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 Suitable materials for bonsai

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amanHussain
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PostSubject: Suitable materials for bonsai   Sun Jan 02, 2011 8:15 pm

For beginners, finding a suitable material can be a daunting task. More than often, that species does not react very well to root-pruning (might kill the tree if root-pruned too much), or maybe it has very large leaves (this gives the tree an out-of-proportion look), ...and so on. Here are some of my personal rule of thumb to consider a species for bonsai culture:

- Find a material with relatively small leaves, or leaves that will readily reduce in size under pot culture. Large leaved variety is like the Rubber Plant or Fig.
- Avoid material with compound leaves (like Gol-Mohor [English name 'Flame of the Forest']). Most leaves don't reduce and the look is very unnatural. An exception would be Tamarind tree (I have seen some really nice bonsai of Tamarind).
- Avoid material with large internodes. Ideally, pruning and pinching should reduce internodes between leaves and branches, however, there are some that just won't reduce (like Din-ka-Raja).
- I personally stay away from really fast growing trees, primarily because they are very hard to keep in shape. One example is the Eucalyptus.
- Material with variegated leaves look unnatural.

Here is a list of species that have been tried by people and are successfully grown as convincing bonsai:
- Bouganvillea
- Most Ficus species (with exception of the very large leaved ones). My personal favourite is the pilkhan tree.
- Acacia
- Tamarind
- Pomegranate
- Mulberry
- Olive (people living in Baluchistan might find this material)
- Juniper
- Most Citrus species
- Apple
- Cherry (prunus species with smaller leaves)
- Pear
- I expect you to add to this list

Here is a list of species that are not commonly used for bonsai, but could be good candidates:
- Motia
- Cheeku
- Kakrondey
- Damdama
- Shareefa
- Pine (I am not sure what species are found in Pakistan, but the smaller needle species are preferred)
- Chambeli
- Mehndi
- Raat ki Raani
- Jungle Jalebi
- Jamun
- I expect you to add to this list

- AH
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Khaimraj



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PostSubject: Re: Suitable materials for bonsai   Sat Feb 19, 2011 5:38 pm

Aman,

if the mehindi and jamun [ jamoon] is the same as we have in the West Indies, neither really work.
Citrus is normally Fortunella h.
Olive, small leaf types or the wild original African stock.

Sorry, anything else I add would have to be obtained by seed.

Anyone got a Fukien tea?
Khaimraj
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pak bonsai
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PostSubject: Re: Suitable materials for bonsai   Sat Feb 19, 2011 8:47 pm

Mehndi will work fine here in pakistan as its very hard to die plat with small leaves. jamun will be difficult to train,when you cut a branch it will start die back.

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iskhan
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PostSubject: Re: Suitable materials for bonsai   Mon Jul 18, 2011 11:48 am

I am trying Jambolan (Jamun) and Sapodilla (Cheeku) currently they are fine.

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amanHussain
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PostSubject: Re: Suitable materials for bonsai   Wed Jul 25, 2012 11:13 am

There are a couple of species I want to highlight that I believe will thrive in climates like Karachi and maybe Lahore.

First, I think Ficus retusa or 'Pilkhan' as we call it in Urdu would probably be an excellent candidate. I have seen some stunning examples in the West. Pilkhan buttresses quite naturally and thickens up very nicely (even in pot culture) - I would train it in the ground for a couple of years to gain the thickness and buttress. Also note that the leaves will reduce in bonsai culture.

Second, Bouganvillea is extensively available almost in every nursery and can create some great bonsai. Other than flowering, this genus grows very nicely with mature bark, and fairly good leaf reduction.

Third, Other ficus species that are not commonly found in the nurseries but can thrive in Karachi environment are Ficus benjamina, Ficus macrocarpa should be used if you get your hands on them. I have seen some unbelievably beautiful Ficus macrocarpa bonsai pictures from Indonesia.

Fourth, I think certain other species that you may get your hands on for bonsai are Chiku, Mulberry, Pomegranate, Guava, some citrus varieties, and possibly small leaved shrubs like Chambeli.

- AH
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iskhan
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PostSubject: Re: Suitable materials for bonsai   Thu Jul 26, 2012 10:27 am

Quote :
Avoid material with compound leaves (like Gol-Mohor [English name 'Flame of the Forest']). Most leaves don't reduce and the look is very unnatural.
What about these Flame of the Forest bonsai:


Eucalyptus bonsai:



I think every tree is converted to bonsai which is easily available to you.
Rubber Plant bonsai
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amanHussain
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PostSubject: Re: Suitable materials for bonsai   Thu Jul 26, 2012 2:03 pm

These are some really great trees.

What is the size of the Gol Mohor in the picture? I am guessing it is a large bonsai since the leaves normally don't reduce well.

Also note, that the topic of this forum is 'Suitable Materials' primarily for the less experienced. Someone with a lot of experience can work on turning the less suitable materials into good bonsai (normally they work with suitable materials only).

- AH
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PostSubject: Re: Suitable materials for bonsai   Fri Jul 27, 2012 11:54 am

for beginners i will suggest only these two

1-Ficus
2-bougenville

easy to train, hard to die, small leaves with good branches, easy available, cheep to find.

and off course these two are also widely used by experts over the globe.


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