crape myrtle

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crape myrtle

Post  Russell Coker on Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:13 pm


This little crape myrtle is a dwarf seedling of I'm guessing 'Natchez', found years ago by a former member of our club. I always thought it was a great little tree and guilded him through its development when he'd bring it to meetings or shows. When he decided to get out of bonsai a few years ago he offered it to me and I jumped on it!

I'll wire it in the fall, but here it is after the first trimmimg of the year. It doesn't produce long shoots and I've never seen it attempt to flower.


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Re: crape myrtle

Post  Tom Simonyi on Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:27 pm

Great find, Russell...good luck with it....I am very fond of this species....attached is one that I am in the process of acquiring....I am very much looking forward to working with it.

Regards,
Tom

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Re: crape myrtle

Post  coh on Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:50 pm

Ya done good, Russell! That tree has a beautiful design...very "natural" and unforced looking.

My usual question - about what size is the tree?

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Re: crape myrtle

Post  Russell Coker on Wed Apr 18, 2012 3:16 pm



Sorry about that. It's 15 inches tall and almost 30 inches wide. If I hadn't measured it with a yard stick I would have guessed half that size. It was smaller when I got it a few years back. There was a VERY old crape where I lived in Kanuma, and this one always reminds me of it.

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Re: crape myrtle

Post  Russell Coker on Wed Apr 18, 2012 3:18 pm

Tom Simonyi wrote:Great find, Russell...good luck with it....I am very fond of this species....attached is one that I am in the process of acquiring....I am very much looking forward to working with it.

Regards,
Tom


This really reminds me of the old crapes I see all over town. Nice find! Do you know the variety?

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Re: crape myrtle

Post  Tom Simonyi on Wed Apr 18, 2012 3:27 pm

Sorry, Russell, I do not know the cultivar as this point in time....I will let you know, however.
Thanks for the kind words.
Tom

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Re: crape myrtle

Post  EdMerc on Wed Apr 18, 2012 5:04 pm

That's a really good looking crape. I love the natural shape of it.

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Re: crape myrtle

Post  lordy on Wed Apr 18, 2012 11:31 pm

A very beautifully delicate looking tree there Russell, but I have a question. This is not intended to sound how it will sound, but why do you keep the branches so long, when all you see on websites about bonsai constantly preach about tighten it, force growth back, the overall spread should be 'x' vs. trunk diameter, etc. I find myself looking at your tree and thinking the branches should be shorter. Again, I am not passing judgement on your work or this tree at all, just trying to understand various techniques and styles and reasons things are done. Thanks~

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Re: crape myrtle

Post  Russell Coker on Thu Apr 19, 2012 2:28 am



Those are really good points, and I ask myself the same thing... so where to start????

There are a lot of cookie-cutter formulas concerning the height/width proportions for bonsai. Obviously, they are guides, and not much else. This tree, even as a much younger and smaller plant, never looked like that. It's just not the way it grows. If I planted it in the ground and ignored it for 5 years, I'd return to find a bigger version of what I have now. At this point, if I were to REALLY cut it back hard (and I have considered it), I don't think I'd really gain very much. It's never been wired, except for some minor changes by me a couple of years ago, so what you see is me just working with what it wants to do.

This tree is 180 degrees from the one Tom shared. And like I said to him, his looks like the old crapes I see around Mobile. Mobile is an old city (by American standards), and there are some OLD crapes here. But they aren't old compared to the giant I saw everyday in Japan for 3 years. I'll see if I can find a picture. It was a single trunk for the first 3 feet, then broke into 3 "branches" that spread out and up forming a low but broad live oak-like canopy. The kind of tree that was perfect for climbing when we were kids. So, when I think back of that tree, I can't bring myself to do anything drastic to this one. It is what it is, and it make me happy.

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Re: crape myrtle

Post  Jerry Meislik on Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:15 am

Russell,
Great, natural and delicate feel to the tree. Shortening proportions would change that feel.
As the artist you get to decide how it will be presented.
No right, no wrong.
Just express yourself and the tree.
Keep up the great work.
Jerry

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Re: crape myrtle

Post  Zach Smith on Thu Apr 19, 2012 11:52 am

Russell Coker wrote:
This little crape myrtle is a dwarf seedling of I'm guessing 'Natchez', found years ago by a former member of our club. I always thought it was a great little tree and guilded him through its development when he'd bring it to meetings or shows. When he decided to get out of bonsai a few years ago he offered it to me and I jumped on it!

I'll wire it in the fall, but here it is after the first trimmimg of the year. It doesn't produce long shoots and I've never seen it attempt to flower.

Super tree, Russell. Dare I say, don't change a thing.

Zach

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Re: crape myrtle

Post  Russell Coker on Thu Apr 19, 2012 12:48 pm



Thanks y'all.

A good wiring will help give some definition, which it really needs.

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Re: crape myrtle

Post  JimLewis on Thu Apr 19, 2012 1:25 pm

It has a marvelously graceful feel to it. Do you let it bloom? It's probably large enough that it wouldn't be too outlandishly out of shape, unlike my smaller ones.

_________________
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: crape myrtle

Post  Tom Simonyi on Thu Apr 19, 2012 1:59 pm

Russell...I am with the majority...I really like the tree just as it is....would love to see a future post when it is in bloom.

Best regards,
Tom

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Re: crape myrtle

Post  Russell Coker on Thu Apr 19, 2012 2:59 pm


To be honest, I don't think it's ever going to bloom. This last pruning removed about 60% of this spring's heavy growth. When that new growth elongated, it's on little shoots with only 6 or 7 leaves at the most, but usually not even that many. Even when it regrows in the summe, it never attempts to set any buds. Sometimes these dwarf seedlings don't bloom, and I'd be really surprised if this one ever did.

This is typical of what was removed in this trimming...




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Re: crape myrtle

Post  hometeamrocker on Thu Apr 19, 2012 11:47 pm

I really like this tree as well. I've come back to see it several times so I thought I'd share. Nice looking/feeling tree.

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Re: crape myrtle

Post  Russell Coker on Fri Apr 20, 2012 12:53 pm



Thanks, I appreciate that!

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Re: crape myrtle

Post  Russell Coker on Fri Apr 20, 2012 3:14 pm


Trunk detail...


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Re: crape myrtle

Post  Tom Simonyi on Fri Apr 20, 2012 3:22 pm

Really nice, Russell...thanks again for sharing.
Tom

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Re: crape myrtle

Post  hometeamrocker on Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:42 pm

Octopus with a bulging eye and 1 leg that grew too high.

Poet and didn't know it.

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crape myrtle

Post  moyogijohn on Fri Apr 20, 2012 7:43 pm

RUSSELL,, It is a lovely tree !! i would not change it at all .. maybe it will flower for you i hope but if not,, it is still a natural looking tree un like a lot of bonsai... be happy take care john

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Re: crape myrtle

Post  Poink88 on Fri Apr 20, 2012 7:56 pm

Nice tree, I like it as it is and I won't change it if it is mine. Love the peeling multi-colored bark.

The left-rear part of the nebari throws it off a bit for me but short of carving (almost) nothing can be done to remedy that now.

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Re: crape myrtle

Post  xuan le on Sat Apr 21, 2012 1:18 am

It will look great after wiring. You are so lucky to get that Crape Myrtle

Xuan

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Crepe Myrtle

Post  stargaze on Sun Apr 29, 2012 6:51 pm

Fantastic tree!!! I can only dream of owning such a great specimine! She's a beauty!

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Re: crape myrtle

Post  dorothy7774 on Sun Apr 29, 2012 7:02 pm

Nice tree, Russell! Light, natural.

I dug out a garden Crape Myrtle last spring. There were only 2 little buds left on the very low trunk. It was almost dead, the landscapers even ran over it a few times! After I dug it out and planted it into a waaay too big of a pot, it soared with new growth and even flowered for the first time in more than 12 years. It is potbound now.. I got to make a picture and ask you what you would do with it. I like the way how you grew yours.

Thanks, Dorothy

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Re: crape myrtle

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