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Green Sheets I

Part Number 799600829936
Green Sheets I
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Tropical Green Sheets I
A Comprehensive Guide for People with Tropical Bonsai
  • Over 200 pages covering 127 species
  • Tips and Tidbits Picked Up from Various Artists and Workshops and Demonstrations
  • Full Color Photographs of Individual Species
  • A Tropical Gallery of Finished Bonsai from Various South Florida Bonsai Artists
  • The Appendices Includes 18 Articles Written on a Variety of Basic Subjects.

Featured on the cover of the book, is the magnificent Brazilian Raintree created by
Erik Wigert of Wigert's Bonsai Nursery.


Most Care Sheets are at least 2 or 3 pages long and cover the following topics: Botanical Name, Common Name, Family, Zone, Origin, History, Species, Flower/Fruit, Repot Time, Soil Preference, pH, Fertilizer, Pruning, Training, Insect/Diseases, Propagation, Watering, Light, Seasonal Needs, Salt Tolerance, Suggested Styles, and any special Notes.
Sample Care Sheet
Botanical: Acacia
Bullhorn Acacia
Family: Leguminosae/Fabaceae
Zone: 10-11
Origin: Australia/Africa
Acacia belongs to the Leguminosae family which also includes Powder Puff, Brazilian Rain Tree and Tamarind among others. There are over 1000 species of Acacia trees and shrubs found mostly in sub-tropical and tropical areas, most commonly Australia and Africa. About 75% are Australian species, but those considered the most beautiful are native to Africa. The Australian species do not do as well in high humidity climates. When seen in nature at maturity, the Acacia has few if any lower branches and a spreading crown. It is known for its thorns and feathery leaves.

There are a number of varieties of Acacia that are used in bonsai. Only a few are mentioned below.

Acacia farnesiana—Sweet Acacia. This is a thorny plant with delicate, bipinnate,
compound leaves, colorful yellow flowers and brown fruit pods. The feathery compound leaves are approximately 6 inches long with 2-8 divisions that have 10-25 pairs of leaflets. The leaflets are curved and oblong.

Acacia choriophylla—Thornless Acacia or Tamarindillo. This tree has long, thick,
pinnate, dark green leaflets. It is native to the Florida Keys, Bahamas, and Cuba. It makes a beautiful tree that resembles the Tamarind. It is hardy only in zones 10-11.

Acacia cornigera—Bullhorn or Swollen-thorn Acacia. This tree is distinctive because
of the large, impressive thorns. These 'swollen-thorn' acacias also have a symbiotic relationship with ants. The trees provide nectar to the ants, and the ants protect the tree from invasive plants and pests. The ants also reside in the thorns which become hollow with age. The tree is native to South Africa and Central America.


Most Acacia have yellow flowers, but a few have almost white flowers. Some flowers
form tight balls and others resemble the powder puff. Most develop seed pods.

Minimum night temperature—Low to mid 60°F. Repot when root bound throughout
the summer.
Use well-draining soils mix with organic added.
Use a low nitrogen fertilizer monthly. Too much nitrogen hinders the bloom.
Both the roots and top can be heavily pruned.
The Appendices includes articles written on the following topics: Zone 10-11, Soil, Training Your Tree, Fertilizing, "Water" by Richard Miller, Repotting, "ph" by Richard Miller, Insecticides and Fungicides, "Pest Management" by Carolyn Carver, "Guidelines for Selecting a Pot" by James Smith, Making a Slab, "Making Muck" by Virginia Boka, "Presentation: Choosing a Stand" by Judith Gore, Basic Bonsai Styles, Quick Reference: Repotting Schedule, Personal Tree Information Sheet, and Green Sheet Outline.
Sample Article from the Appendices

Appendix G


Always research your plant for the best time of year to repot. Many purport that we can repot anytime in the tropics. A number of plants have been lost due to this. Repotting at any time requires special care like a mist house or an area that provides protection from sudden cold snaps and a level of experience. It is always a good practice to repot at the appropriate time. Generally speaking, repotting should be done when the bonsai becomes pot bound. If you can grasp the tree with your hand and lift the tree and soil cleanly out of the pot, it is time to repot. Before repotting, allow the soil to dry out a little. Heavy soil that is soaked will tear delicate feeder roots when removed from the pot.

Follow these steps:

1. If using the same container, clean it thoroughly with soap and water and a disinfectant to kill any bacteria or fungus. Prepare the pot by adding screen and tie wires.
2. Using a root rake, root hook, or chopstick, carefully comb out the roots, making sure they spread in all directions.
3. Trim the roots from the bottom and sides. Older trees may need wedges cut out from the plant. Every time you repot, cut wedges from a different area. Generally speaking, unless you are very experienced, it is not a good practice to totally bare root tropicals. There are a few exceptions but not many.
4. Put a layer of soil in the pot, mounding the soil where the plant will be placed. Position the plant on the mound and move around to "settle" it.
5. Tie down the plant to avoid any movement of the tree base.
6. Fill in soil around the plant using a chopstick. Move the chopstick in a circular motion. Continue until no more soil subsides. This prevents air pockets.
7. When the soil placement is finished, place the plant in water. You can add products to the water that prevent shock, but many believe this is not necessary. Some use a mixture of seaweed and soluble rooting compound. Others use plain water. Let soak approximately 30 minutes. This will flush out air and overcome the surface tension that prevents wetting throughout. It will also help prevent shock and stimulate root growth.
8. After draining, place the plant in a shady location out of the direct sun. Mist daily and water only when needed. The plant needs to stay in a protected area for two to four weeks. Usually a good guide is when new leaf buds begin to appear. Occasionally fertilizing with a very dilute mixture will not hurt the plant.
9. Gradually move the plant back to its normal sun location, and resume normal fertilizing and watering.

* It is a good practice when repotting to include with the new soil mixture some of the old. Roots form their own bacterium that stimulates growth. Transferring some of this old soil also transfers this bacterium.

This is an outstanding Lantana camara created by Ed Trout.