The weekend’s almost over.  I spent a good bit of time yesterday and today cleaning benches and reorganizing my trees.  We seldom get fall color around here, which I guess is the price you pay for not having excessively cold weather each winter (*brrr*), but here’s one exception:

crapemyrtle11-6-16-1This is Allen Gautreau’s Crape myrtle, and it’s put on some yellow and red this past week.  A lot of the leaves are already off the tree, so it won’t be much longer until it’s bare.  But it’s still nice to see the change.

As I mentioned in an earlier post on this one, it needs a semi-hard pruning next year and to be repotted.  It’s a great old bonsai.

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Here’s one of my lemonade Bald cypresses from a couple of weeks ago.  I had stripped off the dead bark as part of making something out of it.  Yesterday and today I gave it a couple of coats of lime sulfur, in order to bleach and help preserve the wood.  It’s turned a nice white color now, which will fade a bit over time.  This is more or less what the color looks like in the wild once the main part of the bole has died.

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I’m frequently asked about leaf size reduction on Sweetgums.  In the wild, their leaves are usually about 5″ long, and because they are attached to the branches by petioles these too are about 5″ long.  This makes for a real challenge in creating proportionality.  The good news is, however, once you have your Sweetgum branch structure established and are working into tertiary ramification and beyond, the leaves get nice and small.  It also helps to let the tree get a little pot-bound.

The tree pictured here has a 1.25″ trunk base and is about 13″ tall.  The largest leaves on the tree (many have fallen since, of course, it’s fall) are just over 1″ long, with most not more than 1″.  And petiole size reduces in step with leaf size reduction.  This is another good reason for growing native Sweetgum as bonsai.

I hope you’ve had and enjoyable Sunday with your bonsai.