2 Questions for you Masters

GOZTEK

Yamadori
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Hi, This is my first post here and i am enjoying the stay. This is my first spring into bonsai i started in december. I am getting new trees almost every week because once someone told me the trick to cheat time on trees is to have lots of trees. I have 2 questions, i have read that we mostly prune trees in winter times is that right? Most of my trees are blooming now so some of them are having leaves from places that i don't want. Can i start to prune unwanted leaves/branches now or should i leave them to vigourisly grow and do that later? Questions 2, i have a very nice callistemon (bottlebrush) which has a long stick with nice a nice top, this is my 2nd try to airlayer the callistemon but i don't think i have roots even this time. Probably the reason is that i never done airlayer before so i must be doing something wrong even though i read alot on how to do it. My questions is if i make a trunk chop will i have new growth?
Thanks
Gozzy
 

grog

Shohin
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I'm about as far as you can get from a master but I'll take a swing. Many trees are best pruned in winter but it's species specific. If you're removing any new growth just be absolutely sure you're at a point to need that new growth to be gone. In general more growth means your tree is going to be putting on more size which is a good thing unless your trunk is the size you want it. I know nothing about bottle brush but as a general rule if you prune a healthy tree and there is foliage below where you're cutting you should get new growth.

Your best bet would be to ignore what I said and look for specific information by cruising the articles at www.evergreengardenworks.com and www.bonsai4me.com and reading old threads that interest you at the various forums. Lots of good information to be found and best of all would be for you to find someone with some experience to teach you.
 

grog

Shohin
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Sad but true. :cool:
 

TheSteve

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it's hard to give you a blanket reply to most of these questions. If you could list the species you have then we could get a little more personal. The bottle brush I know nothing about. Most trees can be trimmed to maintain them and even styled now but not all. Not a master here either.
 

cquinn

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Hi, This is my first post here and i am enjoying the stay. This is my first spring into bonsai i started in december. I am getting new trees almost every week because once someone told me the trick to cheat time on trees is to have lots of trees. I have 2 questions, i have read that we mostly prune trees in winter times is that right? Most of my trees are blooming now so some of them are having leaves from places that i don't want. Can i start to prune unwanted leaves/branches now or should i leave them to vigourisly grow and do that later? Questions 2, i have a very nice callistemon (bottlebrush) which has a long stick with nice a nice top, this is my 2nd try to airlayer the callistemon but i don't think i have roots even this time. Probably the reason is that i never done airlayer before so i must be doing something wrong even though i read alot on how to do it. My questions is if i make a trunk chop will i have new growth?
Thanks
Gozzy


No experience with bottlebush, but most of your questions are tree specific. For instance, you can trunk chop Tridents in early spring at the time when the sap is pushed up and they can heal. If you do the same to a Japanese Maple it will "bleed" profusely and even cause the death of the tree, so winter is best for them (seal the cuts). Most major pruning can be done in the Spring, early in some trees, later in others (like flowering varieties....you'll cut off all the flower buds!). Some trees like Crepe Mrytle flower on new growth and in the middle of summer, so for them one would cut back one good time in late may and them let them be (if you want flowers. This is my experiece with the dwarf variety's of Myrtles. So you see...................it depends.
 

noissee

Mame
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you can cut bottle brush back hard in the fall, and have new growth in the spring.
 

irene_b

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Gozzy it is best to list where you live...
Mom
 

GOZTEK

Yamadori
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right, mum you know where i live hehe. I live in Malta, zone 11.

The trees i have and i want to prune are

alot of fruit trees, apricots, pommegranets, pear etc. I choped the trunk when i bought them and i have lots of growth but some of the growth i don't want.
Aucalyptus
Juniper
Honesuckle

about the callistemon i will wait for winter to chop it down.

So any ideas?
 

Bonsai Nut

Nuttier than your average Nut
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The trees i have and i want to prune are

alot of fruit trees, apricots, pommegranets, pear etc. I choped the trunk when i bought them and i have lots of growth but some of the growth i don't want.
Aucalyptus
Juniper
Honesuckle

about the callistemon i will wait for winter to chop it down.

So any ideas?

Eucalyptus, Juniper, Honeysuckle - best to trim in the spring when they are starting to show new growth. However living in a tropical locale, you can almost trim these at any time of the year and they won't die. Heavy trimming will be best in spring, but light trimming you can do any time.

Fruit trees, however, are a completely different story. Many fruit trees (if not all of the ones you can buy) are grafts. The root stock is of a completely different type of tree and may not even be a decent fruiting variety. I have a grapefruit, for example, that is on pomello root stock. In the U.S. the most common root stocks are sour orange, cleopatra mandarin, and swingle citrumelo because they are the most hardy given our soil, climate, and diseases/pests. If you cut a citrus back hard to its trunk, you may end up cutting away the graft (and be left with just the root stock). Additionally, any low sports (below the graft) will be of the root stock and must be removed because they will (1) be extremely poor quality (very thorny with no fruit) and (2) extremely robust, and will sap the strength from the rest of the tree - especially your area above the graft. If you somehow get a cutting or an airlayer of just the portion of the tree above the graft, there is a high likelihood that the roots will not be particularly robust and the tree may be surprisingly weak. Does this all make sense?

Deciduous fruiting trees (pear, peach, plum, etc) should only be pruned immediately after you remove the fruit each year, or else you will trim away the blooms for next spring.

There is a lot more information we could give about specifics - right now your questions are pretty broad.
 

GOZTEK

Yamadori
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Hi again thanks for your reply,
Regading the fruit trees, i know where they are grafted, infact that is what i want to remove. Leaves under the grafing
 

TheSteve

Chumono
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Go ahead and just cut those off. In the future look for buds below the graft and try to rub them off before they develop.
 

shohin kid

Shohin
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Really, you can do anything to a tree if you know what you are doing. In Japan, since a bonsai nursery can have thousands of trees, they are doing things to trees all year round. There are so many variables, like climate, one's experience, time one has, etc, that play into things that specific and accurate answers are hard to come by, ask local people what to do, thats where the best answers to your questions lie. That is why bonsai clubs are so beneficial.

Shohin Kid
 

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