Styling a Celtis Sinensis as a shohin

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Styling a Celtis Sinensis as a shohin

Post  bonsaitree on Tue Jun 07, 2011 4:30 pm

Hello All

I have been growing a whole lot of Celtis for some years. Last year I planted a few into wooden containers. The following image is of one of them. In looking at it I believe it has potential as a shohin sized tree. There is a major pruning scar on one side, but this could either be made into a feature by enlarging it and shaping it, or be made the back of the tree.

The nebari will also need to be improved as there is one or two very prominent roots which may become a problem depending on the chosen front. I can also do some approach grafts to fill in the gaps.

So what does everyone think of the options......

Front Option1


Front Option2


Front Option3


Front Option4


Option 1 has the nicest view of the nebari but I think Option 2 does not show the pruning scar and you have a reasonably nice view of the nebari. I think this is possibly the best option for a front. Anyone agree/disagree.

Thanks in advance.

bonsaitree
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Re: Styling a Celtis Sinensis as a shohin

Post  gtuthill on Tue Jun 07, 2011 7:40 pm

Hi, its option 2 for me. Nebari is good in this view too, and like you say you can do some approach grafts to improve if you see fit.

Was this grown on a tile also? or have you already been grafting for nebari?

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Re: Styling a Celtis Sinensis as a shohin

Post  bonsaitree on Tue Jun 07, 2011 8:10 pm

gtuthill wrote:Hi, its option 2 for me. Nebari is good in this view too, and like you say you can do some approach grafts to improve if you see fit.

Was this grown on a tile also? or have you already been grafting for nebari?

All the trees i grow in the ground are planted on tiles. No grafting has yet been done. Thanks for the vote on option 2! Smile

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Field grown celtis

Post  bonsaitree on Tue Jun 07, 2011 8:15 pm

Here are some more celtis which I grew in the ground on top of tiles. I moved these from my Mom's house just after my wife and I bought ours.

http://www.bonsaitree.co.za/home/62-terry-erasmus/photos/album.html?albumid=1

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Re: Styling a Celtis Sinensis as a shohin

Post  -Brent- on Wed Jun 08, 2011 12:44 pm

Yes I think option 2 has some nice gradual movement Terry. With regards to the chop scar, another possible option might be to re-injure it and get it to close over.
I took a look at your other photo's - you have some super material - how long have you been growing them to get arrive at that thickness? 4/5 years?

I have a number of recent urban yamadori Celtis Africana which I'm mucking about with, but have not grown any from seed yet unfortunately. They're strong growers and can take a severe hiding without much effect. Presumably the same with sinensis, and the SA climate.

Cheers
Brent

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Re: Styling a Celtis Sinensis as a shohin

Post  bonsaitree on Wed Jun 08, 2011 1:13 pm

Stickman wrote:Yes I think option 2 has some nice gradual movement Terry. With regards to the chop scar, another possible option might be to re-injure it and get it to close over.
I took a look at your other photo's - you have some super material - how long have you been growing them to get arrive at that thickness? 4/5 years?

I have a number of recent urban yamadori Celtis Africana which I'm mucking about with, but have not grown any from seed yet unfortunately. They're strong growers and can take a severe hiding without much effect. Presumably the same with sinensis, and the SA climate.

Cheers
Brent

Thanks Brent. I think it will close over on its own, it is quite amazing how well they heal. Probably about the same as Chinese maples or even faster. I could injure it and this might cause it to heal faster though.

From seed the others have taken close to 10 years for the oldest one/s. You will find a video clip of one of those on my website. Some others are of course less. I find that I need to dig up every year or 2 at most and chop the roots back or they simply get too fat. They are all planted on top of tiles though, that's the key to getting the better nebari.

As I am in CT I would imagine you will get the same results as I am, although I think Sinensis grows faster than Africana. Smile

Regards
Terry

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Re: Styling a Celtis Sinensis as a shohin

Post  -Brent- on Wed Jun 08, 2011 1:32 pm

bonsaitree wrote:As I am in CT I would imagine you will get the same results as I am, although I think Sinensis grows faster than Africana. Smile
OH NOOO! I've not see any sinensis up here, even at the nurseries. But everywhere one turns one finds Africana.


bonsaitree wrote:From seed the others have taken close to 10 years for the oldest one/s. You will find a video clip of one of those on my website. Some others are of course less. I find that I need to dig up every year or 2 at most and chop the roots back or they simply get too fat. They are all planted on top of tiles though, that's the key to getting the better nebari.

I gathered some seeds this past autumn and will give them a bash come spring.
My nextdoor neighbours planted some saplings with a trunk diameter of about 5cm three years ago and the girth now is roughly 20cm, but obviously that's without hard pruning etc.

Anyhow. All the best with this particular tree. Keep us posted on the progress.

Cheers
Brent

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Re: Styling a Celtis Sinensis as a shohin

Post  GerhardGerber on Thu Jun 09, 2011 10:05 am

Hi

Terry - Nice material, really really nice! Cool

Do you guys know of different varieties C. Africana?

I'm planning to make at least 5 air layers off a C Africana around August from 2-10cm in diameter.

I have a slight "problem" because this tree has rather thick, rounded leaves, while a local nursery has several different sizes C. Africana for sale with considerably thinner and more lanceolate leaves - any ideas?
Most (if not all) local nursery stock come from SA, and I've spotted so horrible mis-identifications on several occasions.

Since the tree I'm planning to layer also came from a nursery I just don't know....

Terry - another unrelated question: I guess you've been to Bishopsford bonsai nursery? Do you have any idea what species those lovely "coffee tree" bonsai are?

Cheers
Gerhard

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Re: Styling a Celtis Sinensis as a shohin

Post  -Brent- on Thu Jun 09, 2011 11:00 am

Hey Gerhard,

I ran a quick google and came up with the following:

"The genus Celtis contains about 50 species widely spread throughout the warm temperate regions of the world. Only three species are indigenous to southern Africa namely Celtis gomphophylla (false white stinkwood), C. mildbraedii (Natal white stinkwood) and C. africana. In Southern Africa there are 5 species in this family, the three Celtis species, as well as Trema orientalis (trema/pigeon wood) and Chaetachme aristata (chaetachme/false white pear). This family is closely related to the elm family Ulmaceae, which is distributed mainly in the north temperate regions of the world.

Celtis africana closely resembles, and can be easily confused with Trema orientalis. Trema is not as widely distributed, nor as tolerant of tough conditions as C. africana. Also, trema leaves tend to be larger and more slender, serrated nearly from the base, and the female flowers and fruits are carried on much shorter stalks than those of C. africana. Furthermore, related exotic species, C. australis (nettle tree), C. sinensis (Chinese hackberry) and Ulmus parvifolia (Chinese elm), are cultivated in gardens in South Africa and do occasionally escape into natural areas where they may be confused with the indigenous species."


Brent

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Re: Styling a Celtis Sinensis as a shohin

Post  -Brent- on Thu Jun 09, 2011 1:29 pm

Here's a species comparison matrix I just found:
http://www.biodiversityexplorer.org/plants/cannabaceae/celtis_trema_id.htm
Using this you can probably figure out which is which.

Do you normally apply your layers in August Gerhard? Personally, I'd wait until after the new buds have extended before applying it. That way, no energy will be lost/diverted to new buds below the layer site, and the upper section will then have some good new foliage to create food for your new roots.

-Brent-
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Re: Styling a Celtis Sinensis as a shohin

Post  GerhardGerber on Fri Jun 10, 2011 11:04 am

Hi Brent

I've tried and failed with one airlayer on an olive, and one slightly late succesful layer on a C Elm this summer past - not something I "normally" do Very Happy , thanks for the tip!
Thanks for that link as well, that'll help!

Cheers
Gerhard

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Re: Styling a Celtis Sinensis as a shohin

Post  bonsaitree on Sat Jun 11, 2011 7:19 am

GerhardGerber wrote:Hi

Terry - Nice material, really really nice! Cool

Thanks Gerhard. Smile

I'm planning to make at least 5 air layers off a C Africana around August from 2-10cm in diameter.

I tried air layering a couple years ago by tightening wire around the bark, then wrapping moss etc in a bag around it. Nothing happened except wire bite!!! I do hear it is supposed to be fairly easy to layer these trees though.... probably just did it at the wrong time.

I have a slight "problem" because this tree has rather thick, rounded leaves, while a local nursery has several different sizes C. Africana for sale with considerably thinner and more lanceolate leaves - any ideas?

Gerhard I do not think you need to worry about this at all. The moment you make it a bonsai and start trimming the twigs back the leaves miniaturize very quickly. If I look at the mother tree from which all my celtis came from as seed it has leaves typical for Celtis. Those that I have actively started to train though are completely different i.r.o their leaf size.

Terry - another unrelated question: I guess you've been to Bishopsford bonsai nursery? Do you have any idea what species those lovely "coffee tree" bonsai are?

I sure do. You can view the photos i took at Gail's here: http://www.bonsaitree.co.za/knowledge/gallery/71-gail-a-lionel-theron.html The species name is a Diospyros whyteana, commonly known as Wild Coffee or Bladder nut. I managed to get a really large one in a sort of broom style. It is 1.3m tall so will be destined to a really large pot and remain as a 'garden tree.' No way I am carting that thing around to shows (after I have improved the styling of course). Take a look: http://www.bonsaitree.co.za/home/62-terry-erasmus/photos/album.html?albumid=94

Regards
Terry

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Re: Styling a Celtis Sinensis as a shohin

Post  GerhardGerber on Tue Jun 14, 2011 12:53 pm

The species name is a Diospyros whyteana, commonly known as Wild Coffee or Bladder nut

Hi Terry

Thanks so much for that bit of info. I assume I'm going to struggle to find this species, but noted for future searches.
These are probably my 2nd favourite bonsai at Bishopsford, especially when they're wet.

I've only been there 3 times, I assume Lionel is the old man I had a few nice chats with, and Gail is the old lady that wanted to chase me out when I hadn't made my mind up by 17:05? LOL Laughing Laughing Laughing

Gerhard I do not think you need to worry about this at all. The moment you make it a bonsai and start trimming the twigs back the leaves miniaturize very quickly

No worries about leaf size, it's pretty thick branches I plan to layer so scale won't be a problem, I'm more worried/interested in the correct identification as the difference in shape, texture etc is just to radical.

BTW, I regularly find trees/plants with incorrect identification at the local nurseries, I believe blame falls on the SA suppliers. Acer and Liquidambars are the favourites to mix up Twisted Evil

Cheers

GerhardGerber
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