tamarix in training

bonhe

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This tree is about 10 years old. It was from the cutting. I may place it into the ceramic pot in 2 years.
Bonhe
 

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bonhe

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another view and its trunk base diameter 2.5",
I love tamarix because it is so easy to care for in my area. It likes dry hot weather and hard water, too. It can be produced from cutting easily: just put the cutting into the water, place them in the shade. A week later, you can already see some white roots ! It grows so fast. Be careful, don't put it into the ground because its rootage can choke the drainage or water pipe system (it loves water)
Bonhe
 

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grouper52

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That's a nice tree, Bonhe. The growth habit on the branches is interesting - is that how it grows naturally?
 

Saru Bonsai

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Really neat looking tree you have there. Do you know what species of tamarix this is? I'm wondering because i think i'd like to try styling a tamarix. They are quite unique looking. Also, how well do the branches keep their shape after the wire is removed? And do you have to wire the foliage downward to get that graceful weeping look?
 

RyanFrye

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Very Nice start you have there...keep us updated! :)
 

bonhe

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That's a nice tree, Bonhe. The growth habit on the branches is interesting - is that how it grows naturally?
Thanks Grouper52, I'm not sure if its branches grow like that in the nature, however, I really love this kind of branch shape. I will ask my teacher who is an expert in tamarix.

Really neat looking tree you have there. Do you know what species of tamarix this is? I'm wondering because i think i'd like to try styling a tamarix. They are quite unique looking. Also, how well do the branches keep their shape after the wire is removed? And do you have to wire the foliage downward to get that graceful weeping look?
Thanks Saru Bonsai, I will ask my teacher about this tamarix species name. In my area, there are so many wild tamarix and its leave is different with this tamarix. The branch keeps its shape well after wiring removal. Yes, you have to wire the foliage downward to get this effect in no time (if you don't want to wire it, it takes a while to see this effect)

Very Nice start you have there...keep us updated! :)
Thanks RyanFrye, I will update it.

pic 2 really brings out the beauty of this tree.
Hi Rick, I prefer pic. 4.
Bonhe
 

Attila Soos

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Veri nice tamarisk.
I call this style the "California style", since here in California this is a very popular style to grow this species. I have one in my backyard, in a few years I will probably style it the same way, since it looks like a lot of fun, and it is the closest image to the one in nature - which is a light and lacey foliage. Traditional pads would look rather clumsy on this tree.

The species name is Tamarix ramosissima (Salt cedar). It produces excess salt, so the soil around it becomes salty.
A large shrub that eventually takes on a weeping habit, but only after the branches grow very long. So you have to use wire, unless you want a giant garden-size bonsai.

Unfortunately, this species is destroying the desert flora in these parts, and sucking the soil dry (it is practically indestructible), but, as all invasives, it is a good bonsai subject. It reminds me of another invasive, the Casuarina in Florida.

(And apologies to Bonhe, it shouldn't be my job here to complain about invasives, but rather to find species suitable for bonsai, and the Tamarix is a very good one:))

PS.: There is only one caveat to the Tamarix's suitability as bonsai: I saw in a species description on one website that "under optimal conditions" this species lives up to 25 years. It is rather curious that a tough species like this has such a short life-span.
 
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bonhe

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Hi Attila, thanks for information. You don't need apology since I gave a warning to people.:)
Bonhe
 

Si Nguyen

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That's a really nice tamarix Bonhe! Good work on those branches! You know I got a few of these, including some big trunks, but mine are no where near this trained. I bought a really nice one from Richard Ota about 15 years ago, but it kept losing branches. Now it is back to square one. Your tree is a bit too tall and too straight on top. If it was mine, I would pick another leader and bring it up for more trunk movement and a shorter tree. It is still a pretty nice tree though.

Thanks for all the info Atilla! I didn't know any of that. I have an uncle in Southern California who grows these tamarix in pots without any drainage holes and in almost pure sand, and his trees grow very well for years. He water them only once a week or less.
Si
 
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bonhe

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Thanks Si. I'll visit your home some time in the near future, then we can discuss about tamarix :). This tree looks too tall at this time, but when those branches are getting longer and longer, it will be in perfect shape, do you think so? In the pic. 4, the top is not straight, isn't it? However, with the tamarix, it is too easy to cut off the branch and regrow it since it's growing fast here.

Yes, I will try to block the pot drainage holes of some of my tamarix to see how they do. Good idea. Thanks Si.
Bonhe
 

Si Nguyen

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Hi Bonhe, I'd love to see this tree in person. There's alot to talk about with this tree. Looking at it again, I am sure it is too tall. I would chop it at the RED line and use the chopped top for an instant bonsai. That top portion would make a fine small tamarix! Let it recover a bit longer first before you chop it so as to improve the chance of survival of the chopped branch. I'd cut the small dead root too (at the BLUE line).
Si
 

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Si Nguyen

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Yes, I will try to block the pot drainage holes of some of my tamarix to see how they do. Good idea. Thanks Si.
Bonhe

I don't know for sure if it would work for tamarix or not! So don't blame me if it kills your tree. I have never actually tried it for tamarix yet. Although I am 100% certain that my uncle grows them like that for years. I do have some willows, ficus, and dwarf scheflera that are in no-drain pots and doing well, and one medium Chinese elm in standing water (with no drainage at all) for 3-4 years and it is growing wild and crazy. I know Bald cypress and Montezuma cypress will do fine with no drainage holes too. I'd done that. You can get nice Chinese bonsai pots with no holes. I know this sounds crazy and goes against what we were taught, but you know in Vietnam they never worried about drainage either. Definitely won't work for conifers!
Si
 

Rick Moquin

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PS.: There is only one caveat to the Tamarix's suitability as bonsai: I saw in a species description on one website that "under optimal conditions" this species lives up to 25 years. It is rather curious that a tough species like this has such a short life-span.

Interesting! I have also heard that particular phenomena for other species as well. The recommendation is to give the tree a 3-5 year break from "college" every now and again and plant them out. The result is regained vigour and often a more interesting direction whilst extending the trees life. This may not be applicable to Tamarix but it is in the case of various Acer cultivars.

... horticulturally speaking trees where not designed to spend their lives in a pot. Although we only work on healthy trees etc, etc, etc, each intervention affects the life span, instead of growing freely, it is constantly mending itself. You would get tired of living as well if most of your adult life was spent in a cast or in a hospital. The latter sentence is of course a metaphor leading to and from the point that our trees need a rest some times and that planting them out every now and then is beneficial, some species require this, whilst others do not, but would definitely benefit.
 

greerhw

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How do you train this species, do you wire the branches, are just clip and grow ?

keep it green,
Harry
 

bonhe

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Hi Bonhe, I'd love to see this tree in person. There's alot to talk about with this tree. Looking at it again, I am sure it is too tall. I would chop it at the RED line and use the chopped top for an instant bonsai. That top portion would make a fine small tamarix! Let it recover a bit longer first before you chop it so as to improve the chance of survival of the chopped branch. I'd cut the small dead root too (at the BLUE line).
Si
Hello Si, I probably follow your design. the small dead root was removed. Thanks. Bonhe
 

bonhe

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That's a really nice tamarix Bonhe! Good work on those branches! You know I got a few of these, including some big trunks, but mine are no where near this trained. I bought a really nice one from Richard Ota about 15 years ago, but it kept losing branches. Now it is back to square one.
Si
Your tamarix trees possible don't like the weather in your area. It likes azalea can't survive in my area. Bonhe
 

bonhe

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I don't know for sure if it would work for tamarix or not! So don't blame me if it kills your tree. I have never actually tried it for tamarix yet. Although I am 100% certain that my uncle grows them like that for years.
Si
Don't worry Si, I have 5 of them from the cutting 2 years ago. It's growing like a weed in my area. Bonhe
 

bonhe

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How do you train this species, do you wire the branches, are just clip and grow ?

keep it green,
Harry
Hi Harry, the branches were wired phase by phase, not clip and grow method.
Bonhe
 

bonhe

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Let me update this tree. After 17 days from the first picture, you can see it's growing crazily. It means that if you have 4-5 of them, you will be very busy all year long just for taking care of them, otherwise they will go out of shape in no time. Bonhe
 

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