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Bostonbull

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Hey everyone, I have been lurking for a month or two and am new here as well as to Bonsai. I keep roughly 30 plants in my home currently, as well as some landscape plants. Of these I have three that I will torture with my upcoming learning curve; Operculicarya decaryi, Nashia inaguensis, and soon to be delivered a Ligustrum japonica from Nurseries Caroliana in a 3qt size.
In addition to the above mentioned I want to try a Quercus alba and maybe a Stewartia as well.

I live just outside of Boston and have visited a few local Bonsai greenhouses, Bosnai West seems to be my preference in terms of attitude, so far.

Background: I was a Certified Arborist for over 7 years, love plants of all types, but ,my passion is woody plants (trees, shrubs, vines). I am a geek and cant get enough knowledge, truly love learning. The past two years I have devoted to learning about plants in containers and how to properly care for them vs. in the ground wit a true "soil herd" to help.
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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Welcome to the nut house.
Nashia inaguensis, is the "I dry, I die" tree. Don't let it dry out between watering. It likes a gritty soil, but hates drying out. I love the fragrance of the foliage, and the amazingly different vanilla fragrance of the flowers. A sweetheart of a tree for indoors, if you can give it enough light.

I've ordered from Nurseries Carolina in the past and have been happy with them. Nice selection of unusual species. If you are into fragrance, they have Osmanthus 'Fudingzhu' which has leaves too large for bonsai but this cultivar blooms pretty much year round. Wonderful scent, strong enough to perfume a whole room.
 

Bostonbull

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I've had success keeping it alive for a month or two now... It wasn't happy leaving a greenhouse and being brought into a house house. :). Dropped a lot of leaves, pouted, but it's stable now. It will be a good species to keep me on my toes. This summer it will go into a bark based mix (511), root pruned and see how it does. If it shows it's happy and some growth this year I'll consider putting the effort of turning it into a bonsai later. Next year gritty atone based mix, root prune, etc if it stays happy. It has great potential with a nice trunk and roots so far.

Osmanthus fragrans is hands down my favorite container plants. I have two small ones now and love them! I may have ordered a 3qt fodingzhu from NurCar along with my Ligustrum..... Maybe! Haha!
 

Tbwilson33

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I’m curious to see your new trees when they come in from the nursery. Maybe you upload a picture?! ? how much was shipping I’m in the Hartford ct area and they do have a nice selection ?
 

Bostonbull

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I’m curious to see your new trees when they come in from the nursery. Maybe you upload a picture?! ? how much was shipping I’m in the Hartford ct area and they do have a nice selection ?

Sure will!

I'll try to upload photos of the Operculicarya and Nashia today. Once the Ligustrum and Osmanthus arrive those will be added here too. I may make a seperate thread for the Ligustrum.

Shipping wasn't bad, I think $20? These plants are huge compared to what Logees sells.... For the same cost. Insider hint: they sell Logees all their Osmanthus. ;)
 

Tbwilson33

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Sure will!

I'll try to upload photos of the Operculicarya and Nashia today. Once the Ligustrum and Osmanthus arrive those will be added here too. I may make a seperate thread for the Ligustrum.

Shipping wasn't bad, I think $20? These plants are huge compared to what Logees sells.... For the same cost. Insider hint: they sell Logees all their Osmanthus. ;)


Cool, thanks. And welcome!
 

Bostonbull

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Here are two of the species I want to mess with and potentially make into bonsai..... Especially favoring the Nashia inaguensis, even though it's a brat with water and temperature needs.

Tough to tell from photos, but these both have exposed roots and trunks that caught my eye.

The Nashia has a lean already that I am hoping I can manipulate and encourage.

How do I quickly fatten up the trunk on this Operculicarya decaryi?

Both of these are getting full repots come May, they are root bound and in some sort of potting soil crap. I'll most likely put them in 5-1-1 for this season while they grow and transfer them to a gritty mix in the coming years.



IMG_20190210_162326.jpgIMG_20190210_162302.jpgIMG_20190210_162044.jpgIMG_20190210_162110.jpg
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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I personally, in my own sensibilities do not like most exposed roots. Horticulturally, the roots you have exposed on your Nashia probably won't survive long term. The Nashia is in the Verbena family, and is more a woody herb than a true wood forming tree. Those exposed roots will likely dry out, and die off. If it were on my bench, I would repot it right now and bury all the roots by at least 1/4 inch. You can expose roots later, when the tree is older, and the trunk is greater than one inch (2.5 cm) in diameter. When you repot lower you can slant the trunk right or left to give it some movement. This species of tree is most often is styled by ''clip and grow'', by letting it grow out, then once or twice a year cutting back to just a few leaves per branch. Once a twig is over a year or so old, they are very brittle, which is why clip and grow is the usual choice. If it were mine, I would identify the main trunk line, and prune so all branches are very short. Then I would let it grow out for one or two years, without pruning. Then prune back hard. The growing out is what will thicken up your trunk. Nashia can become a shrub 6 of more feet tall (over 2 meters). It grows in the Bahamas, on coral derived soils. Because of goats foraging, the ''wild population'' of Nashia has at one point been reduced to just 4 bushes documented as truly wild, having not been planted by man. However, in the Bahamas it is very common in the back yards of locals. A popular landscape or garden shrub.

The Operculicarya decaryi is an interesting pachycaul from Madagascar. It comes from a Monsoon desert. Warm to hot temperatures with lots of water or slightly cooler warm to hot with cooler nights full sun and absolutely zero rain for months on end. Like the baobab it has a spongy layer of tissue under the bark that is a water storing layer. This tissue layer can give the tree a lumpy look, No matter what you do you will have areas that look like reverse taper as parts of the trunk will swell, and other parts will not. Don't worry about it, it is the nature of the tree and if any tell you you have to chop it here or there to get rid of the reverse taper, ignore them. Because no matter what you do this species will have zones of swelling, and will always, always have areas that look like reverse taper. Embrace the look and go with it.

One advantage of Operculicarya is that you can summer it outdoors, full sun and frequent water. Then as cooler weather approaches let it dry out. Let it get bone dry. Then set it on a shelf for the winter. As long as it is above freezing and bone dry the tree will sit dormant until the ''rains return''. Space indoors at my house is limited in winter. I would just set my Operculicarya on a windowsill and not water it again until spring. 5 months with no water was no problem. Gave it to my then high school age nephew, sometime during his many moves from dorm to apartment to another apartment during college year he lost it. I should get another one. I thought it fun.

Operculicarya is an opportunistic grower, it does not have to have a dry monsoon rest period. As long as it is sunny, wet and warm, it will keep growing. It does not require a dry rest to ''set buds for new growth''. So if you keep it growing year round it will be happy. And if you decide the ''dry rest'' should come in summer while you are on vacation, no problem.
 

GGB

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welcome! this is my favorite site on the whole www. Since no one has said it yet, I will. If you like oak you're much better off trying quercus robur (rober sometimes). It's common name is english oak. I has a very similar leaf but a lot smaller and it will dwarf. Slow growing and has the tap root deal but it might be more rewarding down the road to know it has potential. A good friend of mine tried quercus alba for a long time and he told me bonsai techniques seemed to make the trees respond with larger leaves. I have yet in my life to see a white oak bonsai, and I mean bonsai by the actual definition, not a stick in a nursery pot. Just saying
 

Bostonbull

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I personally, in my own sensibilities do not like most exposed roots. Horticulturally, the roots you have exposed on your Nashia probably won't survive long term. The Nashia is in the Verbena family, and is more a woody herb than a true wood forming tree. Those exposed roots will likely dry out, and die off. If it were on my bench, I would repot it right now and bury all the roots by at least 1/4 inch. You can expose roots later, when the tree is older, and the trunk is greater than one inch (2.5 cm) in diameter. When you repot lower you can slant the trunk right or left to give it some movement. This species of tree is most often is styled by ''clip and grow'', by letting it grow out, then once or twice a year cutting back to just a few leaves per branch. Once a twig is over a year or so old, they are very brittle, which is why clip and grow is the usual choice. If it were mine, I would identify the main trunk line, and prune so all branches are very short. Then I would let it grow out for one or two years, without pruning. Then prune back hard. The growing out is what will thicken up your trunk. Nashia can become a shrub 6 of more feet tall (over 2 meters). It grows in the Bahamas, on coral derived soils. Because of goats foraging, the ''wild population'' of Nashia has at one point been reduced to just 4 bushes documented as truly wild, having not been planted by man. However, in the Bahamas it is very common in the back yards of locals. A popular landscape or garden shrub.

The Operculicarya decaryi is an interesting pachycaul from Madagascar. It comes from a Monsoon desert. Warm to hot temperatures with lots of water or slightly cooler warm to hot with cooler nights full sun and absolutely zero rain for months on end. Like the baobab it has a spongy layer of tissue under the bark that is a water storing layer. This tissue layer can give the tree a lumpy look, No matter what you do you will have areas that look like reverse taper as parts of the trunk will swell, and other parts will not. Don't worry about it, it is the nature of the tree and if any tell you you have to chop it here or there to get rid of the reverse taper, ignore them. Because no matter what you do this species will have zones of swelling, and will always, always have areas that look like reverse taper. Embrace the look and go with it.

One advantage of Operculicarya is that you can summer it outdoors, full sun and frequent water. Then as cooler weather approaches let it dry out. Let it get bone dry. Then set it on a shelf for the winter. As long as it is above freezing and bone dry the tree will sit dormant until the ''rains return''. Space indoors at my house is limited in winter. I would just set my Operculicarya on a windowsill and not water it again until spring. 5 months with no water was no problem. Gave it to my then high school age nephew, sometime during his many moves from dorm to apartment to another apartment during college year he lost it. I should get another one. I thought it fun.

Operculicarya is an opportunistic grower, it does not have to have a dry monsoon rest period. As long as it is sunny, wet and warm, it will keep growing. It does not require a dry rest to ''set buds for new growth''. So if you keep it growing year round it will be happy. And if you decide the ''dry rest'' should come in summer while you are on vacation, no problem.

Leo - Thank you for typing all that up! I'm happy to know that everything I have read thus far lines up with what an experienced person like yourself has to say. When I repot the N.I. ill bury the roots as you suggest if that will get me a fatter "trunk" sooner.

The O.D. I am keeping 'awake' with light and water, I want it to grow out. Logee's had a couple 5 year old in pots that were about 3' tall each and a few inches diameter. Seeing those mature trunks is what sold me, absolutely awesome!

Neither of these are my pet projects/intro to Bonsai culture. That will be the Ligustrum I am getting soon, and the Azalea and Oak I grab this spring.

Excited!
 

Bostonbull

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welcome! this is my favorite site on the whole www. Since no one has said it yet, I will. If you like oak you're much better off trying quercus robur (rober sometimes). It's common name is english oak. I has a very similar leaf but a lot smaller and it will dwarf. Slow growing and has the tap root deal but it might be more rewarding down the road to know it has potential. A good friend of mine tried quercus alba for a long time and he told me bonsai techniques seemed to make the trees respond with larger leaves. I have yet in my life to see a white oak bonsai, and I mean bonsai by the actual definition, not a stick in a nursery pot. Just saying

Gavin,
Solid info here! I was excited to try one of the local Oaks as i read (somewhere on the web!) that local species do better than Q. robur and others. Ill be bummed if I can't do a Q. alba/bicolor!!! Im ok if it isn't super small, even a 3' tall is fine with me.

I guess my next species after Quercus to try would be Ostrya virginiana....how well do those take to Bonsai treatment?

What are they called when you keep the tree small, say under 6', but not in a bonsai pot? Is it just a container tree or is there a name for that?

if they are in 1 or 2 gallon containers, can they overwinter outdoors? Or do they still need to be in a cold greenhouse and protected?

Thanks for the feedback/tips!
 

petegreg

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Welcome to the forum.

Here is what I have experienced with operculicarya from seed. Some unrestricted growth, sacrifice branches, grow and chop... will help you to build fatter trunk.
 

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