A small cascade dwarf jade bonsai

Ok, so this short post is me just showing off a bit.
I admit it.
But it’s also a chance for me to show what can be done with a small dwarf jade (beyond the standard clip and grow technique) and what can be done with the use of an artistic wiring technique.
This little tree might be something that’s available to a beginner:
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Believe it or not, it is an old little tree (you tell by how the internodes are very short on it)
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The internodes (in this trees case), are the rings you see on the branches and trunks.
I cut it back a few weeks ago and you can see the new growth:
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And here’s a shot of the nebari:
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And my thumb for reference.
As I said earlier, usually the dwarf jade is grown using clip and grow.
I’m going to wire every little branch.
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Why clip and grow?
It is tough to wire the branches on the dwarf jade; even though it’s flexible it’s also brittle. It is a succulent, which means that the branches are full of water. But, like celery, it will bend until it snaps. Maybe it’s more like an old carrot.
Has anyone had a daikon radish?
Really a lot like that, or perhaps a half frozen hot dog.
Yeah.
Maybe.
Anyway, the first wires are on-
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The usual rule of thumb when using aluminum wire is for the wire thickness to be almost the same thickness as the branch you’re wiring.
With the portulacaria that’s just not needed. Half to a third the thickness works pretty well.
Just be aware that, when you are placing the limbs, it will bend at those rings. And as you bend, the ring will separate, and you can open that ring quite a bit, it will heal back over.
Take your time and look at the outside of the bend. Watch that separation closely. Unlike a woody branch, there won’t be any noise when bending, and that visual gap as you bend will be your only cue that it’s getting ready to snap.
I am boasting when I say I didn’t break any branches. Woot woot! Go me!
The after:
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From the top:
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Up close:
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The before, so you don’t have to scroll up again:
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And the after:
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Now, I admit it, it’s going to be tough removing that wire.
I’ll have to…gasp…cut it off, I’m sure, but I think the tree will turn out better for it.

About adamaskwhy

Visual artist specializing in bonsai, mostly.
This entry was posted in branch placement, refine, wiring and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to A small cascade dwarf jade bonsai

  1. Very nice transformation! Thanks!

  2. J Nava says:

    How long will you have to leave the wire on for?

    • adamaskwhy says:

      Probably about half a year or so. The stock answer is “until it needs to come off” it’s different for each tree it seems.
      It will really depend on how much growth occurs.

  3. Marie says:

    How do you make it into a tree from cuttings?

    • adamaskwhy says:

      Propagation from cuttings is the only way to get a plant to be true to its form: a cutting is often called a clone. Many trees like elms, maples, ficus, fruit trees, juniper, etc are propagated just from cuttings. It’s no different with dwarf jade.

  4. granolagirlatheart says:

    So cool.

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