P. Afra styling

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OK, new thread. I got a nice sized P.afra the base is about a 7” around. first thing I thought of was Jim Smith. I wanna turn this into a Jim smith style tree an informal upright tree with layers of pads. I need help picking a front and a new apex. I just repotted it in a 14” container. Any tips? It could make a cool broom style but... Jim Smith... what do you think? is it worth cutting it back?

I’m thinking this guy as the new leader. Should I chop all the rest?


 

just.wing.it

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Wow!....
Did that come from Meehan's?
Nice starter material for Spekboom.

I have a much smaller one, had it since 2015.
Was just a rooted cutting, nothing like what you have here.

What I know is, they like to dry out a bit between waterings and when healthy they can take a very hard pruning, no problem.

Also, while pruning that beast, you'll get several large cuttings that that will easily root for you, and you could have a whole forrest of them.
 
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Wow!....
Did that come from Meehan's?
Thanks man. Im not sure, Ive never been up there, I would like to sometime soon. I got it in Richmond at Strange's nursery i'm not sure where they get their supply from, But it was pretty cheap so i'm a happy man.
Yeah, I have others that I got from cuttings last year but nothing big, I want this guy to grow grow grow but in a different direction...Long term project for sure
 

just.wing.it

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Yours has some size to it already, opposed to most of what you'd find around here....
If you want a trunk with some movement, I'd eliminate one of the two at the first major junction there.....probably take it down to a single leader.
If you want to thicken the base still....let it grow.

They'll never grow for us as fast and big as they do in Africa.
 
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They'll never grow for us as fast and big as they do in Africa.
I know right. Ive seen a post with some Aussies taking huge cuttings from their front yard, it amazes me.
Do you think let it grow wild like it is or to selective prune to a leader and then let it grow wild? I'm leaning toward the later get the leggy stuff out of the way and then don't touch for a while. Got some prime months for growth coming up! I'm pretty new to bonsai this is my second year, and i have never been so excited for long sunny days.
 

MrWunderful

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Portys are succulents not deciduous trees, so big trunk chops heal more like a scab than bark rolling over. So growing leaders to develop taper can be done, but can leave large scars in a tree that size.

Quoting my post from the other thread:
Its going to be a lot of work and time to make that an informal upright. I would keep it as a broom and clean up the structure first.

Leave the leggy growth on the branches you dont remove until you get back budding. Once you get a decent amount of back budding, cut the leggy stuff back.

Start maint. Pruning back to two nodes to develop ramification. I fertilize heavy with miracle grow every week as well as slow release on the soil. I also water mine quite a bit. I have an informal upright porty that I have been slowly cutting back I got a few months ago, if you would like to see it
 
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Portys are succulents not deciduous trees, so big trunk chops heal more like a scab than bark rolling over. So growing leaders to develop taper can be done, but can leave large scars in a tree that size.

Quoting my post from the other thread:
Its going to be a lot of work and time to make that an informal upright. I would keep it as a broom and clean up the structure first.

Leave the leggy growth on the branches you dont remove until you get back budding. Once you get a decent amount of back budding, cut the leggy stuff back.

Start maint. Pruning back to two nodes to develop ramification. I fertilize heavy with miracle grow every week as well as slow release on the soil. I also water mine quite a bit. I have an informal upright porty that I have been slowly cutting back I got a few months ago, if you would like to see it
Sry I didnt respond on the other post.
I actually like old scars or hollowed out areas, gives character imo. So i'm ok with those cut backs to create taper. James-J-Smith-With-Bonsai.jpgcheck out that nasty scar!
Yeah I would love to see your port! maybe it will make me change my mind about the style im headed in...
 

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