting will completely remove the canopy to just branches (no leaves at all) to keep it in resonable scale with the trunk. The trunk growth is quite slow in a container so it's not uncommon to see them rather small. If grown from seed they are quite reluctant to develop bark on the trunk which can take upwards of 20 years or more which was the case with mine. If you have them growing in your area getting some nice one's out of the ground would be a distinct advantage although a trunk chop would take decades to heal over and may encourage one to do some carving instead of waiting. They also suck up water and food during the growting season like there's no tomorrow. I'd love to hear the experiences of others and know the design styles that have been tried. I have elected to do a rather natural style as that's usually my preference. I hope I get seeds this year as it's flowering like crazy so I can get some new material to try other designs to see how it performs.

Randy

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Re: Cinnamomum camphora examples?

Post  GerhardGerber on Wed May 11, 2011 10:17 am

Hi Randy

I started one 2 years ago, didn't make the cut when I moved and space was limited, but I got a new one recently which is now just ugly, chopped back nursery stock.

I asked for some advice, Atilla Soos is working on a few, look for the relevant thread on Bonsainut: http://bonsainut.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4650

I've got a question: I see one red leaf on your tree - I saw a tree with similar colouring in a nursery, but I read that they don't have much autum colour, what's your experience.

BTW, there is a lane in Kirstenbosch gardens (Cape Town South Africa) with HUGE Camphor's either side, that's my inspiration.

Cheers
Gerhard

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Re: Cinnamomum camphora examples?

Post  Randy_Davis on Wed May 11, 2011 1:56 pm

GerhardGerber wrote:Hi Randy

I've got a question: I see one red leaf on your tree - I saw a tree with similar colouring in a nursery, but I read that they don't have much autum colour, what's your experience.

Cheers
Gerhard

Gerhard,

Camphor is a broadleaf evergreen tree so there is not "autum color" in the same sense as deciduous trees. The The red leaf that you see is quite common on leaves that are 3 years old and the tree is defoliating itself as part of the growing process. They tipically drop their old foliage just after leafing out in the spring and the red/green contrast when they do it is just wonderful to see indeed. I also love the smell of the crushed leaves.
It's very nice to know that others are working with this material. It's quite challenging for bonsai but I can imagine some lovely trees made out of it for sure.

ta ta for now,
Randy

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Re: Cinnamomum camphora examples?

Post  GerhardGerber on Wed May 11, 2011 3:37 pm

Ahhhhhh.....thanks Randy.......guess I saw "evergreen" at some stage but it didn't register Laughing Laughing

Pity though.....

My first one was an experiment on close-out sale stock, completely rootbound, at a guess I was forced to remove 75-80% of the roots when I got it out of the nursery bag. Never missed a beat, and I'm still extremely sorry I gave that one away.

I'm a bit of a sucker for anything with green bark, even though I know the goal is bark like yours....

Like I said, I fell in love with those huge trees in Cape Town, my aim with my current one is to get that same image, guess you can call it broom style.
Whether I can pull it off is another matter, but it's been chopped, new branches all over already. Based on what Atilla said they are not the easiest species to make a good bonsai, but your tree has given me new hope!

The thing I like the most is knowing you can go crazy with the roots and not kill it - depending on how the winter goes it'll go from the nursery bag to development pot somewhere in August.

Cheers
Gerhard

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Re: Cinnamomum camphora examples?

Post  Randy_Davis on Wed May 11, 2011 3:56 pm

GerhardGerber wrote:

I'm a bit of a sucker for anything with green bark, even though I know the goal is bark like yours....

The thing I like the most is knowing you can go crazy with the roots and not kill it - depending on how the winter goes it'll go from the nursery bag to development pot somewhere in August.

Cheers
Gerhard

Gerhard,

I too like the green bark of the new growth. As the branches age, you will notice that at some point those green branches will turn blackish-brown. The following year you will see the crackling begin, and on the following year it will start to form bark. The first time that happened to me, I thought it might be a disease so don't be alarmed when it happens to your tree.

I would suggest that when you repot your tree you put it into a very large but shallow container and just let it grow freely to get as much controlled growth as possible to speed up the development process. I think you'll find that to be advantageous and will get that trunk larger in diamemter. I have found that it's best to alternate root pruning and canopy removal in subsequent years and never in the same year. A slow process, but that's what bonsai is all about!!!!

Randy

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Re: Cinnamomum camphora examples?

Post  GerhardGerber on Wed May 11, 2011 4:52 pm

Randy,

I've got the pot already, big & shallow. Cool

Thanks for the tips, my trunk is only 3cm in diameter, so there's a lot of growing left to do.

About 90% of the trees I had to choose from were watered a bit roughly, so the roots were visible - big, ugly, contorted tubors that would no doubt demand a ground layer eventually.
I picked mine based on what I could expose of the roots. This is also what makes me doubly sad about the first one, by accident and neglect it had perfect radial nebari, it was just a great begining.

Cheers
Gerhard

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Re: Cinnamomum camphora examples?

Post  Russell Coker on Thu May 12, 2011 2:54 am

Man, that tree is one horrible weed here on the Gulf Coast. I never dreamed it could make something as pretty as your tree. (Psst - it needs a decent pot!)

R

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Re: Cinnamomum camphora examples?

Post  Randy_Davis on Thu May 12, 2011 1:12 pm

Russell Coker wrote:Man, that tree is one horrible weed here on the Gulf Coast. I never dreamed it could make something as pretty as your tree. (Psst - it needs a decent pot!)

R

Russell - Yeah, it's a weed tree in the mild climate areas for sure. I've always been attracted to those types of trees for bonsai just because they are usually strong growers and can take all kinds of harsh treatment.

On the pot issue, give me some suggestions. I'm not a pot hound so I'm always up for input from those that pay closer attention to those kinds of things. My only requirement is that it be a pot of the right size to ensure continued health without impacting daily maintenance on the tree. Come on all you pot freaks give this old man some ideas!!!!!!

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Re: Cinnamomum camphora examples?

Post  Russell Coker on Thu May 12, 2011 2:24 pm

Your pot choices are almost endless.

First, it needs to be at least half as deep and twice as wide as the current pot to balance that canopy. Oval would be fine, as would a rectangle with soft corners. I'd look for a glazed pot if this were my tree. Color is personal but with the dark trunk, glossy leaves and that beautiful orange/red of the old foliage I'd pick a soft cream or blue.

R

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Re: Cinnamomum camphora examples?

Post  Randy_Davis on Thu May 12, 2011 3:18 pm

Russell Coker wrote:Your pot choices are almost endless.

First, it needs to be at least half as deep and twice as wide as the current pot to balance that canopy. Oval would be fine, as would a rectangle with soft corners. I'd look for a glazed pot if this were my tree. Color is personal but with the dark trunk, glossy leaves and that beautiful orange/red of the old foliage I'd pick a soft cream or blue.

R

Russell
I actually had it in a lower container (see below - after a canopy reduction) a couple of years ago but I didn't like the soil hump so I put it into this deep pot to get the surface roots to rise up over time. Once that happens and I can develop a better surface nebari I'll do a root reduction and get it back into a lower pot but much wider than the old one that I had. I like the light blue idea, and I also thought of a bright chinese yellow glaze for some real color contrast but Not sure about it yet. Maybe someone out there can do a virtual of some different pot ideas but remember it's a water hog of a tree so it needs to be at least 4 inches deep and I'd rather have 5 if I could get it.


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Re: Cinnamomum camphora examples?

Post  Jesse on Thu May 12, 2011 3:37 pm

That pot/tree combo is better looking in my opinion but obviously you explained your reasons regarding the trees development for having in a 'less appealing' pot for the time.

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Re: Cinnamomum camphora examples?

Post  Russell Coker on Thu May 12, 2011 10:48 pm

Four or 5 inches deep?? Holy crap, how big is this tree??? What are the dimensions of the shallow pot you show? I like those proportions. Seems like 4 or 5 inches would swallow this tree, but maybe I'm off on size again. I think we're going to have to require that you put a coke can in your pictures! Honestly, I say that because your juniper forest is much larger than I thought from the first pictures I saw.


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Re: Cinnamomum camphora examples?

Post  Randy_Davis on Fri May 13, 2011 12:37 am

Russell Coker wrote:Four or 5 inches deep?? Holy crap, how big is this tree??? What are the dimensions of the shallow pot you show? I like those proportions. Seems like 4 or 5 inches would swallow this tree, but maybe I'm off on size again. I think we're going to have to require that you put a coke can in your pictures! Honestly, I say that because your juniper forest is much larger than I thought from the first pictures I saw.


Russell,

Yes, pictures can be deceiving. The tree is 38" high from the soil line. The dimensions of the shallow pot are 20"x15"x4". Actually the canopy of the tree is larger than I usually keep it but it just looks wonderful this year. As I said earlier, I'm letting it grow out a bit to get the root's to the surface so I don't have to deal with that ugly soil hump that I've been sadled with for over a decade. I'm getting old and don't have the time to fart around anymore so I just do what's necessary to get the results I've been looking for. It's always been suprizing to me to find out the actual size of some of those Japanese masterpiece trees. They are huge so I'm following suit. I was just reading Saburo Kato's book on Landscapes and those trees that he pictures in that book are not small at all (35" on average). As far as I'm cocerned bigger is better, even in bonsai. Just wish they weren't so darn heavy!

R

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Re: Cinnamomum camphora examples?

Post  Russell Coker on Fri May 13, 2011 2:43 am

I know what you mean. I have stacks of old Bonsai Sekai magazines and I'm always surprised at the size of the bonsai when someone stands next to them.

I still think you could go wider than 20 inches, but I don't think I'd go to 5 inches until you get some more girth on that trunk - but I do understand your reasoning.

I'm going to take a second look at these weed trees!

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Re: Cinnamomum camphora examples?

Post  Randy_Davis on Fri May 13, 2011 1:35 pm

Russell Coker wrote:I'm going to take a second look at these weed trees!

Russell,

I think you should bud, particularly if you can get a collected one that already has some trunk girth. Just be ready to carve on it. Beware that the branches on this tree are quite brittle and need to be treated with kit-gloves when your wiring and repositioning (they break if you just look at them wrong). If you get one keep me posted on your progress.

R

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Re: Cinnamomum camphora examples?

Post  Levi on Thu Feb 16, 2012 2:51 pm

hey there randy,

i know this post is about a year old but i just wanted to say that these trees are everywhere here in hangzhou, china. i see them everyday and have been wondering about how they would do as bonsai. they look amazing when they get old and they can get absolutely huge here in southern china. i love them and and i'm happy to hear that they both: are already growing in the states in some places and that a fellow kentucky beau has one. beautiful, inspiring trees. i'm actually attempting to start some from seed here even though i know i won't be able to bring them with me when i come home in november. when i come back i'd really like to come back down to your neck of the woods for a visit. by the way, how did you acquire this one? what is their cold tolerance? below are some pictures i took of not the biggest, but the oldest one i have seen so far, its about 700 yrs old.

http://i1070.photobucket.com/albums/u496/levster17/China%20-%20trees/PB060045-1.jpg

http://i1070.photobucket.com/albums/u496/levster17/China%20-%20trees/PB060053-1.jpg


Last edited by Levi on Thu Feb 16, 2012 2:54 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Cinnamomum camphora examples?

Post  Levi on Thu Feb 16, 2012 2:53 pm



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Re: Cinnamomum camphora examples?

Post  Levi on Sat Feb 18, 2012 4:29 am

also any update pics would be nice to see.

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Re: Cinnamomum camphora examples?

Post  Randy_Davis on Sat Feb 18, 2012 3:38 pm

Levi wrote:hey there randy,

i know this post is about a year old but i just wanted to say that these trees are everywhere here in hangzhou, china. i see them everyday and have been wondering about how they would do as bonsai. they look amazing when they get old and they can get absolutely huge here in southern china. i love them and and i'm happy to hear that they both: are already growing in the states in some places and that a fellow kentucky beau has one. beautiful, inspiring trees. i'm actually attempting to start some from seed here even though i know i won't be able to bring them with me when i come home in november. when i come back i'd really like to come back down to your neck of the woods for a visit. by the way, how did you acquire this one? what is their cold tolerance? below are some pictures i took of not the biggest, but the oldest one i have seen so far, its about 700 yrs old.

Levi,

Glad to hear from you again bud! Don't worry about being able to bring back your seedlings, my tree produces seed each year and I'll be planting some of them in the next month so there will be some seedlings for you if you make it back to my neck of the woods. I brought this one to Ky with me from California when I moved here. Camphor is quite common and even weedy in the warmer parts of the US. It's an overlooked tree for bonsai, probably because it will not do the "gumdrop" pine tree look but if you train it in it's natural form it's just lovely and inspiring to my eye. Once I get a new pot made for this tree I'll post an update next year when I repot the tree. I think I'm going to make a non-traditional pot for this tree that reflects its Chinese heritage with bright colors. Not the kind of thing that would get a round of aplause from the crowd around here but right for the story of the tree.

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Any new updates?

Post  bob92553 on Fri Nov 21, 2014 6:31 am

Just starting to look for more info on these trees and would live to start my own
But not sure where to start

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Re: Cinnamomum camphora examples?

Post  Randy_Davis on Sat Nov 22, 2014 3:49 pm

Bob,

I see that your located in Southern CA which is a good thing! Camphor is a common tree in California and usually can be found in nurseries which up's your probability of finding one. They are a weedy tree and in some areas are considered an invasive tree so you very well may be able to find one to dig up. They can also be grown quite easily from seed as well. It's unclear what kind of information your trying to find but if it's bonsai related information I understand your frustration as there is no published information on that subject that I know of. I can tell you however, they are good at back budding, take severe root pruning well and are rather easy to grow in containers. They do have some drawbacks to them as they are not great subjects for the traditional bonsai designs which require tight ramification and pad development. However, if one attempts to make a rather "Natural" style design which I'm particularly fond of they are a wonderful tree to work with. Branches are brittle and break quite easily so be careful when wiring and doing branch positioning. Another thing that you should be aware of is that the roots are sensitive to temp's over 100 degrees F in ceramic containers in the full sun so make sure on hot days the containers are shaded. There are some other idiosyncrasies that the tree has but not knowing what kind of information your looking for I won't go into them in detail here. In general however, this is one of my favorite trees in my collection even though it's got a personality of it's own.

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Re: Cinnamomum camphora examples?

Post  JoesBonsai on Fri Nov 28, 2014 10:13 am

Hi Randy,

We have a different species  Tarconanthus Camphoratus indigenous to South Africa,I thought I would share with you




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