Possible bonsai?

DayDrunk

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This guy has been growing here in my yard since before we bought the house 5 years ago so I don’t know the age or the type of tree but I’d like to move it to a different location and bonsai it if possible. I’m very new to the bonsai game so I don’t even know where to start. It’s currently about 7-8ft tall and the trunk is about 10” tall where it splits off. I like the look of the 4 main branches coming out of the trunk but it obviously would need shortening. Would I chop the trunks down to size while it’s in it’s current location then wait for it to recover before digging it up? Any info on what type of tree it is and how to go about it would be greatly appreciated. B3156647-45FC-4D34-9CE5-170AC618CDEC.jpeg127EC5D0-5B0C-4E79-8835-258DA0720A32.jpeg80D01BBC-E467-45FE-AE15-19792582F32C.jpeg
 

Brian Van Fleet

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I like the look of the 4 main branches coming out of the trunk but it obviously would need shortening. Would I chop the trunks down to size while it’s in it’s current location then wait for it to recover before digging it up? Any info on what type of tree it is and how to go about it would be greatly appreciated.
It looks like an Althea (Hibiscus) or something similar.

Yes, you would chop the trunks down to size now, and dig it in the spring. However, the 4 main branches that you referenced are going to be difficult to make anything decent from. They aren’t really interesting from a Bonsai perspective, in fact it would look very top-heavy.

You want movement and taper in a trunk. This tree offers neither. To prune this in a way that provides movement and taper, it would leave some big pruning scars, and would you like what you’d be left with?
8A4998C0-65F8-4200-A352-425A541C17B1.jpeg
 

DayDrunk

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Thanks for the feedback, if chopping it like that is what would be required to get it into more of a conventional bonsai shape I think I'll just leave it be and move it into a better location in the yard. Right now its about to be swallowed up by a rather large fig tree. I have several other prospects growing around the yard that might make better candidates.
 
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Its a rose of sharon, Hibiscus Syriacus, probably.

Not a great trunk shape as already mentioned, but you could easily transplant in early spring. Be careful, they become invasive.
 

DayDrunk

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Yes, the flowers are white. I’ll try to get a pic this afternoon. I took a few cuttings of some of the more interesting branches higher up. Hopefully they do well.
 
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Spray it now so its dead when you go to dig up the plant. The woody tissue will hold onto the urushiol oils for a few years, even after death so once dead you should scoop up with a shovel and toss into a corner somewhere. Do not burn... the oils will be released and could get into your throat and lungs.

Have dealt with a lot of poison ivy over the years. Still have plans to bonsai one like a moron. I saw a few examples which were pretty wild to contemplate.
 

DayDrunk

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Would’ve never considered poison ivy as a bonsai prospect. Sounds like a terrible idea. Thanks for the tip about the wood retaining the oils. One of these days I’ll buy a 50 gallon drum of roundup and go to town on all that crap.
 
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Nick Lenz' famous Poison Ivy:

poisonivy.jpg

Another:

poison.jpg

Both pics were originally hosted on Bonsai Bark Site.

I hope they have the shari'd ivy at the arboretum for his exhibit.
 

DayDrunk

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Hmm, to each his own I guess. Doesn’t sound like a very enjoyable experience to work with but hey if you want some I’ve got a veritable poison ivy farm going on down here. Sell it to ya cheap! 🤣
 

Nanuk

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Hmm, to each his own I guess. Doesn’t sound like a very enjoyable experience to work with but hey if you want some I’ve got a veritable poison ivy farm going on down here. Sell it to ya cheap! 🤣
Looks like another Central Ga cat, howdy from WR.
 

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