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Mock Orange stump - Future Bonsai???? 6 months 1 week ago #68880

  • Dogwood87
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Hi all,

First post so hey everyone and looking forward to a new bonsai adventure. New to bonsai and looking for a few projects to get me started.

I have a stump which I believe is mock orange (Philadelphus) which has new shoots. I hope in a few years I will have thicker trunks and branches to shape a bonsai and perhaps carve the stump into a nice piece. As you can see from the pics I’m at a very early stage and priority is getting a strong plant to work on down the line. In this regard is there anything I should be doing further to the below to help make this into a bonsai?

So far, I’ve uprooted it chopped off a lot of the old dead roots and branches and put it in a large pot of general purpose compost and a bit of garden soil. I can see it has promising fibrous roots. I’ve also pruned off smaller shoots from around the stump hopefully channelling the energy to the 3 main ones visible in the photo.

I plan to just leave this in a sunny spot, look after it, prune it back every once in a while and wait a few years.

Any comments on what I have done/should be doing. I.e. is mock orange a reasonable bonsai project, should I wire the shoots my desired shape now? Should I cut back to just one shoot rather than 3? Or is this all just a matter of choice and these decisions are part of the journey?

I also have an elder currently wrestling with my beech hedge which I plan on digging up and potting shortly, the growth on this one is much more mature so may well post about this one too!!

Appreciate any an all comments!

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Mock Orange stump - Future Bonsai???? 6 months 1 week ago #68882

  • Tropfrog
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I dont see any pictures.

If you are in the northern hemisphere south of copenhagen it is too late for collecting. Leave the elder in the ground until next year.

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Mock Orange stump - Future Bonsai???? 6 months 1 week ago #68883

  • Dogwood87
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Thanks. Ah, hopefully pics worked now.

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Mock Orange stump - Future Bonsai???? 6 months 1 week ago #68885

  • leatherback
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Welcome to the forum!

You have a nice stump there. The main focus shuold be to get it well established in a pot.

I personally am not a fan of elder for bonsai. Hollow branches and soft wood that easily rots.. But if you like it, go for it. Keep in mind the leaves remain large. But I understand the urge if you are new, looking for material.

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Mock Orange stump - Future Bonsai???? 6 months 1 week ago #68886

  • Ivan Mann
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It's your tree, and you might do something completely different, but what I would do is put it in partial sun for a couple of years, fertilize with balanced fertilizer once a week, and let it grow.

Spend the next year or two seeing what grows where and think about a plan for the thicker branches. Multi trunk? Single trunk? There is really no need to make a decision soon. I would wait for a decision at least one year and probably longer.

The one thing I would do now is get some sealer to seal up the stump so it doesn't rot away.

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Last edit: Post by Ivan Mann.
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