It felt like the last time I pruned this mini jade was not so long ago, yet, it’s been growing prolifically again. I decided to prune it further to give it enough time to do more ramification until the cold weather comes. This time I didn’t even bother growing the cuttings… I think I’m at a point where I’m sick of tending to all these tiny saplings. Now my new strategy is to aim to acquire thicker and larger trees, while on the other hand, reduce my small saplings, to make room for those bigger trees.
The mini jade has been growing all four seasons, so has really put on some growth. It’s time to reduce the raft back into a more pleasing composition. Since they all share the same root, reducing the raft significantly shouldn’t have any detrimental effects. I’ve proceeded to heavily reduce the trees. I was quite surprised of the amount of foliage I took off. But no guts, no glory!
There really isn’t much bonsai related activities here in Toronto, as all the trees are either in the ground, or in the porch overwintering. I can’t even remember how long this Jade has been growing in the pot, or when it was last repotted, but the soil seems quite old, so I decided to repot it.
There’s a sacrifice branch that I’ve been growing for some time now, to thicken up the base of the tree. The sacrifice branch is however growing into the branches that I want to keep, so I decided to remove the sacrifice branch. I was surprised to find not much roots, perhaps I was keeping the soil too wet, and the roots were rotting away. I would need to keep these trees dryer going forward. After some pruning, the mother-and-child composition is much more obvious.
During the winter months, all my native trees are either buried in the ground, or dormant. Therefore the winter months are rather boring. Good thing there are tropical trees to help me through this lull. This is where my jade trees come in handy. Over the last year, its branches have developed such that the front doesn’t look right anymore. In fact, the left branches are blocking the trunk movement.
Jade trees are very good at putting out new roots, and they’re also very good at thickening as well. I started this particular tree from a cutting two years ago, and now it has developed into a pretty thick trunk. I would want to develop a new crown, which will allow more tapering of the trunk. Rather than cutting off the existing crown, and creating a whole bunch of cuttings, I’ve decided to create a raft style from it. A month ago I started writing the branches in place, styling them as if they were individual trees.
It is now ready to be removed from the plant. I cut off the crown, and planted it sideways in a shallow pot.
There are a lot of leaves in this huge cutting, so it’ll be prone to dehydration. I’ll be keeping it in shade to give it an opportunity to develop new roots. The benefit of August is that the plants are fully growing again, which should help with its recovery.
The jade trees I got as cuttings in Sept 2014, have now developed sufficient roots to be moved into their own pots. Last month, I’ve moved two of the more well developed ones into their own pots, without any pruning done to them. The deeper pots will hopefully help them grow faster, quicker.
The remaining ones are filling in nicely too, so I decided to pot them up into their own pots. The first one is a tree that looks good by itself, so I potted it into a small plastic bonsai pot to see how well it’ll develop. One idea is to contrast this one growing in the relatively smaller pot, to the ones growing in the deeper pots, to see whether it creates a significant difference.
The remaining three jade trees are of varying girth. So I grabbed a very shallow pot, and made a forest planting out of them. To my surprise, other than one of the trees (the left one), the other two didn’t have much roots. So, I was somewhat constrained as to where to position the trees. I needed to position the trees right above the drainage holes such that I can stabilize them with a piece of wire.
I would have preferred to have the left tree further in front, and the right tree further to the right. But this would have to do for now, until I’m able to get them to develop more roots. Maybe I’ll repot them again after they’ve put up some good growth over the summer time.
As for all the branches I pruned from the forest planting… they all go into a cutting development tray, and in a year or two, hopefully I’ll have more materials for another forest planting.
During the last club meeting, Mike brought in some Dwarf Jade tree cuttings to share. He was generous enough to give me a big piece since I was the first one to approach him. The next day I potted them up into a pot with some rooting hormone to help them along. Hoping these would grow some roots and develop into trees. I’ve always kept a regular Jade tree, but never had a dwarf Jade before.
I also potted one separately into its own pot, wondering whether the ceramic pot will make a difference. Maybe ceramic being a porous material will help the soil breath better, thus help with root production? I’ll know in a few weeks if/when I see new growth coming out from these cuttings.