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royal poinciana bonsai?

Posted by pescadora 10 (My Page) on
Wed, May 24, 06 at 13:21

I have very limited knowledge on bonsai and am wondering if it possible to create a bonsai from a small Royal Poinciana tree? I have one that I've grown from seed - it will be two year's old in August and is in a large pot on my lanai. I don't have a suitable place to plant it in the yard, since they take up so much space. Right now it is about 2 1/2 feet tall. It is thriving, but I don't know how much longer that will last since it is potted, or will it be automatically dwarfed since it is potted?

If it is bonsai material, please advise how to go about it.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: royal poinciana bonsai?

  • Posted by rjj1 Norman OK Zone7 (My Page) on
    Wed, May 24, 06 at 13:55

I would certainly read up on bonsai and use those techniques to style and train a nice small sized container tree. If successful, you might want to stick in in a bonsai pot later down the road.

I have a few that have been hanging out here for the past few years and I'm enjoying them to some degree. They do bud back well on the trunk, but branching has not been as nice as I've wanted it. You might get better results based on location.

Have fun.

randy


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RE: royal poinciana bonsai?

I have been trying to bonsai a royal poinciana for over 5 years with only partial success.They usually take 7-10 years to flower;I'vehad slightly better luck with a jacaranda which has similar leaf structure.A master gardener at the USF Botanical Garden here in Tampa told me that they are apparently difficult to bonsai,and that a professor in Puerto Rico has been unsuccessful.He suggested I join the bonsai society @ USF,but time constraints won't allow.Bonsai's take a great deal of time and patience.Most books I've read suggest waiting at least a year before cutting the tap root and repotting.


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RE: royal poinciana bonsai?

Still trying to find info on bonsaiing a royal poinciana;my trees are not responding.


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RE: royal poinciana bonsai?

Why not just grow one outside your house (if you can) and prune it etc. like a bonsai as it grows, and concentrate your bonsai energy on more adaptable trees?


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RE: royal poinciana bonsai?

It's the challenge;I've been able to bonsai easier plants,but not only is the royal poinciana an elegant and beautiful tree,it is very cold sensitive which makes it even more challenging here in zone 9 where temperatures below 35 can damage or kill the tree.


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RE: royal poinciana bonsai?

Just looked up the data on your tree, thought it is something new to me but it became familar when I looked at photos of the tree and its reference as a flame tree.
Seeing your seedling has grown to 2-1/2 ft, I believe it has overgrown itself for bonsai. However you still can have a bonsai looking Poinciana in your garden, but it will not be classed as a bonsai. I always claim anyone can bonsai any tree, some species more difficult than others. Obviously a fast growing tree presents a bigger challenge than one slow growing.
I would suggest you germinate another seedling and keep it in a small pot right from the start. As it is a vigorous grower, you need to prune its roots yearly or more often if its growth is unchecked.
I have made fair looking bonsai specimens out of the "Crimson King' maples, which are huge trees when grown naturally. I collected very young seedlings 7 years ago and out of 20 I managed to get 8 still going. The smallest one is 9 " tall and the largest is 20". I believe that they will grow no more than an inch each year henceforth as their roots become pot-bound. With my seedlings I restricted their growth most drastically in the first 3 years, with most of them reaching only a height of 6 inches only. During this time their stem were badly bruised to give the gnarled and aged look, this treatment did the killing of the other 12 seedlings. Don't worry, most of the wounds inflicted on plants will get healed by callus formation and the scars are their tell tale signs. Presently I am concentrating on thickening their stems and reducing the sizes of the leaves. Some plants are being trained to grow over rocks, this training will take 3 or 4 years. I hope by the 10th year, I can display them in shows, if they turn out well, though I doubt they can win any prize. It takes more years to truely come out with any class bonsai.
I wish you luck in your quest.


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RE: royal poinciana bonsai?

Two and a half feet overgrown for bonsai? People routinely chop 5-6+' tall trees down to bonsai them.


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RE: royal poinciana bonsai?

Pescadora
The full size trees are really spectacular in bloom aren't they.
One of the old timers from down your way , once said he had never seen one bloom in a pot.
But if I lived down there, I would have to try an air layer on an allready blooming limb. Nothing wrong with a large bonsai, 3-4 ft. especially if it looks like a royal poinciana in bloom. Nothing to lose but a little time.
Good Luck.
R


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RE: royal poinciana bonsai?

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RE: royal poinciana bonsai?

Lucy,
I must commend you for your wide knowledge in horticulture. Though some readers claim that you can only express personally acquired knowledge, I totally disagree with that notion. There is much wisdom in acquiring knowledge from the true masters, who have specialized in their particular field.
I agree you can use a 2 and a 1/2 feet of thickened stem as a bonsai material. Assuming you want your large bonsai at 4 feet, then most of the branches would have a length of 1&1/2 feet. Nothimg wrong there but your plant lacks proportion in relation to the tall thickened stem. If you can stem graft onto the lower portion of the trunk then it is different cup of tea. But atlas how many of us has the skill to handle stem grafting? Not boasting I have this skill because I have done it. Nothing in horticulyure is difficult but you must take the time and effort to study and put to practice. I would advice to shun the quick fix practices purely because we can't find the time.
If you don't have the time then go buy a nice bonsai.


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RE: royal poinciana bonsai?

Pescadora
I wanted to add, You probably have more Bonsai clubs per square mile , in your area , than anywhere else in the world. go to bonsai societys Fla. find one near you, they will be glad to help you.
If Bonsai Too , is still in Coral Gables , They used to be a great nursery.
Another idea, since you are having good luck with seeds,you might plant a dozen or so in a pot, let them grow into a large multi trunk clump , let them radiate out into a semi-rounded canopy , Thining out what doesn't fit. Kinda like the trees you see in nature.
Audge , great thread , sad to say, I have paid money for books with less information.


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RE: royal poinciana bonsai?

Audric.
Your link is one of the best I have come across. It does link in to the thoughts I was trying to convey in my 'commercialisation of bonsai'. IF you suggest going to a special nursery where they concentrate on developing bonsai materials, buy a tree and chop it up, nay, more like employing selective prunning, I would salute your idea. Here, as I observe from the pics, the branching is profuse and the trunk is massive but still retain a good proportion to the height. Such a specimen is ideal for bonsai work.
When the others suggest going to a nursery, I take it they mean the common nursery like Art Napp. Here the trees invariably have very straight trunk, devoid of any branches for the first 2 feet. Thus when you chop it at 2 &1/2 feet, you cannot do much selective prunning and the trunk is too huge to train anymore. Do you believe you have a good bonsai material to start with? I don't. And all this takes place because a newbie is led to believe that a thick trunk is a prime requisite for bonsai. Is my objection denigrading the chop technique? If it is interpreted that way, I am ready to apologize.
I have stated you can bonsai any plant and would like to add here and now you can do it anyway, by whatever method that comes to your mind. I was trying to tell newbies, and I am one myself, that there are better ways to go about this task. I still prefer the old ways before commercialisation tries to condense the time frame. I am not trying to get anyone to follow my preference. Maybe this idea is morally wrong in this forum.


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RE: royal poinciana bonsai?

  • Posted by rjj1 Norman OK Zone7 (My Page) on
    Fri, Nov 3, 06 at 16:26

jahmkh

You have a misconception of trunk chopping. Why must there be any branches? Tell me why a bare stump like this can't make a nice tree some day?





The idea is to start with a trunk. You don't need branches. They would be out of scale and worthless for the most part. You grow new ones to be in scale with the trunk.

And where do you get 2 1/2 feet? How tall is your tree going to be?

You might look at another thread with trunk cop in the name and see what this stump looks like now.

randy


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RE: royal poinciana bonsai?

Excellent discussion;agree that there is more and better info here than in most books I have purchased on bonsai.
Question:Is there any rule for how short you can chop a trunk on poinsianna's?I've killed a few trees by going too low.Thanks again to all.


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RE: royal poinciana bonsai?

  • Posted by rjj1 Norman OK Zone7 (My Page) on
    Sat, Nov 4, 06 at 11:46

plasticdoc

I'm not sure what you mean by too low. I've seen deciduous trees start growing again after being run over with a lawn mower set at a 2 inches.

Possibly you chose the wrong time of year on particular species or cultural conditions weren't met to keep the stressed plant going long enough to regrow a new apex. Too much here is unknown:-).

Keep in mind this discussion is about deciduous trees and tropicals. This shouldn't be done with evergreens.

I can't let this slide because it's really eating at me and has me angry :-)

Morals is not the issue here.

jamkh, you say "I was trying to tell newbies, and I am one myself, that there are better ways to go about this task."

You have no clue. You have no business telling others there are better ways about something you know nothing of. This is foolishness. It's like a blind from birth person describing in detail the shade and pigments of a cherry bloosom.

randy


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RE: royal poinciana bonsai?

Hey, take it easy, no crime here after all, just enthusiasm to pass on what he thought was 'knowledge'. And you can chop too low on some trees - if you do it below existing branches, they don't all come back - depends on the species.


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RE: royal poinciana bonsai? *

  • Posted by rjj1 Norman OK Zone7 (My Page) on
    Sat, Nov 4, 06 at 11:56

Dear Lucy,

Please name those species for us so we'll know in advance which ones to avoid doing this to.

randy


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RE: royal poinciana bonsai?

I moved to Hawaii 7 mos ago; when I came here I was not allowed to bring any of my tree's- 12 year collection. But I have been very pleasantly surprised by the wild stock that can be collected- I'm looking for a Royal Poinciana that is appropriate to adapt to pre bonsai.

FYI, there are excellent articles at www.bonsaiforme.com on a wide range of advanced techniques, specifically articles on trunk and nebari development will be reference materials for me when I find the right project tree.

FYI, so far I have collected tree's from wildlands and even trash dumps. Bougainvilla, black locust, ming aralia; trunk circumfrence ranges from 1-3", will take est of 6 mos to 2 yrs (considering year round growth climate) before I can reasonably expect to get into their final bonsai pots. the ming was a hard wood cutting, black locust and boug dig ups. Major root and limb/foliage trims, then I put them back in the ground with Fox Farm tropical (locally made) soil mix- very rich, including bat guano, worm casting, lots of micro's- I want development, and I will keep transplanting and trimming until I get the size trunk I am looking for.

But check out the web site ref'd above- best technique articles I have found, straight forward. You can do just about anything if you have the time.....


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RE: royal poinciana bonsai?

I have been growing these trees & giving them away for at least 15 years. I added a photo of one I am doing a Bonsai. It is approx 5 yrs old. I always grow them from new young trees growing beneath my 30 ft tree. When they are young, it is not unusual for all the leaves & limbs to fall off in the Winter & come bk in late Winter or early spring. My large tree is just now leafing & flowering. In trying to Bonsai the one in the photo, I cut the complete head off the past two Winters leaving just the thick stem, & you can see it has come bk strong. Good Luck. If you want to grow more try finding babies below a Mature tree (Still some rt now), start in a small pot & move up. Like a lot of water when they are young


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