Time for a trim
This is a neea buxifolia (nia in Spanish. Saltwood in English) that I originally got from Hector Morales.
Doing research for this post I am flummoxed in my attempt finding out why this tree is called saltwood. Or any other info on it other than bonsai related.
It is an understory tree that tends to grow straight until it gets tall, then it twists and turns, searching out light.
It has almost no tap root (which is perfect for bonsai).
It grows in limestone heavy soils (the island of Puerto Rico)
It doesn’t produce much fruit and those seeds collected from them don’t germinate much.
They can be propagated from cuttings, air layers and, a recent discovery of mine, root cuttings.
Which, with their small leaf and tremendous growth habit, will make for some nice tiny, twisted trees.
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My friend Nick has asked me to write a post on ramification (also, to explain the triangle). I told him I would try. The triangle is a mystery to men the world over. Ramification is basically this: we have the main branch and it splits and splits until we have a system of smaller and smaller twigs. This “twigginess” is evocative of a mature tree.
There are several steps involved and, as far as some of the literature I’ve seen, the last steps are never covered.
Let’s quickly go over the basics.
The top pic is the unadulterated branch.
We cut at one of the first nodes in the next pic (at the arrows)
Pic 3 shows the branch grown out. Cut at the arrow again and we have pic 4. This is how we trim for movement and taper.
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