Bonsai Progress!

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Growing a bonsai tree is a bit like growing a tomato plant. It needs water, food, and patience. If you let it grow wild, it becomes less of a work of art as well. You have to find a middle ground and work with the plant and its personality in order to bring out the best in it. Sometimes you may never reach the best but at least you have a goal in mind.

That's how I feel about this citrus tree (exact fruit unknown). It has some problems.

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For one, it has 2 branches growing out of one spot. This is a big no-no in bonsai and one of the things that has been bothering me. I would like to remove the lowermost one but then that would take away a lot of volume from the canopy. On the other hand, it might trigger more growth on the other side of the tree where there currently is none.

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There may be lack of foliage on this side because of the majority of the root mass being situated on one side of the tree, casing vigor to be concentrated there. The root system was not perfect when I transitioned this tree from pre-bonsai. It was my first successful root pruning. Click here to see the tree before it transitioned and moved outdoors along with 2 more of its siblings (technically clones) being potted. The smaller one didn't make it. I think it caught some disease when in its new pot, which didn't seem to be fired. The whole pot actually got soft and moldy. That's what I get for trying to DIY. When I get better at all this, maybe I'll invest in some actual bonsai pots.

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This is the other (medium) cutting. It also had vigor concentrated on one side but it has a nice slingshot shape going. Ideally, you want your branches to split into twos. That's good ramification.

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Here is a new cutting I rooted! It was sitting in water for months but almost as soon as I put it in compost it began to grow. I'm went with the slanting style or shakan, something I've always wanted to try. It may seem unnatural or strange but all the styles/shapes are based off of ways that trees actually grow in the wild, which we are trying to imitate!

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It's starting to develop a nice root system too. Ideally, the roots should fan out radially from the trunk.

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The first deciduous tree in my collection in this maple seedling, likely from the tree in my backyard. When I plucked it from the ground, I inadvertantly pruned the taproot (encouraging more lateral roots to grow)! I took a liking to it and adopted it. Like my other trees, roots grew mainly on one side causing uneven growth. The tiny shoot on the right side of the tree should have grown to form the first slingshot but instead the first 'V' formed higher up. I'm only pruning to encourage ramification at the moment, so I haven't removed the small shoot. I'm going to wait and see what happens with it.

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The is the last bonsai tree for today, am acacia tree from Mexico. It is actually the oldest. The last time I dedicated a post to it alone was back before Hive existed (see here). This one wants to grow like crazy but I like it's small size, so I've been pinching the growing tips. This one has a bigger pot because I was much more scared of losing it after root pruning since I lost the seeds I saved, so it has a bigger root system.
Interesting facts about the tree:

  • Has thorns in groups of 2
  • releases an odor when it is damaged
  • perfume is made from the flowers.

I hope it flowers one day. I don't think small bonsais usually flower but this tree has a lot of vigor so maybe I'll get lucky.
On that note, I think it's time to give all these trees a little bit of homemade nitrogen fertilizer!
Thanks for stopping by! Until next time!

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