Four wing salt bush experiment #1

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Picked this up for $12 in Flagstaff. They're native and grow like weeds here and I've been meaning to experiment with them since I pretty much have an endless supply. Some of the properties I like about them is they're super drought tolerant, small foliage, evergreen, and develop a weird veiny trunk in older bushes. I'll dig some wild ones up, hard prune the foliage and roots in a few days to see how hardy they are to abuse. But I figured this little guy would make a nice shohin.

An example trunk of an older salt bush near my house.
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Joe Dupre'

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I only tried one. It didn't work out for me. Attractive, gnarly trunks are common here. The one I had grew really fast but the sprouts mostly came off of the tops of the branches and grew strainght up. The next spring, a couple of the branches just died for no apparent reason. No more for me. Good luck with yours, though.
 
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Page, AZ Elevation: 1326m / 4350feet
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I only tried one. It didn't work out for me. Attractive, gnarly trunks are common here. The one I had grew really fast but the sprouts mostly came off of the tops of the branches and grew strainght up. The next spring, a couple of the branches just died for no apparent reason. No more for me. Good luck with yours, though.
I've been looking at hundreds as I walk by them on my hikes, I've only ever seen one back budding. So yeah, a trait I'll need to be aware of. I'm hoping that if I work on ramification on a young one that it will not prevent the legginess and top growth preference.
 

Hartinez

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I've been looking at hundreds as I walk by them on my hikes, I've only ever seen one back budding. So yeah, a trait I'll need to be aware of. I'm hoping that if I work on ramification on a young one that it will not prevent the legginess and top growth preference.
On my experience the back budding was extensive. It had to be cut back hard to achieve that though.
 

Hartinez

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Almost certain it was mid summer, but I can’t fully remember. I wouldn’t cut back the nursery tree at this point though.
 

Paradox

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It's drought hardy according to the tag and that one seems to be back budding. The trunk has nice movement. Could be a promising candidate.
 
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It's drought hardy according to the tag and that one seems to be back budding. The trunk has nice movement. Could be a promising candidate.
They're drought tolerant for sure. In the picture below is pretty much my back yard and the dry high desert living conditions they thrive in. All the bushes you see are either Snakeweed, Mormon Tea, California Sage, or Salt Bush. The average yearly rainfall is around 6.8 inches, or 173mm. 2019 and 2020 was very dry with hardly any rain. A lot of neglected landscape trees and plants died. Even some of the California Sage in the desert kicked the bucket, but the Salt Bush was like "Free real estate, baby!"

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Sounds awesome, I have some ponderosa and limber pine seedlings I could send as a thank you 👍🏼
So when I say that the older plants develop insane trunks, I feel like I need to post a good example. I just stumbled across this one on a hike by my house. It was still alive, and it's grown in completely loose sand. The smaller one next to it as well. I'll bring a Coke can to put next to it next time I walk my dog😂

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cockroach

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What a back yard!! Love that type of country.
Many snakes there?

Those old trunks are gnarly. Any idea how old they may be?
 
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What a back yard!! Love that type of country.
Many snakes there?

Those old trunks are gnarly. Any idea how old they may be?
Not too many snakes. I've never seen a rattlesnake myself but I know people that have seen them. Lots of scorpions and even some bark scorpions, the most venomous scorpion in NA.

And no idea how old they are, but I'm going to say pretty old as I haven't seen the ones near my backyard get much bigger in the 6 years I've been here.
 

Joe Dupre'

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Growth is starting to slow down as the days are getting cooler, but this thing backbuds like a champ.

View attachment 402922
Mine did the same the first year. Second year a couple of branches jus didn't come back. It grew well, but most shoots wanted to grow straight up. I just retired mine for something more suited to my style of bonsai.

It's an amazingly adaptable tree. I see where you get about 7.5" of rainfall annually. We get 61 inches, and they grow everywhere there is disturbed ground.
 

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