Roadside cleanup score

Share your success stories about defoliation, bare rooting and anything else relating to maintaining healthy bonsai.
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jgmansell
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Roadside cleanup score

Post by jgmansell »

Hi all,
I have just picked this Lilly Pilly up after someone left it out for roadside cleanup and wondering what to do with it now. The new growth looks healthy and roots look pretty good to me, so do I just pot it as is and leave it to put on more growth, lightly prune roots first then pot and water till spring?
Will it send out more shoots between the two sections that are shooting? I am an old novice so any advice regarding regarding future direction would be greatly appreciated too.
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Thanks
john
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shibui
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Re: Roadside cleanup score

Post by shibui »

Usually by the time new shoots get to that size the tree has finished trying for new ones but there's always a chance of some more in spring.
Not sure about the straight trunk. Maybe some of those lower shoots will give you a replacement and the main trunk can be cut eventually. Maybe some carving or dead wood will disguise the straightness and lack of taper. First you will need to get it growing and healthy.

The roots seem relatively intact so it has an excellent chance of surviving. Up there it should have no problem with a root prune. I've reduced lilly pilly roots considerably in warmer weather but would be really cautious at this time of year down here.
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jgmansell
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Re: Roadside cleanup score

Post by jgmansell »

Thanks Shibui, Looking at that straight trunk it was probably initially grown as a standard so I will just repot it and see how it goes till warmer weather just to be safe, if it doesn't look like bonsai material I will chop it right back and plant it along the local creek.
robb63
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Re: Roadside cleanup score

Post by robb63 »

Those roots seem to spread well and could make a decent base for the tree.
I would chop it just above the bottom shoots and grow it from there.
You could leave some of the straight stump above if you like carving and preserving deadwood.
By mid spring it will be well on the way to a possible sumo-lilly pilly and you can repot into a smaller container then.
You'll be left with a big scar if you chop and will need to keep it sealed to stop it rotting.
Liil pilly is not good or fast to heal scars but they make up for that with their vigorous growth.
Whenever I rescue a tree like yours I think, " it cost me nothing and only wants a little time ", so why not?
This time next year you might be happy you tried OR maybe it ends up by the creek.
jgmansell
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Re: Roadside cleanup score

Post by jgmansell »

Thanks Robb, Like you said I have nothing to lose and may learn something in the process.
jgmansell
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Re: Roadside cleanup score update

Post by jgmansell »

I chopped the top off the day after my first post, removing the top plus two thirds of the roots from the bottom and half the horizontal roots to make it fit the orchid pot. I am surprised that not only did it survive the chop just before winter but actually thrived and didn’t drop a leaf. It has now sent out multiple shoots from the trunk so my next question is, is it worth keeping and developing as a bonsai, bearing in mind I am in my seventies so don’t have too many years left. 😀
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KIRKY
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Re: Roadside cleanup score

Post by KIRKY »

That has some really nice roots for a good future nebari. Well its cut now, but the other thing with straight trunks that no one seems to mention anymore is the Formal up right. Have these gone out of fashion I wonder? As most posts suggest cut, cut, cut, Interesting. Still nice score, interested to see how it will develops.
Cheers
Kirky
robb63
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Re: Roadside cleanup score

Post by robb63 »

I think its very worthwhile for developing into bonsai just judging from how well it has responded to the root cutting and chopping.
I have bought nursery stock that have not done that well after a root reduction.
Then again I have had better results with collected Lillypilly similar to yours.
They never seem to slow down their growth rate in Sydney so will grow like crazy in Brisbane.
My last collected Lillypilly is only in its third year and already looks like a bonsai so you have lots of time.
As usual lean the trunk according to what looks better to you then pick out a leader or two and wire early before they stiffen.
Within 3 years you may well say "damn I'm glad I stuck with this little tree"
jgmansell
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Re: Roadside cleanup score

Post by jgmansell »

Thanks Robbie, I will stick with it and see how well it grows, I can always pass it on to someone else who has more time than I do.
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