A Neea bonsai with some shiny new shoes

It took me long enough (right?) but I finally found the time (and ambition, had to be that energy drink) to repot my neea buxifolia (in Puerto Rico it’s spelled “Nia”.).
For those so inclined, or who haven’t seen the first posts, they are here and here respectively.
This is the tree in all it’s shaggy glory today-
Front:
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Right:
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Left:
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And the rear:
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I had wired it in the last post and the only place where the wire is cutting badly is here:
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The branch structure is filling in well too:
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The main goal of this session is to repot the tree and get the growth under control.
The question is; Why haven’t I been trimming all along and keeping the shoots down to, say, under six inches?
I’ve learned that, with the neea, if you let the few vigorous shoots alone, those few will keep the other million shoots from sprouting.
Otherwise you’re having to clean it out every week.
So now, instead of trimming the ups and downs, excess crotch growth, bar branches, and tridents, I only have the ups to worry about.
And then the silhouette, of course.
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In the pic above you can see those very strong upward growing shoots. But the rest of the branch pad is still pretty tight.

All pruned except for the apex:
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And to shape it I’ll use what is variously called the topiary trim, the hedge trim or the haircut.
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Snip snip
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Snip snip
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Ahhhh…
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Now it’s time for the dirty work.
I have been pressured a whole lot by my friends to change the pot.
I guess it’s time to give in to peer pressure then.
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I have three pots of the size and shape I’m looking for to choose from:
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I’m going for an oval, I’d like a glazed container but I don’t have one.

One thing I have been looking at is rotating the tree slightly clockwise.
Current front:
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Rotated:
20130923-142751.jpg
I think the movement and taper are improved from this front.
Looking at the roots you can see that it is a bit root bound (the advantage of a sub-tropical climate, good roots)
20130923-143114.jpg
A little rake and trim-
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Now we get to play Prince Charming (some day my prince will come…)
Three pots:
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Which pot will reign supreme? (Okay, sorry, I keep mashing up my universes. Can you imagine the ugly step-sisters on Iron Chef?).
I’d love to find a tree for this pot
20130923-211131.jpg
Not today though-
20130923-211236.jpg
It’s like when I accidentally try to put my sons shorts on. Size 34 just isn’t my waist size anymore.
This pot is wide enough but too shallow-
20130923-211750.jpg
That leaves this chipped pot-
20130923-211951.jpg
Which doesn’t matter too much to me. If I put the chip in the back and, when I show it, just use a little moss to hide it, it don’t mean nuthin’.
How does this look?
20130923-214815.jpg
A little to the right?
Yeah!
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Here’s a tip.
I found this at an office supply store-
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It is the perfect soil scoop that doubles as a sifter as well.
20130923-215350.jpg
Even the most well sifted soil still has some too-small particles left in it. Using this as a scoop and giving it a little shake as you use it helps remove those errant bits of aggregate.
All done except for…..
Backside:
20130923-215755.jpg
Right side:

20130923-215944.jpg
Left side:
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And the progression.
20130923-220511.jpg
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And today-
20130923-220825.jpg
The new pot and angle change make a hell of a difference.
I just need to carve that ugly chop now.
Yeah, I know, I keep saying that. The next post on this tree will feature it. Promise.

About adamaskwhy

Visual artist specializing in bonsai, mostly.
This entry was posted in maintenance, updates and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to A Neea bonsai with some shiny new shoes

  1. Marty Rosen says:

    I think the tree is too big for the pot

    • adamaskwhy says:

      Really? I was thinking people would say it was too big. We Floridians tend to under pot our trees for some reason.
      Horticulturally speaking, it is bigger than the previous pot, and the previous one worked for it.
      I think it needs a different pot ultimately but sometimes you have to go with what you have

  2. That’s a beautiful tree, I really like the taper of the trunk. Maybe the pot could have been a little wider, but sometimes you use what you have. It’s a great looking specimen.

  3. furazorix says:

    The effect of that rotation was impressive. Taper, roots and movement instantly improved with a little wiggle.

  4. Van Nguyen says:

    Impressive tree, it deserved to have a round pot for its final home. That ten degree turn definitely improves the over all feel of the tree; but because of that, do we have to say good bye to that bottom branch?

  5. woodchick says:

    Beautiful tapered Neea and dynamite styling!!! You mentioned you were thinking of a glazed pot – what color/finish? I have a twin trunk Neea (my trunks seem a little grayer than yours – but that could be the screen) and Joe Day suggested I go for a cream colored pot with some gray in it and not too shiny – thoughts?

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