Bonsai Study Group Forum

General Category => Deciduous Bonsai Discussion => Topic started by: Elliott on May 18, 2011, 11:14 AM

Title: craype myrtle
Post by: Elliott on May 18, 2011, 11:14 AM
So I finaly picked up a sweet craype myrtle.  Fat trunk with nice muscleling, awesome nebari/ basal flare and peeling bark with watermellon flowers. Does anyone have any experience with defoliating to reduce leaf size and improve ramification? I have seen them snapped off at the base from a car accident, lay around on the sidewalk in the Los Angeles summer heat and then bud out like nothing happened, so I know there very tough. I want to enjoy the flowers, so I dont want to defoliate if it wont give good results like it does with most other broad leaf species. Ive got alot more experience with oak/ olive/ ficus etc. So just wondering. Also, what is the best way to trim them and preseve or develope flower buds. I know flowers on this species usualy mean you lose some of the shape of the tree, but this is a sumo that is almost wide as its tall (probably at least 12 inch base and maybe 14 inches tall), so it shouldnt mess it up to much.
Title: Re: craype myrtle
Post by: bwaynef on May 18, 2011, 02:54 PM
I'd love to see a pic of it.  My previous attempt at crape myrtle ended up dead as a result of it becoming dislodged from its pot in winter storage and roots drying out.  I liked it so much that I now have one I can't lift by myself, collected it this spring.

I found that here in SC, I was able to prune it up until the beginning of July (if memory serves) and still have some flowers late into summer.  I'd imagine LA has a longer season so adjust accordingly.  Also, I found that hard pruning/ramification is the ideal way to develop smaller leaves.  Wire while the shoots are still tender or risk snapping the branch.  (Its still possible to wire lignified branches, but you'll lose some before you get a good feel for their snapping point.)
Title: Re: craype myrtle
Post by: Elliott on May 19, 2011, 11:44 AM
Thanks... thats what i figured. As far as bending the branches, I will do as much cut n grow plus guy wires as possible. As you know from our online chat yesterday, I work in a hospital. I use the the rubber tournaqette material for blood draws from the lab to wrap around the branch instead of raffia. Its basicly a flat rubber band material although its not made of latex. Ive bent the crap out of hard wood branches like olive with this stuff. Its easy to apply and starts to break down in the sun after a few weeks. Ive seen the trees bud underneath it so its not suffocating the bark at all and it gives excellent support. About every foot it has little perforations so you can tear it off (when wrapping it around a branch, I jus put my finger on the part with the perforations so it wont brak off. 1/2 loop more and this stuff will grip on itself so you dont have to keep your finger there for more than a second). I also like it better than vetwrap. Ive gave some to a couple of buddies and they like it but I found alot of people are set in their ways and are not interested in even trying something new. Its only drawback I think is that it is a pretty blue sky color that can be seen on your tree from 2 valleys away. ;D Im sure you can get some of this stuff on ebay. People buy out all the stock from failed business (Like a lab that went under) and then they sell all the items individualy. Try a search for tournaqettes. If its blue and comes rolled up in a white box, thats the stuff.