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  Precarious on Tue Jan 13, 2015 5:25 am

It looks like you have removed the lowest branch on the right. It was pretty straight, is that why? Do you plan to keep this the current height approximately, or will you let it get taller in the ramification process? I really like your tree!

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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 5:53 am

Thanks David!!!

It was a sacrifice branch that was going to be removed in stages. There's still a nub there in an attempt to avoid die-back. My initial thought was that maybe it would be included in the design and the more I looked at it, the less I liked it. Eventually it was being used as a sacrifice branch to help pull sap and add to the fluting, then wired down to give more space to the other branches and then it got shorter and shorter.

You hit it on the head. I want the ramification above all the branches that are currently there. I think it'll help the illusion of age plus a lot of the African Acacias in the bush actually look that way. I'm not sure how much higher, maybe an inch or 2 max.

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

Post  kevin stoeveken on Tue Jan 13, 2015 3:21 pm

sam - glad to see that mine is not the only one that has the winter blahs re: foliage.

did you defoliate it or did it just drop all of its leaves ?

this is my first winter with mine and i keep it in a protruding, south facing garden window...
it is not as bare as yours, but definitely has lost plenty of foliage
(which i quickly learned not to panic about with some of my other tropicals)

i know we are a full 2 zones apart, but would still like to hear your thoughts on how you winter yours, how it responds to that and how it reacts in spring... also if you do any sort of work on it in the winter.

thanks
kevin

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

Post  Precarious on Tue Jan 13, 2015 3:55 pm

I'll just throw my 2 cents in since we are in similar zones. Under the older fluorescent grow lights(T12), even with 50% humidity, my BRT lost a lot of leaves thru the winter. When I switched to T5 fluorescent grow lights, hung them to within a few inches of my trees and added a fan for circulation, I lost only a small percentage of foliage. (Also made a big difference for my fukien tea, which loves lots of light).

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

Post  DougB on Tue Jan 13, 2015 4:16 pm

Thanks Sam for your presentation on photographing bonsai. It was well done and helpful. Sorry the rest of you missed it.

And Sam though the picture is exceptional, Folks the tree is much, much more impressive in person. Well done Sam and hope to have you talk more about it, perhaps a presentation on BRTs.

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

Post  Sam Ogranaja on Wed Jan 14, 2015 1:06 am

Thank you everyone!!!

Doug, I'm glad you enjoyed it and it was great seeing you again there and here. I just need to remember to slow down a bit but to my defense Harold had told me "You've got 20 minutes, kid," Smile Thank you for the kind words!!!! I can't wait to add some more ramification. Once that's done it should actually be a very believable tree.

Kevin, I have a small heated greenhouse. It's nothing special with a very tiny space heater. It can get pretty chilly in there although I haven't seen how low it can go. Last year we hit 8°F-9°F and I didn't lose anything in the greenhouse; some things (namely a big bougie) was looking quite sorry.

This tree moves so fast in the growing season you can damn near see the thing grow. I feed very heavily though. It seems to lag after repotting for a few weeks but again, it just explodes as soon as the leaves pop. It did sulk when I had it indoors (my south window wasn't good enough) always dropping leaves until leafless and wouldn't push out for a while. I think the Brazilian Raintree is one tree that everyone should have; it's very gratifying.

I defoliated this one about 3 weeks ago thinking that it would have popped by now with some nice tiny leaves but I guess I missed it by a week or so. All the buds are swollen and ready to push and 1 bud has pushed out. Once it leafs out, it'll stay growing in the greenhouse through Winter without dropping many leaves if any. The only odd thing is if we get a huge snap and last years cold snap took a lot of leaves off but no branches.

Hope that helps. Don't hesitate to ask more questions.

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

Post  kevin stoeveken on Wed Jan 14, 2015 3:14 am

thanks sam !!!
so they can take a winter defoliation then, huh ?
what do you think about a winter cut-back... ?
(i'm basically trying to figure out what i can get away with in the winter on some of my trees to avoid the spring rush Laughing )

and again, i will keep in mind our different conditions
during the winter mine gets to a minimum of 50f at night and up to 70ish when the sun is on the garden window...

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

Post  Sam Ogranaja on Wed Jan 14, 2015 4:19 am

Hey Kevin,

I defoliated only to induce new leaves for the upcoming photo session. I thought if the tree could have a fresh crop, it might look better in the photo.

I normally wouldn't defoliate but it's been potted since May of 13, this tree is extremely strong and had a whole fresh crop of buds everywhere so I knew it'd be safe to do so. Adam Lavigne in Florida wrote a post about it and he doesn't recommend it either even though he did so (link below).

http://adamaskwhy.com/2013/12/28/its-almost-december-31st-seems-like-a-good-time-to-defoliate-a-brazilian-raintree-right/

All that to say if your tree is strong and has buds throughout, I'd defoliate as well in my area. I honestly don't know your weather there though. We expect to warm up in March with last frost date (argued) around 4/23. As soon as my new leaves pop fully, it'll grow unstopped until late April unless it's taking up too much space in the greenhouse then it'll get a haircut Smile

I'll repot in May or June. Hopefully I'll have a pot, I really don't like the slab.

How many Raintrees do you have?

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

Post  kevin stoeveken on Wed Jan 14, 2015 12:18 pm

just the one... i am heading off to sunny florida for a week (will be hitting wigerts for sure),
but when i get back i can post a picture of mine if i dont forget...

from what you said, i believe i should hold off on doing much now,
but perhaps i can start a little closer to spring than i had originally thought.

and speaking of pictures, i for one, would certainly benefit from a post with some generalized tips on photographing bonsai.
that is, if you find the time, do not mind and have the inclination !!! Wink

i seem to struggle with lighting the most, but i reckon that unless i have supplemental light apart from an off-board flash, then the best time to use available light would be late in the day or early in the a.m.

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Post  LanceMac10 on Wed Jan 14, 2015 3:28 pm

Hey Kevin, can anyone else chime in? Or are you specifically interested in Sam's take? And Sam, how tall is your fine tree? 20-25 inches?

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

Post  Sam Ogranaja on Wed Jan 14, 2015 3:35 pm

Please do. Make sure you get a picture of his big flat-top raintree for me Smile

My angle was if you have more than 1 you can always experiment to see what your growing conditions can create. I have 3, this one, a small cascade cutting (off this flat-top) and a "broom form" seedling that I'm going to make into a large tree.

I'll put together a program and start a thread. Lighting is the killer. In my photos there are 3 studio strobes with a 4th on standby that we didn't use. The key light was 750W and the 2 fill lights from the side were 600W each. All lights at full power, camera was D750 at f18, ISO 100 at 1/125. These ridiculously high settings were required for the Depth Of Field.

I'll do some work on my end and keep you updated Smile

Have a great trip!!!!
Sam

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

Post  Sam Ogranaja on Wed Jan 14, 2015 3:36 pm

LanceMac10 wrote:Hey Kevin, can anyone else chime in? Or are you specifically interested in Sam's take? And Sam, how tall is your fine tree? 20-25 inches?

Please do chime in Lance.

I actually haven't measured it. I'll drop a tape on it tonight. I'm thinking 20" max

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

Post  kevin stoeveken on Wed Jan 14, 2015 4:30 pm

thanks sam !
and i'll try to remember the pic of eric's brt

and sheeee-it, lance, of course you can throw your 2 centavos in !
but now i might not see it for a day or 2

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Post  LanceMac10 on Wed Jan 14, 2015 4:43 pm

I had to bring my Raintrees in earlier than I liked, around the end of September. I cycle home for lunch and noticed the leaves would still be closed until 12:30, 1:00 o'clock. A little cooler weather than normal suggested the trees were a little stressed so I brought them in. No T-5s for the 25", but the little two trunk get's tucked under a T-5 with my small ficus'. I only defoliate to beat the inevitable leaf-drop when the tree is brought in for the winter. I'll usually wait a coupleafew weeks until the tree acclimates to leaf-prune.
Nothing was done on the smaller tree under the lights. It still dropped some leaves and slowed growth for a few weeks. About a month and a half ago, it really took off (and still crankin'!). It's already been cut back twice (only so much room!). I'll feed any indoor tree in the winter if it shows signs of growth. So, yes, my living room can be a little odorous!!! My old-lady isn't a fan, but we've got a 21 month old son, (don't laugh) whom always smells like pooh. What's the diff ? I also use liquid fert once or twice a month in addition to the granular fert from Bonsai West here in the USA.
The larger one was defoliated after observing lots of fresh buds behind the fading growth. Sam's right, make sure you have those before you do any leaf-pruning. I was expecting to wait 3-4 weeks to see some movement. Well....uhhhh...it took all of EIGHT WEEKS.....uhhhh.....panic.....remain calm...I pulled back on the water, maybe once a week or every 5th or 6th day. All the while watching latent buds to see if they stayed a "Hey, I'm still alive here!" green. My normal routine then consists of adding granular fert in addition to beginning a liquid fert regimen. Upped watering to twice a week about two weeks ago. Buds FINALLY started to swell around the same time. PHEW....did I say tough trees ? Really picking up steam now, fat buds poppin' all over. YIPPEEEE!!!!!


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Post  JudyB on Wed Jan 14, 2015 10:29 pm

I have a BRT that I keep inside the house to overwinter. In a south facing window, with ordinary shop florescent fixture above. I've never had it defoliate, and it normally grows steadily all winter. I feed it low dose liquid fert every watering all winter long. Sometimes it'll have a growth spurt, and put on as much as 6" in a couple weeks. Other times it seems to just rest. It enjoys it's water! That's the only time I've seen it sulk is when it gets dryish.

I like your tree Sam it's very nice.

I'd love to see you put up a thread on photog. as I'm still trying to learn how to photograph my trees well.

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Post  LanceMac10 on Thu Jan 15, 2015 8:53 pm

Hey Sam, removing that low branch on the viewer's right really cleans up the image. Great photography as well, really nice presentation.

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

Post  kevin stoeveken on Fri Jan 23, 2015 12:18 am

well sam, as embarrassed as i am to post these, here you go...
(disclaimer: i only had my pea-shooter, it was cloudy day and absolutely no way to get a clean shot w/o a cluttered background)







and a couple of up-skirts Rolling Eyes





again, appy polly loggies for the lack of quality, but i am sure you have seen good pictures of this and were curious about it's current state of affairs... per erik and andrea, it is awaiting a new slab after it grows a while in the deep pot for further development...

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

Post  Sam Ogranaja on Fri Jan 23, 2015 5:56 pm

Thanks Kevin!!! It's amazing how much that tree has changed over the past 5-6 years.

I use it as a what to do and actually what not to do. The more I study it the more I love some things and would change others.

The beauty of bonsai is in the difference in different artists Smile

What did you think of it?

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

Post  kevin stoeveken on Fri Jan 23, 2015 8:12 pm

it was kind-of funny because i was picking out a few trees before allowing my self the leisure of perusing the specimen trees, but my mom kept finding me to say i gotta go check out this one super cool tree... my mom, who has only a passing interest in what is keeping me off the streets, kept bugging me to see it... and sure enough, it was the BRT that had her worked up into such a senior lather  Laughing

as far as what i thought of it...?
well the canopy was impressive and the trunk of course had nice musculature...
i kind of think that the smaller tree is at odds with the larger one though (only in movement)
and the main tree almost had some reverse taper going along with some unappealing bulging
(but i think thats just what you get with a BRT)

i think the last couple things i mentioned might be why it is off the slab and back in a pot...
hopefully to improve the base and bring it in line with the rest of the tree.

but thats only my opinion...

still though, all in all, a very impressive tree !

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

Post  Leo Schordje on Sun Jan 25, 2015 7:49 pm

I haven't seen the Wigert BRT in person, but have seen photos over the last decade or two. There is a phases of development for bonsai, from nursery stock to pre-bonsai (or freshly collected yamadori). Then these both yamadori and nursery material move from the pre-bonsai state to bonsai, they become exhibit worthy. Most spend decades in this phase, some of the Japanese species may spend half a century or more in the exhibit worthy phase. Then at some point they all enter a phase of "post-maturity", in Japan this is when a tree that may have been a Kofukuten winner 2 decades earlier, finds its way into the hands of an artist like Kimura, and then it undergoes a radical restyling. I suspect the Wigert BRT is approaching this phase. Because BRT grows so rapidly, it may have arrived there a century earlier than say a JWP, but I think this tree has matured beyond the style it is currently in. It will be interesting to see what it becomes in the future.

If the Wigert's BRT were mine, I would consider a massive restyling. But having never seen it in person, I could be wrong. It does have the key features of age, there is no substitute for time. A venerable worthy tree. How to show it to its best?

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

Post  Sam Ogranaja on Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:16 pm

Great response Leo and really my only beef with Erik's tree. Reverse taper is super common so that doesn't bother me at all. And, I also agree with Kevin's wife. I've been there multiple times when non bonsai artists go nuts over the tree; it's very stately and extremely striking. Hands down one of my favorite trees. If you look at Luis Nel's (RIP) Buddleja Saligna in the Pierneef style, that's more of what I'd like to see on mine and what I'm striving for. Time will tell if it can be done but it might be that the Raintree can't hold that shape. I'd be happy if mine looked like Erik's but I would prefer some separation between the foliage.

If we could just figure out how to move a tree from pre-bonsai to bonsai, I think we in the US could advance a great deal.

Have a great week!!!
Sam

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

Post  deepbonsai on Sun Mar 15, 2015 7:13 pm

hey Sam awesome tree and post love the way it looks. I was wondering if I could ask you a few questions. I've only been in the world of bonsai for 6 months and I'm still learning. an I recently received a Brazilian rain tree. do you know of any good websites or books that cover this tree beyond the basic info. an my biggest question is pruning and styling like how does react to being cut does it branch out Into  two new branches form the original cut. ect....  
thanks alot I know i'm asking a lot of questions
Thanks Brandon

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

Post  Sam Ogranaja on Mon Mar 16, 2015 4:13 am

You're not asking too many. Ask more if you need to Smile

As far as books, I actually can't help you there because I don't know. Wigerts Bonsai sells the Tropical Green Sheets and I've heard they're good but I haven't read them myself. BRT's are actually very easy to grow. Mine prefer to be on the moist side but not sopping wet.

They don't bifurcate the way maples do. Basically, get a branch, set it in position and then let it elongate to get some girth. Don't let it get too thick though because the other branches after it will also add to the thickness. The bark is very thin so be careful with wiring, don't let it bite in.
Once the branch is the right width if you don't have a secondary branch where you need it you'll have to cut the branch back to get it to induce budding. You then let that bud elongate so it can eventually turn into a branch. It sounds complex but it really isn't, these trees back-bud like crazy. Wire them in place and repeat the process Smile

Have a great week!
Sam

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

Post  deepbonsai on Mon Mar 16, 2015 12:18 pm

sweet great info. now I'm just waiting for things to warm up. you say get a branch, set it in position and then let it elongate to get some girth. Don't let it get too thick though because the other branches after it will also add to the thickness. how do you stop it from getting thicker?
thanks brandon

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Post  DougB on Mon Mar 16, 2015 2:48 pm

Kevin in response to your asking for photo-ing information. Sam along with one of, if not the primer bonsai photographers has posted an article on the Triangle Bonsai Society web site. Check it out. Sam's how to photograph article

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