New acquisitions!

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New acquisitions!

Postby lmrk » Sun Nov 04, 2007 3:25 pm

Hi all

I work in Footscray in the western suburbs of Melbourne, where there are a collection of what can only be described as "eclectic" shops! :D A couple of weeks ago I was on my way to the bank, and saw these huge bonsai's out the front of a handbag store (where else would you find giant bonsais!). They were tied up and for sale. I went inside and amongst the jewelery, hand bags, wallets and purses for sale, they also had a few bonsai pots, so of course I had to buy one! :D

The shop is owned by an elderly Vietnamese couple (hence the enormous bonsai's out the front), and I asked the owner if he had any plant stock for sale (didn't want any of the big bonsai potted ones). Went back this week and he had brought in about 8 plants for me to choose from.

Below are the plants I bought. Got them both for $40, which I think it pretty good, as they are very well established. The owner didn't know what they were, but I'm pretty certain that this is a Japanese Maple.

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This one I'm pretty sure is a ginkgo biloba. It is in beautiful condition - the leaves are really lush!!!

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Can anyone confirm that I have identified them correctly? The Japanese Maple needs a good prune and I'm going to re-pot it into a styrene fruit crate. I'm going to try Taffy's trick and dunk it in epsom salts before I replant it in the crate. I have absolutely no idea what to do with the ginkgo (if that is what it is). Again, I was thinking of pulling it up, not touching the roots, give it an epsom dunk, and re-pot it in a crate, so the roots can spread out. I'm not sure if I should prune the branches though. They are both living at my parent's place as I have no room and because they have roses there (which get aphids) and other plants around, I'm fearful that the ginkgo will get some pesty infestation. Any suggestions as to whether I should pray it prophylatically with a pesticide? I've never used pesticides before so would welcome suggestions as to which one would be the best for generic purposes?

Thank you

Cheers

Leah

PS Taffy - haven't done the air layering of my parent's Manchurian pear yet - last weekend it was blowing a gale, and today it's pouring. I've got all the tools ready and will post some pics when its done! Along with these little champs re-potted.
Last edited by lmrk on Tue Nov 06, 2007 4:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Pam » Sun Nov 04, 2007 3:33 pm

Leah, your id's are correct. Looking forward to seeing what you do with them.
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Postby taffyman » Sun Nov 04, 2007 8:23 pm

Yes Leah, the first is Acer Palmatum - Japanese Maple and the second is Ginkgo Biloba. The Maple produces beautiful red foliage in autumn. Those three you have there would make a good 3 tree group. If you put them in a styrene box try gently separating the trees a bit by moving the small one slightly to the side (left or right, doesn't matter) to form a triangle of the three trunks with the smaller one still at the back. It will give the trees more perspective. If you try it and it looks like a major bit of surgery to separate them - don't. Not at this stage anyway, they can be moved around on your next re-pot when they've settled nicely into the styrene box and grown some new roots.
The Ginkgo is one of the oldest trees in existence - estimated at being on the planet for over 250 million years. I don't know much about them so I did some research and this is what I've found out about them. There are both male and female Ginkgos - the male doesn't produce fruit. This link below tells you more about them, and there are about 50 photos of Ginkgos as Bonsai:
http://www.xs4all.nl/~kwanten/bonsai.htm
There's some very interesting information about them on that link - it's well worth a read. By what I've found out about them, be very careful you don't damage the bark at all. Apparently they don't heal over, so if you decide to wire any of the branches, they need to be wrapped in raffia first, then the wire put over it. Also, don't wire tight - keep the loops a bit loose to prevent any marks. They lend themselves to air-layering and cuttings so it's a good bet they will shoot back from old wood as well.
You've got yourself a couple of good 'prizes' there - especially with the thickness of the trunks. Don't forget to prune the maples a bit when you re-pot them, take off all the long branches to compact it down a bit because those are the branches the tree will put more energy into rather than the rest of the foliage. The Ginkgo, I wouldn't prune at this stage, just pot it up into whatever container you decide to put it into. Your Ginkgo will most likely be a fairly long term project, but you've got a good start with the thickness of the trunk.
Apparently, the Ginkgo is pretty resilient and doesn't suffer much from insect or disease attack so I don't think aphids would be a problem to it. After being on the planet for 250 million years I think it might just have something going in it's favour. :D
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Postby lmrk » Mon Nov 05, 2007 7:38 am

Thanks Taffy. What a great ginkgo site! I think I will aim for mine to look like this:

http://www.xs4all.nl/~kwanten/bonsai25.htm

I knew that the gingko was one of the oldest trees on the planet, so it would make sense, as you say, that it would be resistant to most pests and diseases! I really love this tree. The leaves are pristine, so I'll be most upset if I kill this one.

And it has great medicinal value too:

http://www.aafp.org/afp/20030901/923.html

Don't think I will try eating the leaves though!

You read my mind re the Japanese Maple - I picked that one because it had 3 limbs and thought it would make a great "forest" theme!
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Postby lmrk » Tue Nov 06, 2007 3:25 pm

Well, I've replanted the Jap Maple and the Ginkgo. This is what I did:

1. Thoroughly washed out the crates with soapy water to make sure that there are no bits left over from the previous occupants, then rinsed with water.

2. Gave the Maple a really good hair cut and cut off any other manky bits and pieces.

3. Removed the Maple from the pot, spent ages raking the root system, only did a tiny prune of some of the straggly roots. The root system of the Ginkgo was much different. The roots were very thick and "juicey", so didn't rake it too much, just enough to loosen it so that I could spread the roots out in the crate.

4. Lined the crates with a mix of about 40% bonsai potting mix 60% ordinary potting mix. Added some manure pallets to the mix.

5. Dunked the tree roots in a bucket of water with soluble epsom salts in it.

6. Placed the trees in the crates, and spread the roots out as much as possible.

7. Covered with the same mix of bonsai and ordinary potting mix.

8. Sprinkled some Osmocote over the top.

9. Finally, gave them a really good watering and sat them in a sunny position.

And here's the result:

Image

Image

When I removed the Ginkgo from its pot, there were these horrible fat centipede type creatures running around it - YUK :shock: . Don't know if they'll survive the epsom salts dunking :wink:

Will take the Ginkgo to Bonsai Northwest next year to get some advice as to what to do with it.

Taffy, the three Maple trees came apart quite easily, so I planted the smaller on in the front (or back depending on how it ends up), as you suggested. You can see from the photo that it's now in a triangular formation. There was also another branch which was stuck under the soil so I've left that exposed in the hope that it may start to grow.

The hardest part of the process was getting Buffy the Mouse Slayer out of the crate! Hope that she and Coco the 3 legged Burmese don't start using the crates as a litter tray :twisted:

Image

So fingers crossed that everything works out and they don't end up dying! Will keep you posted.
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Postby taffyman » Tue Nov 06, 2007 5:02 pm

Good job Leah. By the photo, the front of your Maple group will most likely be from the other side with the largest tree at the front, the next to the left and the small one to the right. With the Ginkgo, that's a good idea - I would expect there will be someone there that has got Ginkgos or know of another member who has.
Must say, the cat does look rather comfortable in the box :lol:
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Postby Luzy » Wed Nov 07, 2007 3:02 pm

I love your blow-by-blow description of what you've done with these trees, Leah. Excellent for people (like me...) looking for easy-to-read bonsai info. The leaves on the ginkgo are really elegant.

Is Buffy giving you an idea of cat Chrissy presents? :D
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Postby lmrk » Wed Nov 07, 2007 5:20 pm

Thanks Luzy! :D But honestly, I don't really know if I've done it correctly. I'm flying by the seat of my pants, just taking the information I've been able to get off this forum, so the proof will be in how they go. The biggest challenge will be to get my folks to water them each day :shock:

Cats are easily pleased, as you can see! :lol:
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