Smoke Bush in a container

Discussion in 'Small Space Gardening' started by Quincys Slave, Jan 21, 2010.

  1. Quincys Slave

    Quincys Slave Active Member

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    Do you think that a smoke bush could be planted in a container on a deck that is south facing? They get to be about 15 feet tall.
     
  2. Poetry to Burn

    Poetry to Burn Active Member

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    What size container are you thinking of? Unless your container is enormous it probably will not make 15 Ft.

    Mostly anything can be grown in a container if you master container culture for the species root pruning, soil/media changes, winter protection etc.
     
  3. stoneangel

    stoneangel Active Member VCBF Cherry Scout

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    I like smoke bushes. Keep us posted. I'd be interested to see how it works out.
     
  4. martinpy

    martinpy Member

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    I would be interrested of growing one also if it is possible to grow one in Quebec in a zone 4?
     
  5. JT1

    JT1 Well-Known Member

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    I have one growing as bonsai. It's been two seasons since I took this tree out of a 7 gallon nursery container and created a bonsai with it. It was an old stock plant at a nursery used for cuttings, which I think helped thicken up the trunk. I saw the potential in it and after some pruning and wiring you can see the end results in the first picture. The second picture was taken this year at the beginning of the month. Seems to do just fine in a container.

    I say go for it, because my friend who owns the nursery thought I was nuts when I wanted to buy his stock plant (he actually said the nursery pot was worth more than the tree to him). But when I brought back the pot and showed him my new bonsai he was blown away.
     

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  6. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    The bonsai looks like a success, otherwise what I see on the waterfront here is multiple unhappy individuals of 2 kinds ('Grace' and one or more purple C. coggygria forms) in municipal planters. But the rest of the stuff in the same pots look like they all need to be fertilized.

    Instead of over-pruned, which is what they are getting instead.

    And not as authentic-looking bonsai, either.
     
  7. JT1

    JT1 Well-Known Member

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    Glad you think so, thank you!
     
  8. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    The first thing that comes to mind is this seems otherwise not a type one would expect would lend itself to this treatment - although the unhappy ones in the municipal plantings here are of somewhat similar character. But the growths and leaves of 'Grace' are just too large for bonsai.
     
  9. JT1

    JT1 Well-Known Member

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    Well you make a great point. After I did mine and uploaded the pictures to Flickr, I decided to search the web to see if anyone else is nuts like me and tried bonsai with a smoke bush. I only found one other and it looked pretty good. When I say "nuts like me", what I mean is I try things most would not even consider. I don't belong to a bonsai club and I think they would not want me, because I am a rebel when it comes to their up-tight rules of bonsai. Rules are a good guide, but I think they limit imagination and creativity.

    When garden clubs, the local arboretum and botanical garden people, and the average person comes to visit the garden, they say I have a better show than the local bonsai club. But I am sure if I invited the members of the local club to my garden, I am sure they would turn their nose up to my bonsai practices. I promote that it's easy and anyone can do it. I think the bonsai people feel less special when I talk about how easy it is to do.

    Anyway...The leaf reduction is coming along naturally (through no help on my part). Here is a photo for comparison. Most of the leaves are the smaller size and the other is one of the largest leaf on my bonsai. The nickel is all I have left after this year's plant collecting binge (placed for comparison). Fall is coming and the colors are starting to become present in the leaves.
     

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    Last edited: Sep 29, 2013
  10. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Or the club might love your plants.
     
  11. JT1

    JT1 Well-Known Member

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    So true, I guess you might have a very good point.

    I was jaded by a show they did at the botanical gardens. There was one really nice old man (and 1/3 of the bonsai in the show were his). Then everyone else was moody, opinionated, and trash talking. I still went to their next show a year later and plan to go again this year to see the bonsai and the spectacle of it's members and to see that really nice old man again. They were also on the local news once promoting the show talking about what is and is not a bonsai, all the years they take to become a bonsai. And then of course it's not a bonsai until one of their masters deem it one. Most of my stuff looks older but I created them 3 years ago or less, so I might here all about how what I have are not bonsai. That may take the fun out of it.

    I guess I might be too quick to judge the organization based on the attitudes of those members at the show. Maybe some day I will invite them and see how it goes.
     
  12. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Renowned Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I'm a big fan of what Groucho Marx has to say on this subject: "I wouldn't want to belong to any club that would have me as a member"
     
  13. JT1

    JT1 Well-Known Member

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    Ha ha...Thanks for sharing! You inspired me to look up some of his other quotes and they are priceless! Too many good ones to choose from but I did like .... "I was married by a judge. I should have asked for a jury."
     
  14. JT1

    JT1 Well-Known Member

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    Here it is in fall color.
     

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