bsteiger
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Location: Lawrence, KS

Schefflera Bush --> Bonsai

My mother just gave me a schefflera bush, and i'd like to train it as bonsai. It's the type with many trunks coming out at what looks like the same point (Kind of like [url=https://forums.bonsaisite.com/index.php?showtopic=11227&hl=schefflera]this[/url]) Theres one or two trunks that have what look like they could be good nebari. How do I seperate them from the rest of the bunch? Or do you think it would be possible to fuse/weave/combine the trunks for thickness? (each trunk is about 1/3" in diameter)

ynot
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Welcome bsteiger,

It is practically impossible to offer advice on the possibilities sight unseen, Please post some pictures.

See here for tips on taking effective photos: https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3557

ynot

bsteiger
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I am at work right now, but i gave a link to an image of the similar type of bush i am talking about. I will take a picture when i get home.

ynot
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Re: Schefflera Bush --> Bonsai

bsteiger wrote: :snip/:...I gave a link to an image of the similar type of bush I am talking about.
I understand this and we are familiar with scheffs'... However: Below you ask a specific question that really does require seeing what you actually have to work with as opposed to a facsimile. Again: Pictures please. 8).
bsteiger wrote: How do I seperate them from the rest of the bunch? Or do you think it would be possible to fuse/weave/combine the trunks for thickness? (each trunk is about 1/3" in diameter)
I am unsure if schefflera will fuse, [AFAIK] I have never seen a fused one but that doesn't mean it is impossible. [Try it and see :) ]

As it notes [url=https://www.bonsai4me.com/SpeciesGuide/Schefflera.html]here[/url] it is commonly seen in multi-trunk clump forms as it is difficult to style in the traditional Japanese forms.

Good luck

ynot

bsteiger
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I apologize in advance for the camera phone pics, but it's all i can get right now (no working digi)

The Full Plant:
[img]https://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d99/djbstee/Full.jpg[/img]



And The Trunk Base:
[img]https://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d99/djbstee/Trunks.jpg[/img]

bsteiger
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any tips/ideas for styling?

arboricola
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Location: Minnesota zone 4

Hi bsteiger;

A couple of questions: Was the plant purchased at a garden center and did it have a tag? There are two species of this plant commonly found. S. Actinophylla and its little brother S. Arboricola. It would help to know which you have.

You might be able to separate this plant. Nurseries will sometimes bundle cuttings in one pot. Only one way to find out and thats to uproot it and look..
If all are attached to a single crown then back in the pot it goes and we go on from there...

Phil...

bsteiger
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I think it is an arboricola, but it was given to my mother as a gift who just gave it to me. The leaves arent extremely large, as i've heard the actinophylla are, but they're definitely larger than the last scheff bonsai that i killed, however, I assume that's due to the years and years of training as bonsai.

So basically, If i uproot this guy and it turns out to be one crown, I'm pretty much stuck training it as a multi-trunk banyan? Would this even look good since the one's i've seen have MASSIVE banyan roots, and also all the trunks lean one way out the trunk (towards the camera).

arboricola
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If it's all on one crown you have a nice plant to take some cuttings. It could use a little pruning anyway..

Pop it out of the pot and remove about ¼ of the soil from the top. That should be enough to tell what you have..

Phil...

alexinoklahoma
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Location: Central Oklahoma

arboricola wrote: Pop it out of the pot and remove about ¼ of the soil from the top. That should be enough to tell what you have..

Phil...
And quite possibly kill off a LOT of the rootage within the removed soil, leading to major foliage loss, IMO ;) It'd be much better to try and pick back as little soil as possible down a trunk or two and pulling it back away from trunk's base (follow any rootage)...much deeper, and you'd have issues separating anyways. Be better then to just do some cuttings to *know* what is had as scheffs root so darn easily. I had a leaf root all by itself once, LOL :)

And 'banyans' are *figs* (ficus benghalensis, per se) that are epiphytical (sp?), parasites basically. << https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banyan >> If scheffs get aerial roots, I have never heard of it (but does not mean they don't by all means). I have seen scheffs firsthand several stories+ tall, and not *any* sign of aerials, fwiw...and there were plenty of 'aerialed' figs right by it, too...

My .02,
Alex

bsteiger
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alexinoklahoma wrote:And 'banyans' are *figs* (ficus benghalensis, per se) that are epiphytical (sp?), parasites basically. << https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banyan >> If scheffs get aerial roots, I have never heard of it (but does not mean they don't by all means). I have seen scheffs firsthand several stories+ tall, and not *any* sign of aerials, fwiw...and there were plenty of 'aerialed' figs right by it, too...

My .02,
Alex
[img]https://www.fukubonsai.com/images3/Logo_A_1.jpg[/img]

This is what i (and I'm assuming everyone else) meant by "banyan style"




As for propagation, how would i go about that? should i cut off a branch/trunk/petoile near the top of the tree and stick it in water, potting soil, bonsai soil? with or w/out root hormone? uncover the cambium?

arboricola
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Both species of schefflera throw aerial roots, which makes them great for root over rock styles. As for propagation, I take stem cuttings, put them in a 50/50 mix of potting soil and gravel, moisten, and seal in a plastic bag. They set roots in 4-5 weeks. If the soil is too wet they will rot, so go easy on the water. Make sure the bag is sealed tight and in a warm place.
And yes, that is a banyan style..

Phil...

alexinoklahoma
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Location: Central Oklahoma

Cool, was not aware of the aerials :) Learn something every day - and I shoulda juggled my search terms better this time... I have some smaller plants here I have rooted/grown from a one-leaf beginning off a much older plant that has totally sat around neglected in *every* aspect for quite a few years, repotted just once in poor soil maybe 5-6 years ago. The new offspring seems to be a 'cultivarish' form of curly & much smaller (~.75-1.5" average length) semi-varieagated leaves (maybe a virus or something that caused the 'defect' of genes), but its neat looking and would be easy to 'humidify' an area for this to really enhance it. Another project, LOL...kinda changes perspective of species now (for me anyways), a step up for sure :)

I've heard of banyan style, just calling it a banyan threw my thoughts to mis-ID kinda thing. Banyans, as I have always known 'em, are the ones that do a kind of webbing of roots along trunk downwards mostly. Its very unique and what tossed me sideways in thinking, blah, blah...duhhhh, silly me assuming again :( Thx...obviously 'tropicals' aren't my forte' (yet).

I would even postulate that the bagging of sceff cuttings is maybe not even necessary, but certainly advisable for increased odds and all with 'beginner/junior' propagating folk. Mine worked w/ indoor winter-heated drier air, but, of course, could be 'beginner's luck', too. I have never scraped back to cambium nor applied hormone on this species, so no experience/advice there myself...quite possibly, or most like, IMO, it would not hurt to do such...try googling the approp terms and/or someone else can give experienced answers on this :) I just stick mine in light 'soil' mix and keep it (soil) adequately moist (but *no* sogginess) and it just happens all on its own in indirect sun (moderate indoor 'ambient' sun, a bit less than a mature plant, fwiw). Roots seem to be fairly tender, so careful when putting into a new pot. They grow fairly vigorously from the get-go and do like a light fluffy/airy soil a lot more than heavy stuff, IME :) As far as the fusing goes, I have no idea...but my older plant has a few crossing branches that have been kinda pushed into each other for quite a while intentionally and there's no response from bark other than some change in coloring under the 'pressure points'. Not the best attempt, but anecdotal possibly (?)... might end up with just woven trunks, which would not necessarily be a bad thing if done in good taste or whatever. They sure aren't highly supple in trunk, though ;)

Good luck,
Alex

arboricola
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Location: Minnesota zone 4

The new offspring seems to be a 'cultivarish' form of curly & much smaller (~.75-1.5" average length) semi-varieagated leaves (maybe a virus or something that caused the 'defect' of genes), but its neat looking and would be easy to 'humidify' an area for this to really enhance it. Another project, LOL...kinda changes perspective of species now (for me anyways), a step up for sure
Alex;
This really peaked my interest. This species is known to throw sports and new culivars are developed from them. Grow your tree and see if the leaf and color hold true.

How does schefflera arboricola "Alex" sound..

Phil...

alexinoklahoma
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Location: Central Oklahoma

It does seem to be 'growing true', and was recently repotted into a real light bark-mix and is already air-pruning out bottom of clay pot (yoo-hoo!). I need to get some batteries, and a better camera (hopefully) to show ya some pics. I did not know about scheff's propensity for sportin', but good to know retrospectively, huh? On this one foot-long plant, there's some leaves more 'twisty' than others, and am tempted to take one of those and grow just it to try and force more from it...couldn't hurt anything with how easy they root(ed)...

And wouldn't it be 'Alexii' - but like I speak Latin! And would need a different thread - will get back with this soon :)

Alex

arboricola
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Location: Minnesota zone 4

Alex;
A new thread would be good. Would like to hear more about what you're doing. Keep us updated... I have a list of cutivars that might help in research. See what's being developed and if you might have something new..

Phil...

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