[Dingus] Brazilian Rain Tree (chloroleucon tortum/pithecellobium tortum)

LittleDingus

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I was poking at my BRTs this morning and realized I never started a thread for them. Because I don't have a thread, I don't have many pictures either :(

Time to change that!

The currently proper name...as I understand it...is now "chloroleucon tortum". I bought two cuttings back in late June 2019 that were sold to me under the old name "pithecellobium tortum". I'm sure these aren't the saman/albizia often sold as "brazilian rain tree" because true BRTs are endangered and protected.

The first pictures I could find of the two them are from August 2019:

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They are in a mix of ~80% DE (NAPA 8822) and 20% chunky coconut coir. They were top-dressed with a healthy heap of worm casings. They get full sun for much of the day while temps are about 50F at night. They winter in a large south east facing window in my basement during the winter.
 

LittleDingus

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In April 2021, the were still in the basement, but it was warming up and the days were getting long enough that they were starting to bud. I had bought a nice golden pot that I thought one of these would look nice in. I wanted to make sure I could keep one alive in such a shallow pot, though!

I picked the smaller of the two and did some work to get it into the pot.

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At this point, the tree is still sitting too high... but I wasn't comfortable shortening the root ball any further yet. It would have required taking off a main root branch. I wanted to give some of the other root branches a chance to form feeders before cutting more root.
 

LittleDingus

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The tree put into the bonsai pot had started to fill in...but conditions have NOT been in its favor!

I may have moved it outside too soon. We had a bit of a false spring where I did move it outside...but then it chilled out and remained unusually cool for much of the rest of the spring. Then there was the chipmunk that mostly unpotted it. Then we had a week or more solid of clouds and rain every day. Not a constant rain...but not a lot of sunlight.

The weather is settling down to "normal" now...I see heat and sun as far as the forecast predicts! This poor tree is still sulking though. It doesn't open its leaves during the day. I'm hoping it wakes up and starts growing soon...it needs to pack in some energy before winter!

Here's what it looks like today:

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You can see that it's planted high:

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It's currently top dressed with manure which provides some weak fertilizer...but also helps keep the chipmunks from digging!
 

LittleDingus

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I did buy two rooted cuttings. The second one is mostly just growing out for now. It's a fair amount bigger than the one I keep poking at :)

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It's also actively growing now. It sprouted a new branch down low this spring. That branch is 2' long already!

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I haven't thought too much about a style yet. I'm leaning towards a 2 layered canopy. I'm after a larger trunk though. We have a potential move planned. I've been trying to keep it within it's current outline for now, but my hope is that after a move I'd have a better space to let it run free again. The problem will be that we're likely moving a zone cooler. I'm hoping any new house will have space for me to accomodate tropicals in the winter...but we'll see.

I've been pinching the top growth when it starts to get too far out of the current outline tp encourage it to bush up. I also pinched the growth tip off that long new branch today. Maybe, instead, I'll let some new growth extend as far as it can by the end of the season and try a few cuttings?? I'm not sure I'll have the space to keep them if they live, but maybe I learn something about getting them to take so that a few years down the road I have a viable process...
 

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