Author Topic: Bucida Spinosa  (Read 4193 times)


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Bucida Spinosa
« on: January 28, 2011, 07:56 PM »
I'm kinda new at the art of Bonsai. I've had this black olive for a few years and need some advice on the styling and pruning and also whens the best time of year to do it. It stands 17" high from the soil line and it is 30" wide at its widest point. It seems to be in very good health and has just finished one of its many small leaf drops for the year. I'm at a loss as to how to style it.....kinda looks more like a bush that a tree at this point but seems to have some potential for someone with an eye for black olive stock..... I'll try to download some pictures of it once again.....but the last few tries have been giving me  an error message....


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Re: Bucida Spinosa
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2011, 09:04 PM »
The "sum total" of my (second-hand) knowledge of Black Olive is that you ought to repot them in the heat of summer.  Any other time and their roots appear finnicky.

Larry Gockley

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Re: Bucida Spinosa
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2011, 10:54 AM »
Black olive is my favorite species for bonsai. The leaves are tiny and the zig-zag growth pattern lends itself to compact growth, an important issue in bonsai. The zig-zag growth is mostly horizontal, so I like to grow horizontal foilage pads as that is most natural for the tree. Now and then a branch will  grow in the "y" of two other branches, and this new growth will grow vertically. You can use it to start another horizontal pad above, or pinch it off if more horizontal growth is not wanted.  The reason it looks more like a bush than a tree has to do with not only styling but proportion of branches, foilage areas and trunk size. I won't try to tell you how to style it. You have to decide that for yourself. Look at lots and lots of trees on line or in the library, and look for a style you like. For B.Olive, I'd suggest a low growing tree with a wide canopy.  Don't look for a pine tree style with a huge trunk diameter.  It's not going to happen. Keep that tree image in your mine to refer to when styling  this tree. When an artist paints a picture, he has an idea in mind before he ever starts. He doesn't dab down some paint and say, oh look, it's a bowl of fruit. Have an idea in mind before you start. Training  most tropicals is best done in the heat of the summer, but from the pictures, it looks like your tree is still in a nursery pot. That's a whole other issue. You have a lot of work to do, but as they say, it's not about the destination, enjoy the journey. Larry