Bonsai Study Group Forum

General Category => Deciduous Bonsai Discussion => Topic started by: SpongeMann on January 26, 2015, 02:58 PM

Title: Collected Albizia Jullibrissin
Post by: SpongeMann on January 26, 2015, 02:58 PM
These invasive guys are everywhere out here. You  don't see too many fully grown trees. They get chopped down quick. But I found this one in the woods. It hav a little bit of a inverse taper but I can fix that. I took terrible pics of the roots . But they have the nitrogen fixing nodules. That are pretty cool. I truck chopped it last year while it was in the ground. And I collected it yesterday with the Crape. It was pretty leggy. Lets see how it recovers from the transplant.
Title: Re: Collected Albizia Jullibrissin
Post by: SpongeMann on January 26, 2015, 03:28 PM
I am debating on making a longer cut and deadwood or hollowing out the trunk just for practice.  This tree must be 6  years old. From what I read I guess they only live 15 years. I have a few small albizias that have pretty good leaf reduction. What do you guys think?
Title: Re: Collected Albizia Jullibrissin
Post by: SpongeMann on January 26, 2015, 03:56 PM
I am going to take 4inches off and it will be a 12 inches tall
Title: Re: Re: Collected Albizia Jullibrissin
Post by: SpongeMann on January 27, 2015, 04:34 PM
A little albizia I started messing around with last summer. I finally got a couple of branches. It has been a slow process. But it is just for practice. I dont want to buy any trees till I feel like I have learned enough to uderstand their needs.
Title: Re: Collected Albizia Jullibrissin
Post by: SpongeMann on January 27, 2015, 04:37 PM
Here it is. I will prune the apex in a few days.
Title: Re: Collected Albizia Jullibrissin
Post by: coh on January 27, 2015, 04:43 PM
I'm looking forward to seeing these trees develop. I've got a couple that I'm working with up here. One is in a pot so development is slow (I'm still working on trunk size...got the tree from someone in Louisiana so don't know if it would survive in the ground here). The other is a supposedly hardier cultivar (E.H. Wilson) that has been in the ground for 2 seasons and is developing quickly. It gets another year in the ground, then gets dug for root work in 2016. Provided it survives, that is, as we're near the edge of their range. It did make it through the super cold winter last year, so I'm cautiously optimistic.

Chris
Title: Re: Collected Albizia Jullibrissin
Post by: Leo in NE Illinois on January 30, 2015, 04:11 PM
Nice big trunk for a starter tree. I would not do the long angle cut until after a growing season or two. You want to see where it buds back, then figure out branch placement. Afterwards then you can cut the angle to shape the wound, from just above a bottom branch to just below the top branch. If you cut the long angle now and branches don't appear in the ''right" places you may have trouble healing the wound.

As for published life spans of trees, generally those 'lifespans' are bogus. I have seen plenty of Albizia well over 30 and 40 years old in the landscape. If the data came from Landscape Architecture texts, it refers to how long it will be a small graceful flowering tree in a manicured garden setting, after which it will get too big and unruly to fit the garden magazine ideal for a little tree. The old Albizia I have seen were ''ugly'', lots of broken branches, and leaving large amounts of litter on the ground, ugly for a manicured garden, but just fine as a tree.

Timber trees often have listed life spans, for example red oak is listed as 70 years in Wisconsin, we all know of oaks that are hundreds of years old. The source of the "lifespan" data is from a lumber production orientated forest management article, that is the age at which a large planting of many acres will have roughly 25% of the trees developing heart wood rots, beginning to form hollow trunks thus making the $$$ yield for timber harvest less valuable. Trees have open ended life spans, they don't expire the way dogs and people do. So ignore published life span data when considering species for bonsai, unless you know specifically how the data would apply to a bonsai setting.

Mulberries are listed as short lived trees, yet the mulberries planted by Thomas Jefferson at Monticello in Virginia are still there, and growing.

But you have a nice start there with your Albizia, both look good. I like your concept of practicing on free material that is locally native. That is the ''original'' concept that the Japanese used before bonsai was a major nursery industry in Japan. What other species grow in your  landscape that interest you? I recommend getting about 10 to 25 trees in pots to keep you busy enough while learning so that you won''t be tempted to do too much in one growing season on any one tree. The solution to impatience is to have more trees.
Title: Re: Collected Albizia Jullibrissin
Post by: Leo in NE Illinois on January 30, 2015, 04:18 PM
I just noticed your other posts, you have a bunch of projects going. That is the way to learn, good start.
Title: Re:
Post by: SpongeMann on January 31, 2015, 03:03 AM
Hey fellas thank you for participating in the thread. Chris I ve been dying for someone with albizia j to respond . How do you make your trees break bud for lateral growth?  I find cut and grow  to work with heavy fertilizing. You will be pretty surprised my uncle in Upstate New York has a tree that I gave him and it wakes back up every spring it'll have a few limbs missing but it grows them back fast. The small tree Im messing with has been in a wallapini all winter it has some yellow leaves but it hasnt gone dormant. Im in norther central florida. It'll drop down in the twenties .
Leo thanks everything you said just saved me soo much time. Ive been researching and all I could come up with was a blog about keeping trees young by active growth by pruning. That if you prune a normal  mature tree for years it'll live for a long time and yeah that sounds logical. But you have settled my thoughts lol. It all makes so much sense now. Thats cool that you noticed my intentions.  I didnt know that is is the original concept of bonsai. My interest in bonsai  started because of a crape myrtle from my threads thats was on my property. It was 3and 1/2 feet tall but it looked like a tree . So I started researching online and I noticed it was still too big. I also noticed alot of videos and blogs from novices on trees that they bought in box stores or nurseries. And I didn't want to be that guy. I wanted to learn from what i see every day when I look outside and see the Live Oaks , Swamp Bays,and Dahoon Hollies on my property.  Which I have a few pre bonsai of. The Swamp Bay they respond very good to trunk chops. Sometimes the growth will only sprout from the base. I think its good material and the sap smells great. You could break a branch or crush a leaf and smell it . Its great. Trees that grab my interest are Sea grape, bald Cypress, Muscadine grapes which I have a vine that I want to harvest but I dont know enough of. Pineland Acacia,Florida mahogany and Gumbo limbo which I haven't found yet Eastern Redbud,Black mangrove , on the bucketlist, and my favorite Ficus Aurea. There are many more but these are my tops. I started bonsai because of the crape and I love trees. I would  sit outside and always be amazed by the live oaks. I grew up in New England our trees are similar to Illinois trees  . When I moved down here and seen the variety of trees that grew here I was hooked.  I have succulents and fruit trees that keep me busy most of the time.
Title: Re:
Post by: coh on January 31, 2015, 02:23 PM
Hey fellas thank you for participating in the thread. Chris I ve been dying for someone with albizia j to respond . How do you make your trees break bud for lateral growth?  I find cut and grow  to work with heavy fertilizing. You will be pretty surprised my uncle in Upstate New York has a tree that I gave him and it wakes back up every spring it'll have a few limbs missing but it grows them back fast. The small tree Im messing with has been in a wallapini all winter it has some yellow leaves but it hasnt gone dormant. Im in norther central florida. It'll drop down in the twenties .
I haven't done any pruning yet. My trees are being allowed to just grow to build the size trunk I want.  The one in the ground may be in line for a significant cut back this spring, but I'll have to reevaluate once the weather starts to warm up.

There are a few here and there in the landscape out here. We are in an area that is somewhat tempered by the Lakes, so it doesn't get as cold here as it does in other parts of upstate NY. Typically each winter we'll get down to about -10 F once or twice. I think the coldest ever recorded was -22 but I've been here for 10+ years and don't think we've gotten below -10 or -12. I did notice that the ones in the landscape suffered more extensive winter damage last year.

By the way, Bill Valavanis had a couple of albizia bonsai at one point. As he puts it, they are now "permanently dormant" (not sure what happened to them). You can see a photo of one of his here (scroll down to the next to last image):

http://artofbonsai.org/galleries/valavanis.php (http://artofbonsai.org/galleries/valavanis.php)

Chris
Title: Re:
Post by: SpongeMann on January 31, 2015, 05:40 PM
Yes I seen the tree a couple of years ago online. But I couldnt find any blogs specifically for that tree. I get pretty good leaf reduction on my bad material that I prune for practice.   I put them in full sun and prune and they get drastically smaller. I will post pics this summer.
Title: Re: Collected Albizia Jullibrissin
Post by: Leo in NE Illinois on February 02, 2015, 09:35 PM
Your list of the locally native trees is excellent. Dahoon Hollies and bald cypress definitely make good bonsai. For the holly, you can follow the general care and pruning techniques that the Japanese use for their native deciduous holly. Bald Cypress is a favorite of mine, though I currently only have a few seedlings.

Swamp bay is a problem common name, do you mean a Persea palustris? Perhaps a Lindera species? Or Magnolia virginiana? Or Myrica species? K Murata in his book Four Seasons of Bonsai has a lovely photo of the Japanese species of Lindera, it definitely makes a good bonsai, I don't understand why in the USA we haven't seen many using any of the 3 native species of Lindera. Persea palustris should make a decent bonsai. But I don't know much about Persea palustris. My guess would be that it would have some of the same design problems that magnolia has, being leaves on the large side and a somewhat coarse branch structure, making fine ramification difficult. Both problems can be solved with time. One method would be to shoot for a larger size bonsai, say over 24 inches tall and wide. I would be very interested in seeing a thread devoted to Swamp Bay, regardless of which of the possible unrelated genera yours is in. 

One of the days I'll have to post a photo of my Bursera fagariodes the Mexican species related to Gumbo Limbo. I like it for its fragrant sap, love working on it, but it has issues, always wants to create reverse taper here and there. Neat tree none the less. And totally drought tolerant - I haven't watered mine in over 2 months (leave leave it dormant for the winter). Behaves more like a cactus than a tree.
Title: Re:
Post by: SpongeMann on February 03, 2015, 03:09 PM
Yes it is Persea palustrus. The leaves aren't too bad they are like medium sized ficus leaves . I really like how they just want to grow.  I collected a few to mess around with and chopped one   back within a week it sprouted buds all over.
Title: Re: Collected Albizia Jullibrissin
Post by: SpongeMann on February 03, 2015, 03:18 PM
I went back today and collected two Albizia j. that I tagged. I was able to get a good amount of roots on one. the other Has a few I think it'll make it. Ill put it in a metal table I have outside.  And see if the heat helps root growth.
Title: Re: Collected Albizia Jullibrissin
Post by: SpongeMann on February 03, 2015, 03:24 PM
Here is the first one. I cut into the branch last year to make it into a twin trunk. And the bark has rolled over alot in the past year. I think It'll be pretty cool.
Title: Re: Collected Albizia Jullibrissin
Post by: SpongeMann on February 03, 2015, 03:32 PM
This is the second one it had weird upside Feildgoal posts so I chopped the feildgoal  posts down. I split the base last year . To see if gets better taper.  The other one I split Had great taper which it lost a little because of the trunk split. But I like the outcome. Practice makes perfect and I'm practicing.
Title: Re: Collected Albizia Jullibrissin
Post by: SpongeMann on February 03, 2015, 03:45 PM
They are not that bad. I give Albizia J. full sun and the leaves stay considerably small compared to the huge mature leaves.
Title: Re: Collected Albizia Jullibrissin
Post by: Leo in NE Illinois on February 04, 2015, 01:14 PM
Nice Albizia additions, they do have some taper. If they were mine, I would burry the surface roots you have that are exposed, maybe another inch of media (soil). Even if you eventually want exposed roots, at least in the early phases, I would keep them buried for a couple years. You want roots out the bottom side of the surface roots, and that won''t happen if they are on top of the soil. Just my 2 cents. You can always expose them later down the road.
Title: Re: Collected Albizia Jullibrissin
Post by: SpongeMann on February 04, 2015, 05:13 PM
Whats up leo. They were exposed when I collected them. But I did throw more rocks on in the pots. I have to fill them with rocks so the squirrels don't get in the soil. They have pulled a couple of Little trees and seedlings. And they terrorize my Lutino lovebirds .
Title: Re: Collected Albizia Jullibrissin
Post by: SpongeMann on March 15, 2015, 12:31 AM
Hi everyone. Trees are finally waking up around here. The large trident maple in my back yard was the first to leaf out. Its roots are exposed til about twenty feet from the trunk. The grass is thick back there so is not such a tripping hazard. I made a cement pot/slab (I don't know what it is lol) a few days ago for a planting. I really like Pedro Morales's Royal Poinciana . So I got the two albizia that are the most vigorous . Which needed a repot.
Title: Re: Collected Albizia Jullibrissin
Post by: SpongeMann on March 15, 2015, 12:35 AM
Here is the pot. It's not pretty but it my first crack at it. I cut the top of water bottles for the drainage holes.
Title: Re: Collected Albizia Jullibrissin
Post by: SpongeMann on March 15, 2015, 12:41 AM
I found the tree with the straightish trunk at the beach. It was topped by city workers lawnmowers. It had the leader when I collected it.
Title: Re: Collected Albizia Jullibrissin
Post by: SpongeMann on March 15, 2015, 12:47 AM
I guess I could've done a better job shaping the mounds but they will be brought down in the future anyway. These trees are on their third root pruning. I don't thi no I'll get a good Newark from albizias.
Title: Re: Collected Albizia Jullibrissin
Post by: SpongeMann on March 15, 2015, 01:07 AM
Most of the buds on the twisted tree are breaking in the wrong places. I want the the straight trees canopy to be wide and the twisted tree to reach out from under the canopy. Sorry I'm bad with words bear with me .  :-\ People ask me why haven't I found a girlfriend in florida since I got back. The answer is plants and Bonsai. It consumes every little bit of my extra time but I'm having a blast. I guess I need to find a girl with the same interests hint hint to the beautiful girls out there  ;)
Title: Re: Collected Albizia Jullibrissin
Post by: Potawatomi13 on April 27, 2015, 05:25 AM
As for the buds breaking in all the wrong places:  It figures! :-\  It's an interesting project you're tackling.  I think it was John Naka that said in Bonsai techniques somewhere that with this type of trees with compound leaves that these leaves can substitute for some of the ramification that we normally try to develop.  Changing your desired branching structure on the run may be something you'll have to learn to do with these but it will prove valuable learning in the long run.  Spending some time with the local Bonsai Clubs might help you find a girlfriend.  Best of fortune with both of these projects. ;)
Title: Re: Collected Albizia Jullibrissin
Post by: SpongeMann on August 20, 2015, 12:47 PM
Potawatomi your name cool. I will post some pics of them when I get home. I prune them recently. I let them grow unrestricted and two got a little leggy but I'll get them in check. Lol. As for the shohin island. I added a cutting a few seeds and cuttings to see what takes. I think  the trees have good enough movement, good leaf reduction, and some ramification . I Thank god for these long summers . I get alot out of these trees.
Title: Re: Collected Albizia Jullibrissin
Post by: SpongeMann on December 11, 2015, 10:39 AM
 Hey guys I got some die back on basically all my Albizias but they are alive. We got a cold snap that hit the area unexpectedly. I have a pic of the island I started. I have a few more trees I'm growing, which I will add to it this spring.
Title: Re: Collected Albizia Jullibrissin
Post by: SpongeMann on December 11, 2015, 10:42 AM
I need to take more pics of the other ????s. Thanks
Title: Re: Collected Albizia Jullibrissin
Post by: coh on December 11, 2015, 09:19 PM
Good to see the update!

Regarding my albizias...

One that I have in a pot (have had it for probably 4 or 5 years now) is plugging along, still just letting it grow to build the trunk. I got this one from someone in the southern U.S. (Louisiana), so it may not be as hardy as the ones from up north. Thus it remains in the pot so I can give it some winter protection.

I have 2 others in the ground, one in my growing bed for future bonsai use and the other just for the garden. Unfortunately, both were severely damaged this spring by bark beetles (either shot hole or ambrosia beetles). They dug many tunnels into the trunks and killed the trunks back to the base. I lost a couple of years of trunk development. Fortunately there was strong growth from the base, which has gotten large...but now has about 6 or 7 trunks. I have to decide how to handle this in the spring, maybe cut back all but 1 or 2. I'm also going to have to apply pesticides to try to prevent future attacks. The borers did the same thing to several other trees in my grow beds.

Chris
Title: Re: Collected Albizia Jullibrissin
Post by: SpongeMann on December 16, 2015, 11:01 PM
Hey Coh, you know what? A couple of mine have that same problem . Borers ate half of the trunks . The big tree was weakened it the perfect area . Right where it has inverse taper. So late January I'll carve it out it is pretty stressed. I'll take some pics feel free to add some pics of the damage .
Title: Re: Collected Albizia Jullibrissin
Post by: SpongeMann on January 25, 2016, 12:59 AM
Hi everyone . I have a few updates and newer projects that I would like everyone to see. Chris , I have a few pics of the the tall Albizia J that had borers . I peeled back the dead bark to find the cambium. The line is exactly where I wanted to carve . It will take the slight ,inverse taper off .I also wanted too see if it grew roots up higher on the trunk. It did, so u cut it back and it just stood up perfectly at a windswept or cascade  position. Truthfully, I'm excited to see it show me where to take it.
Title: Re: Collected Albizia Jullibrissin
Post by: SpongeMann on January 25, 2016, 01:13 AM
The tree doesn't have any more ants atm, but they always seem to come back. The base on the side with the deadwood doesn't look as good as the other. It's ok . I will have to bore a hole out-of the bottom or a channel down the side  to let water flow out.