Black Monkey Thorn Bonsai #4

Dorian Fourie

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I recently received this Black monkey thorn (Senegalia burkei) from a friend who is emigrating to Australia. She can unfortunately not take it with them when they go so she entrusted it to me. According to the tag on the tree, it was started in 1995 making it 22 yrs old.

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Over the next few weeks, I am going to leave the tree to settle into its new environment and start to fertilize it heavily. There are some new buds growing and I want to ensure the tree is a strong and healthy as possible.

My future idea and vision for the tree is to create the typical african style tree. I believe this tree has the basic structure already there and now needs to be cut and styled into shape.

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Watch this space
 

Dorian Fourie

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I like it. The trunk is starting to show some age, nice.
Thanks Leo.

Luckily the bark of the Acacia always looks very aged. The problem is that it rots easily too so you never water on it. It also flakes off which could leave you with a very thin trunk so you always try not to touch it.

Unfortunately this tree has a very long road ahead of it. Loads of cutting will have to be done on majority of the branches and many will have to be regrown to get a style. But it has so much potential to become a really good tree.
 

Dorian Fourie

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Dec 21 2017- I decided that I was going to do some work on the tree.

I wanted to cut back the longest straightest branches to get more development on future ramification and also just to get the tree to grow more. I think over the years it hasn't been worked on so a good cut back would do it good.
As you can see on this very straight branch there are 2 new buds that have emerged after I had cut it back. Time to cut it shorter again
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After the cut. This was done on the majority of branches.
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There were branches crossing over each other that were removed too and this is what the tree looked like.
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Now it was time to work on the trees base structure. This branch circled in yellow is too straight. I needed it to have more movement but it is was too thick to bend. So the next plan was to take the lowest left branch and wire it upwards. That would become my new left trunk and I would eventually remove the yellow circled trunk.
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The lowest left trunk was wired upwards into position. As that branch grows and thickens up, I will start to cut back the original left main trunk to force all new growth into the new trunk. I will also slowly start cutting back the upper right hand side canopy to increase the overall ramification and view of the canopy.
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Dorian Fourie

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So I went away on holiday over the end of December and came back on the 14th January 2018.

Imagine my surprise when I saw this tree. It had gone into overdrive and grown like a weed over the 3 weeks.
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Once again, I did a severe cut back on it. I know many people are afraid to cut but over the long term it is worth it
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My base structure is taking shape. I have cut back the old left trunk considerably and all new growth will develop from the new left trunk.(on the right for this pic)
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This is everything that I removed. Time to go back into the garden and grow again.
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