Shohin Bonsai by Mike Lane

SHOHIN BONSAI KEYPOINTS What are Shohin bonsai– Shohin bonsai are typically under 10 inches from the soil to the top of the tree. Mame bonsai, a sub-category of shohin, are bonsai under 4 inches from the soil to the top of the tree. More about feel. Trees should be physically small and express the feeling of a small bonsai. Shohin focus more on seasonal beauty (flowering, fruiting, and colorful trees)…

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Melon Seed Ficus Article by Jason Osborne

Ficus “Melon seed” Bonsai Ficus retusa var. melon seed With more than 1500 species of Ficus, 800 of which are actual trees it is exciting to find a new cultivar to bonsai. The “melon seed” as we know is great bonsai material due to tiny leaves.  I have found that the interior leaves may grow a bit larger when the tree is full due to less light. Keeping the tree…

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Buttonwood Bonsai Article – by Jason Osborne

Buttonwood Bonsai Conocarpus Erectus The buttonwood is native to tropical America and Africa. It is an absolute must for tropical bonsai. Known for their hard wood, natural Jins and amazing Shari collected buttonwoods are one of the most sought after species for bonsai. Sometimes included in the mangrove family, it is not a true mangrove as it cannot tolerate salt on the roots. In the wild it is sometimes hard…

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Brazilian Raintree

I was always drawn to this species since I first noticed the delicate compound leaves and interesting growth pattern it exhibits. The Brazilian Rain Tree is native to South America,more specifically Brazil. It is a tree that can grow to over 15 feet tall, and spread over 18 feet in diameter. It has crooked stems and branches, thorns, and a peeling grayish bark. It has compound leaves with 3 pairs of bipinnate leaves. It has white flowers and corkscrew shaped seed pods.

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Wigert’s Bonsai Basics

Keep your bonsai in a well lighted area they grow best in a location which receives morning sun and afternoon shade. The morning sun is not as hot and dehydrating as the afternoon sun. Bonsai are not houseplants so they should be kept outdoors. A screen porch is ideal there they can receive filtered light. You need to protect them from strong winds and temperature extremes.

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Dwarf African Strangler Fig, Ficus natalesis Care Sheet

Ficus natalensis Also known as the natal fig tree Characteristics: Epiphytic or terrestrial shrub or tree, if epiphytic sometimes becoming a strangler.  In favorable conditions can reach heights of 90 feet tall.  Long leathery spatula shaped leaves. Temperature: Grows well between 59 and 75 degrees.  However will tolerate hot summers in south Florida up to 95 degrees and above if properly watered.  We do not winter protect our plants at…

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Dwarf Black Olive, Bucida Spinosa Care Sheet

DESCRIPTION Spiny Black Olive, Dwarf black olive Though commonly called “black olive” this tree does not produce an edible olive, but rather a small seed pod. Native to the Caribbean and the Florida Keys this delicate tree grows into a bonsai almost by itself! It is a evergreen tree, with a smooth gray – brown trunk, and small compact foliage. It is also very salt tolerant. Lighting Though it can…

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Limoncillo (Limeberry) Triphasia trifolia Care Sheet

Limeberry, Limoncillo Triphasia trifolia Origin: Java, Indonesia, Suriname, and Puerto Rico Description: A member of the rutacae (citrus) family.  Grows as a shrub to a height of 9 feet.  It has trifoliate dark green leaves, and small white fragrant flowers.  It has small thorns, and half inch round red fruit.  The fruit is edible and can be cooked to make a preserve. Culture: Can tolerate full sun to partial shade. …

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Jaboticaba, Myrciaria cauliflora Care Sheet

Origin: Jaboticaba’s are perhaps the most popular native fruit-bearers of Brazil. They have been cultivated since pre-Columbian times throughout Brazil not only for their fruit but also as ornamental trees. They were introduced to the United States in the early 1900’s. Description: The bark of the Jaboticaba is very smooth, with a mottled creamy tan and reddish hue. The bark tends to peel off in curls as the trunk and…

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Father and Son Style Bonsai

Wigerts Mango Grove & Nursery * Erik Wigert Double trunk style – Sokan from a Twin tree – Soju *Father / Son planting Overview: Double trunk style is composed of two trunks sharing the same root system. The double trunk style is commonly found in nature and may occur naturally from a side sprout or seedling from the ‘father tree’. Many times this style starts out as a Twin tree…

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Cascade Style Bonsai – Kengai

A Cascade bonsai is one in which the trunk begins growing upwards but abruptly turns downward and cascades to a point below the bottom of the container. Bonsai created in the cascade style should resemble trees growing on steep slopes in mountainous areas, ravines, or drainage areas. There are two types of cascade bonsai: Formal Cascade style bonsai The tree has one or more cascading trunk lines as well as…

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Haematoxylum Campechianum

*The generic name Haematoxylum (often spelled Haematoxylon) means bloodwood, referring to the dark red heartwood. The specific epithet campechianum refers to the coastal city of Campeche on the Yucatan Peninsula, an important source of the valuable heartwood. *Common Names: Bloodwood Tree, Campeche, Campechier, Campechy Wood, Logwood, Logwood Casha, Palo Campeche, Palo De Tinta, Palo Negro, Spiny Tree, Tinta) For the purpose of this article we will hereafter refer to Haematoxylum…

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Australian Pine

Casuarina equisetifolia, Casuarina glauca (syn. Casuarina lepidophloia): Common names: ironwood, beefwood, she oak, and horsetail tree. General information: Long-favored for use in erosion control along beaches, Australian-Pine Tree is now outlawed in many parts of Florida due to its invasive nature, rapid growth rate, and non-native status. This exotic species is not a pine but an angiosperm (flowering plant) that has photosynthetic stems with small whorls of leaves found at…

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Forestiera segregate, Florida Privet

Native Material for Tropical Bonsai Privets are all members of the olive family. These plants have opposite leaves, and grow as shrubs or small trees. There are over 500 species included in the Olive family, with about twenty species found in Florida. The privets that are more well known in the landscape belong to the genus Ligustrum,which means “privet-like” in Latin. There are eleven species and one hybrid of Ligustrum…

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Ficus pumila – Creeping Fig Info Sheet

Erik Wigert 2/15/09 Description This evergreen vine is a relative of the edible fig, Ficus cariaca. Creeping fig is very rapid climber able to cover vertical surfaces 3 and 4 stories tall with the aid of a powerful adhesive. This plant has developed a specialized structure, an adhesive pad that secretes a sticky substance that adheres to almost any surface. Clustered roots in F. pumila are sent out forming fine…

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Bougainvillea – Journey to 1st National US Bonsai Exhibition

The Journey of my Purple Bougainvillea to the 1st National Exhibition Written For Bonsai Focus Magazine Erik Wigert 3-16-09 View photo gallery from this event My fascination with Bougainvillea I’m sure started early in my journey as a bonsai artist. Living in Southwest Florida where many of these colorful plants dot the landscape with splashes of crimson, purple, and pink, I was bound to take notice of them. Bougainvillea is…

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Bougainvillea Development

BSF Magazine Summer 09 By: Erik Wigert I decided to approach this article with the intent to share some tips I use to collect and develop bougainvillea stock into finished bonsai. As such, I will open this article with the assumption that all of us as Florida bonsai enthusiasts have seen, and know what a bougainvillea is. They would be very hard to miss in the landscape during our drier…

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Gmelina Philippensis

Family: Verbenaceae Parrot’s Beak, Hedgehog, Wild Sage Origin: Indigenous to India and to Southeast Asia (including the Philipines) General info: Gmelina, pronounced with a silent G, is a sprawling thorny shrub growing up to 10 to 15 feet. Leaves vary from a oval to ivy or ‘duckfoot’ shape. It produces yellow flowers from a long, up to 10 inch, tube shaped structure comprised of overlapping bracts. It is said to…

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Wrightia Religiosa, Water Jasmine

Water Jasmine is a very popular species for Tropical Bonsai. Native to Southeast Asia it grows as a shrub with 2 inch leaves. As a bonsai these leaves reduce well and its twiggy growth habit makes for excellent bonsai material. They prefer full to partial sun and well draining soil. Wrightia is cold sensitive and can become deciduous under 65F in the winter. Protect from freezing temperatures and take care…

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