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Author Topic: Pre-Bonsai trees?  (Read 373 times)

chewybrian

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Pre-Bonsai trees?
« on: April 02, 2019, 07:05:41 PM »
Has anyone used these as a starting point for growing small fruit trees in pots?  From what I think I understand, it might just be the ticket for growing in small pots in small spaces (my big problem).

It seems these trees have begun their training to stay small, but not been trained into any artsy curly forms yet.  So, they are likely to stay small if pruned lightly, and need not be shaped into artsy forms unless that is your desire.  And, because they are not yet artsy, they don't have to cost several hundred dollars.  Here is an example I found:


https://www.wigertsbonsai.com/product/dwarf-barbados-cherry-malpighia-punicifolia-5-pot/  (only $25)

So, would this plant grow right back to its genetically predetermined size without further "bonsai-ing", or does the 'pre-bonsai' treatment stick and keep it  somewhat super-dwarf forever?  Is there any risk or benefit to starting with these pre-bonsai plants over regular dwarf or non-dwarf nursery plants?  Have I found a way to grow in small pots or is this wishful thinking?  If yes, how small a pot would work?

thanks.

simon_grow

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Re: Pre-Bonsai trees?
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2019, 12:09:25 AM »
I used to do a little bit of bonsai but Iím no expert.

There are many techniques to create bonsai fruit trees but I would highly recommend against using bonsai fruit trees as a starter for pot grown fruit trees that you want to stay small. If you examine bonsai fruit trees, you will notice that they generally have smaller leaves, roots and fruits.

This art form tries to mimic full sized, mature, old fruit trees but shrunken down in size. The above ground trunk, branches and leaves are shrunken down and the roots must be trimmed to match the above ground parts of the tree so that there will be moisture balance.

Because the fruit is so small, the fruit quality decreases due to higher seed and skin to flesh ratio. Also, it would be more difficult to harvest the fruit for varieties like Jaboticaba. The smaller trees also produce much less fruit.

The smaller root mass requires a smaller pot which obviously holds much less water than a larger pot so youíll have to water carefully and frequently. With increased waterings, you have to carefully watch nutrient balance in your trees because nutrients will get washed away. It is probably best to water with a hydroponic mindset and to water with a specific nutrient level TDS/conductivity.

Here are a few videos of bonsai fruit trees
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=jMfzDzzbyr4

Bonsai Jaboticaba is one of the most beautiful trees
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=pbRBj8ATeSc
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=PMYP3IAAAq8

If you gradually up pot a bonsai tree there should be no reason why you canít slowly increase its size to the point where it starts producing decent sized edible fruit but then why not just start with a bigger tree.

The Japanese use intensive pruning and training to grow low profile potted fruit trees that are productive and produce very high quality fruit.
http://www.hawaiitropicalfruitgrowers.org/conferences/2012/2012_Producing_Consistent_High_Quality_Fruit_in_Japan.pdf

Simon

 

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