Brazilian Rain Tree questions

BalconyBonsai

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Hi, I got this Brazilian Rain Tree cutting a little more than a year ago thanks to @leatherback . It was a rocky start as it got stuck at the post office for 2 extra weeks and when I received it, all leaves were gone. This tree is does not seem to be possible to buy here in Sweden so I felt very lucky to have got it. This is (a bad) picture of what it looked like when I opened the package:
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I kept watering it though since I really wanted one of these trees and a couple of months later some buds actually started expanding.
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One year later on, this is what the tree looks like now:
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I have so far not dared to really touch the tree, prune it or anything because of its rocky start. But I think I need to cut some branches since it has a tendency to grow quite uneaven, with the left side being much more vigorous than the right, and also it has this habit of growing like a clothes-rack with very straight 90 degrees branches which does not look very nice. I am looking for some tips on how to proceed. I'm not looking to make this in to a bonsai at this point but would like to, if possible, grow it up a couple of sizes first. It does not however have any tendency to grow vertically. I don't know if I should put wire on it at this point to try and make one of the upper horizontal branches the new leader?

And maybe most importantly, I thought since I will be doing pruning, that I should try to propagate the cuttings. Any tips on that would also be much appreciated, soil, size of cuttings, green or woody cutting etc. I don't have access to any rooting hormone and it does not seem to be available to buy here, at least I have not found any, so that might be a problem? I don't know if it is even possible to root these without it?

Thanks for reading through my post, I hope you have a nice day!
 

Oerc201

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BRT are fighters. You can do a lot to them. Just watch for dieback. I prune mine a little any season. Just don’t defoliate unless summer. Good luck
 

leatherback

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I don't have access to any rooting hormone and it does not seem to be available to buy here, at least I have not found any, so that might be a problem? I don't know if it is even possible to root these without it?
I feel these root quite easily if kept in a humidity chamber, probably in winter better with some bottom heat. I would say, just give it a try. The speed at which these grow once summer rolls around, you should have another load of cuttings byt mid-summer anyway!
 

ibakey

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Wow, I recently also in the last summer managed to get a Brazilian raintree from @leatherback. Was looking to grow it from seeds in Europe when he suggested that he had some young plants! It was great! The BRT really had a lot of growth over the summer. It’s currently indoors in the winter.
 

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ibakey

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I feel these root quite easily if kept in a humidity chamber, probably in winter better with some bottom heat. I would say, just give it a try. The speed at which these grow once summer rolls around, you should have another load of cuttings byt mid-summer anyway!
I can’t seem to get the cuttings to live though, when I tried in the summer. But I recently read that some people put cuttings in a cup of water for 2 weeks and then pot it.
 

BalconyBonsai

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I feel these root quite easily if kept in a humidity chamber, probably in winter better with some bottom heat. I would say, just give it a try. The speed at which these grow once summer rolls around, you should have another load of cuttings byt mid-summer anyway!
Yeah, so happy I didn't give up on it there in the beginning! I will give it a go with making cuttings. There should be no harm to the tree in doing it right now even though it is winter right?

Do you have any recommendation when it comes to soil/substrate to give the cuttings the best chance of making it? I guess also that it is the same procedure as with other species to remove all but a few leaves to make it easier for the cutting to make it? Anything else to keep in mind?
 

ibakey

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Yeah, so happy I didn't give up on it there in the beginning! I will give it a go with making cuttings. There should be no harm to the tree in doing it right now even though it is winter right?

Do you have any recommendation when it comes to soil/substrate to give the cuttings the best chance of making it? I guess also that it is the same procedure as with other species to remove all but a few leaves to make it easier for the cutting to make it? Anything else to keep in mind?
Let me know how you intend to proceed with the cuttings. For me so far, I cant seem to get it to root, even with rooting hormone. The difference is I haven't tried using sharp sand for the cuttings to stick in.
 

Cofga

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Mine failed last summer but I didn’t put them in a humidity tent. However my elm cuttings did very well and I put those in a very large plastic bag which served as my humidity tent. Next summer the BRT cuttings will be treated in a similar fashion.
 

Clicio

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Well, I guess this is one from the seeds @leatherback got from Brazil. Happy to see them propagating across Europe!
If temperature and humidity are high, they are quite easy to grow from cuttings and seeds. And as @leatherback has said, they grow a lot in the summer. Mine are kept in dappled sun in the summer and get plenty of water year round.
My experience with the horizontal growth is to keep pruning the lateral branches every two months, and letting the apex form itself naturally. DON'T try to style it like a pine or any conifer, this is a tropical tree !
I wish you and the sapling good luck.
 

Clicio

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canoeguide

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Let the lowest branches grow wild and long, and mercilessly keep the upper branches shorter and more suppressed (assuming that the tree is healthy). If you don't, you'll end up with the upper branches being as thick as the trunk and no trunk taper.

I've had good success "cage" wiring branches when they are young -- very loosely wired, such that there is no chance of leaving wire marks. However, taking a horizontal branch and wiring it skyward is probably going to result in an unnatural look, but sometimes it can work.

Good job sticking with this one - I've had one sulk, leafless, for nearly a year after an aggressive repot, and it came back.
 

Bingobango21

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I can’t seem to get the cuttings to live though, when I tried in the summer. But I recently read that some people put cuttings in a cup of water for 2 weeks and then pot it.
I have heard mixed reviews from people about propagating cuttings. Some claim is really difficult but I have found it to be pretty easy. I did not have much success with water but I think this was because it was not growing season, although found that soil any substrate I used worked just fine. I have been experimenting with different mixes to see what works best.
 

Haxor Dave

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So I have a pre bonsai rain tree and I really think it's time for a repot one reason I think its staying to wet causing one side of the trunk to rot I've since moved it away from the humidifier and also I'm having roots pop up threw the soil what do yall think the tree lives indoors do to cold weather and farmers around my house I only water 2 times a week because of the soil it come in holds water
 
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ibakey

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I think we need a “BRT Babies of @leatherback ” thread! I also have one from this lovely forum member, mine is not doing so well lately and stalled a lot but 110% sure summer is gonna change all that!
I second that! That should be fun. It would be nice to see how other “siblings” are doing throughout Europe.
I am just waiting for the weather to get warmer to repot the tree.
 

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