Bonsai Study Group Forum

General Category => Deciduous Bonsai Discussion => Topic started by: Judy on March 16, 2014, 11:30 AM

Title: Stewartia Pseudocamellia
Post by: Judy on March 16, 2014, 11:30 AM
With my interest in lessor used, and interesting barked D trees, I've been on the lookout for Stewartia for a while.  Mostly for Monodelpha, but was able to find a pseudocamellia with some promise.  With the bark being the focal point, I think that the lower part of the tree is the most important, so was happy to find one with such a decent base.  Did a bit of rootwork and lots of branch selection and a first wiring.  Have not decided on a front, although I'm leaning toward the first images, as it has the best base.  I will in all probability chop the secondary trunk back to the lowest branch to get some movement there.  If anyone has any growing experiences with these, I'd be pleased to hear what works and doesn't with these trees.
Title: Re: Stewartia Pseudocamellia
Post by: Judy on March 16, 2014, 11:31 AM
Here is possibility 2 for a front.
Title: Re: Stewartia Pseudocamellia
Post by: Judy on March 16, 2014, 11:34 AM
And the last possible side for a front.  
I have not decided if I should leave or remove the small lowest branches on the trunk or leave them for a later possible idea.... I have actually thought about using one of those for the second trunk, or perhaps even leave the secondary and make it a 3fer. (probably not..)

Title: Re: Stewartia Pseudocamellia
Post by: Sorce on March 16, 2014, 11:48 AM
Judy,

   Your eye for material is excellent. Another i love! ;D
Title: Re: Stewartia Pseudocamellia
Post by: tmmason10 on March 16, 2014, 01:17 PM
Wow, this is a really nice tree Judy. I love Stewartia but I don't remember seeing one here yet. I like the first front myself.
Title: Re: Stewartia Pseudocamellia
Post by: Don Blackmond on March 16, 2014, 01:18 PM
I like no.2 as the front.  The other views make the apex look fat.  In person, the tree probably looks fine, but in the photos is suggests swelling.
Nice base and trunk movement.  Good job.
Title: Re: Stewartia Pseudocamellia
Post by: Judy on March 16, 2014, 03:10 PM
Yes Don, if I keep that front from view #1, one more branch (the fat one) needs to go. I kept it for now, cause I'm not sure yet. View 2 is good, but the base not quite as good.  But it may be better with the smaller trunk in front of larger trunk overall image.  I think my challenge this year will be to find it a place where it will stay relatively cool.  And wrap that black plastic pot with towels, I didn't even think about the heat that will generate...
Thanks Tim and Sorce
 I really like these, and trees that have bark patterns. (Chinese Quince!!) Could be cause I love sycamores so....
Title: Re: Stewartia Pseudocamellia
Post by: Don Blackmond on March 16, 2014, 03:23 PM
the pot won't be an issue.  I use tons of them.  Non-issue.  Your tree will be fine.
Title: Re: Stewartia Pseudocamellia
Post by: Judy on March 16, 2014, 05:18 PM
I use them occasionally as well, but had read that stewartias like their roots cool and moist, thats what is concerning me with this one.
Title: Re: Stewartia Pseudocamellia
Post by: Judy on July 09, 2014, 08:22 AM
Well this tree is sure not as hard to keep as it would seem, as I have heard they can be picky... Maybe it's the other varieties, but this one is almost weed like in it's growth.  I've cut back twice on this, trying to form something better from the good base side.  I've gotten rid of several branches that were too heavy and straight up top.  The leaves are HUGE, but I'm sure that when it's ready, it won't be a problem to get them to reduce.  Here are a few fairly current pics, one from the  cut back and the rest after wiring and new growth.  If I use this side, I have not picked an angle yet from the last 3 pics, but I may even go single trunk, or cut the secondary trunk all the way back and regrow it for more shape, as it's so straight off the trunk currently.  I just can't tell yet if once the new leader catches up, if the continuation of the straight trunk will even it out visually.

Don you were right about the pot, it is growing like crazy.

Title: Re: Stewartia Pseudocamellia
Post by: Judy on July 09, 2014, 08:27 AM
Wow, I sure picked the wrong category for this tree, sorry about that, it's hardly an evergreen! Please move it if you like....
Title: Re: Stewartia Pseudocamellia
Post by: Herman on July 09, 2014, 09:23 AM
Looks like awesome stock to build upon Judy. I don't have a clue how this tree looks in the real so I went and did some research; I read that it flowers and has showy bark and autumn colors. what a species to have as bonsai :D

because it is growing like a weed and it is deciduous, I think you could defoliate it to reduce the leaves when the time comes to do it. I vote you do the trunk chop on the secondary trunk to get some early movement into it

kind regards
Herman
Title: Re: Stewartia Pseudocamellia
Post by: bwaynef on July 09, 2014, 09:44 AM
In it's current form, I like it better without the smaller trunk, at least from all the angles I've seen.
Title: Re: Stewartia Pseudocamellia
Post by: Herman on July 09, 2014, 09:57 AM
In it's current form, I like it better without the smaller trunk, at least from all the angles I've seen.

Thats a good option too :)

kind regards
Herman
Title: Re: Stewartia Pseudocamellia
Post by: Judy on July 09, 2014, 10:03 AM
Only problem I see is that the main trunk without the secondary, lacks strong taper... which is more apparent when on it's own.  It's got some taper, but maybe not enough.
Title: Re: Stewartia Pseudocamellia
Post by: bwaynef on July 09, 2014, 10:09 AM
I bet once you get this one into a shallow container and do some appropriate/aggressive root work, the nebari will begin to form taper for you.
Title: Re: Stewartia Pseudocamellia
Post by: Brian Van Fleet on July 09, 2014, 05:50 PM
Twin trunks are good...yours splits a little high, but I think still quite workable.

I have 2 Stewartia monadelpha in the ground, that came as bare-root or 2 3/4" pots from Bill about 3 years ago.  They're about 7' tall now, and have thumb-thick trunks.  Slow to fatten, but exciting trees.  Anyone know how they do from cuttings?
Title: Re: Stewartia Pseudocamellia
Post by: Judy on July 09, 2014, 09:05 PM
There is a big shoot at the base of the current secondary trunk.  I'm going to keep growing it, and may just cut the current smaller trunk off and develop a new secondary from that shoot.  I think that the tree would really miss the lower foliage, as the branching that appears behind the single trunk angle all comes from that trunk, and it would be fairly bare until the top of the trunk at that point.

I can't imagine that cuttings wouldn't strike, I swear, this thing grows at a rate of 6" a week at least...I had to take the wire off today from 2 weeks ago.  And all of the bends were perfectly set already.
Title: Re: Stewartia Pseudocamellia
Post by: John Kirby on July 10, 2014, 05:26 AM
http://horticulture.oregonstate.edu/system/files/onn080117.pdf (http://horticulture.oregonstate.edu/system/files/onn080117.pdf)

Seems they can propagate well from softwood cuttings.
Title: Re: Stewartia Pseudocamellia
Post by: Judy on July 13, 2014, 10:52 AM
Hoping that I can get some opinions about this secondary trunk today, as I may chop it in favor of the shoot that is just below and slightly behind the current second trunk.  What do you think, is it going to read too far around the back?  I think that as fast as this grows, I can get it caught up to the size of the current secondary trunk in a few years, but with far better movement off the main trunk.  
But if it's too far round the corner, then it will not be worth doing. It's really only a bit over, but that can make a huge difference sometimes.
Thoughts???

As far as doing away with the secondary altogether, I've been looking at that, and there really isn't any low foliage on the tree without it.  Not that I couldn't graft, or get something to pop, but currently there isn't anything else low.
Title: Re: Stewartia Pseudocamellia
Post by: Brian Van Fleet on July 13, 2014, 05:45 PM
Jim Doyle had one of these for sale yesterday that looked very similar to yours.  It was tempting, but had many of the same challenges of this one. (Photo 1)

I don't feel like I have a sense for the best front.  If the best front puts the smaller trunk toward the back, I'd be very inclined to remove it entirely and let everything grow this year and then thread graft new branches into the lower portion if the main trunk. (Photo 2)

If the best front puts the second trunk to either side, I'd be tempted to thread graft a new leader into the second trunk and wire it out so it has a better angle of emergence. (Photo 3)

Make sense?
Title: Re: Stewartia Pseudocamellia
Post by: Judy on July 13, 2014, 09:11 PM
Yes, thanks. I think I will pursue the second option, and try for a better positioning of the second trunk.  The base is just too much better from what I'm working as the front to give it up. 
Title: Re: Stewartia Pseudocamellia
Post by: Owen Reich on July 14, 2014, 08:45 PM
If you expose roots of any size to open air, they will thicken faster.  Everyone should have one of these....  Brian, good to see you at the show.  Please share photos if you took any.
Title: Re: Stewartia Pseudocamellia
Post by: Brian Van Fleet on July 14, 2014, 10:44 PM
If you expose roots of any size to open air, they will thicken faster.  Everyone should have one of these....  Brian, good to see you at the show.  Please share photos if you took any.
Good to see you as well.  Great job with the show, from really every aspect.

I took photos of individual trees, but got too busy gabbing to get much else.  Ill load 'em up over the next few posts, but they look pretty similar to John's.
Title: Re: Stewartia Pseudocamellia
Post by: Sorce on July 15, 2014, 05:42 AM
If you expose roots of any size to open air, they will thicken faster.  Everyone should have one of these....  Brian, good to see you at the show.  Please share photos if you took any.

Owen,

 I have read keeping them covered gets them thicker faster. ?

I trust you more than most. What is the reasoning behind this? Of any size and species? Or just Stewartia?

Hope you are at the airport soon! I await the reply!

Sorce
Title: Re: Stewartia Pseudocamellia
Post by: Judy on July 15, 2014, 01:35 PM
If you expose roots of any size to open air, they will thicken faster.  Everyone should have one of these.... 


I agree that these are trees more people should try.   I put some light moss on trees, as I'm away from them for a few weeks.  Normally I keep my surfaces clean, but have noticed some amazing growth on certain trees after mossing this year. Could be that I need to step up the watering to keep the top soil moist, or use sphagnum. 

I've heard both things as well, that roots swell faster under soil, and out in the air.  Could it be species specific? Or is one a myth?

If the moderator could move this thread to deciduous discussion, I'd be much obliged, I don't know how I wound up placing this topic here!
Title: Re: Stewartia Pseudocamellia
Post by: 0soyoung on July 15, 2014, 02:49 PM
If you expose roots of any size to open air, they will thicken faster.  Everyone should have one of these.... 


I've heard both things as well, that roots swell faster under soil, and out in the air.  Could it be species specific? Or is one a myth?


I'm not buying either story (but, I suppose, it maybe a personal problem  ::)).

I do know, however, that one gets thick/bulky roots if the roots are in a dense/compacted soil. This is one of the things that 'growing in the ground' will do, but it can also be achieved in a pot full of landscape 'topsoil'. It fits with a simple idea that Rob (October) would love: To get thick roots, make your roots push hard.

Thick roots don't happen (or develop VERY SLOWLY) in loose/non-compacting mediums.

Hence, I speculate that maybe the development of thick roots in bonsai is a side effect of the breakdown of the magical/sacred acadama medium -  it does break down to become very dense/compacted and would force roots to work hard.
Title: Re: Stewartia Pseudocamellia
Post by: Owen Reich on July 15, 2014, 06:43 PM
I know that Stewartia monadelpha roots that have been exposed to light and air thicken faster because I've worked for multiple years on about 5 of the best ones in Japan.  My teacher's father created them over 40 years and sold many of them including one to S-Cube two years ago.  I was personally responsible for improving the root systems of the Stewartia where I apprenticed. 

Covering them (surface roots) with moist sphagnum, even a thin layer, slows their swelling.  My blog post below has more information about the species for those who are interested.  So, I'm saying "I am right" because that is what I was taught and what I've observed.  There are often multiple techniques to achieve the same goals for bonsai training.




http://bonsaiunearthed.com/fujikawa-kouka-en/stewartia-monadelpha/ (http://bonsaiunearthed.com/fujikawa-kouka-en/stewartia-monadelpha/)
Title: Re: Stewartia Pseudocamellia
Post by: Owen Reich on July 15, 2014, 06:53 PM
The roots of the Stewartia I helped with were always in a slightly deeper than normal bonsai container (for the height and width of the tree) but not uncommon for highly refined Stewartia monadelpha bonsai.  Media used has always been Aoki Blend which has a high %age of low fired Akadama.  It doesn't get super compacted as we repot this species fairly often (like every two years).  The thick basal flares (like the one in the blog header of my post) are due to a number of techniques applied which I will not go into here.

Akadama is not sacred.  I'd be happy to use something else if I got the same results I've personally seen in short periods of time when changed from other media mixes to ones with Akadama incorporated.  Going to trial the Calidama on some trees next year.  It is not fair to judge some results coming out of California against  the conditions elsewhere for media selection as out there, it's basically "nice" for much of the year. 
Title: Re: Stewartia Pseudocamellia
Post by: Judy on July 15, 2014, 08:12 PM
Thanks for that valuable nugget Owen,  great blog post, I've read this one more than once! It must be something to see those great stewartias in person, let alone have a hand in creating them.
I wonder if its too late to try a thread graft this year?
Title: Re: Stewartia Pseudocamellia
Post by: gaitano on July 15, 2014, 09:50 PM

I have 2 Stewartia monadelpha in the ground, that came as bare-root or 2 3/4" pots from Bill about 3 years ago.  They're about 7' tall now, and have thumb-thick trunks.  Slow to fatten, but exciting trees. 


I also bought one from Bill this year. It's in a colander this year, but I will have a spot for it in the ground next spring. A very good blog post on this species Owen.