Bonsai Study Group Forum

General Category => Deciduous Bonsai Discussion => Topic started by: phoenix on April 26, 2011, 09:39 PM

Title: Corkscrew Willow (Salix matsudana)
Post by: phoenix on April 26, 2011, 09:39 PM
Hello Everyone,
I'm glad I was referred to this site. It looks like there are a lot a very experienced people here. I've been doing bonsai for about 5yrs now.
I guess I should start with only purchase of the season so far. I found this corkscrew willow in the back of a landscape nursery. I really like deadwood so that is what attracted me to the tree initially. It has a 3.5" trunk and currently stands about 22". I potted it in 60% dry stall, 30% leaf mold, and 10% pine bark.


Title: Re: Corkscrew Willow (Salix matsudana)
Post by: phoenix on April 26, 2011, 09:40 PM
I ran into a problem with the tree almost immediately. I started tearing away some of the deadwood and noticed rot. As I cut away at the rot, it continued to go deeper and deeper and deeper toward the root ball. I had to cut off the low branch on the right to have more space to get at the rotted wood. I believe I have all the rotted wood out. The hole is now below the soil line.
Title: Re: Corkscrew Willow (Salix matsudana)
Post by: phoenix on April 26, 2011, 09:44 PM
I drilled a hole through the root ball. I applied lime sulfur w India black ink but did not like the gray look it left. I bought a little torch and burned the deadwood. I applied wood hardener a day later. Anyone ever use a plumbing drain brush to apply wood hardener down the drain hole on a tree? Would it poison the tree since its in the rootball? So far the tree is responding well but just a little concerned.

The first picture is what I am anticipating as a primary viewing angle for now. I plan to have the branches weeping.....

Any thoughts and/or suggestions are appreciated.
Title: Re: Corkscrew Willow (Salix matsudana)
Post by: MatsuBonsai on April 27, 2011, 09:39 AM
It's my understanding that willow rot very easily, so you may be fighting that for quite some time. 

Also, I'm not really a fan of deadwood on deciduous material.
Title: Re: Corkscrew Willow (Salix matsudana)
Post by: phoenix on April 27, 2011, 02:26 PM
Thats what I've heard as well. I am not certain if that means multiple applications of wood hardener a year, or covering it when it rains, or love it till it dies  :(. I will see.

I tend to love deadwood regardless. I do think it has a greater chance of being ineffective a deciduous tree though. This tree had no choice. I just went with what was there.
Title: Re: Corkscrew Willow (Salix matsudana)
Post by: MatsuBonsai on April 27, 2011, 04:24 PM
What kind/brand of wood hardener are you using?
Title: Re: Corkscrew Willow (Salix matsudana)
Post by: phoenix on April 27, 2011, 05:07 PM
I'm using Minwax "high performing" wood hardener. Its worked well on my bougainvillea but needs to be reapplied at least every other year on that tree.
Title: Re: Corkscrew Willow (Salix matsudana)
Post by: bonsaikc on April 29, 2011, 04:13 PM
It's my understanding that willow rot very easily, so you may be fighting that for quite some time. 

Also, I'm not really a fan of deadwood on deciduous material.

I'd generally agree with the second point if the tree is a variety that can heal itself fairly easily. Some won't, and if they are harder wood can look good with deadwood.
Chris
Title: Re: Corkscrew Willow (Salix matsudana)
Post by: phoenix on February 20, 2012, 09:33 PM
For those interested, here is an update on my willow. The first branch and the 4 top branches need to thicken a bit more so I am letting them grow out. I think the 2nd and 3rd branches are ready for developing ramification.
Would love to hear folks thoughts.

Ted
Title: Re: Corkscrew Willow (Salix matsudana)
Post by: leila on February 21, 2012, 08:34 AM
I'll be keeping an eye on this thread.  I have several corkscrew willow cuttings from last season that I have high hopes for.  I'm just waiting to see if they've survived the winter, as I rooted them a little late in the season and am really new to growing plants in general.  If they survive, I'll probably let them grow all season and start working with them next season.  Maybe do some strategic pruning.... it's a wait and see with them right now.  I think willow trees are my favorite, but I don't see a lot of people working with them as bonsai.
Title: Re: Corkscrew Willow (Salix matsudana)
Post by: phoenix on February 26, 2012, 12:01 AM
I'm glad that you like its development. I think people don't tend to work with willows because they take a lot of work. They grow very fast and need a lot of wiring to achieve the weeping look. Not the greatest combination. I think another reason may be that willows also tend to have a relatively shorter lifespan than many of the other trees used in bonsai (though that lifespan is still longer than mine). I hope we both continue to enjoy our willows....

Ted