Kenshin14435
Senior Member
Posts: 284
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 7:33 pm
Location: Northern VA USDA Zone 7A

I think the bottom is supposed to be bare. It is a tropical tree so in the rainfores it would naturally compete for sunlight by growing tall and losing its foliage toward the bottom.
~ Ken ~

kdodds
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1436
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 12:07 am
Location: Airmont, NY Zone 6/7

I've not seen any back-budding along the trunk of mine. But, then, maybe if it were chopped down, you might. Back budding does occur along branches, though. The two lowest side branches, if allowed to grow out and then weighted a bit, should produce a nicer, fuller look. The tree's young though, so lots of time for that, and for cleaning up the top portion.

Kenshin14435
Senior Member
Posts: 284
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 7:33 pm
Location: Northern VA USDA Zone 7A

kdodds,
Does your Brazilian Raintree lose some of its leaves everyday? Mine has been losing some leaflets. Normally around 10-20 leaflets in 12 hours. Just wondering if yours does that. I don't know if its from shock(I don't think it would be.....I got it over a week ago)or what.

Take Care
~ Ken ~

kdodds
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1436
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 12:07 am
Location: Airmont, NY Zone 6/7

Nope, it does not usually shed any leaves. But funny you should mention it right now because in the last few days, yes, it has shed some leaves. Possibly, with the days lenghtening, this is a response that precedes spring growth? I have not had it a full year yet, so I couldn't say if it's normal seasonal "behavior".

Kenshin14435
Senior Member
Posts: 284
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 7:33 pm
Location: Northern VA USDA Zone 7A

Funny huh?
That is very possible. But I would think it would take a few years to actually be sure that this what this kind of species does during this time of year.
I thought it might be the dryness of the leaves. I was surprised when I felt the leaves that they seemed very dry. I water it dpending on how much it needs it so the soil moisture was pretty damp. But the leaves were dry. I have been misting the leaves 1-2 times a day and that has seemed to help quite a bit.

Take Care
~ Ken ~

User avatar
bonsaiboy
Greener Thumb
Posts: 892
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2007 1:54 am
Location: Earth

Kenshin14435,
Sorry I couldn't respond to your one question any sooner. Well, acctualy, it wasn't your question, but I thought it might be nice to know Brazilian Raintrees do back-bud. Also, I am no expert on them, but the falling leafs may be happening for several reasons. First, you could be overwatering it. Second, if it was moved from a bright location to a dim one or vice versa, it could be shedding the old leafs not desined to operate in the newer light levels, and may throw out new leafs eventualy that are better suited to do so. Or, this tree could also be seasonaly deciduous as some tropicals are (it's kind of unlikely, though, if you consider where its from).
הדמיון הוא יותר חשוב מאשר ידע

Kenshin14435
Senior Member
Posts: 284
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 7:33 pm
Location: Northern VA USDA Zone 7A

It might be possible that I am over watering.

Bonsaiboy and kdodds,
What is your average watering schedule for this species?

Also, I noticed that the leaves are starting to turn yellow.

I don't know whats up but I don't want to lose this tree. >.<
~ Ken ~

MyBonsaiBuddy
Newly Registered
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2009 4:02 pm
Location: Tampa,Fl

:D Hello, My name is Lisa, My other 1/2 responded to this question earlier and I have quite a few of the Braz. Raintrees and have some experience. I read over the entire post and thought I could add a couple of things. If the tree was shipped to you it may have experienced some cold thru the shipping process and should have had a heat pack included in the shipping carton considering the weather lately in the north. Shock can take a while to show up and run its course. The Braz. Raintrees will re-adjust their foliage when they are moved around. They will bud back on the trunk occasionally but good luck with it popping out where you want it to! Normal growth appears to start out as a leaflet off a main branch, this leaflet always last a short while and then yellows and falls off. Then a branch will usually pop from this area and this will grow out quickly so be prepared to weight it or wire it in the direction you wish it to grow. It will grow very quickly so be extremely careful when wiring because the tree will grow around the wire and the branch will be permanantly scarred. These trees scar extremely easy and once the dark bark is gone it will not grow back, it will leave a lighter color bark. This is used in styling sometimes and adds a bit of interest, similar to exfoliating barks. The Braz. Raintree likes to dry up a bit in between waterings. The grow naturally near the beaches in sand and are sometimes stuck in straight sand when they are collected. I like the fluted trunks. If you are happy with the size of your bonsai, keep it maintained for the size of the pot, if you would like to grow it larger you can always repot it (at the correct time of the year) in a larger pot and let it grow and keep it trimmed and styled while it grows larger and then repot back to a bonsai pot later on. Pinch and grow is the best method for training branches (directing growth) but remember to leave 1/4 to 1/2 inch for die-back. Once the die-back is done (it will be brown and dry to a point and green behind that point) you can trim off the dead brown area and neaten up the cut. The leaves will close up at night, when it rains, when it is not sunny enough or too sunny and the leaves get too hot and close up to keep cooler. The plant will give you some clues as to what it needs. They can be touchy and drop their leaves when they get stressed but cut back on watering (less leaves, less need for water) and keep them warm and in a filtered sunny spot and they will come back with the most beautiful green sprouts and fill back in really quickly. Use your humidity tray and misting is good but not in direct sunlight and don't put them to bed wet! Check for bugs occassionally and fertilize now and again. If you have any other specific questions, just ask I will check back. Sorry about being so long winded, Good Luck

kdodds
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1436
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 12:07 am
Location: Airmont, NY Zone 6/7

Mine gets watered usually once per week (winter) or twice per week (all other seasons), as needed really. Thanks for the info, Lisa. This appears to be what may be happening as I'm now noticing that my yellowing/leaf dropping is coming towards the end of branches, where I've been pruning to keep the shape of the tree and keep grwoth in check. So, perhaps branching is being encourage by this? Mine opens and closes otherwise normally.

Kenshin14435
Senior Member
Posts: 284
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 7:33 pm
Location: Northern VA USDA Zone 7A

I've seen very TINY bugs crawling around in the soil but I havn't really thought anything of it. I've only seen a few and I can't even describe what they look like because they are so small. Any advice on that?
~ Ken ~

User avatar
Gnome
Mod
Posts: 5122
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:17 am
Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

Lisa,

Thanks to you as well. We don't have a section dedicated to 'tropical' species but we do seem to have a lot of interest in them. Please continue to post as your schedule permits. :D

Norm

User avatar
bonsaiboy
Greener Thumb
Posts: 892
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2007 1:54 am
Location: Earth

Kenshin14435
Have you checked the condition of the plants roots? Whenever something goes wrong with my plants, I always make sure its not a root-related problem. After all, with the falling leafs and tiny insects insects in the soil, it may very well be a root problem.
הדמיון הוא יותר חשוב מאשר ידע

kdodds
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1436
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 12:07 am
Location: Airmont, NY Zone 6/7

Well, mine has pretty much stopped dropping leaflets. It would be interesting if yours has too Ken. Maybe then it is a response in preparation for spring/summer due to the lengthening days.

Kenshin14435
Senior Member
Posts: 284
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 7:33 pm
Location: Northern VA USDA Zone 7A

bonsaiboy,
I have not yet checked the roots out. It is tedious work that I'm kind of afraid to do on my new tree. Aside from the thought of maybe killing my tree, I would have to use the same soil it is in now because I do not have the material. I am also trying to figure out a way to get the decorative rock out of the pot and keep it out of soil mixture when I do take a look at the roots. I havnt seen the tiny critters anymore but I'm am keeping an eye on it.

kdodds,
The leaf falling has decreased. There are still some that are dry and about to fall but other than that, the foliage looks well. I think I will wait until the leaves stop dropping and then take a look at the roots to see if there could be a bigger problem at hand.

Also,
Can you tell me how you keep your Braz. Raintree humid. I have the humidity tray with pebbles in it and some water to keep the are damp. But it drys out awfully fast. And do you use some sort of heating pad to heat the air as well?

Take CAre
~ Ken ~

User avatar
bonsaiboy
Greener Thumb
Posts: 892
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2007 1:54 am
Location: Earth

I have seen little terrariums before in the gardening section of some stores that you can use to increase humidity. I forget what there called, but there oftentimes used for growing orchids and exotic ferns, that can't stand dry air. No idea how much they cost, but if you could get your hands on one, it would keep the air humid for longer periods. I'll try and figure out what there called.
הדמיון הוא יותר חשוב מאשר ידע

Kenshin14435
Senior Member
Posts: 284
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 7:33 pm
Location: Northern VA USDA Zone 7A

Something like this??

[url]https://www.littlegreenhouse.com/flowerhouse-seed.shtml[/url]

I've been to this site before. They offer various sized portable greenhouses or stationary greenhouses for a relatively low price.

Take Care
~ Ken ~

Kenshin14435
Senior Member
Posts: 284
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 7:33 pm
Location: Northern VA USDA Zone 7A

I found something like this that would be good for you entire collection.

[url]https://www.littlegreenhouse.com/flowerhouse-plant.shtml[/url]

Take Care
~ Ken ~

User avatar
Gnome
Mod
Posts: 5122
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:17 am
Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

Ken,

How about something like this.
https://philipsgardenblog.com/2008/03/14/cloche-encounters/

Norm

Kenshin14435
Senior Member
Posts: 284
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 7:33 pm
Location: Northern VA USDA Zone 7A

Norm,
I took a look at them to see how much height they had to them. They look like they would work great for the little maples but for the Braz. Raintree, it would be too short. Even without the pot and the humidity tray it would be to short for my tree to fit in.

Thank you for the suggestion though.

Take Care
~ Ken ~

MyBonsaiBuddy
Newly Registered
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2009 4:02 pm
Location: Tampa,Fl

Hi, just a thought as to your humidity issue.... is there an air vent blowing on the tree/tray? Keeping a bonsai indoor can be tricky with all the heat and air vents, the air can bounce off a wall and be directed at the plant which will dry them out extremely quickly. Glad to hear the leaf drop is stopping and you are seeing new growth.
Humidity trays really only work indoors, outdoors they are pretty much useless as they do dry out so fast. To keep your bonsai happy, mist it in the morning and in the afternoon but give the tree enough time to dry off completely before the sun goes down, don't mist after dark or with the tree in full blazing sun as the water magnifies and burns spots on the fragile leaves. As to your bugs in the soil, glad you don't see them anymore, they could be fungus gnats, or just a couple of stray ants seeking water, most likely more of a nuisance than a problem which would affect the health of the tree. Ants can bring pests to your tree though to "farm" them ! so do keep an eye out.

Lisa

kdodds
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1436
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 12:07 am
Location: Airmont, NY Zone 6/7

I mist mine once or twice per day or more, no humidity tray, but there is a Juniper next to it that is on a humidity tray. Mine has stopped dropping completely, but yes, there are a few yellowed leaflets that have not fallen yet. At the axils, there are HUGE buds growing all over the place. The haven't opened yet, but they're bigger than I usually see. I don't think they're flowers, though. Right now they look like 3-4mm peas. Perhaps these are new branches forming?

Kenshin14435
Senior Member
Posts: 284
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 7:33 pm
Location: Northern VA USDA Zone 7A

kdodds,
I too see new growth coming in. The largest growth I see is something like pea sized but about half the size of a pea. Then there are much more of them but smaller in size all over the place. I would have liked to see more growth on the bottom branches. I have yet to see hardly any growth on those branches.

Do you mind me asking, what do you mean by axil? I've never heard of that term before.

Take Care
~ Ken ~

kdodds
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1436
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 12:07 am
Location: Airmont, NY Zone 6/7

Yeah, I would say about half the size of a small pea is about right. The point at which the leaf sprouts from the branch, the smaller, "inner" angle. For example, if you pinch say, a Ficus, a new branch will sprout at the terminal axil, the inner angle where the last leaf left is sprouting from.

Kenshin14435
Senior Member
Posts: 284
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 7:33 pm
Location: Northern VA USDA Zone 7A

Ahhhhh.......Ok.......Thanks for that kdodds.

I took off the top stones from my tree. They made it difficult to judge when to decide to water. I also took a general look at the roots. Nothing seems out of the norm. I didn't pry at the roots and get all of the soil ouot because I really don't want to right now. Things look pretty good so far. While I took it out of the pot I did my best airerate the soil and look for anything that shouldnt be there. While the tree was out I noticed the leaves closed pretty fast. They are starting to open up now so it should be fine.
My B-Day is right around the corner so I got my B-Day list submitted to my parents with I think 3 trees in it. I plan on adding a few more as well.

Take Care
~ Ken ~

User avatar
bonsaiboy
Greener Thumb
Posts: 892
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2007 1:54 am
Location: Earth

Actualy, for the terrarium, I was thinking about what is called a Wardian case. See here https://www.floridaplants.com/HP/warv.jpg and here https://www.fownc.org/images/news53/04.jpg Finding one large enough shouldn't be a problem (its the cost).
הדמיון הוא יותר חשוב מאשר ידע

Kenshin14435
Senior Member
Posts: 284
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 7:33 pm
Location: Northern VA USDA Zone 7A

Just tought I might share some updates with you all.

My tree is still losing leaves but only a few a day.

A TON of new growth is coming in so I am really happy that.

I found that without the rocks on my soil, the soil drys out faster than with them on. So I put the little shale pebbles back on the surface of my soil.

I MIGHT BE MOVING!!! I don't really want to move but yet I really do. It wouldnt be very far at all. Just a few miles down the road. The only reason for moving is because its cheap and it has Mom's "dream kitchen" :roll:

But for me, it has excelent lighting for my trees. Notl like here. The front of the house faces due south so they should get very good light if we move. Also, there is a Japanese(somewhat anyway) garden in the back yard. 2 very nice Japanese Maples and asorted plants. Not sure which kind yet. There is also a very nice coy pond in the garden. No coy in it right now but that could easily be changed. All places have great lighting. ALOT of potential!
But remember, right now, we don't know if we've got it. Mom and Dad got the contract in so we should know if we get the house officially by Wednesday or Thursday.
There are a few downsides but some of them pertain to my local area which is private. One of them tough, is that if we move I won't get a new computer. I'm a huge gamer so I love to build my own gaming computers with my dad. This one would heft a huge sum of money but I get to spend time wth dad putting it all together.

Take Care
~ Ken ~

Kenshin14435
Senior Member
Posts: 284
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 7:33 pm
Location: Northern VA USDA Zone 7A

Just a quick update.

We didnt get the house we had put the contract on. So we're not moving. I'm kind of dissapointed but I'm also relieved.

Norm, do you mind me asking if you got any snow from that storm a few days ago? I got near 9 inches! How much did you get?

Take Care
~ Ken ~

Kenshin14435
Senior Member
Posts: 284
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 7:33 pm
Location: Northern VA USDA Zone 7A

Quick update on my Braz Raintree.

It is shooting with new growth. Tons of new growth. Needs pruning but I want to ease into that.

The leaves have ceased to fall. I think the reason they kept falling was because I was overwatering. :oops:

I think I'm going to wait another year for a re-pot. The soil looks healthy to me.

I have fertlizer so the organic stuff its in will have nutrients. All in all it is going to be a fine tree. I just need to prune it. I think I'm going to get a tool kit soon so I might wait till mid April to prune and trim and such.

Take Care
~ Ken ~

kdodds
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1436
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 12:07 am
Location: Airmont, NY Zone 6/7

Mine have ceased falling as well, but as I was pruning new growth I noticed that all of the ones that DID fall were from the axils where new growth was coming in, so it's probably something perfectly normal.

User avatar
IndorBonsai
Senior Member
Posts: 268
Joined: Sat May 02, 2009 9:15 pm
Location: Seattle area WA

Here is a link I found useful, Because it has been very hard to find good information about my Brazilian Rain tree.

https://www.bonsaihunk.us/info/TexasEbony.html

The Texas Ebony care is very similar. There is more information on it and the trees are almost exactly the same as far as tree care ( pruning, growing mediums, light requirements, temperatures, and more ).
If your going to have art in your house why not make it living art. :D

Jason

Kenshin14435
Senior Member
Posts: 284
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 7:33 pm
Location: Northern VA USDA Zone 7A

Ok, since I got a helpful response and I haven't been around in quite awhile. I might as well post an update on it.

My tree is NOT doing well. I wish it were teh exact opposite. After it had gotten through the shock of falling leaves awhile back, we had gone a trip. My folks hired someone to take care of the pets, etc. Anways, the pet sitter we had hired, failed to water my tree enough. So then it started losing more leaves. Then, in an effort to try to save it, my Mom over watered it. It had lost all of its leaves at that point. So then it started to recover, until a few days ago. I had put it outside on my deck, and the weather was a high 79 degrees with 96 % humidity. But, to my surprise, in teh middle of the night, a sudden thunderstorm ravaged our area. So now, the thing is too overwatered for me to give it the fertilizer it needs. Things aren't looking up at all. I've done the best I can do to try and save this tree but thats all I can do, try my best and see what happens.

BUT, thank you for that post. If this tree dies, then I will most likely go out and buy a new one.

Norm, how are you doing my friend?
~ Ken ~

Return to “BONSAI FORUM”