RAINBOW EUCALYPTUS DEGLUPTA

1 month ago Nebby 0

Source: Arbor Arts Collective Blog.

UPDATE 12-2017
I HAVE HINTED AT THE POSSIBILITY OF BEING ABLE TO “BUMP” A POST TO GET IT BACK TO THE TOP OF THE PAGE, SO I WILL TRY IT WITH THIS ONE…
I WILL ADD THE UPDATE AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS ORIGINAL POST FROM 2016
****************************************************************

when i fist saw these rainbow eucalyptus (eucalyptus deglupta) trees down in florida, i was BLOWN AWAY… the surface roots, the muscular twistings of the branches and trunk (not unlike a brazillian raintree) coupled with that technicolor trunk under the exfoliating bark ??? FAHGEDDABOUDIT !!!

natch’ my first thought was trying to stick one in a pot and apply bonsai techniques to it, but my google searches for bonsai advice came up empty for this particular eucalyptus, though others have had some limited success with other varieties of eucalyptus… and those were usually folks in places like australia…

but that didnt stop the ignorant-all-in-bonsai-newbie-from-wisconsin (of all places) from sending away for one and giving it a go…

so, i acquired the stick in the pot in august 2014… almost exactly 2 years ago (actually a stick in a nice root maker pot)

and that winter it naturally decided to start dropping all its leaves and send me into a “DAMN !!! $80 down the drain you dumb shit why are you even trying to container grow an unproven tropical tree in wisconsin ?!?! this aint no damn ficus !!!” panic…
but needless to say (mainly because i wouldnt be posting if it wasnt so) it got healthy again come spring of 2015 and got repotted come that same summer and as it had gotten quite vigorous, i removed 1 of what became the 2 prominent branches (sorry no before pic), hoping it might spark some action lower on the trunk (as all the lower branches had died off, leaving a very tall, very skinny, very unappealing stick-in-a-pot)
but, no such luck all that season… i have since learned that in general, and due to apical dominance, a tree has little need to pop branches low down if it has a nice functioning leader, such as what i left on the tree…
soooo, in the spring of this year 2016, i said “screw it” and gave it the full chop…
and now we jump forward to now, the first week of july 2016… 
and i am soooo stoked that it has popped all these branches, especially in all these places… i am new to the trunk chop game (unlike brian da chopper) but this looks to me like text-book results… yes ?

i also really dig the colors of the leaves… hinting at what lies in the trunk as it matures…

i didnt take a specific nebari picture, but it is showing great movement in that area… plenty of surface roots… (which you can maybe see in the above pictures if you click on the image and make it larger)
due to the lack of e-info out there, coupled with the seller (largest rainbow grower in the states) saying shes never heard of a bonsai’d rainbow, i may be amongst the first to begin to have some success… so far… maybe… ya think ?
funny post -script: when i went down to visit with arthur joura at the north carolina arboretum, i told him how excited i was about the prospects of this tree, espousing the virtues of the trunk colors that almost dont look real… i apparently had forgotten who i was talking to, because he gave me the most quizzical look and asked me “why would you even want a tree that doesnt look ‘real’ ???” 
maybe ya had to be there, or know joura… but he has a rapier wit… 😉
UPDATE DEC 2017
So here it is one year later and I have since gotten it into a larger, wider and shallower pot, in order to really get that trunk fattened up quicker… I really wish I could stick it in the ground, but yeah… Wisconsin – Zone 5 – no way… 
So far it has been responding very well to pot culture and basic bonsai techniques… It tends to lose some branches, but it quickly makes new ones, so care is being taken to preserve what larger branches I do have. Oddly enough, when I brought it in this year it dropped just a few leaves (less than normal), but instead began making a bunch of new growth !!! 
I would estimate that the trunk has at least tripled in size since I got it… It does show some colors, but I expect that to increase with maturity of the tree… so anyways… here are some fresh pics !