Author Topic: Cinnamomum camphora examples?  (Read 3682 times)

plantmanky

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Cinnamomum camphora examples?
« on: May 12, 2011, 12:42 PM »
Is anyone else out there workig with Camphor?  I'd love to hear your experienes and know what design styles that have been used on this material.  Here's a picture of mine in the Natural style.
 

Elliott

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Re: Cinnamomum camphora examples?
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2011, 06:11 PM »
Ive Wondered also why no one is using this material. Here in Los Angeles, they are all over the place. little leaves, nice bark and always well ramified with naturaly short nodes.
 I saw a special on travels in Japan where a buddhist monk was using a huge piece of camphor wood to carve buddha statues.  He said the wood was hard, long lasting and repelled insects. I wonder if they are natives of Japan. If they are, then there must be some flaw in them because I don't ever remember seeing one as a bonsai in Japan, or here untill now. Im sure someone here will have the 411 on them.
 

plantmanky

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Re: Cinnamomum camphora examples?
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2011, 07:47 PM »
I wonder if they are natives of Japan. If they are, then there must be some flaw in them because I don't ever remember seeing one as a bonsai in Japan, or here until now. I'm sure someone here will have the 411 on them.

Elliot,

They are native to Taiwan, Southern Japan, Southern China and Indochina.  They are not the easiest tree to work on but I just love mine even with it's minor flaws.  I just love the bark of the tree and the fact that it is so hardy and can take lot's of abuse and still be nice by the end of a season.  I'll bet someone in Japan has used it but it's not a tree that you can work on like Pines, Maples and azalea which is probably why it's not often seen.

Randy
 

bwaynef

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Re: Cinnamomum camphora examples?
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2011, 08:07 AM »
They are not the easiest tree to work on... 
...it's not a tree that you can work on like Pines, Maples and azalea...

Could you elaborate as to WHY that is the case?
 

plantmanky

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Re: Cinnamomum camphora examples?
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2011, 09:11 AM »
They are not the easiest tree to work on... 
...it's not a tree that you can work on like Pines, Maples and azalea...

Could you elaborate as to WHY that is the case?

bwaynef,

This is one of those trees that has some different qualities to keep it looking good.  While not difficult or more time consuming than other plant material you must have a clear idea of what you want out of the tree design wise in advance.  They are quite strong growers both in foliage and roots. They bud back on old wood extremely well and leaf reduces OK. I have found that because the roots are so fibrous they will fill any container in a year or two but should only be repotted every 3 years. In the third year when the roots are packed in tightly the leaves are smaller in size. I'm quite aggressive when doing root reduction and just use a large serrated knife to cut off 1/3 - 1/2 of the roots both horizontally and vertically. In the year following the root reduction they will put on strong growth and larger leaves which should be trimmed back to keep it in check. I usually on the second year after re-potting will completely remove the canopy to just branches (no leaves at all) to keep it in reasonable scale with the trunk. The trunk growth is quite slow in a container so it's not uncommon to see them rather small. If grown from seed they are quite reluctant to develop bark on the trunk which can take upwards of 20 years or more which was the case with mine. If you have them growing in your area getting some nice one's out of the ground would be a distinct advantage although a trunk chop would take decades to heal over and may encourage one to do some carving instead of waiting. They also suck up water and food during the growting season like there's no tomorrow. I'd love to hear the experiences of others and know the design styles that have been tried. I have elected to do a rather natural style as that's usually my preference. I hope I get seeds this year as it's flowering like crazy so I can get some new material to try other designs to see how it performs.

 

Dan James

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Re: Cinnamomum camphora examples?
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2012, 10:15 AM »
In Japan, this tree is known as Kusunoki. They grow every where. They are long lived, and the most ancient, magnificent ones are found at shrines. I've seen them here so large that small shrines have been built in there hollowed trunks.

They are not commonly used here as bonsai, and so  I asked my teacher six months ago why that was. He said he wasn't sure but it could be because it's seen as nothing special, or so common that it's often over looked. This is often the case for Konara ( Japanese Oak), which has been neglected as a bonsai species for some time, but recently has getting a lot of a attention here.

A Kusunoki came to the nursery about two months ago, and my teacher new I was interested, so he gave me the okay to do the first styling and potting.

Here's four pictures of how it came, the wiring, re-potting and where its at about two months later.



Part of the problem with this species, that I've noticed from looking at them at parks, is that they take a very long time to develop a rough bark. Branches that grow from the trunks take years to roughen up.