Author Topic: First Parrot's-Beak  (Read 1290 times)


  • Steve Moore
  • Full Forum Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 206
  • A.k.a. Steve Moore.
First Parrot's-Beak
« 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: