Before and After Work: Sweet Plum (Sageretia Theezans)

NaturalArt

Sapling
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Got this little guy as my first tree, sort of as a 'practice' tree. This is the first major work I've done on it. Pruned yellowing/ dying/ torn leaves, shortened some very long branches, and removed most of the dead wood that was present (I also inadvertently removed some small branches/ leaves during the wiring and removal of dead wood, unfortunately, but I tried really hard to retain a large amount of the foliage). First attempt at wiring and reshaping. Just wanted to see what people thought and if any one had any suggestions for a newbie!

Before:
IMG_20190106_100026.jpgIMG_20190106_100032.jpgIMG_20190106_100056.jpgIMG_20190106_100108.jpgIMG_20190106_100122.jpg

After:

IMG_20190110_210732.jpg
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Brian Van Fleet

Pretty Fly for a Bonsai Guy
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1. Sagerettia growth tendencies are to show very little taper, very angular movement, and stiff woody branches that are tough to wire. Be sure to wire the branches before they lignify to add movement early. The fact you got one with a little graceful movement in the trunk is good. They have great bark color and really pleasing foliage.
2. Bending jacks are not good and not useful. Remove it and return it. It looks like you’re using to actually straighten the trunk, which I wouldn’t do.
3. Colin Lewis has a wiring video on Craftsy. Go find it and watch it. Learn good wiring practices from the beginning.
4. From the photos, I see this view as the best trunk line, and would probably try to find a a way to use this as the front.
5. Remember, when pruning, keep the growth close to the trunk, and prune what grows out past what will become the canopy. Sagerettia is evergreen, so look at how good boxwoods and Chinese elms are styled.
FC72E34E-8176-403A-8C37-356E1E1C1411.jpeg
 

coachspinks

Shohin
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Sweet Plums are one of my favorite tropicals. I had a large green house 20 years ago. Down the middle I created a "natural area." I planted a variety of material in the ground....banana trees, pineapples, small palms, etc. I stuck a rooted cutting in the ground. It grew like crazy. A few years later I took the greenhouse down and pull all the plants out of the ground. 2- 3 years later, after at least 2 Georgia winters, I noticed a stump with leaves sticking out of it. I was going to hack it down until I realized it was the Sweet Plum I had stuck in the ground. It was now at least 3-4" thick. Of course I dug it up and put it in a pot! These are pretty tough plants.
 

Anthony

Imperial Masterpiece
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Grow and clip if possible.
Damage the bark and it may not heal.
[ ] size of wound that will heal.
[ zone 7 in the ground, China ]

Tropics here - plant sleeps from Christmas to February.
As in no new shoots or leaves.

Ground grow for trunk size.
Good Day
Anthony


Sag IBC.JPG
 

NaturalArt

Sapling
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Location
Colorado, USA
USDA Zone
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1. Sagerettia growth tendencies are to show very little taper, very angular movement, and stiff woody branches that are tough to wire. Be sure to wire the branches before they lignify to add movement early. The fact you got one with a little graceful movement in the trunk is good. They have great bark color and really pleasing foliage.
2. Bending jacks are not good and not useful. Remove it and return it. It looks like you’re using to actually straighten the trunk, which I wouldn’t do.
3. Colin Lewis has a wiring video on Craftsy. Go find it and watch it. Learn good wiring practices from the beginning.
4. From the photos, I see this view as the best trunk line, and would probably try to find a a way to use this as the front.
5. Remember, when pruning, keep the growth close to the trunk, and prune what grows out past what will become the canopy. Sagerettia is evergreen, so look at how good boxwoods and Chinese elms are styled.
View attachment 223125
Thank you so much for all of the great advice! I really appreciate it!

2. About the bending jack - I was using it to mostly soften the bend, not so much 'straighten' the trunk, as it was about a 90 degree angle and looked very unnatural. I did head your advice and remove it, and will not be using it in the future. I cannot return it, unfortunately, as it came as part of a piece in a bonsai tool set.
3. Was there anything about my wiring in particular you think needs works?
4. I did consider using that as the front view, what stopped me was that one of my favorite features about this tree was this root that comes from the trunk (see picture). If I were to use that as the front instead how would you recommend re-styling? (i.e. moving the lower 'pad' of foliage off to one side?)

THANKS AGAIN! :)

IMG_20190111_074922.jpg
 

NaturalArt

Sapling
Messages
38
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16
Location
Colorado, USA
USDA Zone
5b
Grow and clip if possible.
Damage the bark and it may not heal.
[ ] size of wound that will heal.
[ zone 7 in the ground, China ]

Tropics here - plant sleeps from Christmas to February.
As in no new shoots or leaves.

Ground grow for trunk size.
Good Day
Anthony


View attachment 223131
Thank you very much for the information! I really appreciate it!

I would love to develop the trunk further by planting in the ground however here in Colorado we are zone 5b and we have extremely erratic weather patterns so I do not think that will be an option. It will likely go outside for a very short amount of time at the end of spring to about July or August then come back inside.

Do you have experience using cut paste for wounds on this tree? In other words, do you know if wound paste is helpful for this specific species or should wounding the bark just be avoided at all costs?

Thank you!
 

NaturalArt

Sapling
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Location
Colorado, USA
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Sweet Plums are one of my favorite tropicals. I had a large green house 20 years ago. Down the middle I created a "natural area." I planted a variety of material in the ground....banana trees, pineapples, small palms, etc. I stuck a rooted cutting in the ground. It grew like crazy. A few years later I took the greenhouse down and pull all the plants out of the ground. 2- 3 years later, after at least 2 Georgia winters, I noticed a stump with leaves sticking out of it. I was going to hack it down until I realized it was the Sweet Plum I had stuck in the ground. It was now at least 3-4" thick. Of course I dug it up and put it in a pot! These are pretty tough plants.
That's incredible! I would love to see what it looks like now!
I'm glad to hear that in your experience they are pretty hardy, I did pick this tree as my 'practice' tree since I heard they are pretty tolerant of novices.

Thank you so much for the reply :)
 

Anthony

Imperial Masterpiece
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The idea with the Sageretia, is to get it lush, very healthy,

Also take cuttings, say 10 and experiment on them, not
the mother plant.

It is a 30 foot tall, vining shrub that gives excellent results as a bonsai.
Good Day
Anthony

An example of Lush

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