Green Bottlebrush (callistemon viridiflorus)

Merlotlo

Sapling
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Salem, Oregon, USA
USDA Zone
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Hello once again!

Sorry if I am flooding the forums with questions. I'm new to Bonsai and everything is new and exciting!

I picked up this shrub at a nursery, total impulse buy because I thought the bark was pretty and I enjoy the general look of the tree

I was wondering if anyone has ever turned this into Bonsai, I couldn't find any examples of this species. I saw quite a few of the red flowering Bottlebrush but none of the green/yellow variety.

If not, I'm happy to plant it in my backyard.

Have a good day all!
 

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Hartinez

Masterpiece
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Albuquerque, NM
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Hello once again!

Sorry if I am flooding the forums with questions. I'm new to Bonsai and everything is new and exciting!

I picked up this shrub at a nursery, total impulse buy because I thought the bark was pretty and I enjoy the general look of the tree

I was wondering if anyone has ever turned this into Bonsai, I couldn't find any examples of this species. I saw quite a few of the red flowering Bottlebrush but none of the green/yellow variety.

If not, I'm happy to plant it in my backyard.

Have a good day all!
I’ve never seen or tried it, but there’s only one way to find out if it’ll work....chop it up! Maybe not now, but if you think it’s worth a shot I suppose, then go for it. 🤷🏼‍♂️

Something I’ve been doing for several years now with nursery material bought in late summer that’s past the point I feel comfortable doing work. Is to cut long horizontal openings, towards the top of the nursery pot, exposing the roots almost all the way around the pot. Then planting the entire pot in th ground up to the rim. The roots will grow out the openings through the rest of this season and can be worked and sawed off below the extension next spring.

If you do, take photos and create a thread, you won’t regret documentation.
 

TN_Jim

Omono
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I don’t have experience with this species but it appears to have all of the features that make a good tree -small leaves, nice bark, and movement. I can see why you got it.

The problem I see is the whorled branching pattern. Aside from overall health jazz, etc..this would be my greatest concern regarding branch selection. Those wheel spokes should be more like forking v’s per say.

My second concern would be getting it to backbud. That foliage needs to come way in. Surely someone with more experience will contribute.

As for over-posting, that’s just ridiculous. ;)
Thanks
 

SquatJar

Seedling
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Adelaide, Australia
USDA Zone
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Lots of Callistemon and the closely related Melaleuca are used in Australia for bonsai. Most backbud well and are reported late spring to mid summer. Depending how hot they also like a shallow water tray after repotting. There's heaps more info to be found, I'd search ausbonsai for a start. Happy bonsai'ing from another newbie
 

Starfox

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I have one although not exactly at bonsai stage yet and yours does look bigger with plenty of options going ahead.
These will back bud quite well with pruning and hard chops and I wouldn't hesitate to repot one now IF I thought it needed it but I wouldn't remove more than a third of the roots at a time. Yours is in a big pot so unless it is really pot bound with circling roots I'd probably leave root work until next spring/summer.

Still you have plenty of branches and shoots to keep you busy, select what you want to keep and prune away, thin the whorls out to two shoots, remove downward or backward facing branches etc.... Now is fine to prune them and by doing so you should get some back budding for more future options. You could chop back hard if you like but that is up to you really. Branches can be wired easily enough too.

Or you could just leave it for a while and while you are thinking about a way forward you can enjoy the show it will put on.

IMG_5390ff.jpg
This has since been cut right back and grown out again but just wanted to show the flowers.


Try for cuttings too, more of these is better than less of these.
 

Shibui

Imperial Masterpiece
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Yackandandah, Australia
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So there you have it. Another great Australian that's good for bonsai.
We don't root prune these too early. They do not respond well while it is still cool but thrive when root pruned in warmer weather, even if the tree is in full growth mode at the time.
Prune as hard as you like. Callistemon all sprout from old wood so you can even cut well below the leaves.
You would be well advised to cut out some of those bigger branches growing close together. Leaving more than a couple will make that area thicken excessively and you'll quickly get reverse taper on the trunk.
 

Merlotlo

Sapling
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Location
Salem, Oregon, USA
USDA Zone
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Thank you all for your responses! It isn't pot bound so I think I'll keep it in the nursery pot for now and will cut it back today or tomorrow since it's summer for me here in Oregon. I want it to fill out a little more and will probably take a couple of the branches off that cross each other.

I just want it to stay healthy as to me it's so rad and different looking. It doesn't get very cold here in Winter but it does rain A LOT. We occasionally drop below freezing and it snows once or twice a year. What kind of winter protection should I provide for it? Just move it to my shed (that has a window) when it get pretty cold?

Thanks in advance!
 

Starfox

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Sounds like a plan, it should give off new growth after cutting back which would help with it filling out and will give it time to acclimatise. Let us know how it goes for you because the more info about them the better it is for everybody.

As for climate these trees are native up to sub alpine areas of Tasmania, which is one of the more colder regions of Australia and also normally a bit wetter so your climate doesn't sound too straining on it. Snow however is an unknown to me I'd be tempted to at least bring it under a patio or something, cold I have read they are hardy down to 5-10 deg f but probably not for months on end.
No idea if anyone more familiar with Tassies climate can give any input. Someone does claim to have one as a big hedge in Seattle though, not sure that helps.

I wouldn't let it dry out over summer either, mine seems to like a lot so drying out it may dieback.
 

Shibui

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Mine easily tolerate regular nights below freezing here and occasionally down to -5C but have only had snow twice in my 60 years. Snow is actually warmer than frost so it is more about the physical weight of snow breaking branches than cold. If I understand your assessment of climate I suspect that Callistemon will manage quite well outside where you are.
Lots of winter rain is no problem for callistemon. Mostly they grow alongside water or near swamps. I have grown a couple with pots almost submerged in containers of water for nearly 2 years before they started to look unhealthy. A well draining potting mix will help them cope with rain.
 
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