Office plant and unknown tree

CottonsJanuary 28, 2013

The first is a plant @ the office I work at. It is in pretty poor soil, is overwatered, and looks sickly.

This tree is all around my neighborhood, and I want to attempt to have a bonsai of it. I like the appeal of the bark.

Thanks for any help you can provide.

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croton and sycamore?

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 9:50PM
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Croton for sure in picture #1.
I like the bark on picture #2 also... but could that be lichen growing on it? In a contained environment, you mightn't have that spotting effect?

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 10:00PM
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No2 Platanus x hispanica.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 12:51AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Shear, the exfoliating bark of this plant is a normal feature.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 4:54AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

planatus .. the plane .. aka the sycamore ..

30 to 50 years.. for the bark to start showing.. better buy an old established bonsai ...

i dont know why you think the first looks sickly ... its out of proportion for the pot .. but color looks OK ... it should shed a set of leaves every year.. so with older.. lower leaves maybe its time for removal ...

most likely.. it is easily propagated ... now that you have a name for it ... perhaps its time to regenerate this plant ... including new MEDIA in the pot.. in my world.. soil is mother earth.. and she is never used in pots ... but others argue using the same word for two independent applications is OK with them .. whatever ...


    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 7:42AM
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Thanks for the info, rhizo. I guess I've never seen a Sycamore in real life before.
I agree with Ken, the Croton looks quite healthy for the size pot it's in.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 7:46AM
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Carrie B(6B/7A)

If I saw that tree around here, planted intentionally, either as a street tree or a yard tree I'd bet it was a London Plane Tree, Platanus � acerifolia, and it was growing wild in the woods, then I'd bet it was a sycamore, Platanus occidentalis. All closely related. Platanus x hispanica is not largely cultivated in my region.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 8:02AM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

The linked in article has the ID differences between the two Platanus trees mentioned above. Speaking of the tree's bark, I've taught my kids how to ID this one by the distinctive bark by calling it the "camouflage tree."

For bonsai, you would be able to get seedlings and young trees from many sources.


Here is a link that might be useful: Platanus occidentalis

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 8:31AM
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Stewartia pseudocamellia has similar bark and smaller leaves so it might be better for a bonsai (occasional flower possible, too). Just a suggestion :-)

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 9:22PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

That croton does look good, usually they don't prosper because they are very prone to spider mites and love very bright light and high humidity

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 5:37PM
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I don't know that you can bonsai a sycamore, which is what the pic is. A friend does bonsai, and he says you need trees with really small leaves.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 9:08PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

The leaves of a London plane are bigger than my hand. Not really ideal for bonsai I would have thought. I thought the idea was that the result should emulate an in scale miniature version of full sized tree, hence the requirement for a small leafed species.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 4:06PM
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