Australian natives tube stock - now what

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jessepap
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Australian natives tube stock - now what

Post by jessepap »

So I visited a local nursery today and picked up 5 tube stock natives pics attached.
From left to right I got.

Allocasuarina verticillata dry land form sheoak

Melaleuca halmaturorum paper bark

River red gum x2

Eucalyptus sideroxlyon rosea

So questions are I will now re pot plant into 180mm pots.

Do I just then set and grow? Do I need to think about any trunk wiring or anything?

Is there any chopping required at this stage? They are all very tall and thin - unsure if I should take the tops off at all.

Now the slow grow begins...

Thanks.
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Re: Australian natives tube stock - now what

Post by Raging Bull »

Hi Jessepap and welcome,
Good choices there. :imo: you should take the top couple of centimetres off each one to encourage some low branching and leave any very low existing branches as sacrifice branches to help thicken the trunk. This is also the time you can then carefully wire the trunks to get some movement into them while they are still flexible. Once that's done put them into larger pots and keep the liquid fertilizer up to them as well as slow release osmocote. Remember to keep them well watered, don't allow to dry out.
Good luck with your first batch of many, looks like you've been bitten by the Bonsai Bug. ;)
Cheers, Frank.
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Re: Australian natives tube stock - now what

Post by jessepap »

Raging Bull wrote: February 15th, 2020, 12:52 pm Hi Jessepap and welcome,
Good choices there. :imo: you should take the top couple of centimetres off each one to encourage some low branching and leave any very low existing branches as sacrifice branches to help thicken the trunk. This is also the time you can then carefully wire the trunks to get some movement into them while they are still flexible. Once that's done put them into larger pots and keep the liquid fertilizer up to them as well as slow release osmocote. Remember to keep them well watered, don't allow to dry out.
Good luck with your first batch of many, looks like you've been bitten by the Bonsai Bug. ;)
Cheers, Frank.
Thanks Bull. Really appreciate the initial advice.

So tops come off they will still be pretty tall and thin but to be expected.

I might practice some wiring on something I cut from elsewhere in the garden and then have a go on a trunk.

I've been bitten! I am flying around like a blind bat at the moment though!!!
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Re: Australian natives tube stock - now what

Post by MJL »

jessepap wrote:
I've been bitten! I am flying around like a blind bat at the moment though!!!
Ha! Once bitten it’s difficult to escape the addiction ... enjoy the flight, you’ll be here for a while but you won’t be flying blind for long.


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Re: Australian natives tube stock - now what

Post by greg27 »

Nice, some good choices there. As Frank said - wire them up to add some interesting movement down low, then water + fertilise to let them thicken up. They can grow quick (especially those river red gums) so keep an eye on them to make sure the wire doesn't cut in.

I find it really useful to go back and look at some of the competition threads on here - a lot are started from tubestock so you get a good progression of what was done and what the results were after a few months/years.
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Re: Australian natives tube stock - now what

Post by jessepap »

Potted pre any wire.
Fingers crossed. I am pretty impressed with them at the moment I must say.

Potted one of the red gums on a big angle.
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Re: Australian natives tube stock - now what

Post by shibui »

Good to see you have potted one on an angle. For my :2c: I think that bonsai do not look good with vertical trunks except for the straight styles - formal upright and broom.

I would have wired the trunks while I had them out of the tubes so the wire and bends go right down to the roots. It will now be harder to wire and bend. In any case wire soon because wiring and bending in a few weeks is likely to break any new roots that have ventured out into the new mix by that stage.

The mel is the only one I'm not familiar with. All the others will bud on older wood so you can let them grow as big as you want then cut back and be confident you'll get new buds on the trunk, even if it is bare by then. Some mels bud on older wood, others will not.
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Re: Australian natives tube stock - now what

Post by jessepap »

shibui wrote: February 15th, 2020, 6:24 pm Good to see you have potted one on an angle. For my :2c: I think that bonsai do not look good with vertical trunks except for the straight styles - formal upright and broom.

I would have wired the trunks while I had them out of the tubes so the wire and bends go right down to the roots. It will now be harder to wire and bend. In any case wire soon because wiring and bending in a few weeks is likely to break any new roots that have ventured out into the new mix by that stage.

The mel is the only one I'm not familiar with. All the others will bud on older wood so you can let them grow as big as you want then cut back and be confident you'll get new buds on the trunk, even if it is bare by then. Some mels bud on older wood, others will not.
Thanks Shibui.

I knew I should have wired at the time. Dammit!! I will try and get onto it tomorrow once I have some wire. Hopefully it's still OK.

I may even pull another out and put back on an angle as I think another could have gone on the angle.

Shibui - would you now just let them all grow with no chops at the moment at all?

Hopefully they take off and grow well. Fingers crossed.
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Re: Australian natives tube stock - now what

Post by Sno »

When I first started I did similar . The thing I regretted a few years down the track was not sorting the roots out earlier . Now if I start anything new it’s the roots first . While there in tubes the roots are fairly flexible it’s a good time to untangle and arrange the roots so when they harden off they are not awkwardly bent or crossing at weird angles . Tube stock is relatively cheap so if they die it’s not so much of a loss , a couple of years watering and looking after them there value for you increases a lot and it’s a lot harder to fix any root issues . If you get a chance try growing in ‘nursery flats ‘ ,same amount of potting mix roughly as a 150 mm pot but flatter so you can spread the roots out and you create a more natural looking root system .
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Re: Australian natives tube stock - now what

Post by shibui »

Roots do not grow in a day so you probably have a week or so to get onto it. Even after that a few broken roots won't usually kill a tree, just set it back a little.
I can't assess each tree from this distance but I would be comfortable to allow any tree to grow as long as I know they will bud well. All the eucs I have grown have budded well after pruning, even to bare areas so I'd be allowing those to grow no with no chops until the trunks get thicker. Some wired bends may be useful but generally pruning low will give bends later.
Al the casuarinas (alocasuarinas) I know bud quite well when pruned, even on older, bare wood so, again, I'd be happy to allow that one to grow now and gain some size. They do tend to get thicker at the base so you should get a good start to the trunk without much effort.

That mel is the only one I don't know about. A number of the drier area mels I have tried have refused to bud on bare wood. Pruning below healthy foliage kills the plant. Those species need regular trimming to maintain healthy shoots in appropriate places. Other species, especially the swamp loving ones, bud profusely all over the stump when pruned so they can be left to grow as tall as I like then chopped low to get regrowth to make the bonsai.

There's no reason you should worry about these. Many natives are resilient and will grow despite what we do to them. Many are quite fast growers and will outgrow many traditional exotic species. If a couple decide to die put that down to experience and start again. That sort of thing happens to the best of us and also with exotics.

Sno is correct about the roots but for a beginner that can be a little overwhelming. You could go for broke with these ones or just try to keep these alive and have a go at root untangling with the next ones when you feel a bit more confident.
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Re: Australian natives tube stock - now what

Post by jessepap »

Thoughts on this first wire job? Not a huge amount of bend at the moment... Does this even count?!
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Re: Australian natives tube stock - now what

Post by shibui »

No mate, that does not even come close to a bend.
One thing you might discover is that plants tend to take the shortest route from roots to leaves so as the trunk thickens it grows a little more on the inside of curves and less on the outside. Th long term effect is that bends tend to get lass as the trunk grows. I would predict that this trunk will look straight again after a couple of years of good growth.
When bending thin, young stems you need to start with exaggerated curves in order to end up with what you actually want.

As to the actual wiring, I would make the coils a little closer together. That should give slightly better holding power and will support the stem a bit more so less likely to snap when you bend. There are lots of wiring snobs out there who try to demand perfection in wiring. I'm of the opinion that if it works it is good enough unless I want to show the tree. Then it also needs to look neat as well as work.
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Re: Australian natives tube stock - now what

Post by jessepap »

shibui wrote: February 16th, 2020, 7:51 pm No mate, that does not even come close to a bend.
One thing you might discover is that plants tend to take the shortest route from roots to leaves so as the trunk thickens it grows a little more on the inside of curves and less on the outside. Th long term effect is that bends tend to get lass as the trunk grows. I would predict that this trunk will look straight again after a couple of years of good growth.
When bending thin, young stems you need to start with exaggerated curves in order to end up with what you actually want.

As to the actual wiring, I would make the coils a little closer together. That should give slightly better holding power and will support the stem a bit more so less likely to snap when you bend. There are lots of wiring snobs out there who try to demand perfection in wiring. I'm of the opinion that if it works it is good enough unless I want to show the tree. Then it also needs to look neat as well as work.
Thanks for your post mate appreciate it as always.

Ha! Didn't think so.
It felt like it was going to snap so I didn't push it. Haha.

After many many many hours of research, visiting nurseries, Book reading and the like I'm slowly realising I don't think I'm real good at this bonsai thing.

Ahhhh deflating. I will just try and grow the trees and forget about the wiring I think. See how that goes!
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Re: Australian natives tube stock - now what

Post by boom64 »

Hi Jessepap , Don't despair you have some great stock to work with. As usual Shibuis advice on wiring is spot on .Let them dry out a little as this helps. If you snap one or two don't worry they will send out new shoots and this will ad character in the future. I am sure there would not be to many on this site who has not sapped a few . Cheers John.
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Re: Australian natives tube stock - now what

Post by Ryceman3 »

jessepap wrote: February 16th, 2020, 8:01 pm

After many many many hours of research, visiting nurseries, Book reading and the like I'm slowly realising I don't think I'm real good at this bonsai thing.
Don’t get deflated!
Don’t be afraid to have a go either. Some trees can be resilient and bend to rather intense angles, while others that are the same girth will snap if you look at them wrong - the only way to know is to try.
Here’s a pic of some tube stock I bent.
F293D148-1400-4E96-B453-A480641F4F4D.jpeg
I’m not saying it’s great, just illustrating the kind of bends you can get. This is leptospermum but I have done similar with Melaleuca and Casuarina species... all responded well. I will add I try to twist the branch as I bend it (clockwise or anti clockwise, whichever depending on the direction the wire is applied). This one was done about 10 months or so ago I think, I dont have a pic of how it looks now... I’ll take one tomorrow if you’re interested to show how the bends mature over time.
Everything starts somewhere, as does everyone, and you can’t finish if you never start!
Keep at it.
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