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Author Topic: 2 Twisted Pomegranites  (Read 987 times)
AlexV
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« on: February 06, 2013, 11:00 PM »

So with it being winter here in MI, most of my trees are covered in snow.  However, I have several growing under lights inside, so I have been in repotting mode of late.  I have several trees that I got as starters from Evergreen Gardenworks in 2010, I got all of them in pairs, and this is the first pair I have been working on.  I note they are in pairs, because I am not working on hundreds of plants, just 2 at a time that I want to make perfect.  I will post pics of the others as I manage to edit them.

When I got them in 2 3/4" pots, I wired them and twisted them up, spread the roots out and planted them in potting soil (home depot garbage soil) in whatever pots I had lying around ~2-3gal.  I also wired the secondary branches as well, because you never know exactly which branch you want to be your leader until the damn things actually grow.  While I appreciate the sumo style of deciduous bonsai, I am going for tall, slender and graceful trunks, which we see in Japan frequently but are mostly absent from American bonsai.  This replanting showed me the nebari's are exactly what I was hoping for, so I bare rooted them and repotted into bonsai soil (Clay King I brought with me from Jim Gremmel).  When they start pushing growth, I will let the leader on each extend to help heal the large wounds I just inflicted (and thicken the top just a bit) and start approach grafting some lower branches (unless I get bud-back).

So here is the first one.  I imagine this being a kifu sized tree, right about 10"-12" tall and twin trunk.  Yes, there is a slight reverse taper on the second trunk, but when the tree starts to twist (10-20 years I am told, glad I am 35) it may not matter.  If it does I will cut it back and grow a new leader.  I am still debating if I want to let that sacrifice branch (the straight one) thicken up the base a bit more.  Time will tell.

Here is a few angles of the trunk:

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AlexV
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« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2013, 11:04 PM »

I was excited when I realized that not only did I have radial roots, but they were curved, interesting and starting to fuse.  They are buried under the soil, but I have brushed it away just to give you an idea what is down there.  Once they are pushing growth I will fertilize with organic cakes around the trunk to encourage it to keep fusing.

Nebari:
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AlexV
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« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2013, 11:11 PM »

The second Pom I am envisioning as a taller tree, probably into the chuhin size or 1'-1.5'.  I want the top to thicken up a bit more, but not a lot.  Branches will start relatively high on the tree, as I am going for a more slender appearance.  Think about some of the almost bunjin Ume from Japan, that is the effect I am working towards.  Both trunks are a little over 1.5" caliper with 4" nebari.

Here is the trunk on the second tree.  The first image will probably be the front, but I will let it see what it shows me.  On this one I left stumps when I cut the branches off, and I am going to carve them with my dremmel.  The other one I just cut smoothly off, so it will be an experiment to see which method looks better healed.  I have seen pics of Poms from Japan that look good either way.

Trunk:
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AlexV
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« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2013, 11:12 PM »

Nebari on the second tree:
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AlexV
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« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2013, 11:21 PM »

I started these because I am young, and a grad student.  I can't go out and buy the trees I want, as even coffee seems like a frivolity at the moment.  So I got quite a bit of good advice from Jim Gremmel and Boon and started these guys up.  I am guessing they will live in their current containers for another year or two while the main branches are grafted and developed, and the tops thicken up a bit.  I have found it extremely rewarding to grow out material for myself, and when I finish gradual school (this summer hopefully), I will be getting quite a few starters of many varieties to subject to the same procedure. 

I just love fruiting and flowering trees, so while I am sure I will always keep a few pines and junipers, I am going to focus on developing the stuff that blooms, something I don't see enough of at American shows.

Anyways, I would love to hear people's thoughts. 

Cheers,
Alex
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Judy
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« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2013, 07:50 AM »

I love what you're doing and your whole thought process. 
I also am really interested in flowering and fruiting trees, I always love the photos of all the varieties I see from shows outside the US. 
Nice to see this work.
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AlexV
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« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2013, 12:34 PM »

Thanks Judy!  I have been keeping a close eye on them since I did so much root and branch pruning, and they are starting to pop out new buds everywhere.  I am thinking approach grafting will not be necessary.  These trees have been a real joy to work on, and have been keeping me sane during the last parts of my PhD.

When I re-potted these guys and chopped them, I had a lot of foliage left over, so I stuck half a dozen hardwood cuttings into a pot of miracle grow potting soil after dipping them in rooting hormone (Rootone).  The pot was sitting around and convenient, and I didn't really expect them to take.  After a few days all the leaves turned yellow and dropped off, and I figured they had died but didn't have time to clean out the pot.  Was poking around last night and realized they all have big green buds swelling, even the cutting that was as big around as my thumb.  This might be my new favorite species for bonsai. 

Alex

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