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- Wageningen, The Netherlands
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Hate to be the bearer of bad news on this one but I'd say that, while technically possible, it's unlikely to be worth pursuing....For comparison's sake, I collected a batch of Schefflera's wayyy early this year, trunk-chopped them all (for a future clump/grouping on a lava-rock slab, should be neat!) and, while they grew back and while there's *some* degree of ramification inherent to them (insofar as they'll back-bud well), I don't think I'd say they ramify well per se (even the ones in your OP pics aren't "heavily ramified" by any normal standards), but yeah I'm on the border of 9b/10a, mine get full-ish sunlight, at least 2-3x irrigation daily, and I even did half with fertilizer and half with just light organic compost top-dressing, not only was I reminded how slow they grow but, in terms of ramification, I'm fearing it'll take at least an extra year (compared to my initial estimates/guesses/hopes!) down the road right-before finishing it to really get any level of decent ramification sadly :/ Glad I chose my trunk lines well!!So on my windowsill, in the living room it will probably not be possible to make it a (true) bonsai?
I'm definitely not going to try one. Being in zone 8b, summers won't be hot enough and winters will be to cold.Hate to be the bearer of bad news on this one but I'd say that, while technically possible, it's unlikely to be worth pursuing....For comparison's sake, I collected a batch of Schefflera's wayyy early this year, trunk-chopped them all (for a future clump/grouping on a lava-rock slab, should be neat!) and, while they grew back and while there's *some* degree of ramification inherent to them (insofar as they'll back-bud well), I don't think I'd say they ramify well per se (even the ones in your OP pics aren't "heavily ramified" by any normal standards), but yeah I'm on the border of 9b/10a, mine get full-ish sunlight, at least 2-3x irrigation daily, and I even did half with fertilizer and half with just light organic compost top-dressing, not only was I reminded how slow they grow but, in terms of ramification, I'm fearing it'll take at least an extra year (compared to my initial estimates/guesses/hopes!) down the road right-before finishing it to really get any level of decent ramification sadly :/ Glad I chose my trunk lines well!!
Would be VERY interested in hearing anyone's tips/tricks for successfully ramifying these and, TBH, I'm actually still unsure if it's better to just aim for ramification off-the-bat (ie the actual branch-structure would be lacking, but ramification would be there), or if I should be doing the usual "grow branch out, cut back hard, grow-out two from the bottom-end of that cut-branch and repeat" process is the right approach for this specie :/ I've got til next year as I don't intend to touch mine again this year, their growth rate is far too-slow for me to be confident that any growth resulting from a prune right now would be unlikely to harden-off enough before winter and I've just got enough individual specimen for my group-banyan planting so can't play trial&error w/ these guys ;D
[Oh I meant to say, while it's implied already, it should be stressed that your colder-area's windows, compared to my high-sun (still hitting 90deg here), 10a zone outdoor specimen in larger containers that are still growing slowly, I just can't imagine how long it would take doing it your way to get to where I'm already expecting it'll take me 5yrs to get to in my FL enviro which is essentially a greenhouse 2/3rd of the year!]
That's another question: How do I get my maples to ramify.........Dwarf schefflera will never ramify like an elm or maple. But as Bonsai Nut says, you can get some branching by moving them outside for the summer. As soon as weather is warm enough and the tree is actively growing, defoliate and remove every terminal bud. You can also drastically shorten any branch that is too long ot too straight. This encourages back budding and results in new foliage that is much smaller. Of course the tree needs to be strong.
Mine always become rank indoors over the winter. I put up with it knowing that I can correct it in late spring.
That looks really great: especially the long and slender neagari!I have a couple I picked up from Fuku bonsai in hawaii - they specialize in these. From what I saw its the crazy root structure you can get on these that are the defining feature. Here are some that he had sitting around his nursery. Of course, while they throw air roots like crazy somewhere like Hawaii, here in Tennessee I have to put mine under a humidity dome and then oh so carefully protect and air roots with cut straws. I keep them more for the memory of an awesome vacation with the wifey than any prayer they're going to look like the mature specimens in these pics.
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I'm in 8a, and this species is the easiest tropical I grow. Don't let your location stop you.I'm definitely not going to try one. Being in zone 8b, summers won't be hot enough and winters will be to cold.
I was just surprised to see the ramification on those in the OP. That was btw on Gran Canaria, during a short vacation. In the winter an average day temp of 22oC, in summer 27oC. (I think I would grow JBP there).
THIS!!!!!!!!!! You've given me so much inspiration here man, is there any chance you've got threads/articles/albums/anything on this (or other) schefflera's development or anything about how you got it from stock/pre-bonsai to here? I finally took-in 5 or so of these, they were a small hedge that I trunk-chopped and brought home early this year and, after letting them back-bud only to re-trunk-chop them (to get my new trunk lines as low as possible, w/o having risked killing the things!), I finally had them growing well enough that the other day I took them (all but 1) and put them together as the group-planting I'd intended for them, my hope is to have a little banyan grove not unlike the size of yours here (although I'm trying to evoke a larger scenery with mine IE a mini area whereas yours is still singular banyan-clumping), and'll be making a crazy carved-scoria slab/container for them (in another year or two, once I've gotten them way further developed!)
I think it's as simple as the phenomena of "if you keep pruning, leaves get smaller / internodes tighter / branching 'twiggier'" which, combined with restricted containers that don't allow growth (bonsai/show pots), lets you get a many, tiny leaves effect going (almost 'bushing' the thing in a way....I love my real-life work, which includes a decent amount of hedging, insofar as seeing how things rebound both short- and long-term ;D )That's another question: How do I get my maples to ramify.........
Me too ;D Thanks again, it's always such a cool phenomena to me when someone like @DirkvanDreven makes a thread like this, then you reply in it with your pic, and then I'm unable to stop myself from going-forth with my own!!SU2, I am happy the photo encouraged you!
Gotta love it Out of curiosity, how long have you been practicing seriously? Do you happen to have a website or albums publicly available?Like all of my older bonsai, this one survived decades of my ignorance. The tree started out in the early 90s as a monstrously overgrown house plant. It was 6' tall and in a ~5 gallon pot. When it went outside for the summer, it would shoot up another 2', and I would chop it back to 6' or 7' to get it back in the house. It took a scaffold of stakes and ties to keep it more or less vertical.
It's amazing how much the web changed things like this!!Then somewhere I saw a photo of a beautiful dwarf schefflera bonsai (remember this was before internet images, and almost before any internet at all) and that became my goal.
ROFL yeah I could probably do in 4mo now what'd take 1yr when I started it's nuts how quick a learning-curve bonsai/horticulture really is, once that quick&easy hump (heh) has been surmounted & the horticulture is 2nd-nature, it becomes all about the artistry & a million times more satisfying/rewarding!!But I really had no idea how to go about it. It took me 20 years to accomplish what I could now do in 5. I was always afraid to cut it back enough--you've already gotten over that! The entire tree was trained by clip-and-grow, which should really be called grow-and-clip because the growth must happen first. I tried to listen to the tree and let that guide me, but this can be frustrating since trees speak so slowly.
Another great example of forums/the netz being so invaluable, hell I'd heard of the straw trick and was planning to utilize it once I had a reason to (aerials are more of a nuisance than a goal in my climate!) but WOW the manipulability of foil, its inherent light-blocking properties, and then stuffing it with soft-but-draining, acidic & hormone-boosting sphagnum?! That would let me grow whatever aerials I wanted, damn thank you so much I'd never heard that one in fact I'm going outside RIGHT NOW to setup my first schefflera aerial (for whatever reason, my scheff's haven't spurted their own aerials like my ficus b's & m's do)The first big growth of aerial roots happened by accident during an unusually wet spring and summer in hwich our usually hot and dry weather was more like your warm and humid climate. By that time you could research such things on the internet, and I learned about drinking straws and little tubes made of aluminum foil and filled with sphagnum.
I guess 'thick' is all relative though, I mean I'm definitely in the category of "needs thick trunks" lol but so long as I'm confident-enough that I'll be able to develop a canopy that's "the right size" / fits the trunk, I'm happy!This species never really develops thick trunks, even the ones growing at my sister's house on the Atlantic coast of Florida. In composition, the aerial roots take the place of the visual mass of a thick trunk. This is why mine needs more aerial roots to balance the big canopy.
Yeah this thinking is why I immediately thought "group-planting" lol!! Well that plus none of my stock was quality on its own (nothing large, and large is almost requisite for me to consider something quality..) so I immediately thought "this is the IDEAL specie for planting in my custom-carved scoria/lava-rock containers/slabs", not only will the contrasting colors make one helluva visual-impact but it's actually a pretty "appropriate" use of materials (ie scoria from volcanoes used on a species from hawaii!), I'll readily&confidently admit that I've got little care/concern for such things, I know that "purists" would poo-poo that but I don't really care as I'm trying to design specimen that **I** love, not trying to sell them to mass audiences lol ;DThe canopy needs work too. Next spring, I plan to cut back some of the larger trunks on the edges a lot. The canopy needs differentiation into distinct masses of foliage instead of one blob. This will be a challenge because the leaves are big and these things don't ramify much. You don't often see scheffleras with multiple foliage pads. But I think with the right cuts I can get one major pad of foliage, and one (maybe two) smaller ones.
AAAAAAand shit, there it is Yup that's a great bet, am betting you're right there, didn't cross my mind because the variegated cultivar is the most-plentiful one around my parts (almost forget it's "the special/unnatural version"..), at any rate if its growth-rate-hindrance from being variegated is anything like bougainvilleas' reduced rate on the variegated cultivars then I'm in trouble here lol, I've got some variegated bougies that are over a year old and hardly show any growth (and they're in way oversized containers, hyper-fertilized most of the time, and the variegated one just sits there growing at like 5% the rate of all my other bougies.....gah I hope it's not as-severe a hindrance on schefflera's!!As far as horticulture goes, mine have always been virtually bullet-proof. I don't know why yours are slow to grow--perhaps because they are a variegated cultivar?