Author Topic: Chinese Tallow  (Read 11267 times)

highlander15

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Chinese Tallow
« 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.
 

highlander15

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Re: Chinese Tallow
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2011, 04:23 PM »
I can't figure out how to upload images. Any help?
 

MatsuBonsai

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highlander15

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Re: Chinese Tallow
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2011, 09:28 PM »
Thank you.
 

Larry Gockley

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Re: Chinese Tallow
« Reply #4 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
 

highlander15

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Re: Chinese Tallow
« Reply #5 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?
 

GastroGnome

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Re: Chinese Tallow
« Reply #6 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!
 

RyanFrye

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Re: Chinese Tallow
« Reply #7 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?
 

bretts

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Re: Chinese Tallow
« Reply #8 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.
 

DBrock

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Re: Chinese Tallow
« Reply #9 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.
 

MatsuBonsai

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Re: Chinese Tallow
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2011, 09:07 PM »
That's some pretty impressive leaf reduction.
 

Zach Smith

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Re: Chinese Tallow
« Reply #11 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
 

DBrock

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Re: Chinese Tallow
« Reply #12 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.
 

Zach Smith

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Re: Chinese Tallow
« Reply #13 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
 

DBrock

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Re: Chinese Tallow
« Reply #14 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.