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Bonsai Sycamore trees

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Project by Desktopgem posted 04-18-2009 04:47 PM 7858 views 0 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have always loved Bonsai but know how difficult it is to keep these ready make trees. I have two sycamore trees that are about two years old and having read on the internet that they can get very large and messy, covered in aphids but beneficial to blue tits for the insects, I have decided not to terrified of them growing like triffids. They were mine from seedlings so I feel I know them and have authority to do with them what I wish. At the moment they are twigs but I’ve found a beginners bonsai site. On Monday I shall be performing my first operation on both of them; cut their roots and nip out the tops (to encourage branch growth). I think I should have done that by now but I’m sure it’s not too late. After that I’m not really sure what to do. The very first thing is to take photographs of how they are now. I shall either put them back into their pots or find some other container. I would like them fairly large so that at least one blue tit might find a home! I only like to learn the bare necessities as I like to be creative and independent with my ideas.

I have just been out in the dark to take my picture so it isn’t the best. If I can change it I will do that later on in the week. You will need to scroll down the picture to see the smaller tree.

-- Desktopgem



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Desktopgem

310 posts in 2957 days

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17 comments so far

View Eklectic's profile

Eklectic

1824 posts in 3401 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 04-19-2009 06:45 AM

This is a very interesting project!
And the picture is quite clear.
I like to go out at night and take pictures: they look so different!

-- Eklectic, Follow my Bliss, South East Ontario 5a

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Bon

7374 posts in 3381 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 04-19-2009 08:08 AM

This will be such a different project to follow.Keep us posted on how it ’s coming along.

-- Bon,Hastings,Ont.....zone 5a....Always room for one more

View GrandmaT's profile

GrandmaT

5389 posts in 3479 days
hardiness zone 9

posted 04-19-2009 10:10 AM

Very interesting indeed!!! I look forward to seeing how this turns out, step by step. Do keep us posted!!

-- "A beautiful garden is a work of heart" --

View jroot's profile

jroot

5121 posts in 3231 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 04-20-2009 09:15 AM

I have never done bonsai, but have seen some really interesting exhibits of bonsai. I truly respect the work of generations working on a single tree for over 200 years.

Keep us informed as to how it is going, please.

-- jroot ....... Southern Ontario .......... grow zone 5A ...................."Gardening is an exercise in optimism." ....... . . Author Unknown

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Desktopgem

310 posts in 2957 days

posted 04-20-2009 05:18 PM

Thank you for your comments re the bonsai trees. I took the first step and nipped out the tops so they will not grow upwards any more. I don’t know whether to feel sad or glad. My next step is to find suitable containers for each and trim the roots but I think I will read a bit more about it first, just to be on the safe side.

-- Desktopgem

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MsDebbieP

14694 posts in 3601 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 04-20-2009 05:54 PM

I’m going to enjoy watching your progress!!
It sounds like you have a real connection with these tree-beings. They are probably curious about what they will look like when they are older.

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

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Desktopgem

310 posts in 2957 days

posted 04-21-2009 03:29 AM

I don’t think, as a first timer, that I will be getting very involved with these trees in shaping the branches etc as, being short of money, I can only do the basic stuff and try to keep them alive and naturally shaped. Later on I may try another and get more ambitious in experimenting in curling and twirling them! It really depends on how these two are able to stay alive with the basics of care. One good thing is that if I go away I will be able to take them with me on the train or coach and care for them while away so to speak. At least I’ll know through the first experiment what mistakes, even at basic experience might be made.

-- Desktopgem

View Jason's profile

Jason

840 posts in 3455 days
hardiness zone 5

posted 04-22-2009 05:48 PM

You’ve got the right attitude, and it looks like you’re doing a great job on your starters. I’ve probably killed a few dozen trees of various species (most of them the freebies you can get from Arbor Day) trying to bonsai them. Topping the trees isn’t nearly as scary (IMO) as doing that first root-job. That’s what did in my failed experiments.

After all the attempts, I got one to actually survive a root-job and a couple rounds of topping/leaf pinching. It’s a Hawthorne, which I’m hoping will actually bloom one of these days. I just moved it from its winter respite to the open air a week or so ago, and it’s starting to leaf out nicely…

I think I’ll make a blog post to showcase it (and not hijack your thread).

Hey, what’s the beginner site you use? I’d be interested in reading it!

-- Living on the square...Metro Detroit

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Desktopgem

310 posts in 2957 days

posted 05-05-2009 04:08 PM

Hello Damocles, www.bonsaisite.com is the site I found just to dip into. I’m going to take a couple of photos of my trees tomorrow as they are now. The leaves have grown so much since my last photo. I’m going to leave the roots well alone till next year. Yesterday I visited some garden centres miles away but can be reached quite easily by bus, I don’t have a car, and was delighted to see a bonsai section. It sells bonsai compost and food. I’m a bit worried about the bigger tree as am not sure about pulling it out of it’s container to see to the roots. It might be a tug of war but anyhow, a challenge to look forward to.

-- Desktopgem

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Desktopgem

310 posts in 2957 days

posted 05-07-2009 03:04 PM

I still haven’t taken the photo but did take a close look at the trees. There were quite a few little brown insects relaxing onto of two leaves. I had to spray with pesticide as I don’t fancy so many of those things crawling around on my patio.

I barged my way outside and disturbed a blackbird foraging for food. He’d found quite a bit by the looks of him. If you would like to see him please go to www.youtube.com and search for blackbird on my patio or desktopgem and browse through my videos.

-- Desktopgem

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Desktopgem

310 posts in 2957 days

posted 05-12-2009 02:58 PM

My poor sycamores seem a little sick. Small brown spots have appeared on a couple of leaves. Must fertilise them perhaps? Loads of elm seeds have been swept in by the wind and covered so much of my stuff. I read elm seeds are not that fertile so won’t be able to get one and sow it. But I might try.

-- Desktopgem

View GrandmaT's profile

GrandmaT

5389 posts in 3479 days
hardiness zone 9

posted 05-12-2009 05:41 PM

Wish I had some advice to give you … BUT … You might do a search on Sycamores and see if you can determine what those small brown spots are on the leaves and how to treat them before you fertilize.

-- "A beautiful garden is a work of heart" --

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GrandmaT

5389 posts in 3479 days
hardiness zone 9

posted 05-12-2009 05:44 PM

You might could try a Maple seed … when the “helicopters” begin. I dug up two very young Maple Trees from our old yard “forest” and “braided/twisted” them together; then planted them. They grew that way … very fascinating trunk as the two trees actually became one massive tree.

-- "A beautiful garden is a work of heart" --

View wicko's profile

wicko

5 posts in 2874 days
hardiness zone 8

posted 07-09-2009 02:26 PM

How are your sycamores doing now? I found your site by trying to find out info on sycamore bonsai, of which I have 2.
Like you I have a small tree and one larger tree.
I have taken some photos but need to work out how to get them from my wifes camera onto the computer and onto this to show everybody.

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Desktopgem

310 posts in 2957 days

posted 07-09-2009 03:08 PM

Helllo Wicko, I’ve just popped out to take a couple of photos. The top right shows the trees together but I’ve moved the bigger one to the steps now as you can see with the last three photos. I’ve done nothing really with them, just nipped out the tops. I planted a little alpine flower at the base of the taller tree today to make it look more attractive. Are yours like these? The leaves are a bit brown on the outside, not sure what caused that.

-- Desktopgem

View Greenthumb's profile

Greenthumb

2290 posts in 3421 days

posted 07-09-2009 10:16 PM

almost all trees love shade, the younger the tree, the more it likes shade….........at least this has been my experience with success at seedling trees.

no expert here but just my ‘SUCCESS’ in pruning trees…..........nip the branches above, not below, the nodes (places in a branch where a leaf sproated and doesnt any more, a bulge) and or above a branch, not below.

When I worry about cutting too many “nodes” off, I error on the side of caution and cut less then I would like to cut off as there is always “next year”, and trees, unlike people….....live a long long time. Patience is a virtue

I assume you moved the tree next to the concrete landscaping block to take a picture?. In the event you didnt, I would move it away from any kind of stone as the heat of the stone, reflection of sun off the stone/concrete can “fry” a small seedling tree.

Bonsai require patience and respect.

-- just one more rock, and the garden is done ; )

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Desktopgem

310 posts in 2957 days

posted 07-10-2009 02:33 PM

I only have stone! That’s all. There’s not soil area so… I may repot the small tree and just watch to see what it does. They are both about 3 years old now. Thank you for your comments and I look forward to seeing your photos. I’ll not be cutting any branches etc until there is more of a shape, particularly on the larger tree.

-- Desktopgem

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