The following story is about a unique jade bonsai tree. If you’ve been enjoying the many pages on this site, you may recognize Dave’s name from the page about his amazing 'swimming pool greenhouse'.
- Guest Author
This is a close-up of my Portulacaria afra with what appears to be “cork bark”. According to the original owner, “the parent tree was obtained from a grower in the 1960s in South Florida”.
It and a couple of others where grown for several years as stock plants. One year, they all seemed to have been affected a by a fungus or disease. The plants where all sprayed with a very strong disease controlling spray. (Type? Strength? Unknown.) All but two died. Of those two, one started to exhibit an unusual “sport”.
The sport showed signs of a rougher bark. So, long story short, the sport was removed and thus started the beginning of my jade bonsai tree.
For the next 25 years, the owner grew it in the ground inside a heated greenhouse. It was used as a stock plant for a couple of those years. As time went on, the plant was overlooked and was allowed to continue growing in the ground.
When that grower sold out. A friend of mine noticed this plant growing in the back corner. He extracted it, potted it and it became mine as of 2009.
I “rough styled” it at the first repotting. As shown in this picture, it needed to be cut it back severely. That will give it a better bonsai tree shape. It has a great trunk and branch structure. It simply needs a lot of those long branches removed. The tree is doing fabulous.
Our hot, humid summer weather, bright direct sun and of course some fertilizer has the tree growing abundantly.
It won’t be ready for show this year, but with all its good growth, it should be looking good next year. Shown here after a restyling.