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GardenerX
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Need Help With Createing Ponytail Palm Bonsai

Hello,

I've had my Ponytail Palm tree for about 2 and a half years and it's grown tremendously, but about a year ago I got very enterested in the art of Bonsai so I'm wanting to learn how to train my Ponytail Palm to turn it into a Bonsai although it is quite large I'm not sure if it can be trained this late but if anyone can help me that would be great :D

here's some pics of it
[url=https://s549.photobucket.com/albums/ii365/dragondude_2009/?action=view&current=009-1.jpg][img]https://i549.photobucket.com/albums/ii365/dragondude_2009/th_009-1.jpg[/img][/url]
[url=https://s549.photobucket.com/albums/ii365/dragondude_2009/?action=view&current=007-4.jpg][img]https://i549.photobucket.com/albums/ii365/dragondude_2009/th_007-4.jpg[/img][/url]
[url=https://s549.photobucket.com/albums/ii365/dragondude_2009/?action=view&current=008-1.jpg][img]https://i549.photobucket.com/albums/ii365/dragondude_2009/th_008-1.jpg[/img][/url]
signed GardenerX,
Plants are children of Mother Earth and Father Time, as they cling to their mother for comfort today, Father Time works his ways to shape their FUTURE...

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Gnome
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GardenerX,

I don't know that I have ever seen a convincing bonsai of this species. It has such a strong tendency to grow upright without branching. It can be forced to branch but I'm rather doubtful that it will ever resemble a the typical image of a bonsai.

Of course this does not mean you cannot grow it for your own pleasure. I have a couple but I don't call them bonsai.

Keep working with it, perhaps you'll prove me wrong.

Norm

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GardenerX
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ok thx norm, I just gave it it's yearly trim-MAJOR CUT BACK- lol I do this once a year so it doesn't grow outragously in little time is this ok for me to do it seems to work and I think it makes it grow a little slower becuase when I first got it it would grow a little more each month now it only grows right after I cut it back well anyways thx for your reply and let me know if you have any more info about them......
signed GardenerX,
Plants are children of Mother Earth and Father Time, as they cling to their mother for comfort today, Father Time works his ways to shape their FUTURE...

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rainbowgardener
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Here's a bunch of pictures of what someone called ponytail palm bonsai:

https://images.google.com/images?client=safari&rls=en&q=ponytail+palm+bonsai&oe=UTF-8&um=1&ie=UTF-8&ei=5u3_SsuXKJPknAf0pKyaCw&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&ct=title&resnum=1&ved=0CB8QsAQwAA

gnome is right they still look like ponytail palms (no branches just thick stem then all those leaves) not like a traditional bonsai. But they are kept small in small pots.

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GardenerX
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thats all I want to do that or keep it the size it is now I don't want a GIANT TREE lol, I don't have the room for one although mine does have an interesting feature to it, you know the realy old tree's like in the woods that have a hollow spot in them mine has a small hollow hole looking thing in the middle of the trunk here's a pic.....

[img]https://i549.photobucket.com/albums/ii365/dragondude_2009/001-12.jpg[/img]
signed GardenerX,
Plants are children of Mother Earth and Father Time, as they cling to their mother for comfort today, Father Time works his ways to shape their FUTURE...

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Gnome
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RBG,

Thanks, I don't think I ever actually searched that term before. I have to admit I am pleasantly surprised by a few of them. This one, in particular presents a recognizable broom style. Still not exactly 'my cup of tea' but much better than I had previously envisioned.
[img]https://chaplainsings.com/picts/BonzaiSized1.jpg[/img]


GX,

Take a look at that picture. I think that is a definite possibility for you.
I just gave it it's yearly trim-MAJOR CUT BACK- lol I do this once a year so it doesn't grow outragously
Do you cut back into the stem or just shorten the leaves? If you want to pursue something like the plant above, your stem would look better if it were thicker. To accomplish this you should grow it out substantially then do the major chop to begin the primary branches.

This is a pretty common tactic in bonsai, grow something out, just to cut it back.

Norm

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GardenerX
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ohhhh ok thank you very much Norm, I only cut the leaves, so about where and how should I cut it excactly, from about where the leaf ends meat the trunk? Or lower, maybe higher. See that's what I didn't understand was where to cut it and I can't seem to find any videos or anything on doing this -.-' quite anoying accualy anyways thx again....
signed GardenerX,
Plants are children of Mother Earth and Father Time, as they cling to their mother for comfort today, Father Time works his ways to shape their FUTURE...

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bonsaiboy
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Seeing as the growth characteristics between this tree and a dracaena are very similar, I would say you could cut it back as far as you wanted, as long as its not flush withe the bulb at the bottom.
הדמיון הוא יותר חשוב מאשר ידע

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GardenerX
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ok thx ummmm any recomendations on what to use to cut it its about 1 maybe 1 1/2 in' thick so I'm not sure.....
signed GardenerX,
Plants are children of Mother Earth and Father Time, as they cling to their mother for comfort today, Father Time works his ways to shape their FUTURE...

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GardenerX
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I just used a knife with ridges on it, it cut very easily here's a pic of the tree after the cut

[img]https://i549.photobucket.com/albums/ii365/dragondude_2009/002-10-1.jpg[/img]

I also sprayed it with water thats why it's all wet, also I put the top cutting into water to root maybe it will be another tree someday. Hope for the best...
signed GardenerX,
Plants are children of Mother Earth and Father Time, as they cling to their mother for comfort today, Father Time works his ways to shape their FUTURE...

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Gnome
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GardenerX,

I don't know a lot about these things so beware. I have a couple that I inherited from a 'brown thumb' but don't know much about their history. I'm able to grow them well enough but don't have much experience beyond re-potting.

A little quick research, not to mention the picture above, shows that they will branch if pruned. One of the ones I have does have multiple trunks, but they emerge very low.

I would cut below the point where the leaves emerge. Take into account how tall you would like it before you cut and cut lower to allow for new growth. Some growers suggest sealing the cut with candle wax or another wound sealant so the tip does not dry out.

Think carefully if this is the right move, you cannot undo that cut. Don't be too impatient, it may take a while for new growth to emerge.

Norm

P.S. I see I was too late and you already went for it. Good luck with it and keep us posted.

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GardenerX
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haha yea and I did think about all the things you said before I even thought about accualy cutting it so I'm pretty sure I made the right move. You said new branches will emerge if I prune it well I had prund it last year so is that still ok I realy don't want to do it again to soon....

once again thank you for replying
signed GardenerX,
Plants are children of Mother Earth and Father Time, as they cling to their mother for comfort today, Father Time works his ways to shape their FUTURE...

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GardenerX
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Hello,

I figured I would let yaw see how it's doing so far, I know it hasn't been long yet but as you can see from the pic below it's starting to split apart already....

[img]https://i549.photobucket.com/albums/ii365/dragondude_2009/003-12.jpg[/img]

I hope this is good and not bad :?
signed GardenerX,
Plants are children of Mother Earth and Father Time, as they cling to their mother for comfort today, Father Time works his ways to shape their FUTURE...

Marsman
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I'd put some [url=https://www.bonsai-mart.com/bonsai_cut_paste_wound_dressing.html]cut paste[/url] or wax on the end to seal it so it doesn't dry out (like it's doing now). :?

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GardenerX
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ok thx so much for that, see I wasn't sure about that and accualy was wondering if I should ask about doing somthing like that so ty for telling me.... Ummmm I don't have any Bonsai Suplyers around here would a normal nursery have some or should I order offline and if I am to order some can I just water that part untill it comes.......
signed GardenerX,
Plants are children of Mother Earth and Father Time, as they cling to their mother for comfort today, Father Time works his ways to shape their FUTURE...

Marsman
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Gnome suggested candle wax. That should work for you.

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Gnome
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GardenerX,

There are a lot of things that you can substitute with. One thing I have used is plasticine modeling clay (not playdough) there is grafting wax, Petroleum Jelly is another.

Note that none of this is required for the plant to live but sometimes, and this may be one, it is desirable to stop drying of the cut site.

Norm

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GardenerX
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Thx Guys,

I bought some Vassoline witch my mom said should work just as well as the Jelly I hope so, wait I think thats the same thing isn't it lol idk but if it doesn't work i'll try the candle wax thing have a unsented candle, just pure wax on this thing hanging on my wall so i'll use it.....

thx again guys you've been a HUGE help
signed GardenerX,
Plants are children of Mother Earth and Father Time, as they cling to their mother for comfort today, Father Time works his ways to shape their FUTURE...

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GardenerX
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ok guys i've had the Jelly/Vaceline on the cut for about 2 days and it's tarting to turn a browniish greyish color on one spot so I figured I need to ask how offen I should change the Jelly or should I just put some more on it cause I'm worried about my palm tree........


THX FOR ANY REPLIES
signed GardenerX,
Plants are children of Mother Earth and Father Time, as they cling to their mother for comfort today, Father Time works his ways to shape their FUTURE...

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