Ideas for direction re: my new tree

daygan

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I pulled this tree (see attached file) out of the ground a few days ago. It's about 17" in height, and the thickest part of the trunk is 3.5". In case you can't see it clearly, there are actually two smaller trunks (not one) in the middle between the two larger trunks. The lower part of the main trunk (from what I can tell) has actually started developing into root tissue because of the dirt that it was sitting in. Some lower branches have also become roots and started growing new roots downwards. I think it's already got a pretty good shape, but I'm a little undecided about what direction I should take with it. I'm not sure whether to air layer it to bring it's base up to the thickest part of the trunk or leave it as is. Also, I'm half-tempted to split the two trunks in two and develop them as separate trees. If I don't split them, however, it's got kind of a nice group theme going on.. What would you do?
 

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jk_lewis

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It's too early to be thinking "direction. Nurse it to health and greenness first.

Next year (or the year after that) it will be time to think about where to take it.
 

daygan

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@bonsaiTom - no idea what it is, but it's not dead. it's got a number of new buds on it that are starting to open.

@jkl - yes, I know I need to wait before I start doing any major changes and should concentrate at least the first year on making sure it's healthy and growing well, but I just like to plan ahead.

so.. any ideas?
 

grog

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Nice looking trunk but I think you're going to have to identify the species of tree before you can plan a whole lot more. Some types of trees I think you'd want to stick with the clump, some you'd want a single trunk.
 

daygan

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ah. I see. I'll get on that. thanks for the info.
 

daygan

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Well, I haven't solved the mystery entirely yet but I've narrowed it down to something probably in the Prunus family (Cherries, Plums, Peaches, Apricots, Almonds and Cherry Laurels). So based on that information, does anyone have any new input about the direction I should take with this tree?
 

misfit11

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It's too early to be thinking "direction. Nurse it to health and greenness first.

Next year (or the year after that) it will be time to think about where to take it.
jkl is right here. You need to leave it alone other than watering and fertilizing it for at least another year. You don't even know what the thing is yet. I know how tempting it is to start thinking about what styling you want to do, but you need to make sure it's in good health first. Collecting from the wild is a rather traumatic experience for a tree. Thinking about styling this tree right now is like making plans to go skydiving with someone who is still in the ICU...
 
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I think it's a glow worm!!! No, seriously... it's ok to think about the future potential for a particular plant, but for now let's think short term, I don't know where you live, I am guessing up north, if that is the case, it probally isn't in to bad of shape if bud are appearing, it was prob. dormant??? I would not do any more drastic actions for the rest of the year. Watch the amount of watering untill it leafs out, and when it does let us all know what in the world it is... Perhaps we should take bets???
 

daygan

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Well, I know what it is now. The buds are finally beginning to open after being frozen for a month or so in the "elongated" stage, though it wasn't for lack of warmth - I'm in a very temperate part of southern China right now. I'll give you guys a couple days to guess what it might be and then let you know. In the meantime, here are some pictures of the (still quite minuscule) leaves:





 

daygan

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No guesses? Okay. It's a Gardenia jasminoides.
 

Vance Wood

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No guesses? Okay. It's a Gardenia jasminoides.
Taking into account the first picture you posted, after harvesting the tree, and the current photos you have recently posted you essentially have a large trunk waiting for branches. There is no way to give you any concrete direction to go as the tree now exists. You could basically imagine anything that would complement the trunk but without branches in the right places that too is just a guess.

I can tell you a couple of things you should consider. This tree is not out of the woods yet (no pun intended), it may not survive. Often a large trunk can have enough energy stored in it to drive bud break and some growth in much the same way a piece of a flowering tree can be cut, placed in water and induced to flower and maybe push a bud or two. However; when that stored energy is used up the tree will have nothing left and it's a goner. You need to nurture the tree and make sure it is vigorously growing before you attempt any further work. I would suggest at least two seasons. When you start getting some branches that have produced a second flush of growth then you may be safe to start work on it.

At this point you are not too far removed from trying to make some style decision about a seed you are about to plant. I know; that's an extreme comparison but it does illustrate the reality of your situation. In short----It's too soon! Experienced people are telling you to wait. Why do you think that is? Is it because we are all dumb or; maybe we know something?
 

DannyBonsai

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agree, and i am still a novice at best. stabilize what you've got right now, and then once there are some branches, then think about style. most gardenias have small leaves and so reducing, once you are to that point, should be fairly easy. looks like it has a nice nebari as well, but i say what everyone else says and that is let it grow and then see about styling
 

jason biggs

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i took some thick cuttings from one of my big baobabs last year + they grew for a whole season-leaves ,small branches ,the whole bang shoot-what i am trying to say is that they are all now DEAD:mad:-how is china??
 

daygan

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I might as well update this thread - this tree did not survive. The immature leaves dried up, and eventually, everything in the soil just started rotting, and I removed it from its pot sometime last year to make way for other trees. In retrospect, I can see that it was dug up late in the year, and I know that I did not take a lot of care with protecting the roots when I was digging. It probably wasn't very healthy to begin with, as it didn't really have much in the way of foliage on it in May when I collected it. A better bonsai soil (and maybe sphagnum moss) probably would have helped to stimulate root growth and ensure its survival, and waiting until early spring this year to collect would have been even better (though to be honest, if I had waited until this year to collect, I probably would have lost interest in collecting this tree, considering everything else that I have now).
 

JudyB

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But look at what you learned. Too bad you lost it, but even the dead ones move you along with your learning if you let them.
 
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