Development tips for neea bonsai

Adam's Art and Bonsai Blog

I’m writing this post as a reference for the New Orleans club, and I’ll try to link all my neea buxifolia posts at appropriate (or just random) points throughout the body of the article.
The three trees I’m working on are, these two:
And this little guy.
I’ve updated this one earlier in the year.
But it’s story began here.
I’m not going to work on it today, even though it needs it. I’m using it as a visual aide in my upcoming demonstration for the Greater New Orleans Bonsai Society on October 17th.
I think the title of the talk will be “Neea buxifolia: You wanna hate ’em, but you gotta love ’em!”
Hate them?
Here’s an example: see this branch?
It was wired down for a good half a year.
And it popped right back up.
It’ll probably go, I have plenty of other branches to work…

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Since we’re talking neeas….

Adam's Art and Bonsai Blog

I had a request from Kevin in Illinois to give an update on this neea-
From this post.
It, in these short months, looks nothing like my sketch yet.
Unless you stand on your head, squint really hard and use your imagination.
I wouldn’t do an update on this tree so early but I’ll also use this post to promote an event I’m participating in on October 5th.
The official press release is this:


Sept. 23, 2013

Contact: Cliff Norris
(727) 793-2976

Moccasin Lake Nature Park to Host Bonsai Festival

CLEARWATER, Fla. Learn the art and techniques of bonsai on Saturday, Oct. 5,
Moccasin Lake Nature Park, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Bonsai is the skill of
growing a potted plant such as a small tree into an artistic shape using special
methods of culture. The program is co-sponsored by the Clearwater Bonsai Club,

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A reader’s willow leaf ficus

Adam's Art and Bonsai Blog

I get an email from a loyal reader, Matthew

I picked up a ficus nerifolia….. I thought the tree had potential when I first purchased it but now after staring at it for a while I’m pretty stumped. If I sent you a picture of it could you give me some guidance?

I said sure, I’m always up for a challenge.
He sends four pics (all the pictures are his except for the drawings)
Judging by the background I would say that the tree is in a eight or ten inch pot and that would make the base 3-4 inches wide.
It’s a good size willow leaf ficus ( I’ve been doing some research into the Latin name for this tree. It began as f. nerifolia; which was supposed to mean narrow leaf. But Latin for narrow is “angust”. Which should make this f. angustifolia. But there already is one…

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Yeah, it’s another trunk chop, like butta!

Adam's Art and Bonsai Blog

Here’s an easy one for me, but maybe not so for you all.
Exhibit A:
Ficus salicaria, or willow leaf ficus to us non-Romans.
Dave (you guys remember Dave, right?) won this tree on the raffle table at the last BSF convention.
If you read the title, you know what I’m going to do.
Let me set the scene:
It is July 27th, about 90 degrees Fahrenheit and the middle of the rainy season in Florida.
Which means that it’s cooler (no, really, in the summer it doesn’t get that hot here.) than a lot of the northern U. S. But it is a lot more wet and humid (the heat index is around 100).
We are hanging around at the end of this month’s study group meeting with Guest artist Hiram Macias from Miami.
We are drinking beer (which might explain everything) and I’m studying this tree.
I’ve been…

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So I chopped the trunk and let it grow, now what?

Adam's Art and Bonsai Blog

There’s a cute little devil!
This little tree is a ficus salicaria (nerifolia, salicifolia,willowleafyanus) a willow leaf ficus (or narrow leaf).
I like to refer to it as the ficus formerly known as……..


The view from all angles.
Here is the trunk chop site

The tree probably looked like this before

Which is a typical 2-3 year old cutting, albeit this one has a decent base on it.
I got the little cutie pie from Emblem Bonsai out of Southeast Florida. He has very good material and I suggest you look him up.
Anyway, it was probably cut like so

And looked like this

And allowed to grow out for a season ( I bought this in January) The growth is about equal to 3-4 months in Florida, it hasn’t grown since I got it and its March now. Lets kickstart it’s heart.

A willow leaf ficus will almost always…

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Mid America Bonsai Club Tour: Day One-The Drive Up

Adam's Art and Bonsai Blog

The long drive-
Saturday morning 5 am, time to make the donuts….er, leave for Columbus Ohio.
This next week I’ve scheduled a whirlwind bonsai teaching tour of Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.
They all wanted me to bring tree material so I figured, sure, why not, how hard could it be?
I can make the drive.
I didn’t bother to look up the mileage until a few weeks ago (I’ve had the tour set up for a half a year or more).
From my door to the first gentleman’s door (Thank you Mike!) is 1000 miles.
That’s right, 1000 miles one way.
Which means that after all this is said and done and the last tree is styled and the last beer is drunk, I have to drive 1000 miles home.
I am visiting the Columbus Bonsai Society on Sunday for two sessions, the Ft Wayne club for a…

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Mid America Bonsai Tour: Days Two and Four- Columbus and Ft. Wayne

Adam's Art and Bonsai Blog

Day two found me in London and having some serious zone envy.
Sorry, London , Ohio.
One word: Larch.
My host Mike had these for sale (he’s having a big bonsai yard sale on Saturday June 21st) and I was drooling.
They weren’t lasciviously large larch but they were adequate.
I Can’t grow them in Orlando though.
I did get some trident maples.
I wish I could have brought this ponderosa pine home too.
Anyway, time to go to the Columbus club.
And, at the local fillin’ station, some sticker shock.
When I left Florida, gas was $3.35 a gallon.
No wonder I don’t see any Starbucks around. No one has any money left over from buying gas.
My schedule for today: a BYOT workshop in the morning and a ficus microcarpa workshop in the afternoon.
The Columbus group meets at the Franklin Park Conservatory, which has a bonsai…

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A stout little ficus salicaria

Adam's Art and Bonsai Blog

I found a sweet, yet odd shaped, willow leafed ficus at my good friend Don’s house.

Who, I might add, is getting quite a large collection.

Short and stout. It looks to me that it was a root cutting that’s grown out.

Bag it and tag it!
He wouldn’t let me buy it but instead insisted on trading. I gave him a good podocarpus and promised to help him pot it up.

Nice trunk and a good leader. And whats important is that there are choices.

This is the back, probably.

Side view.

Side. You can see how flat it is. Not much for back branches. But, if I know anything, I know I will get beaucoup budding from this here ficus salicaria.

Good roots to work with. Let’s say we clean them up a bit.

Please attend whilst I pluck, like errant follicles, the weeds growing here.
Ya, right

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Child labor and bonsai, an exposé

Adam's Art and Bonsai Blog

That’s right, it’s like the 19th century for children in my nursery. Not only do I force my own children to pull weeds in the midday Florida heat, repotting ficus after ficus, and trimming thorny bougainvilleas without gloves, I have found a way to exploit a loophole in the State of Florida Orphanage and Child Work System. I can use parentless children for farm labor and, get this, they pay me to do it! And you should see what happens when the plucky ones ask for more gruel. It’s off to the un-wiring shed for them where the task of removing the miles of wire I’ve put on my trees is removed. This is Benjamin, one more bit of backtalk and it’s weeding with chopsticks for him.

Actually, it was out of his neighbors yard where I dug out the main subject of this article, a bougainvillea (which was chronicled…

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 The Bougainvillea Studies

Adam's Art and Bonsai Blog

Pablo does not approve.He’s sittin’ over there passing judgement on my weeding skills. Like he can do better, he’s just a disembodied, floating wooden face with a disagreeable temperament.

I guess I need to do some weeding, forthwith.Or maybe he just doesn’t like the material I’m working on.

Half rotten….

The leaves worm eaten and thin…..What is it?

It’s a purple bougainvillea cutting I made maybe ten years ago.I’d better get to those weeds….I believe they are what’s called “Brazilian pusely”Or a whole bunch of common names like Mexican clover or Brazilian calla lily. There is a Florida pusley but there there are two differences, one, the fruit, and two, the roots. I don’t have a pic of the fruit at the moment but I can show you the roots.

They’re reason I can identify this as the Brazilian pusley (richardia brasiliensis) and not…

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