Indian Barberry Advice?

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Indian Barberry Advice?

Post  Jesse McMahon on Tue Jan 17, 2012 9:52 pm

This was described to me by the nursery proprietor as 'Indian Barberry'. I have no familiarity with this species, but I liked this little tree and saw potential in it so home it came. It was late in the year, so I opted to let it winter over in its nursery container and thought i might do some initial reductions this winter. Any opinions on styling or horticultural tips would be much appreciated.









The horizontal section of the trunk is about 1" and the visible portion of the nebari is 1 1/2". I can get a larger scale shot of the whole bush if anyone would like, but I figure this needs serious reduction to make a good bonsai. My inclination is to leave the in-focus apex (in the first photo) and remove the one that leans to the right in the second photo. Beyond that, once again opinions and comments are welcome.

J


Last edited by Jesse McMahon on Tue Jan 17, 2012 10:17 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : appropriate titling)

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Re: Indian Barberry Advice?

Post  Orion on Tue Jan 17, 2012 11:48 pm

It almost looks like a berberis thunbergii, but I've never heard of an Indian Barberry before. Assuming they are really close, you would probably train it the same way and that means it'll grow like hell, especially when planted in the ground. It would be an extremely tough plant and they can make an excellent bonsai. I've seen some to where they have a long, trailing almost snake-like base, so you have some really cool options. When it comes to training these things, the branches can be brittle, so they really don't take kindly to extremes in bending; they are more or less just angled down.

Good luck with it and keep us posted on the progress.

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Re: Indian Barberry Advice?

Post  Jesse McMahon on Wed Jan 18, 2012 12:03 am

Thanks Orion! At this point a lot of the growth on this tree is still pretty flexible, so I'm not sure what's going to come out of the makeover session tonight. I've almost got a mind to reduce this tree drastically and wind up under or around 8". (although it might be hard to see or determine where that is with these pictures) The only thing I know to do is to get out the tools in a bit and bring back some pictures. cheers

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Indian Barberry

Post  bonsaisr on Wed Jan 18, 2012 2:46 am

Indian barberry is Berberis aristata. Since it belongs to the same genus, the general information on barberry bonsai probably applies.
Iris

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Re: Indian Barberry Advice?

Post  JimLewis on Wed Jan 18, 2012 2:04 pm

Iris beat me to it. Other Barberry make nice bonsai. I see no reason this won't.

Its branches are going every which way, so you'll want to take it slow in deciding which to remove. From the 2-D picture, I'd suggest starting with those marked in red. I wish I could figure out what was happening at the base. Some pics look decent, but others look very odd.



Bring it by some time.

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Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Indian Barberry Advice?

Post  Jesse McMahon on Wed Jan 18, 2012 10:20 pm

Thanks Iris and Jim!

I took the good advice and started there...and got bolder and bolder as the evening progressed. The total height from the soil is now right at 6". Better angles or specific close ups can be provided if anyone likes. Shocked The only part that I might still remove is that middle section where the two dominant portions diverge. When I get to wiring I'd like to break the flat plane demonstrated in picture 3 by leaning the trunk (relative to the photo position) either left or right of center, bring down the main branches, etc. Let me know what y'all think.









I'd love to come pay a visit some time soon Jim. I'll probably do us both a favor and wait until this cold has run its course, though. No maybe next week?


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Re: Indian Barberry Advice?

Post  JimLewis on Thu Jan 19, 2012 1:54 pm

That's fine, but I don't think I'd do much more on this one right away. See ya. I think we're expecting a LOT of rain this weekend.

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Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Indian Barberry Advice?

Post  Todd Ellis on Thu Jan 19, 2012 3:28 pm

My favorite view of this tree is in the last picture where there is more movement and texture. I like this tree.

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Re: Indian Barberry Advice?

Post  Jesse McMahon on Fri Jan 20, 2012 7:19 pm

Thanks for the feedback, fellas.

Todd-I think that's pretty close to what I'm seeing as the front of the tree. Still a long way to go, but that definitely has the most 'oomph' at this point. I'll be interested to see how that middle piece looks as it fills in this spring. Could wind up being too much in the overall design but I think it'll be good for the health of the tree in the meantime.

Jim-So is that last to say 'no wire this season'? And I agree...looks like cloudy skies coming in at this very moment. may be a good weekend for naps. Sleep

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Re: Indian Barberry Advice?

Post  RKatzin on Fri Jan 20, 2012 10:04 pm

HI all, hoping to get some claification on something about Berbis in general, I don't recall where I picked this up, that Berbis bark does not heal over well and that care should be used when removing branches, a short stump should be left and this treated as deadwood. I have several berbis I've yet to begin work on so if there's any truth to this I'd like to know before I tear into them. Thanks

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Re: Indian Barberry Advice?

Post  Orion on Sat Jan 21, 2012 2:06 am

RKatzin wrote:HI all, hoping to get some claification on something about Berbis in general, I don't recall where I picked this up, that Berbis bark does not heal over well and that care should be used when removing branches, a short stump should be left and this treated as deadwood. I have several berbis I've yet to begin work on so if there's any truth to this I'd like to know before I tear into them. Thanks

Yes, they are lousy at healing, if really at all. Most I've seen and worked with have deadwood features either as carving the stumps or hollowing them out; it usually turns out very nice.

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