Brazilian Raintree Flat-top Progression. Lots of Pictures - please wait to load

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Re: Brazilian Raintree Flat-top Progression. Lots of Pictures - please wait to load

Post  Victorghirotto on Tue Dec 18, 2012 2:06 pm

Wow!!! VERY nice work!! I'm new to the bonsai art, yet i have 53 of this lovely tree! 3 of the 53 are older, and the 50 are seedlings, with some months old. I have collected seeds from a C. tortum near my neighboorhood, and i sowed them all!

Good luck with your C. tortum! he's doing very well!

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Re: Brazilian Raintree Flat-top Progression. Lots of Pictures - please wait to load

Post  Paul Stokes on Tue Dec 18, 2012 2:21 pm

I love seeing progression and seeing what can happen with a bit of patience.

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The saga continues

Post  Sam Ogranaja on Tue May 21, 2013 8:38 pm

I had a little bit of time today for repotting and recently I came across a GREAT slab that I could use for the tree. I think the lower right branch will be removed in the future but I'm keeping it for now. Still needs a lot of development.





Sorry for the poor photos but it's the best I could do in the short time frame.

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Reply with quote The saga continues

Post  vanxeng on Fri Jan 10, 2014 4:58 am

Hi my friends!
I like the style you have been doing for this kind of tree. I think this style is most typical for this tree.
Thanks and continue looking for your update!

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Re: Brazilian Raintree Flat-top Progression. Lots of Pictures - please wait to load

Post  rck89 on Sun Aug 31, 2014 11:06 am

Interesting design...any more recent photos?

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Re: Brazilian Raintree Flat-top Progression. Lots of Pictures - please wait to load

Post  DougB on Sun Aug 31, 2014 4:48 pm

I agree, updates would be great. Have you shown this tree yet. (State Fair is coming up soon, time now to register.)

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Re: Brazilian Raintree Flat-top Progression. Lots of Pictures - please wait to load

Post  Precarious on Wed Sep 03, 2014 4:34 pm

I've enjoyed your BRT evolution photos and am frankly amazed at the speed of growth- some of that is climate, but skill must account for quite a bit. I am wondering about the bottom branch you pulled down (on the right in your most recent post). In lowering it you've also straightened it, and it seems to have been an overall negative result. Do you have other plans for that branch? -forgive me if I am off track.

I've not tried it on a BRT branch so large, but is it possible to wire it and put some curve to it?

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Re: Brazilian Raintree Flat-top Progression. Lots of Pictures - please wait to load

Post  Sam Ogranaja on Wed Sep 03, 2014 4:59 pm

Thank you all!!! It's great to share this journey with you.

I'll post a photo update soon.

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Re: Brazilian Raintree Flat-top Progression. Lots of Pictures - please wait to load

Post  Sam Ogranaja on Wed Sep 03, 2014 5:23 pm

Precarious wrote:I've enjoyed your BRT evolution photos and am frankly amazed at the speed of growth- some of that is climate, but skill must account for quite a bit.  I am wondering about the bottom branch you pulled down (on the right in your most recent post).  In lowering it you've also straightened it, and it seems to have been an overall negative result.  Do you have other plans for that branch?  -forgive me if I am off track.

I've not tried it on a BRT branch so large, but is it possible to wire it and put some curve to it?

Thank you for the compliment!!! I have a greenhouse and feed much more than most people. The trunk has changed a bit; gotten a little bigger but mostly more contorted. The big thing I've done is let it run. If a branch is in the right place, I've noticed that letting it run doesn't ruin my design, it does increase width but not by a crazy amount. The right side is still very unbalanced and desperately needs to catch up with the left for the design to work; for my taste anyway. So while the left side is only allowed to run about six inches or so depending on what branch it comes off of, the right side is loosely wired into place and allowed to run a foot or maybe even more. I do the same thing for the left side if I need more thickness. I've cut this tree back about 3 times so far this year and it was defoliated in late May.

That particular branch is going away. Brazilian Raintree will die back on you if you don't cut to a node. I learned this the hard way on the roots which are just finally starting to heal over. It'll probably still take another few years for them to fully heal. You can see the wound in my pictures down by the nebari. I'm much more careful now. It was wired down to simply give more space and sun for the remaining branches while still helping the right side get a little bigger. That was my thinking anyway, which may have been wrong. The left side has more branches and better ramification. I thought that not doing this, the left side would pull more nutrients and would in the end leave me with an unbalanced tree.

I've cut it back to the first node, about a third of the length in the previous pictures and will wait until next year to remove completely. If any growth starts on that branch, I'll rub the buds off. You'll be able to see it in the new pictures.

I'm not sure if you can bend them when they're that large. Mine was fairly flexible (about pencil thickness) but bending it enough to put curves on it, I think would be tough. They have very thin cambium which can be easily damaged by heavy wire. It may be easier to cut to a node, wire the new soft shoot into place and get curves that way. I'm developing a seedling and that's what I have to wire to create the trunk line.

Show us a picture of yours.

Have a great week!!!
Sam

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Re: Brazilian Raintree Flat-top Progression. Lots of Pictures - please wait to load

Post  Precarious on Thu Sep 04, 2014 2:39 am

As asked, here is a picture of my BRT.  It has been in training twice as long as yours, and is yet not nearly as developed.  It spends nearly 7 Neutral  months in my basement under T5 growlights.  In warm weather it gets approx 4 hrs direct sun in the morning, then shade after 1pm.  The wired branch curving down is where I hope to let it grow and thicken then cut off to create a jin, as if giraffes stripped it of both leaves and bark.  I don't know how the wood will take to that, but we'll see.  About 1 week ago I pruned it heavily and repotted it- it had been in a training pot until now.
" />

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Re: Brazilian Raintree Flat-top Progression. Lots of Pictures - please wait to load

Post  Sam Ogranaja on Thu Sep 04, 2014 3:10 am

Ship it to me. I'll keep it for you for a year and then I'll ship it back to you twice as thick(ish) Smile

I think you've got a great start there. What's your soil mixture and fertilizing schedule?

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Re: Brazilian Raintree Flat-top Progression. Lots of Pictures - please wait to load

Post  Precarious on Thu Sep 04, 2014 12:18 pm

Better yet, I will bring it to you and... well... as long as I'm there... Go to the beach!

Thanks for the encouragement. My soil is 50/50 #1 chicken grit(smallest) and Soil Pep(sifted pine bark). I use Bonsai Pro as directed with each watering all year long. I use fish emulsion fertilizer once/month when outside for the warm months. Does this seem adequate?

Have you ever tried jins with BRT?

Please, any further critique/suggestions are welcome. I have been learning horticulture and this art for only eight years. There is so much to learn!

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Re: Brazilian Raintree Flat-top Progression. Lots of Pictures - please wait to load

Post  LanceMac10 on Thu Sep 04, 2014 6:30 pm

Hey, fellow BRT growers!! This will be my initial post after "lurking" on the site for several years. Sorry that I can't lay out my "mission statement" at the moment as I am at work and apologies for the juvenile avatar. Hopefully at some point I will be able to figure out how to post photos and the like, but honestly, I could be generously called "Computer Caveman" for all my expertise with these shiny devices!! I'll give you some of my experiences with this species. Sited on a marble slab adjacent to the pool in the backyard, my BRT is in full, glorious sun all day, as much as I can find it. It's a tropical species, why shade it. Temperatures on the slab have exceeded 105 degrees, (questionable digital thermometer aside)!! Surely the leaves reflex from the slight stress, but this tree has not missed a beat. Real strong grower. Of course watering daily, sometimes twice in high-summer, is required. The soil mix, if I recall, is a mix of turface, pine bark, grit, lava, sheesh, maybe even a little potting soil. Next summer I'll move away slightly from organic contents at repot. In regards to "Bonsai Pro" added to every watering, how often do you water? It would seem to be a bit overkill to feed at each watering, if in fact it is a fert. Perhaps you could use an organic, pelletized, surface fert for a constant, graduated feed? I have had good results with such products, supplemented every couple of weeks with tomato fert. BRT are hungry, and enjoy an abundance of nutrients. A good fish/kelp emulsion has shone great efficacy as well. If you don't mind the odor, and more than frequent visits from our various fury friends!! You could probably use that weekly if you were so inclined. Its fairly mild, even in somewhat large doses. As for that front branch? There are a preponderance of branches coming out of one small area right there, too many. In the future, if you let your branches run, that area will become swollen. This would ruin any taper and maybe look strange. And I don't think a "jin" would look good. That stuff is for conifers, not tropical. And as Sam mentioned, this material has die-back issues. As in a nasty dirty brown orange color wherever it has perished. That branch is right in front, if you let it go long, the resultant cut could look nasty. As for cutting unwanted branches, try to leave a bit of a stub and round it off at the cut point. Concave cutters leave an unsightly die-back issue. Use some cutpaste immediately, it helps a little.

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Re: Brazilian Raintree Flat-top Progression. Lots of Pictures - please wait to load

Post  Precarious on Thu Sep 04, 2014 8:44 pm

Thanks, Lance. Reverse taper is very unsightly to me, and I see what you are saying. This could be worrisome, and I will have to think about what could be done. The trees develop wth a 'muscular' trunk. This can add to the sense of disproportion, or reverse taper. Does that muscular sort of uneven development fade as the trunk matures, or once there always there?

From what you are saying, I could definitely give my BRT more sun. You say yours is on a slab (would like to see pictures by the way)? How much/how deep is the soil?

As to Bonsai Pro, it is diluted considerably for daily use- 1/4 tsp in a gallon of water during the growing season. It is safe for foliar feeding, and it may be my imagination but the green on my plants seem much healthier as a general rule since I've started using it. I'm not averse to adding granular or cakes.

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Re: Brazilian Raintree Flat-top Progression. Lots of Pictures - please wait to load

Post  LanceMac10 on Thu Sep 04, 2014 9:36 pm

It's actually in a pot, sitting on a slab of marble. The marble slab is from a group of three procured from a local stone monument dealer. Marble slabs that were in fact rejected for use at Arlington National Cemetery because the "marbling" had too much black in it. They make for a nice spot to cite trees on. Once I figure out how to post photos, will do so. Taper issues are common with this species I believe. I'm not growing it in the "Pierneef" style, more like a broad, spreading maple. Sadly, the base lags far behind the branches in development, creating a bit of a precarious look. Over the next few repots, I hope to remove fine surface roots, down to the "true" base of the tree and hope there is a little more basal flair. The "muscular" look to the trunk and branches just gets better and better over time. Definitely read thru whatever Sam posts on his experience with this species, as he is having success. I believe he worked this tree a bit with Erik Wiegert, a well known grower down in Florida. And if I'm not mistaken, actually "wintered" the tree with Mr. Wiegert for a time. Sam's tree has a great foundation in place and I'm sure in a few years it will really begin to show results of his hard work. If there is a tree out there that can look good in the "Pierneef" style, it's the BRT!! As it is in a pot and not a slab, the pot dimensions include a width of 14 inches by 12 with a little over 4 inches of depth. It's shoe-horned in there pretty good and I had to mound the soil to cover the superficial, fine surface roots. Sam is correct in suggesting root-work should be a gradual, thoughtful process. Lots of fert, lots of sun and lots of water will reward you with lots of growth and relaxing Sunday pruning almost weekly during the growing season!!

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Re: Brazilian Raintree Flat-top Progression. Lots of Pictures - please wait to load

Post  Sam Ogranaja on Thu Sep 04, 2014 11:16 pm

I need to add another picture but here is the progression since I've had it. I'll add more pictures as soon as I can snap some.

Lance is right. This was down at Wigert's for a year and a half. I think the BRT is a great tree. It doesn't really shine in most shows since they're mostly indoors but in this way, I guess they were made to truly please their owners Smile

Mine is on a slab now. No more than 2.5 inches tall by 17-20 inches wide, maybe more. I stopped liking the slab about 3 months after I started using it. I'm not sure what it's going in next year.

Jan 2012

March 2012

May 2012

May 2013

Oct 2013

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Post  Precarious on Thu Sep 04, 2014 11:48 pm

Thank you Lance and Sam both. Sam, I didn't notice until now, but it looks like you cut a couple large branches off the primary branches close to the trunk. If it is not too much trouble, could you explain the process? They look as if they've healed nicely.

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Re: Brazilian Raintree Flat-top Progression. Lots of Pictures - please wait to load

Post  Sam Ogranaja on Fri Sep 05, 2014 12:13 am

Reverse taper is very common with these guys. I personally think that with the proper techniques and growing them slow, these trees won't get reverse taper. I saw a monster sized one at the Kennett sale, maybe 4 feet tall and it didn't have reverse taper. Also, Budi Sulistyo has a FANTASTIC BRT and it doesn't have reverse taper on it.

The roots on most every single BRT I've seen...........umm...............suck. They're just not worked for proper roots when the cuttings are taken. It can be very difficult to find one with good nebari. Mine has the most radiating root base I've personally seen and it's still lacking some roots in the back. I've put some sphagnum moss back there to help create some and it appears to be working. I finally see some tiny roots back there that need nurturing. Budi has done a great job with his and has written an article on the development of that BRT. But with that said, is nebari that important? I think so, but Eriks huge Flat Top Raintree is EXTREMELY striking and its roots are very lacking. I think it has 3, maybe, at best. And the young BRTs sell very well even without a radial nebari so it's not likely to change soon.

Precarious, it's great that you're feeding at every watering. I think that has really helped your tree. I feed mine closer to what Lance is talking about. I put Osmocote on it in early Spring, and then I'll keep adding to it over and over and over again until it's falling off the sides at about every couple weeks. I think I'm going to switch to cottonseed meal in tea bags but I still need to do some more research. I'd like to slow the growth down a little. Even if I don't switch, it's all going in tea bags next year. I find Osmocote unsightly.

The fluting and flattening of the trunk can and usually does change with age. I've seen Eriks about every year for the past 7 years and it's trunk is always changing.

Mine is in full sun. Leaves usually close on the hottest part of the day.

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Re: Brazilian Raintree Flat-top Progression. Lots of Pictures - please wait to load

Post  Sam Ogranaja on Fri Sep 05, 2014 12:20 am

Precarious wrote:Thank you Lance and Sam both.  Sam, I didn't notice until now, but it looks like you cut a couple large branches off the primary branches close to the trunk.  If it is not too much trouble, could you explain the process?  They look as if they've healed nicely.

If you look on the first page, the 5th and 6th images will show you the "nubs". They were cut to where you see and cleaned up once the remaining branches started taking off.

That little round thing in the front of the trunk was actually never a branch. That's just the trunk flattening and fluting.

Let me know if that doesn't answer your question Smile

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Re: Brazilian Raintree Flat-top Progression. Lots of Pictures - please wait to load

Post  Precarious on Fri Sep 05, 2014 12:23 am

oh I see. Thx!

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Re: Brazilian Raintree Flat-top Progression. Lots of Pictures - please wait to load

Post  LanceMac10 on Fri Sep 05, 2014 2:07 am

Defoliation is also an effective technique to apply on BRTs. That's another tip I've gleaned from Sam's posts. As well as thru my own experiences. That, and tree will just drop it's leaves during the "transfer season"(fall+spring)! At least this way you get a controlled, one day, strategically placed mess. This is apposed to a steady leaf fall of unsightly, yellow flotsam+jetsam for a few weeks. Just make sure the are some buds further back on the branch ready to replace the missing foliage. In a few weeks, they should show some movement. Depending on the tree's vigor, I believe you could defoliate more than once during the growing season. As far as winter care goes, I don't have a dedicated light setup for it, but I do have a substantially sized, (roughly 10x5)southern-facing window. It supply's enough light, I guess, to make it thru winter. Tough trees. I leave it out as long as possible in the fall, they seem to handle a chill just fine. I'm hoping to get deep into October before it needs to come in. I was able to bring it outdoors a couple years ago in early March!! Did I say tough trees...?

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Re: Brazilian Raintree Flat-top Progression. Lots of Pictures - please wait to load

Post  Sam Ogranaja on Fri Sep 05, 2014 2:16 am

DougB wrote:I agree, updates would be great.  Have you shown this tree yet. (State Fair is coming up soon, time now to register.)

Sorry Doug, I just realized I never answered your question. I took it to our Raulston show a couple of years ago because every member is supposed to show something. I'm unhappy where it is and won't show it again until it's much further along.

I'd like to show it at the Fair next whenever it's ready. Probably in a few years, it'll have enough ramification for it to look good. Keeping fingers crossed for a better winter than what we had last year. That was brutal!!!

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Re: Brazilian Raintree Flat-top Progression. Lots of Pictures - please wait to load

Post  Sam Ogranaja on Fri Sep 05, 2014 2:21 am

Lance is right. These guys respond very well to defoliation as long as they're healthy but they are very forgiving trees. I'm lucky to have a small greenhouse. This guy did very poorly in my huge south window. It looked like hell all winter until I got the greenhouse.

I keep mine out as long as possible as well.

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Re: Brazilian Raintree Flat-top Progression. Lots of Pictures - please wait to load

Post  Precarious on Fri Sep 05, 2014 2:33 pm

I have a lot of work to do on my BRT, but you guys, Lance and Sam, have been very helpful. Thanks a lot!

David

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Re: Brazilian Raintree Flat-top Progression. Lots of Pictures - please wait to load

Post  Sam Ogranaja on Tue Jan 13, 2015 5:14 am

I did a program last weekend at my club offering free professional photography to our members. Not many trees came out but since I was doing a full lighting setup I brought this guy along to take a picture of it for you guys. Here you go.

Seeing the tree like this is a great way to show you just what it's missing. Ramification man, ramification Smile

I plan on repotting this Spring into something that doesn't weigh as much as a 1970 Super Beetle. I'll keep you posted.




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