Bonsai Study Group Forum

General Category => Tropical Bonsai Discussion => Topic started by: Treebeard55 on April 25, 2011, 09:23 AM

Title: First Parrot's-Beak
Post by: Treebeard55 on April 25, 2011, 09:23 AM
Two days ago (April 23) we of the Ft. Wayne Bonsai Club had a tropicals workshop with Scott Yelich, owner of Eagle Creek Bonsai in Indianapolis. Scott is an up-and-coming younger artist and plantsman, working to carve out his own professional niche in bonsai. So far, he seems to me to be doing pretty well.

I almost didn't go: my Bonsai Crate (basement winter enclosure for trops) is getting crowded, and none of the species Scott planned to bring particularly grabbed me. But then I realized that, when it comes to choices, I usually am influenced more by the merits of individual trees, less by species.

And so it proved -- until the decision-making came down to a worthy Ficus microcarpa 'Kaneshiro' versus a worthy Gmelina phillipinensis, common name "parrot's-beak." Each was a tree I would have been happy to take home. But I already have three species of Ficus, including microcarpa (different cultivar, tho.) And as I studied the 'Kaneshiro,' I realized I was able to map out everything that would need to be done, right then and there. The parrot's beak would be more challenge. So the parrot's beak it was. (The common name comes from the flower shape. The initial "G" in the genus name is silent.)

Styling the tree was just plain fun. Intended style is a somewhat unconventional double-trunk upright. The exposed root "knee" at the base will be a feature, and adds to the visual perception of taper.  I'm going to take another inch off the top, once I'm sure it's well recovered from Saturday's work. Intended final height is 10-12 inches.

It still needs a couple of years of growing-out and refinement. In early summer I'm going to wound the cambium in a few places just below the soil line in front and apply rooting hormone. My intent is to induce roots that will fill in the gap in the nebari. The lowest branch on the right is superfluous; I may try to use it for an approach graft on the left, about halfway up the tree. I need a major branch there. And I'll probably shift the overall tilt of the tree to a few degrees to the right of vertical at the next repotting.

"Before" and "after" pictures:
Title: Re: First Parrot's-Beak
Post by: Treebeard55 on January 16, 2018, 06:24 PM
A bit of an update on this tree, for any who are interested:

It survived some benign neglect a few years ago <blush> and is now residing in the same pot, but in my own mix rather than Scott's. A change of planting angle greatly increased the visual interest, in my opinion. It has turned out to be vigorous and fairly forgiving. And a few months ago it won the "Best Shohin" award in our club's Fall Show!

Here are a few more-up-to-date pictures, including two my wife took before and after the show. (Sorry - I've always been self-conscious in front of a camera.)
Title: Re: First Parrot's-Beak
Post by: Jay on January 18, 2018, 05:57 AM
Steve, i like what you have done. This tree is extremely full. Is it your desire to keep it this way or to open it up a bit.
On the whole it looks like it enjoys Ft Wayne and your care. And CONGRATS on the Best Shohin.