Sycamore as Bonsai?



Sycamore as Bonsai?

Wed Aug 06, 2008 11:15 am

ok, hi :roll:
I'm a teen from England and have recently bought a Bonsai tree from a garden centre, however it seems it is on it's way out!!!

SO, i have gathered two young sycamore seedling and plan to use them.
Really, i need all the help i can get.
I would like to produce a root over rock bonsai and know how to do this but i don't know;
- What age the tree should be when i start pruning leaves + roots
- How to miniaturise leaves
- How to avoid hidious stumps when i cut my sapling to be bonsai
- If sycamore are even suitable for my plans

I will be greatful for ANY help, thankyou :D :wink:
jonnytrontronnnn
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Wed Aug 06, 2008 3:40 pm

jonnytrontronnnn,

Hello and welcome. I have no personal knowledge of Sycamore but they are used.

What age the tree should be when i start pruning leaves + roots
Don't do much in the way of pruning to young trees, it sets you back, early on you want growth. Root pruning though should be performed every time you re-pot or transplant. It is never too early to begin promoting a good nebari though. Have a look at the sticky thread about root pruning.

How to miniaturise leaves
This is only an issue after the trunk is established. If I understand your situation it is too early to be worrying about this. You have time to learn as the trunks grow out, research the terms 'defoliation and ramification' as they relate to bonsai.

How to avoid hidious stumps when i cut my sapling to be bonsai
The general idea is to allow the trunk to grow out then cut it back. A new leader is chosen from the resulting growth and it is allowed to grow freely thus healing the wound where it emerges. This is the general method of creating movement and taper with deciduous material. It is a long term process. Study these links and you will begin to get the idea.


http://www.evergreengardenworks.com/trunks.htm
http://www.bonsai4me.com/AdvTech/ATdeve ... bonsai.htm
http://www.bonsai4me.com/AdvTech/ATfieldgrowing.htm

Norm
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Fri Aug 08, 2008 10:15 pm

Since Sycamore and Maples are the same species, Acers, I would suggest that you develop a Sycamore bonsai exactly the same as you would a Maple bonsai. And there will be lots of information on Maples as they are popular as a bonsai.
SG6
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Thu Aug 14, 2008 12:47 pm

thanks guys, that should really help!!!
:)
jonnytrontronnnn
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Sun Aug 17, 2008 7:22 pm

hey jonny im from wales and also a teen
ive picked up a few sycemores up from were ever they have grow
like oaks in the uk the less water the smaller ther leaves (do water them but keep it minimum)
SG6 said theyre part of the maple family so leaf pruning is out of the question this time of the year but the trees also develope more before any work of this sort can be done

any pics
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tarian
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Sun Aug 17, 2008 9:52 pm

Just to clarify, Maples and Sycamores belong to the same genus of which there are numerous species. All Acers are the same genus but not necessarily the same species. I believe that you are referring to Acer pseudoplatanus or Sycamore Maple. Brent does a good job of explaining the binomial naming system.

http://www.evergreengardenworks.com/taxonomy.htm

Norm
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Mon Aug 18, 2008 5:06 am

There is also Platanus Wrightii - the Arizona Sycamore

I think the might make interesting specimens
alisios
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Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:03 pm

I have considered Arizona and American sycamore as candidates for bonsai because of there interesting bark and naturally informal tendencies, but the leaves are huge (8 in. wide or so). even if they were reduced by half they would be to large for any but the largest bonsai.
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bewildered_nmsu
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Wed Jul 06, 2011 11:37 pm

Here is the jist, personally I go at the trees, any bonsai, straight from seed, as soon as that tap is long enough and those cotyledons are stable with a first and/or second set of real leaves. Really with those cotyledons thick full of genetic instructions for the plant, and those have to stay on or the plant dies, those roots might be too, so I figure after toying with the roots either I get little bitty second third and fourth sets of leaves or I don't. Occasionally I might remove a little cotyledon, and get better results. I have gotten leaves millimeters in length, and stay that way, to sprout and the plant lives, however what kind I am not going to mention, you can have your own unique experience without influence from me. Then again, for things like the better known bonsai material there are plenty of instructions, and I have found a lot of instructions to be poor guidance and large leaves result. I am fixing to start an American sycamore just for kicks, and see what happens, and it might take 5 different seed starts to come to a conclusion. It takes a lot of time to bonsai a plant and as soon as that root system is sound, it might not stay a little leaved bonsai and that might not change, once established, because you have to have a certain amount of roots for a plant to live. Personally I have found if you let the trees, bonsai material, that doesn't have published info about, get too large and grow to much, you have wasted time getting little bitty leaves and flowers, because you won't obtain it. It's a unique hobby, and just because I or someone else might mention what a result or a particular result doesn't mean you shouldn't study up on the plant your trying. A lot of info on how to maintain large trees and feed them comes in real handy when it comes to bonsai, it's about the same but the measurements are different and root pruning is a bit different. A lot can be done with root pruning, I'd say more so than plucking at leaves. You'll get a shape, raffia and wire or not. Nature, it does a lot for itself, and plucking and raffia wire and an inclination might keep your results minimum, for size it's one thing to trim. Just enjoy your time, and if you don't come up with results the first 15 or 20 etc times, there is always next time, and it's not a bad idea to have a larger tree on hand for rootstock should you need it. American sycamore, for instance, might require a lot of maintenance to achieve a result, not something one can just let sit for 6 months and forget about, but I could be wrong. I do not know yet, but I will soon enough.
Hijinkz
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Thu Jul 07, 2011 12:02 am

[quote="Gnome"]jonnytrontronnnn,

Hello and welcome. I have no personal knowledge of Sycamore but they are used.


I am just mentioning in general, not about a sycamore in particular.

[quote]What age the tree should be when i start pruning leaves + roots[/quote] Don't do much in the way of pruning to young trees, it sets you back, early on you want growth. Root pruning though should be performed every time you re-pot or transplant. It is never too early to begin promoting a good nebari though. Have a look at the sticky thread about root pruning.

You gotta work up to that growth, it's not just something you just get in a bonsai. What I think, not saying it's accurate.

[quote]How to miniaturise leaves[/quote] This is only an issue after the trunk is established. If I understand your situation it is too early to be worrying about this. You have time to learn as the trunks grow out, research the terms 'defoliation and ramification' as they relate to bonsai.

The trunk might take more years to establish while those little leaves are multiplying, as long as it serves it's purpose as a trunk, even when it is little and thin that is the main thing. If once it gets to a stage and is the type of bonsai you can cut back, just because you'd like to, and it grows from root stock, and you cut it back you might have large leaves sprout, and it's possibly not something you can just start over on doing that, but one can try what one likes. Defoliation isn't something that I personally ever want to have to do after messing with roots long enough to get little bitty leaves.

[quote]How to avoid hidious stumps when i cut my sapling to be bonsai[/quote] The general idea is to allow the trunk to grow out then cut it back. A new leader is chosen from the resulting growth and it is allowed to grow freely thus healing the wound where it emerges. This is the general method of creating movement and taper with deciduous material. It is a long term process. Study these links and you will begin to get the idea.

The older trees that get too thick of a trunk and leaves are not enough to support the trunk stems and roots, that taper might be something, just kind of hacking into it a bit through the years working up to it making it kind of uniquely cut into and healed into, could prevent the hack and taper, if the leaves stay little, or if a big one pops out it might be of some helpful use. Personally it's the if, that I find to be entertaining. Lot's do not realize just how much the roots get messed with on different bonsai, on some of them, but the ones like juniper, you don't have to do much. I could be wrong..... Whatever is one's preference, and whatever one learns about the hobby as benefit. I am not here to tell you what to do, but it is apparently alright to mention my opinion. None of this is directed at the quoted or o.p. Have a nice day/night.


http://www.evergreengardenworks.com/trunks.htm
http://www.bonsai4me.com/AdvTech/ATdeve ... bonsai.htm
http://www.bonsai4me.com/AdvTech/ATfieldgrowing.htm

Norm[/quote]
Hijinkz
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Fri Jul 08, 2011 12:43 am

Unless you are talking about a "Sycamore Maple", the standard Sycamore tree (Platanus occidentalis, also known as American Sycamore) is not related to the Maple (Acer) in any way.
Just my opinion but I don't think that they would be a very viable candidate for Bonsai culture, mainly because the leaves are huge on the Sycamore tree and the specimen would have to be very large to balance the leaf size.
Regards,
Len

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djlen
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Tue Jul 12, 2011 12:07 pm

When I was a kid growing up in NYC, these trees (American Sycamore) lined almost every street in the outer borroughs. The amazingly cool exfoliating bark would lead to an amazing bonsai. Unfortunately, the leaves are virtually impossible to reduce. I would think it a safe bet to say that the most reduction you'd get would require a tree on the order of 3' tall. And, you'd still have to remove the globe-like seed pod things.
kdodds
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