AlohaBee
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Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2007 7:45 am

Hawaiian Umbrella Tree Pruning tips

My hawaiian bonsai seems a little too happy. Its sprouting new leaves very rapidly, and I'm afraid it'll grow too big, too fast to keep indoors.

I've never kept any plants before, so I don't really understand how to prune my tree. I've looked up some articles online, but I'm having a hard time understanding them.

Please if anyone could give me some tips, or point me in the right direction, they'd be very appreciated. Please keep it in simple english terms.

Also, what conditions are required to encourage this tree to bloom?

Thanks in advance.

arboricola
Senior Member
Posts: 224
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2007 9:07 pm
Location: Minnesota zone 4

Hello Alohabee;

The simple way to prune is to snip the growing bud. That's the last new leaf on each stem. Use a small pair of scissors to do this. Just snip the little leaf off.

If you could update your profile as to where you're located and post a photo of the tree. That would help. And what kind of fertilizer you are using. This would help to determine if it's going to bloom..

Phil...

AlohaBee
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Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2007 7:45 am

Thanks Phil,

It's that easy then? Shouldn't I cut some of the branches eventually?
I live in the NorthWest, my tree is indoors as its 20 degrees outside.

I don't use any fertilizer, any suggestions?

Thanks again!
[img]https://i262.photobucket.com/albums/ii98/tempphotosdd/umbrella2.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i262.photobucket.com/albums/ii98/tempphotosdd/dirt.jpg[/img]

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Gnome
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Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

AlohaBee,
Shouldn't I cut some of the branches eventually?
I don't grow this species but I do know that they respond well to hard pruning. Yes you can cut off some branches and you can cut the remaining ones back hard. The hard part is determining where you want to go design-wise.

Any general purpose fertilizer will do, just make sure to follow the directions. There are natural products such as liquid seaweed or fish emulsion, which may not appeal to your sense of smell inside. Water soluble fertilizers are more convenient for the casual grower, especially indoors. I make it a point of alternating between different products. Any shortcoming in one is hopefully compensated for by the other.

Norm

AlohaBee
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Yes you can cut off some branches and you can cut the remaining ones back hard.


I'm sorry, what do you mean? How much is cutting them back hard?

And thanks for your insight on the fertilizer, and now that I think about it, I guess I am "fertilizing" it at least a little, since I use my aquarium water to water it, but I'll try others too.

opabinia51
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Location: Victoria, BC

Cutting back hard is a qualitative term that means cut back a lot of the tree. I would say that you could easily take out 40 percent of the foliage or more.

This is a Serissia tree is it not? If it is, I do know that your can prune Serissia really hard (in excess of 60 percent or more). But, wait on the I.D. and Norms confirmation before you go pruning to hard.

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Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

AlohaBee,

The proper name for this plant is Schefflera aboricola, as you know it is commonly called Umbrella tree. We have a member here who goes by that name "Aboricola" and is much more familiar with this species than I. I'm sure he will see this eventually and hopefully he can offer more detailed advice.
I'm sorry, what do you mean? How much is cutting them back hard?
As Opa alluded to this is a rather subjective term. Often this tree will get very leggy and it is not uncommon to cut the stems back to within a few inches of the soil. That would be an extreme example and your tree does not need that drastic of treatment.

The first thing you are going to want to do is to study the existing branches and determine which, if any, of those do not fit into your design scheme, they can be removed entirely. This decision is entirely up to you depending on your vision for the tree. I suggest you use both names (the proper name and the common name) and search Google images for examples of this species and other bonsai as well for inspiration. Speaking of inspiration look [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3343]here.[/url] Here is one I found:
[img]https://www.knowledgeofbonsai.org/galleries/shows/06/mid/100_2092.jpg[/img]
After you have removed any unwanted branches the remaining ones can be cut back as well. This will bring the foliage in closer to the trunk and hopefully increase ramification, which is the repeated division of shoots. It probably would be better to wait until early summer to make any major changes as I presume it will respond more vigorously in natural sunlight. This gives you some time to consider your options.

Norm

arboricola
Senior Member
Posts: 224
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2007 9:07 pm
Location: Minnesota zone 4

Alohabee;

I would continue tip pruning til late spring. Scheffleras bloom late winter to early spring so you don't want to stress the tree any more than you have too. There's no guarantee your tree will bloom. Many factors come into play (age, temp, humidity etc.) Best to wait and see before you start pruning branches.

I'm a little concerned about you watering with auqarium water and using fertilizer. I don't know the makeup of your water, but I image it's fairly high in Nitrogen if you keep fish. Excess Nitrogen can be dangerous. Too much Nitrogen will produce large, dark leaves, delay the harding of wood and inhibit blooming. The 3 main elements, Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium are expressed as a ratio. Like 5:5:5 on the package. I would go with a 0:15:5 for now. Use every 2 weeks while the tree is active. Water first, wait 10 minutes, then water with fertilizer solution. The 15 is Phosphorus and will help the plant bloom. You can go higher with the Phosphorus as the plant will only take up what it needs to get the job done.

If you have more questions about pruning let us know, but I would wait til late spring to do any hard cutback. If your tree blooms please post a photo.

Phil...

Gin
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Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 7:39 pm
Location: Michigan

Advice needed

I have a neglected tree, I believe it is a Hawaiian Umbrella, my mother gave it to me after almost killing it. This thread has been very insightful as to the maintenance of it, but I am looking for some advice as to the best way to get back into even moderate health. The past few days I have been watering it and keeping it in the sun but its condition actually seems worse. I am also concerned about if it might have a disease.

[img]https://i1126.photobucket.com/albums/l619/ginkiss91/1315857936.jpg[/img]

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