Thursday, July 17, 2014

Holmskioldia sanguinea (Chinese hat plant) - This is going to be a lot of fun!

I was lucky enough to get this species from the school where I am a teacher. We enlarged a lawn and most shrubs were removed. This one is about 50 years old:
 March 2013:
 This is the flowers of the species:
 The leaves - now we can see it is part of the mint family:

Some info on the species:

Named after Theodor Holmskiold, an 18th Danish physician and professor, Chinese hat is native to the Himalayan lowlands and is an erect climbing shrub that bears narrowly trumpet-shaped flowers with crimson petals and orange-red calyces. Its unique flowers are the main interest of this scrambling shrub: each is a narrow, orange-scarlet tube backed by a broad, circular calyx, appearing in dense terminal clusters through fall and winter. The mid-green leaves are oval and slightly serrated. There are also yellow- and bronze-flowered forms.

  PRUNING... This tree is a very rampant grower. Prune weekly back to the first or second node on secondary branches while actively growing Will handle severe top and root pruning.

 TRAINING... Wire for movement in main branches and use clip and grow for secondary branches. Due to its quick growth rate watch for wire scarring.

 WATERING... As any quick grower it likes a lot of water during the summer months.

 LIGHT... Full sun is best. Although can tolerate partial sun.

 INSECT/DISEASE... Watch for Scale, Mites and Aphids.

 FERTILIZE... Careful with the nitrogen, too much will stretch the internodes. Use a balanced fertilizer through the growing season then start adding phosphate late summer for blooms.
 REPOT... Repot every one to two years.

 SEASONAL... Protect below 40 degrees. In your landscape will freeze to the ground and come back, but will need some protection on a sustained freeze. 

The one I have dug in winter(July 2014):

 Time will tell.......but it is going to be a lot of fun!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Mulberries - will give them a go!

Mulberries here are kind of a weed, and in the world of bonsai not regarded very high.  They do fruit nicely and the leaves do reduce well, but I never seriously consider growing one into a nice bonsai.

I do have this one for a few years now but did not do much with it except for cutting it back drastic now and again:

July 2014 I decided to give the species another chance. I repotted the tree into a bonsai pot(To give it some status!) and I cut it back hard again:

It will look good in 3-5 years.

Being very positive about the species, I dug up another that was placed on the ground 2 years ago:

Another one dug from the garden(2 years old):

Looking forward doing something to them!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Celtis africana - bridging the big wound.

June 2009:

I can not really remember where I got this material. The biggest problem with it was the big ugly wound low down.

March 2010:
 I have cut back some of the thick branches and is slowly rebuilding the branches. There is a big wound but the cambium is starting to roll over so over time it will be healed. The wound extends just above the lowest branch downward to the left. The branch indicated with the pink line (picture 3) is going to help heal that area (closeup picture 4).

The branches and twiggy growth are coming along nicely  - the wound is still a big problem!

October 2012:
I have used one of the twigs to bridge the wound.

June 2013:
The graft/bridge has fused well.
The tree today:

Un update-July 2015:

Comparing 2014 and now:

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Trident Maples.....I think I am beginning to like them.

Here I can not really grow Pine and Juniper -like trees because it gets too warm in summer and not cold enough in winter. I also did not like to grow Maples because my first one suffered all the time.
This is my first one....I still have it and it does not look much better now:
It also seemed that our temperate climate did add to the frustration of lack of color on Maples in autumn. Last autumn(2013) this changed and I had some lovely clors on my Maples:

I also got some field grown trees for cheap in August 2010. I bought 5 of them. From the time I bought them they did not grow much, but they are progressing.

Here is the first one:
January 2011

 July 2014

I will let it grow out again this growing season and some further branch selection - I do need advice on this!
I have posted the tree on this forum for advice and comments: advice and comment here.

Here is the second one:
Oldest pic:

November 2012:

Will have to make serious decisions on this one soon!

For advice and comments I posted the tree on Bonsaisite:
 Bonsaisite - Comments and advice please

Here is the third one:

July 2014: