5yr Native tree Challenge - Wit Stinkhout (Celtis Africana)

Stella

Mame
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Location
Pretoria, South Africa
USDA Zone
9b
Our Climate - warm and dry
summer ranging from 28-45 Celsius - Oct - April
winter ranging from 3-15 Celsius - May - July ( the very cold season is really very short. also no snow)
spring and autumn about non existent - goes from cold to hot in a day or 2 and other way around
I'm is a summer rainfall area

Tree:
Deciduous tree
Native to large parts of Southern Africa (south of the sahara down to us in South Africa)
Sapling that sprouted in my garden
June 2020 my 6 year old did a dramatic trunk chop - luckily and thankfully at a decent and usable height (I would have loved the trunk chop to be a higher up)
Aug 2020 we dug it up and got into a training pot.
did some wiring to new shoots over the growing season and sadly my new leader shoot died.
Now i have a nice trunk with 2 branches - I am really hoping that I get some nice new buds this spring so I can have a leader branch

We are heading into winter now, so no work will be done in the next 3 months.
It will not be repotted this coming spring and I want to mostly leave it to grow this season, and just remove unwanted shoots

Pictures to follow
 

Stella

Mame
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Location
Pretoria, South Africa
USDA Zone
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Here is photos of the tree now. stump at 13cm tall. trunk about 2-3 cm and base about 4-5 cm
 

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LittleDingus

Omono
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Chicago, Illinois
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No contest tree for me. I am very new to bonsai so for now I'm just focusing on not killing anything. Maybe next year I'll start showing my projects properly.

That's what's great about this particular challenge: many of us are picking trees less common or out of our comfort zones. I'm newish to bonsai, but not to growing things...but most of what I entered in this challenge is very new to me!

...and personally, I' love to see more African species represented :D
 

Stella

Mame
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Location
Pretoria, South Africa
USDA Zone
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No contest tree for me. I am very new to bonsai so for now I'm just focusing on not killing anything. Maybe next year I'll start showing my projects properly.
this is the perfect place to start expanding your knowledge. this is a 5 year thing. even if you enter the very 1st tree you touch this will be an amazing project. everyone is starting with raw material, and in another 2 year from now you will know a lot more then this project is only halfway.
and the nice this about this one, with native trees, you can probably get saplings out of your garden

no need to put in to much effort in trying to show thing properly. the gain is in the process. the show pic at the end is the tiniest part of this challenge

I've started doing bonsai 2 years ago. so also very new but love challenges like this as their is so many experts on these forums that really gives good advise and options that is new perspectives that you do not have at your club.
 

Stella

Mame
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Location
Pretoria, South Africa
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Finally I see some buds swelling and I can repot this one. here is some pics on all angles before.
I lost a little branch - could have been the kids or the dog...

I am really holding thumbs that I get some new branches higher up so I can have a leader.
 

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Stella

Mame
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I am very pleased with the roots. It has some very nice fine roots.
I did not touch any of the fine roots.
I removed what was left of the huge taproot. and one other root going straight down.

2 of the thick roots did not produce any fine roots. I made some cuts on them to hopefully encourage new root growth.

We have a new growing medium at our club, a mix of perlite, akadama and pine bark.
I do think this will help this tree with root development
 

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SeanS

Chumono
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Johannesburg, South Africa (SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE)
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Looking good. I would have cut those heavy roots much further back, probably half the length you’ve left them. Fine roots will only grow from the cuts so you may end up with long bare sections of heavy roots and then fine roots out on the ends. Might make it tricky to fit into a bonsai container eventually.

I also have a celtis in the contest, you’ve reminded me I need to post an update!
 

Stella

Mame
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Thanx for the advise. this tree was collected last year, and didn't have much fine roots. so I didn't want to disturb them risking killing the tree.
will the tree survive if I cut off all the fine roots?
 

Stella

Mame
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I did however scraped the heavy roots hoping it will shoot out new roots closer to the base
 

SeanS

Chumono
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Celtis are pretty strong, I'm sure cutting the heavy roots back closer to the trunk won't kill it. The heavy root stubs are still roots, so the tree will still be able to survive with just those while the finer roots start growing from the ends.
You can either take the risk now and hopefully the tree will grow a new set of fine roots nice and close to the trunk, or leave them as is and have long bare roots before any fine feeders. If it were my tree I'd take the risk as I'd hate to look back in 5 years time while battling to squeeze the tree into an appropriately sized pot and wish I'd cut them shorter back in 2021
 

Stella

Mame
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Location
Pretoria, South Africa
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I did redo the repot and shortened all those long roots.
Love to see al the new leaves sprouting.
The die- back of the trunk chop is more than I enticipated, so I can easily use the top branch as a new leader.
 

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Stella

Mame
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Unfortunately this one didn't survive 😪
We had a hectic heatwave and as I'm not home during the day I couldn't add extra water.
 

Stella

Mame
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Location
Pretoria, South Africa
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I have 2 replacement trees thar popped up.
This one is actually interesting.
I'm to late for digging it up this season, so will just leave it to grow and dig it up next year. It's about 1cm thick now and about 1m high

Other one is a straight truck with the same dimensions. Will add wiring to that one to try a classic broom


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