New Tropical Chopped

ganja

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Hello everyone i'm new here and i just wanted to show my new trees i found. After some research i found out they are "Pachira Aquatica" aka money trees. Im guessing they have been growing up against eachother for about 8 years. The roots seemed to have combined on the bottom. They used to be about 3 feet tall but i recently chopped to about 10 inches. The trunks looked about right to me so i decided to chop so i can begin working on the branch layout. I was wondering what be the best way to encourage branch growth? I noticed that the two trees are almost merging together at the base of the trunk. Would it be possible to somehow merge these 2 trunks into 1 big one? I rarely see any money tree bonsai pictures besides the usual braided ones you see at the store. Has anyone took the time to shape one of these guys to more of a bonsai look? Any suggestions???

Heres how they look at their natural environment http://www.hear.org/starr/plants/images/species/?q=pachira+aquatica
 

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Bonsai Nut

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Where do you live Ganja? Best time to cut back is in early spring - but I don't think you'll have a problem as long as you don't disturb the roots until you have strong foliage growth.

You asked about why you don't see a lot of monkey tree bonsai. I would imagine they are relatively difficult trees to make convincing bonsai out of due to the large compound leaves. I would consider them similar to schefflera - a tropical woody plant with vigorous growth and large compound leaves. I think you need a really large trunk and extensive ramification with defoliation in order to make the leaves as small as possible in relation to the rest of the tree. Make sense?

Depending where you live, if you want to grow this fast (and get the trunks to fuse), best bet is to stick it in the ground for a few years.
 

ganja

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I live here in southern California. When i repotted the trees they didnt have much roots so i skipped the rootpruning. My main concern was to get it out of the stagnant mud it was in. I agree with you on waiting till foliage develops so for now i just gotta wait. Would fertilizer help in developing foliage? In everything i do i gotta be different so im hoping i can produce something unusual out of this.
 

Bonsai Nut

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Would fertilizer help in developing foliage?
Fertilizer is good if (1) the tree's roots have not recently been disturbed and (2) the tree is in active growth mode. I would wait until the spring before fertilizing - wait until you see buds popping from the sides.
 

ganja

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When the time comes what kind of fertilizer do you think would be good for this kind of tropical tree?
 

ganja

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When new growth starts popping out should i go with a fertilizer thats more towards leaf growth or should i get the more equal mix?
 

sfhellwig

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When you fertilize I would start with something balanced and mild. A nice 10-10-10 or I have a 7-9-5 or something like that. Don't mix it quite as strong as the directions say. Full strength or aggressive fertilizing is only for healthy and established plants. High nitrogen fertilizers are generally not used as they could produce long internodes and large leaves.
 
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