This will be a quick post on two unusual trees and a parting shot of some rare, late color on one of my red maples.
The first tree is a Brazilian Raintree that I propagated through an air layer (which was in this post: Let’s Airlayer Everything!).
Airlayering a Brazilian Raintree is one of the best ways to propagate them. Cuttings are difficult, seeds are a rare occurrence, and you get a better nebari with an airlayer.
The work on this tree is indicative of the many little adjustments I will do to a tree as I am working in the nursery.
I’ll be pulling weeds or watering and I’ll see a tree and be drawn to a feature that just pops out at me.
This little tree:
has a nice twist in the trunk but the top part is straight.
A little wire:
A little bending:
And we have a very extreme and dramatic tree that would be a nice little tree now:
Or, after 2 or 3 years, imagine a tree with a trunk size 2 or 3 times larger- with that bend.
A Raintree trunk and branches are impossible to move when they’re older. Work a tree when you can.

Next tree- an American elm.
The tree was collected last year by me and my friend Guaracha over by my other friend Walt’s house.
As tools we had a small trowel, a machete and that’s it.
The 2 x 4, I mean, tree suffered a little, ah…shall we say, trauma.
Here it is:
Yes, it’s a tree.
It looks like a 2 x 4.
I didn’t take a before pic because the transformation was not very dramatic.
The, ah..trauma, occurred when we were rocking the tree back and forth trying to “pop” the tap root (remember, we didn’t have proper toolage) and the tree split in half from the roots up the trunk.
We kinda looked at each other and Guaracha asked,
“Is it gonna live pendejo?”
I said,
“I don’t know cabron, let’s see.”
And, as you see, it did.
It certainly is, shall we say, different.
I can hear the establishment bonsai people saying:
“What da’ fahk are ya’ thinkin’ with that piece o’ shit? There ain’t no taper, it’s a dee-sid-you-is tree ya’ idjit, no deadwood on them. It ain’t bone sigh material. Throw it on the burn pile”
Sorry, I disagree.
Horticulturally, it’s thriving-
The edge is rolling over the…trauma, and all those branches are new.
My plans for the future:
The shoot on the left I did not prune, I just added wire on the base of it.
That will be the thickest leader and the “apex”.
I wired movement into each branch, some I pruned to slow the growth, some I left alone to help thicken faster.
I don’t plan too much carving on it, only when needed. I want the wood to be totally natural looking, which might need carving to achieve that.
It might not (you like that cocky attitude? Damn right I can “make” a carving look natural. I’m a damn Rockstar!)
Speaking of rockstars, to quote Bob Ross “here’s a picture of a happy tree”
Let me know what you think, just be prepared to defend yourself.
Like I said, it’s an interesting tree.
I like it.
As a parting shot, a tree you’ve seen before, but not with fall color.
It’s a red maple (acer rubrum).
The trunk is totally hollow.
It’s growing exceptionally well considering it’s in Florida and it is hollow.
Most floridians think that a red maple is a junk tree.
This one has been pretty good to me so far.
That’s it, just a quick post.
Next, some reader’s trees.

5 thoughts

  1. I really like the “two by four” tree. It has character, even if it doesn’t have much movement. Repot it with a little lean and it would look like a few trees I see up here that have suffered traumas (a little burning and carving would make it look lightning struck… the lean is just cause all the trees here lean to the north in one degree or another, prevailing winds ya know.)

    I think I personally would go for a little more foliage up top than is in your sketch, but that’s because I like the idea of a tree that got torn up and is absolutely thriving in spite of it. It’s easier to see that with more foliage, I think. But, it’s not my tree, either, so if you don’t want a tree with a “bring it on and I’ll STILL be awesome” attitude, I can’t exactly yell at you for it LOL.


  2. This post is a hoot. My daughter is getting tired of me interrupting her so I can read to her what you wrote. I love how you thumb your nose at the establishment….. never give in to The Man


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