Narrow Leaf Buttonwood
conocarpus erectus var. ‘Cardsound’
Narrow leaf buttonwood produces very narrow foliage, great wood for carving, and is a more cold hardy Florida native, but protect from freezing. The bark is thick and has broad plates of thin scales which are gray to brown.
POSITION Full sun, partial shade
FERTILIZING General purpose fertilizer all year. The buttonwoods that survive best during cold seasons are those with the most vigorous growth
REPOTTING Every year, when nighttime temps are above 65f for at least 6 weeks after work
PRUNING Leave defoliation, wiring, directional pruning all during the growing season.
PESTS AND DISEASES Weevils and chili thrips, treat with a regimen of systemic insecticides Borers and carpenter ants within deadwood, treat with a topical insecticide.
STYLING All styles are suitable
Instructor: Nacho Marin
Workshop Cost: $110.00
Elaeagnus is a dense, branching shrub in the Elaeagnaceae family, known by the common names; thorny olive, spiny oleaster and silverthorn. It is native to Asia, including China and Japan. It is present in the southeastern United States as an introduced species, a common landscaping and ornamental plant. It sprouts prolifically from its stem, spreading out and twining into adjacent vegetation. Parts of the stem are covered in thorns which can be up to 3 in. long. The evergreen, alternately-arranged leaves are up to 4 in. long but under 2 in. wide. The undersides are silvery white with brown flecks. Tubular flowers are borne in clusters of up to three. The flowers are yellowish or white and are sweet-scented. The fruit is a drupe up to 1/2 in. long which contains one seed. It is reddish with silver scales. Blooming occurs in the autumn and fruit develops during the spring. The plant grows quickly, with shoots growing over 3ft per season.
POSITION Full sun or partial shade
FERTILIZING General fertilizer throughout the growing season.
REPOTTING Every two or three years in Spring as new buds extend.
PRUNING Hard pruning should be carried out in Winter. Trim new shootss throughout the growing season.
PESTS AND DISEASES Susceptible to coral spot.
STYLING Informal upright forms in small to large sizes.
Instructor: Jennifer Price
Workshop Cost: $130.00
Flowering White Serissa is an evergreen or semi-evergreen flowering shrub that is native to Southeast Asia and is found commonly in India, China and Japan. It grows in wet meadows and open sub-tropical woodlands. Also known as “Snow Rose” or “Tree of a Thousand Stars” because of the tiny white flowers that it produces 2-3 times per year. It’s naturally miniature leaves and gnarled trunk makes it a popular Bonsai tree. With the right conditions it can flower continuously, though there are more flowers from spring to autumn.
LOCATION Serissa can be grown indoors but it does better if kept outdoors in the warmer months. It should be brought in once nighttime temperatures dip below 32f. This plant also does well if wintered in a cool greenhouse. It should not be moved suddenly from one temperature extreme to another as this species does not like abrupt change.
Serissa likes a lot of sunlight but heat stress can yellow the leaves, so it’s a good idea to offer afternoon shade. If grown indoors they should be placed in a south or east window and ideally given some artificial light. Insufficient light causes leggy, undesirable growth
FERTILIZING Serissa should be fertilized bi-weekly between early spring and early fall, and once a month in the winter. We recommend a low-nitrogen, slow-release formula applied in pellet form. Do not fertilize when the soil is dry.
REPOTTING This needs to be carried out during the growing season rather than in winter. Repot young plants every year and older ones every two or three years. Fast-draining soil is highly recommended; if you live in an arid climate it’s a good idea to add some organic material in order to retain some moisture so that watering doesn’t have to be done constantly. Root pruning will stimulate the growth of root suckers. These can be trimmed unless you want them to create a forest.
PRUNNING Prune growth in early autumn. Pruning back to the second pair of leaves is best in order to avoid leggy growth of the limbs. This plant responds well to ramification and directional pruning. Clip and grow is an effective way of shaping this bonsai. Be sure to remove spent blooms as they occur as this will stimulate further flowering.
PESTS AND DISEASES Serissa bonsai can be vulnerable to scale, mealy bugs, and aphids (which prefer new growth). Scale can typically be seen as brown bumps on the tree. These must be removed by hand as this hard shell is impervious to insecticide. Afterward, the areas where they resided must be wiped down with insecticidal soap or treated with neem oil, as the eggs are harbored underneath the brown protective coating.
Mealy bugs can be difficult to eradicate, however there are products designed specifically for these pests. Treatment will have to be repeated after about a week and a half. The most important thing to remember is that pests tend to attack when a tree is weakened or sick. Watering properly and giving your bonsai plenty of bright light will help keep it healthy and pest-free.
STYLING Serissa is suited to most bonsai styles besides formal upright. It is particularly suitable for root-over-rock, forest plantings, and shohin. Aerial roots sometimes form.
Instructor: Jennifer Price
Workshop Cost: $150.00
Celtis laevigata is a medium-sized tree native to North America. Common names include sugarberry, Southern hackberry, or in the southern U.S. sugar hackberry or just hackberry. Hackberry’s range extends from the Eastern United States west to Texas and south to northeastern Mexico. It is also found on the island of Bermuda.
POSITION Sun to partial shade, but be very careful that it doesn’t dry out on a hot day.
FERTILIZING Once every two or three weeks during its growth season (from early spring till autumn)
REPOTTING Annually in late winter. Use deeper than normal pot.
PRUNING Major branch pruning and thinning of over-dense twigs in late winter/early spring. Maintenance pruning throughout the growing season as it grows fast
PESTS AND DISEASES Aphids and scale in late summer early fall as the tree begins its way into dormancy. Treat with a systemic insecticide.
STYLING Best suited to formal/informal upright, slanting, semi-cascade, broom, root-over-rock, clasped to rock, twin trunk, CLUMP, or multiple trunk
Instructor: Nacho Marin
Workshop Cost: $140.00
ILEX Vomitoria “SHILLINGS”
A dwarf of the Florida and Gulf Coast tree, found in many landscapes as the foundational “meat ball” shape. Cold hardy to about 15f, a xeriscape tree in the ground. Can be collected from old landscapes, found in most box stores. A pleasant, high caffeine tea can be made from the leaves, after roasting. Do not brew leaves treated with chemicals
POSITION full sun
FERTILIZING High acid fertilizer, once a season, excluding winter
REPOTTING Late February or mid summer, just before dormancy breaks
PRUNING During the growing season. Hard pruning only in the heaviest growing phase. Thinning often to promote air flow. Responds to directional pruning and wiring exceptionally. The backbudding is extensive and must be controlled or disease will follow. Good carving wood but doesn’t hold deadwood well except if extraordinary measures are followed.
PESTS AND DISEASES Leaf miner, aphids, tea scale. Treat with systemic. Anthracnose fungus (Black spot). Febuconazole is recommended as well as proper cultural considerations: don’t water in the evening, keep canopy open for air flow
STYLING All styles, mostly lends itself to a “live oak” look
Instructor: Nacho Marin
Workshop Cost: $100.00 (Med Sized Trees)
Workshop Cost: $150.00 (Large Sized Trees)
Lantana is a genus of about 150 species of perennial flowering plants in the verbena family, Verbenaceae. They are native to tropical regions of the Americas and Africa. Their common names are shrub verbenas or lantanas.
Lantana’s aromatic flower clusters (called umbels) are a mix of red, orange, yellow, or blue and white florets. Other colors exist as new varieties are being selected. The flowers typically change color as they mature, resulting in inflorescences that are two- or three-colored.
POSITION Full sun is best. It will tolerate some shade, but watch the watering
FERTILIZING Alternating between multi purpose and high phosphate (middle number) is considered a good practice.
REPOTTING Repot in spring in a slightly deeper pot than usual. Repotting can continue thru summer.
PRUNING Roots may be pruned hard as well as the top if needed.
PESTS AND DISEASES, it is prone to many pests; leaf miner, caterpillars, mites, and other sucking insects. Make use of a quality systemic.
STYLING A wide spreading canopy with well developed ramification is best for flowering display
Instructor: Ed Trout
Workshop Cost: $80.00
Ulmus crassifolia, the Texas cedar elm or simply cedar elm, is a deciduous tree native to south central North America, mainly in southern and eastern Texas, southern Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana, with small populations in western Mississippi, southwest Tennessee and north central Florida. It also occurs in northeastern Mexico.It is the most common elm tree in Texas (where the material was collected) The tree typically grows well in flat valley bottom areas referred to as ‘Cedar Elm Flats’. The common name ‘cedar elm’ is derived from the trees’ association with juniper trees, locally known as cedars.
POSITION Full sun to partial shade
FERTILIZING After first flush hardens, use a general purpose granular. And as needed summer and autumn. Remove old fertilizer at the o set of winter.
REPOTTING Before bud break in late winter/early spring
PRUNING initial season pruning is best before bud break in late winter or after initial spring flush hardens, and as needed during the growing season. Directional pruning is a must. Don’t prune after the beginning of November
PESTS AND DISEASES Aphids on new growth Leaf spot fungus
STYLING Deciduous tree, bunjin, cascade, informal upright
Instructor: Jennifer Price
Workshop Cost: $125.00
Brazilian Rain Tree
Brazilian Rain Tree, also known as Pithecellobium tortum, is a tropical native of Central and South America. The deep green foliage of this legume is compound, with tiny little leaflets. The leaves fold up at night, or when it appears dark during the day due to cloud coverage; they will sometimes even close up when it is simply too hot.
The trunk is fluted and exfoliating, with the brown bark peeling off in strips to reveal a light, smooth finish, resulting in a striking contrast between the two. The branches are home to very long, sharp thorns. The blooms are puffy white balls that turn yellowish with time. There may not be much flowering on a bonsai version of this plant due to the frequent pruning needed to maintain its size.
POSITION While the Rain Tree may be able to tolerate cooler temperatures, it should be protected in weather below 45° F. Exposure to cold may result in leaf and/or branch dieback.
FERTILIZING Chloroleucon tortum needs heavy fertilizer but use organic. Synthetic fertilizers can kill the nitrogen fixing bacteria that form a symbiotic relationship in the roots
REPOTTING This should be carried out every two or three years; make this judgement based upon whether the root system has become pot-bound (this species does not like being root bound). The roots can withstand moderate pruning. Repot in mid-summer – when night temperatures are no lower than the low to mid 60s F – into a well-draining soil mixture. The presence of some organic, or even crab/shrimp/lobster shell helps in nematode control (not clam or oyster shells)
PRUNING Once the trunk and branch structure is in place it is generally best to use clip and grow. When pruning, leave a small nub in place to allow for potential dieback; some enthusiasts refrain from using concave cutters on the tree because of this tendency. This is a fast-growing species so weekly pruning is usually required during the growing season. Frequently trimming new growth will help in developing the foliage canopy for which the tree is known.
Because the Brazilian Rain Tree is a hardwood species, the trunk and branches are not easily manipulated once they lignify. Wiring can be done extensively on flexible young branches. As the tree has exfoliating bark, wire scars don’t last much past the 2nd to 3rd year.
PESTS AND DISEASES This species is quite resistant to most pests and disease, although it can be vulnerable to nematodes. These can be detected by the presence of root knots that are integrated into the roots. Nematicide may be used in this case. Begin with a low dose and work upwards if necessary.
If the soil is conducive to nitrogen fixing bacteria, and the nodules they create, nematodes tend to be diminished.
STYLING Brazilian Rain Trees are typically seen as a formal or informal upright, and a tropical flat top, due to its tendency to grow straight when not exposed to the winds of its natural habitat.