Brazillian Rain Tree quesion--what to do?

daniel

Mame
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I've had this tree for several years and it has done nearly nothing. I repotted it this year and it's still just not growing. I've thought of two things--1) Repot it in a normal container and let it thicken up and branch out ("field growing" a tropical in KY) or; 2) Hack it back to just above the second or third branch and make a new "tree" from there. I know that the trunk thickness is waaaayyy too thin for the height. (1-1.5" trunk and ~30" tall).

Also, if I do end up hacking it back, I'd really like to root the upper part. Is this wishful thinking with this type of tree? Is there a "trick" to propogate these trees? I'd appreciate any help you guys could be. Thanks!

Daniel
 

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Bonsai Nut

Nuttier than your average Nut
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Give me a couple hours and I'll get back to you with a response. Too busy atm - but you're not being ignored :)
 

Mortalis

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I don't have a rain tree but my Texas Ebony is related to it. Looks a lot like it too. I take cuttings from mine and use a gel root hormone. Any brand I can get my hands on.. I hate the powders.. I just take my cutting, spray it with fungicide, dip it in root gel put it in a small pot filled with LECA (light Expanded Clay Aggregate) and stick it in a zip lock bag. This works most of the time for me on all my tropical trees. But then.. I don't grow anything but tropical trees..
 

discusmike

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I do know they root easy and ive seen large cuttings used,also how much light are you using?Is it outside in the summer?and what kind of fertilizer?i have one,its not as thick as i would like but it throws branches like crazy,especially a week or so after fertilizing.
 

daniel

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I do know they root easy and ive seen large cuttings used,also how much light are you using?Is it outside in the summer?and what kind of fertilizer?i have one,its not as thick as i would like but it throws branches like crazy,especially a week or so after fertilizing.

Yep, it stays in full sun starting in mid-late april and goes through september, until it gets into the 50s at night. I use Brussel's liquid fertilizer. It hasn't grown a new branch in a year or so...:confused:

Daniel
 

HotAction

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I got one at the national exhibit in october. It is kept at about 60-70 degrees and 60-70% humidity, and it grows like crazy.
-Dave

p.s. I took some cuttings with root hormone powder, and some with no hormone for my botany project. as soon as i have some results i will post them.
 

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Also, I chopped it hard on April 1, and it had back budded like crazy. If you want new branches, you have to let those new buds grow unchecked.
 

daniel

Mame
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Also, I chopped it hard on April 1, and it had back budded like crazy. If you want new branches, you have to let those new buds grow unchecked.

The problem with this one is I don't want to cut it back hard and then have nothing because it won't grow...

Also, what do you guys think--keep it "whole" or trunk chop it back to the 2nd or 3rd branch level?

Daniel
 

ml_work

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Daniel, your tree looks a lot like mine, when you say you use Brussels fertilizer it tells me maybe you got it at Brussels, same place I did. It was Christmas of 07, came in a couple of weeks before Christmas so I put it in an unused room to wait until Christmas. It was cold here so I didn't think it needed much water...wrong! A few days before Christmas I went to check on it....dry...leaves just hanging...not hanging like they do when dark (which I think is very cool thing of these trees). The leaves were falling off...I took a deep breath and blew on the tree...leaves went everywhere. So Christmas day I had a bare tree with some thorns on it. I called Brussels and Dana told me to mist it 2 times a day and in 2 weeks I would have buds and in another 2 weeks it would have leaves. Just like clock work...it did just as he said. I keep it inside in sun room full sun all day. I just re-potted it last month...it just now started to get new growth, thought I had killed it. So if you just re-potted give it some time to get the buds. I would not cut it back too low on the trunk, it may take a long time to get back to were it is now.I would try misting it a couple times a day, leaves, trunk and branches. Use the Brussels fertilizer every 2 weeks.

Keep Lookin Up!
ML
 

discusmike

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here is a photo of mine,it just finished throwing new shoots,the trunk needs to get thicker,i noticed your trunk is very round,do you have the cultivator that keeps the trunk round instead of that triangular look,or is your tree just young?
 

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I think humidity may play the biggest role for these guys? Mine had to stay in the 50 degree basement for about 2 months. I had a small flourescent light just above it for 14 hrs a day. Slowly, all the leaflets dropped off one by one, rather than the entire leaf wilting. They never really looked "wilty" either. Then, when the basement was finished, and the heat was installed, new buds shot like crazy. The humidity has always been between 60-70%

-Dave
 

discusmike

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Mine did the same thing right after purchasing it,i was a little nervous but the seller asured me the leaves would return in a few weeks,she was right.I think your dead on about the humidity,theres a big differance from a heated greenhouse to a hobbyist house.
 

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To be honest, I think you should go to a larger container, but one not so large you can't keep it in a healthy environment in the winter. temp 60+ humidity 60+ MINIMUM! 70+/70+ is much better. The roots are completley one sided, so I think you should change the potting angle to begin to "fix" that issue. It will also need to be chopped at some point down the line if you ever want it to be bonsai. If it were mine, i would pot it first and wait to see how it responded. Then I would cut back to the second branch when it was healthy enough. (making sure to leave a stub). This could probably be achieved over this coming year. Here are a couple pics of the tree i bought. Keep in mind I am a newb.

-Dave
 

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discusmike

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I think i might have a answer to your problem.These trees do not like to be watered frequently,i let mine really dry out before watering and it loves it,i was warned about this from Martha at Meehans,how often are you watering??
 

daniel

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From what I understand, the tree is about 10 years old. It's bark is rather "warty," not smooth at all. It's very gray and the branches are quite "craggly," or crooked. Not straight-turn-straight. It's rather odd. I've seen the "younger" trees and this has never looked like that (like yours).

Daniel
 

daniel

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I think i might have a answer to your problem.These trees do not like to be watered frequently,i let mine really dry out before watering and it loves it,i was warned about this from Martha at Meehans,how often are you watering??


This one has never liked to dry out, at all. I always keep it watered. If not, it will drop leaves in a heartbeat. I keep it inside until minimum temps are in the 60s. No less than that. (About now, actually). In the winter, I keep it in a house (70s) and in a south-facing window with lots o light...

I understand that it's going to need chopping to become a true bonsai. It's not very pretty right now. That's the point of the thread, in spite of all the hijackers lurking around here...:p

Daniel
 

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This one has never liked to dry out, at all. I always keep it watered. If not, it will drop leaves in a heartbeat. I keep it inside until minimum temps are in the 60s. No less than that. (About now, actually). In the winter, I keep it in a house (70s) and in a south-facing window with lots o light...

I understand that it's going to need chopping to become a true bonsai. It's not very pretty right now. That's the point of the thread, in spite of all the hijackers lurking around here...:p

Daniel


Just wanted to show you how the tree has responded to the treatment I described. ;)
Also, I think mike is right, about the watering. I have only had to water once every 10-14 days, but my humidity is high, I think that might be a problem for you.

-Dave
 

discusmike

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Daniel,all the rain trees ive ever seen,and ive seen nurseries full of them,even very old ones have smooth bark,when they get very old the bark kind of peels away revealing a tan color,ive never seen one with grey warty bark,yours is also very round for a rain tree thats 10yrs old.I'm wondering if its a another species,i know in the nurseries they have a few species that the leaves look identical to rain trees.As far as chopping the tree,if the tree is not growing,and its dropping leaves at times,why would you want to chop,its obviously stressed now,if you chop it would stress the tree more and could ultimately kill the tree,im no expert with twenty years experience,only about five,but anyone on this forum would tell you that if a tree is not healthy,dont do any work on it until its thriving,from what your saying,its not.
 

HotAction

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I've had this tree for several years and it has done nearly nothing. I repotted it this year and it's still just not growing. I've thought of two things--1) Repot it in a normal container and let it thicken up and branch out ("field growing" a tropical in KY) or; 2) Hack it back to just above the second or third branch and make a new "tree" from there. I know that the trunk thickness is waaaayyy too thin for the height. (1-1.5" trunk and ~30" tall).

Also, if I do end up hacking it back, I'd really like to root the upper part. Is this wishful thinking with this type of tree? Is there a "trick" to propogate these trees? I'd appreciate any help you guys could be. Thanks!

Daniel

I got one at the national exhibit in october. It is kept at about 60-70 degrees and 60-70% humidity, and it grows like crazy.
-Dave

p.s. I took some cuttings with root hormone powder, and some with no hormone for my botany project. as soon as i have some results i will post them.
Also, I chopped it hard on April 1, and it had back budded like crazy. If you want new branches, you have to let those new buds grow unchecked.

I think humidity may play the biggest role for these guys? Mine had to stay in the 50 degree basement for about 2 months. I had a small flourescent light just above it for 14 hrs a day. Slowly, all the leaflets dropped off one by one, rather than the entire leaf wilting. They never really looked "wilty" either. Then, when the basement was finished, and the heat was installed, new buds shot like crazy. The humidity has always been between 60-70%

-Dave

To be honest, I think you should go to a larger container, but one not so large you can't keep it in a healthy environment in the winter. temp 60+ humidity 60+ MINIMUM! 70+/70+ is much better. The roots are completley one sided, so I think you should change the potting angle to begin to "fix" that issue. It will also need to be chopped at some point down the line if you ever want it to be bonsai. If it were mine, i would pot it first and wait to see how it responded. Then I would cut back to the second branch when it was healthy enough. (making sure to leave a stub). This could probably be achieved over this coming year. Here are a couple pics of the tree i bought. Keep in mind I am a newb.

-Dave

I understand that it's going to need chopping to become a true bonsai. It's not very pretty right now. That's the point of the thread, in spite of all the hijackers lurking around here...:p

Daniel

Just wanted to show you how the tree has responded to the treatment I described. ;)
Also, I think mike is right, about the watering. I have only had to water once every 10-14 days, but my humidity is high, I think that might be a problem for you.

-Dave

If you feel I hijacked your thread, I'm sorry. I hope my experiences that I've shared with you have helped to answer some of your questions. I am hear to learn, and by the three of us posting pre-bonsai in one thread, perhaps it can be like a workshop to further everyone's knowledge. (and all in one place.)

-Dave
 

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