Bonsai Study Group Forum

General Category => Deciduous Bonsai Discussion => Topic started by: highlander15 on March 07, 2011, 04:20 PM

Title: Chinese Tallow
Post by: highlander15 on March 07, 2011, 04:20 PM
Chinese Tallow are a major invasive species in the southern US and are especially bad here in Louisiana. Last year I started pulling up seedlings along the river by my house and was able to get over 1600 in three days. On one of these trips I saw a few older ones that I thought would make good bonsais. The largest one was bigger than any pots I had on hand so I planted it in a broken seed spreader. That turned out to be very convenient because it has wheels and a handle which makes moving it very easy. It seems like not too many people think of these trees as bonsai so I thought I'd share what I've started. If anyone else is growing these I'd love to see them.(http://www.facebook.com/album.php?id=45704005&aid=2074490#!/photo.php?fbid=617135219368&set=a.543107092328.2074490.45704005&theater)(http://www.facebook.com/album.php?id=45704005&aid=2074490#!/photo.php?fbid=617135289228&set=a.543107092328.2074490.45704005&theater)
Title: Re: Chinese Tallow
Post by: highlander15 on March 07, 2011, 04:23 PM
I can't figure out how to upload images. Any help?
Title: Re: Chinese Tallow
Post by: MatsuBonsai on March 07, 2011, 05:00 PM
http://bonsaistudygroup.com/forum-feedback/how-to-post-photos/ (http://bonsaistudygroup.com/forum-feedback/how-to-post-photos/)
Title: Re: Chinese Tallow
Post by: highlander15 on March 07, 2011, 09:28 PM
Thank you.
Title: Re: Chinese Tallow
Post by: Larry Gockley on March 08, 2011, 11:26 AM
Good start on the trunk diameter of your tree. I don't have a Chinese Tallow bonsai, but have a full sized tree in my yard. Last fall I was impressed with its small leaf size and great fall color, and plan to do an air layer this year. Larry
Title: Re: Chinese Tallow
Post by: highlander15 on March 08, 2011, 06:03 PM
I forgot to mention the fall color. Green, red, orange, and yellow all at the same time. If you could take some pictures of the air layer, I'd love to see how that goes. Also, I was wondering what to do about that big root on the larger tree. Keep it? Save it?
Title: Re: Chinese Tallow
Post by: GastroGnome on March 17, 2011, 10:18 AM
Definitely cut that root back at repotting to get fine feeder roots closer to the trunk.  Save whatever root you cut off, Tallow will bud on roots, exposed or otherwise, one of the reasons they're impossible to get rid of.  The seeds are highly poisonous to pets and children, watch out for that. 
I always mean to grab a couple when I'm out collecting in the spring, but just end up coming home with more Hornbeams and Elms!
The fall color is spectacular!
Title: Re: Chinese Tallow
Post by: RyanFrye on May 17, 2011, 11:00 AM
I have an opportunity to collect a young Chinese Tallow. Do you think I should wait until it is dormant like other deciduous trees?
Title: Re: Chinese Tallow
Post by: bretts on October 17, 2011, 05:44 AM
Yes Ryan I would wait for early spring to collect like normal.

I have been interested in this species for bonsai and have been told of branch die back in Winter. I am keen to find a solution as they should make a great bonsai in other regards. Great bark lite delicate leaves that have amazing autumn colour in warmer areas.
I have been waiting for mine to get bigger in the field but a mate did give me a decent size one to experiment on.
All I can think off at the moment is lots of health and then some cold cover in the Winter.
Last Winter it was damaged in the frost before it changed colour which was weird but next Winter will be my first full year so will see if I can improve.
Title: Re: Chinese Tallow
Post by: DBrock on October 17, 2011, 06:04 PM
I have been playing with the Chinese Tallows for a little over a year now.  I had read in an Australian forum about the die back and I did experience some this last year.  However, the rate of growth on these trees is crazy.  Threre are problems with maples dying back if pruned at the wrong time of the year(this may also apply to Tallows).  Here is one of the trees that I am working on.  I have collected several.  They have been one of my most exciting trees to work with because they develope so quickly.  The second photo is the leaf reduction which is very easily obtained. 
If you want to wait for Spring to collect a Tallow that is fine, but if you have one available to collect, you have a hundred.  In my zone, I can collect almost year around.  Good luck.
Title: Re: Chinese Tallow
Post by: MatsuBonsai on October 17, 2011, 09:07 PM
That's some pretty impressive leaf reduction.
Title: Re: Chinese Tallow
Post by: Zach Smith on October 18, 2011, 03:13 PM
That's some pretty impressive leaf reduction.
They can be trimmed back/defoliated multiple times during the growing season, and come back with smaller leaves.  I've been thread-grafting branches on one this year, directing energy to the grafts and away from everywhere else, and the leaves have come back smaller each time.  It's going to be interesting to see if I get fall color, which I get little of down here.  The smallest twigs won't make it through winter, but once the branches are 1/4" thick they seem to be fine.

Zach
Title: Re: Chinese Tallow
Post by: DBrock on October 18, 2011, 04:46 PM
hey Zach,
Have you or anyone else tried sheltering them from light freezes to prevent the small twig dieback?  If the fine twig dieback could be stopped then Tallows could be easily worked as Shohin.  Here is a picture of a root over rock that I have.  This was actually a root that I dug out of another collected tree.  I pulled it out and after repotting the other tree, I looked at it and thought I wonder if it would live if I stretch the roots over a rock and throw it in a pot.  I think the picture answers that question.
Even if there is not a good answer to the dieback, the new growth is so vigorous that any dieback is quickly replaced.  Just a lot of clip and grow work.
Title: Re: Chinese Tallow
Post by: Zach Smith on October 18, 2011, 11:07 PM
I'm not set up for winter protection, as the trees I collect/grow are hardy.  In time I'll probably add a cold frame for certain species, and the tallow will certainly go there for the winter.  In the meantime, I'm just building branch stucture on collected trunks with the tallows, so I'm not that worried about fine branching yet.

Zach
Title: Re: Chinese Tallow
Post by: DBrock on October 19, 2011, 01:04 PM
I am developing a web site and plan to sell Tallows (as well as a number of other local species).  I am interested if their are other people in other areas of the country who are interested in purchasing a Tallow (not trying to sell here in the forum, but would be interested in feedback).  Here is the first Tallow I started working.  I collected this as a long straight trunk.  The idea was a tree similar to an Aspen, since the leaves were so similar.  Ryan Neil came and helped me with my trees for two days and he was not much in favor of it, but he said, "if you like it then that is what is important.  The first is a picture from a distance.  The second is from viewing level, looking up.
Title: Re: Chinese Tallow
Post by: nathanbs on October 19, 2011, 02:01 PM
i personally am interested in how tallow would do in So. California, I assume well. I like what i see so far and am interested
Title: Re: Chinese Tallow
Post by: DBrock on October 19, 2011, 02:15 PM
yes, it should do well their.  The reason they are so prevalent from Florida to Texas is that they were brought into Kentucky a couple hundred years ago, and they have been spreading every since.
If I can get your email, I can send you pictures of a couple that I have that are ready to sell.  They have been in pots since February.  I know that doesn't sound like long, but the pots are full of root.
My email is: dalewbrock@yahoo.com
Title: Re: Chinese Tallow
Post by: bwaynef on October 19, 2011, 03:03 PM
We're ok with selling things our members find useful ...as long as you're not here JUST to sell things to our members.  Check out http://bonsaistudygroup.com/marketplace-rules/ (http://bonsaistudygroup.com/marketplace-rules/) if you want to post your wares here.
Title: Re: Chinese Tallow
Post by: DBrock on October 19, 2011, 03:57 PM
Cool, will look at the rules to make sure how I go about that correctly.
Title: Re: Chinese Tallow
Post by: DBrock on October 19, 2011, 04:09 PM
I took a quick look at everything.  Definitely not just here to sell!  I just happen to really be into the Tallows right now.  I have been following many of the other posting, just haven't said too much as a novice.  Old saying, "Man with open mouth, has closed ears."  Just trying to learn and expand on what all I am doing in the world of bonsai. 
Since I and my wife are more closely monitoring financials, I am trying to expand my bonsai the old fashion way, sell and trade. ;D
Title: Re: Chinese Tallow
Post by: Zach Smith on October 20, 2011, 06:53 AM
I took a quick look at everything.  Definitely not just here to sell!  I just happen to really be into the Tallows right now.  I have been following many of the other posting, just haven't said too much as a novice.  Old saying, "Man with open mouth, has closed ears."  Just trying to learn and expand on what all I am doing in the world of bonsai. 
Since I and my wife are more closely monitoring financials, I am trying to expand my bonsai the old fashion way, sell and trade. ;D
If you're going to ship anything outside the fire ant "zone," you'll need to have a nursery inspection and all that goes with it.  Check out your Ag department's requirements.

Zach
Title: Re: Chinese Tallow
Post by: DBrock on November 08, 2011, 07:13 PM
Fall colors are finally showing down here near Houston.
Title: Re: Chinese Tallow
Post by: rockm on November 09, 2011, 10:31 AM
I would be extremely careful about knowing possible agricultural restrictions on shipping this species before you sell any. It is a notoriously invasive and destrctive species and many areas in the South are actively trying to rid themselves of the species. While I don't doubt that removing one and putting it in a container aids that effort, shipping them where they may not exist helps spread the plant...
http://www.texasinvasives.org/resources/publications/04_Tallow_TFA.pdf (http://www.texasinvasives.org/resources/publications/04_Tallow_TFA.pdf)

http://fnpsblog.blogspot.com/2010/08/invasive-vs-aggressive-part-1.html (http://fnpsblog.blogspot.com/2010/08/invasive-vs-aggressive-part-1.html)
Title: Re: Chinese Tallow
Post by: DBrock on November 10, 2011, 09:38 AM
Thank you RockM for that information.  I am begining to understand why there are not more Chinese Tallows as bonsai trees.  There is alot of difference of opinion on whether Tallow is a tree that is appreciated in the United States.  The key words there are, "in the United States".  Historically, Tallow has been an important crop in China for centuries because of its oil production.  However, old Ben Franklin didn't have a clue of what he was starting when he imported them in because of their beautiful shaped leaves and wonderful fall colors. 
That PDF file you sent had the phone number to the Texas Forest Service.  I gave them a call and had a great conversation with their specialist on invassive species.  He did explain that Tallows are on the list of Texas Noxious Species and are illegal to sell (so much for that idea).  He really thought it funny about how well they work for bonsai.  Near impossible to kill.  The roots bud back quickly.  Seeds are viable for ten years on the ground, and birds eat them and thus spread the seeds.  We both aggreed that trying to irradicate them from the US is not financially feesible nor realistic.  Only thing that will stop the spread is the grow zones.  They like more tropical zones.
If you never have talked to your forestry service guys, you should.  Few people appreciate trees more than these guy and gals.  We had an extended conversation of all of the local invassive species and about bonsai.  He even wanted to see pictures of what all I was working on.
Now I understand why there are few Tallow Bonsai.  It is a shame because they lend so well to it.  However, that also means that if you are raising a Tallow as a bonsai, you have a rare tree and a rare treat.  Show it off at shows, but watch that someone doesn't come by, yank it out of its pots and stomp it to death for the greater good of your state.
Title: Re: Chinese Tallow
Post by: rockm on November 10, 2011, 10:41 AM
Good for you in calling the local forest service folks. Some sellers wouldn't have even considered doing that. I wish more people were as conscientious. 8)

As for the species itself, it makes very good bonsai, in areas where it's already established. If there are some near you, rip those suckers out and strap them into a bonsai pot. I am familiar with the species as my folks live in the "Big Thicket" in East Texas. There are a number of east Texas native species that make spectacular bonsai, but aren't used much as they're not well known. Cedar elm is one, Texas persimmon, wild plum and hawthorne are great too.

Forest service people are, indeed, unsung heroes that know a truckload of things about trees.