Casuarina cunninghamiana in Sweden?

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Per PF
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Casuarina cunninghamiana in Sweden?

Post by Per PF »

Hello everyone,

First of all thank you for this wonderful forum which has brought me much needed information about bonsai in general and Casuarina cunninghamiana in particular. (I'll do an introductory post in the cafe later.)
The question at hand:
I have a very young Casuarina cunninghamiana :aussie: grown from seed (newbie mistake I know...). Recently it has dropped some (not many) of the lower branchlets and they seem a bit droopier in general. She is about 63 cm in height, from the rim of the pot.

Is this normal behaviour for a young Causarina cunninghamiana, if not, what can be the issue?

Background and conditions: It has been grown indoors by me since August. At first in ordinary potting soil, then repotted in beginning of February to a mix of potting soil and about 50% pumice. It gets aproximately 12h of growth light each night and stands in a partially shaded window in the daytime (south facing but plastic roof). Nowadays I spray it (branchlets and top soil to moist) morning and night and pour water in the pot about every other day (maybe less).
It is spring here in Sweden and daylight time has gone up a bit. We have about 24C indoors but sadly a humidity below 30%.

I have a hard time finding C. cunninghamiana images in different stages of development and I will never see one live around these parts so any and all help is much appreciated, thank you.

Btw, her name is Ripley (after the movie character)

Sincerely;
Per
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Re: Casuarina cunninghamiana in Sweden?

Post by melbrackstone »

Hi Per, you're very brave trying to grow it in your climate. Your photo looks like the ones that grow wild around here, although probably it's much greener. Hopefully with more light through the Spring and Summer it'll bulk up a bit more for you.

In optimum conditions they usually shoot from all over the trunk when cut back, but I'd suggest giving it a bit more time before trying to cut back hard. Maybe just a bit off the top to see if it responds? Certainly, give it as much strong light as you can.

Good luck!
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Re: Casuarina cunninghamiana in Sweden?

Post by shibui »

I think it is normal for casuarina, and most other species, to drop lower shoots as they grow. We need to remember that a tree's first duty is to become the tallest in the forest so lower branches are not important. They focus all available resources on the top foliage in order to grow at maximum so reducing lower foliage helps them achieve that. i would not be worried about losing a few low branches at this stage.

I have never had to grow Casuarina indoors but your conditions and mix sound OK. Casuarina cunninghamiana is pretty resilient and tough so should be able to forgive some variation in conditions.

Casuarina cunninghamiana generally develops quite droopy branches and foliage so I'm hoping the droopy attitude is quite normal :fc:

You should scroll down to the sub-menu and go through 'native species' to casuarina where you can scroll through looking for threads on cauarina cunninghamiana or river sheoak. Here's one I found quickly
https://www.ausbonsai.com.au/forum/view ... =56&t=9851
http://shibuibonsai.com.au/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: Casuarina cunninghamiana in Sweden?

Post by Rory »

Casuarina cunninghamiana is a very hardy tree. But it does need a lot of sun to stay in good health.
Casuarina glauca can tolerate lower levels of sun than cunninghamiana.

Even in strong sun my cunninghamiana can often lose vigor in the lower branches. I’ve never tried to grow them indoors as I wouldn’t think it would get enough natural light but I’d love to see how you go.

Remember, only water a casuarina when it needs it. If you’re growing indoors make sure the medium isn’t staying damp.
It needs to be almost dry before you rewater.

Take care and have fun.
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Re: Casuarina cunninghamiana in Sweden?

Post by terryb »

Hello Per and welcome to ausbonsai,
Per PF wrote: April 6th, 2020, 10:55 pm I have a very young Casuarina cunninghamiana :aussie: grown from seed (newbie mistake I know...).
I have grown all my Casuarina cunninghamiana from seed, no issue there.
Per PF wrote: April 6th, 2020, 10:55 pm It is spring here in Sweden and daylight time has gone up a bit. We have about 24C indoors but sadly a humidity below 30%.
The long term average humidity in Adelaide over Summer is around 30% (and it is probably a lot less most days). Mine are in full sun year round. Not sure how well they deal with the cold as the minimum here does not generally go below 5C in winter. Give them some room to spread their roots and they can be vigorous growers.
Per PF wrote: April 6th, 2020, 10:55 pm I have a hard time finding C. cunninghamiana images in different stages of development and I will never see one live around these parts so any and all help is much appreciated, thank you.
As Shibui mentioned, check out the Casuarina posts in the lower menu. This thread of mine is actually C. cunninghamiana not C. glauca https://www.ausbonsai.com.au/forum/view ... 36&t=26400
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Re: Casuarina cunninghamiana in Sweden?

Post by Per PF »

A big thank you all for reading and giving such thoughtful answers! :worship:

@melbrackstone Thank you. As soon as the weather allows it I'm going to give it full outdoors sun (gradually). The plan is to let it grow freely for as long as possible (i.e. until my wife protests... :whistle: )

@shibui That is reassuring and thanks for the link.
Casuarina cunninghamiana generally develops quite droopy branches and foliage so I'm hoping the droopy attitude is quite normal
I hope so. I really like the droopy characteristics of the species and the 90 degree branch angles. I really like bonsai that looks like the species in the wild so I def. will want to keep the characteristics of Cc. I'm in awe of PeterH's beautiful Cc group.

@Rory Thank you, I'm enjoying the process. :fc: I will def. keep in mind not to over water it.

@terryb Thank you. The link is great, I really enjoyed reading about and seeing your younger Cc!

I'll post updates as the sun starts doing its thing here. :)
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October update: Casuarina cunninghamiana in Sweden?

Post by Per PF »

October update - she's (still) alive! :D

Sooo well into late autumn here in Sweden now and I've learned A LOT this summer.

The spring started off with Ripley not getting enough sun indoors:
https://www.ausbonsai.com.au/forum/view ... 97#p277097

As daylight went up I started giving her more water and regular feed ---> the horrible anchoring wire soon started to dig in.
So I removed the wire completely and tried to give her a slight bend (using some string), which seemed OK ----> but the next day the top had snapped.
Luckily with it happening at the height of summer here she quickly bounced back and grew quite vigorously with lots of backbudding.

Since about a month she's been moved to new indoor quarters.
2020-10-14A.jpeg
It's a modified bamboo laundry basket with three grow lights; a bulb at the top and one LED at either side. The timer is set to 13h of light and I turn the pot 90 degrees at every watering.
2020-10-14C.jpeg
I water her with a tray beneath and wait until she drinks the overflow before I water again = about 500ml/48h. Liquid feed (balanced) once a week.
2020-10-14B.jpeg
2020-10-14E.jpeg
2020-10-14F.jpeg
It only took about a week before roots came out the bottom of the pot and she seems to be doing fine so far.
2020-10-14G.jpeg
This is the best indoor setup I can manage so I hope she will continue to thrive. She's about pencil thick atm and the wire scars quickly healed over.
It will be 7+ months before the summer sun is back here in Sweden so she will certainly outgrow the space and lights (too close)... :? But that's a later problem..

The goal is to grow her as big as possible.
The DREAM is to grow/train her into a large natural looking C.C!
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Re: Casuarina cunninghamiana in Sweden?

Post by Ryceman3 »

Love the commitment Per PF, wishing you all the best. I have nothing to offer regarding indoor setups (I don't have/need one) but it looks like you are doing the best you can.
:fc:
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Re: Casuarina cunninghamiana in Sweden?

Post by Per PF »

Cheers mate. I'm one of those people who get incentivized by shitty odds, and I think the rewards are that much sweeter if you actually make it + this tree got me into this wonderful hobby/obsession so I feel I have to at least give her my best effort.
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