Unknown "yamadori" styling

GerhardG

Mame
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Rosh Pinah, Namibia
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Hi Everybody

This is a tree I found last summer
I pruned it just before winter (April/May 2008) and chopped the big surface root on the left side.
It was left in peace throughout the winter and we dug it up about 4 weeks ago and it seems very happy.
I now know it backbuds and must be pretty hardy so I'm chuffed to say the least.

Only one big problem: I have no idea about the species.

I consider myself somebody who notices nature around me, even pre-bonsai, and unfortunately I can't remember ever seeing a tree like this.
Considering where I got it, it could unfortunately be a non-native.
I have the Tree Atlas of Namibia, but many hours of searching has brought me no closer to an ID.

But this is a styling question......

As you can see there are 4 trunks, and I'm looking for opinions on the one coming off the lefthand side.
My first idea was to remove smallest trunk in the middle for the simple reason it's the thinnest and had the least developed bark.
Many more hours looking at it changed my mind, I now think that branch needs to go and I can develop this triple trunk with what is left.

I know it should stay untouched for now, and if that branch has to go I want to try for an air layer.

I have no end result in mind yet, I have to get to know the tree first. The tree already has a shari at the base (the reason for choosing a provisional front) and another on one branch that will need to be enlarged (part of branch removal to get rid of negative taper) somewhere along the line...

Sorry that my pictures aren't the best, blame the equipment as much as the user.
I have more pics including close-ups, I would be grateful for all opinions and suggestions and I'm more than willing to post more pics on request if anything is unclear.

Thanks
Gerhard
 

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onlyrey

Mame
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Indian Rocks Beach, FL
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Gerhard,

I wouldn't really know but I am intrigued to know what native species bonsai from Namibia would look like. Can you take closer photos of the folliage so somebody more experienced can look at the leaves and at least point you in a direction? If it flowers, a picture of that should help too, but for that you might have to let new growth go wild or just take pictures of a the same species tree at the place where you picked this one up.

Nice material by the way; from looking at it, it has a bottlebrush tree feel to it. You might look for bottlebrush bonsai pictures to maybe see potential looks.
 
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GerhardG

Mame
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Rosh Pinah, Namibia
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Hi Rey

Well, I guess a truly Namibian bonsai would have to be an Acacia of some sort, preferably Camelthorn if anybody could do that propperly.

I have a Acacia Galpinii that's coming along nicely, but the same is true for all my plants: early days yet...

Here's a pic of the leaves from the day we dug it up, not the best but, of course, I can't find the good pic right now.
Basically (like my landlady pointed out) it's the same leaf shape as weed (mary jane etc etc) only without the serated edges. Taking a stab here - that's called palmate????
Anyway, I know it flowers and fruits, so basically I'm waiting for that to take the identification process further.
I can however tell you that I grew up playing in wild areas inside the city as well as on farms, not to even mention the time spent fishing.
I might not know the latin names, but I am very familiar with 99% of the local trees. I'm sure I would remember if I saw something like it - I notice things....

Also, if it does not have thorns it is suspect:D Really, everything here has thorns or some nasty form of defence.....
I got it on the far bank of a dam right on the outskirts of town, it was empty for many years, people collected sand and no doubt dumped garden refuse, so it could have escaped from a garden.
If I had ANY idea of the age, that could narrow things down.

So...styling wise.....is that outside branch one of the lucky 3, or does it get chopped in favour of the skinny brother in the middle?

Thanks
Gerhard
 

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Attila Soos

Omono
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I would remove the branch/trunk that grows straight up, the straightest branch of all four. I don't see any use of that, since you need some movement, this is not a formal upright tree.

Then, I would reduce the rest of the branches by half and wait for the new foliage to grow closer to the base. You need to make this into a much smaller tree, so the styling phase comes after you have plenty of new branches to work with.

Since summer is approaching in your hemisphere, this may be a good time to do this.


(By the way, it reminds me of a Chaste tree - Vitex agnus castus - check it out)

Regards,
Attila
 
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GerhardG

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Rosh Pinah, Namibia
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Hi Atilla

An action pic from the dig:D, mainly to give you an idea how much it's grown in a short while.

I pruned it heavily before the winter, and it will definately loose a lot of height during training, but for this season I'm letting it grow.
I want to ID it (thanks for the attempt) and spend as much time as possible looking at it and planning/dreaming.

Very interesting suggestion regarding that straight trunk. I never even considered taking that out and reading your suggestion I immediately had a list of why I don't consider that feasible.

But your argument is 100% valid and I'll have to look into that.

I think that should be another beginner rule: If you have 4 trunks, give equal consideration to removing any one of the four.

Thanks,
Gerhard
 

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Cadillactaste

Neagari Gal
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Pulling up an old thread...because if mention if the bottlebrush possibility. Checked and seen your still an active member, that said...do you still have this tree? And...any recent photos? Was it infant a bottlebrush or another species of tree? The photo of the actual dig...surprised me. I hadn't assumed it was as large as it was from the first photos.
 

GerhardG

Mame
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Rosh Pinah, Namibia
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Hi

Gave this tree away when I moved the next year.

As far as I know it's still alive, but I have no idea what it looks like........person I gave it to is the guy on the left, he's been into bonsai since age 17 so he has beautiful trees, but he's the laziest phuck with a camera I've ever seen.

99% sure it's a Vitex.
 
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