So I got this at a nursery thinking it was unique and was very good price… I don’t know what to do with it, it looks like it could be just a landscape tree but , I wonder if it is bonsai worthy
It certainly could be used for bonsai. Do you have ideas for what you want the tree to look like down the road?
I decided to plant in ground as a landscape tree and just let it grow
If you give it some shape before planting it, it could develop some nice characteristics for bonsai (or a nice landscape tree) in the future.
Honest question how can younger people who are interested, be able to attain great material? When we’re working , saving for a mortgage etc. I mean Is nursery stock ever good in your eyes? I have found some good young nursery stock , and am looking at peoples posts online to dig up unwanted trees, friends in landscaping who remove trees contacting me and getting permission to collect on private land. How else can we do all these high level things if younger people have limited monetary access to pines that are worthy or further ahead than just a nursery buy
Being younger you have a great advantage! You can develop younger material into excellent pre bonsai for very little cost and limited time commitment. Additionally as you learn how to do this properly you will gain insight and technical skills that will allow you to make the most of quality material. Excess pre bonsai can be sold to acquire older more advanced material.
If there is a will, there is a way.
Right , but it’s discouraging sometimes to see Ryan Neil and the like with their awesome collected trees, when I’m trying to contact places to get access and with no responses. And I can’t afford anything that wouldn’t be budgeted to what I’d spend on groceries. I know it takes patience, know-how and getting connections. But finding places to look or who are responsive is tougher than bonsai itself to me.
Life’s chapters have varied beginnings and endings. I have found it is best to focus on opportunities at hand while waiting for future possibilities. There have been many decades in my life where resources were scarce except for essentials, I suspect that is the case for the majority.
Even collecting high quality material comes at relatively high cost after permission is obtained. Travel, fuel, accommodation, meals, and the cost of adapting material for two or three years before one can begin to style and develop Bonsai.
Sometimes the reality can be discouraging! I am not aware of any shortcuts, sorry.
As far as contacting people, try the old school method, knock on doors get some face to face time with land owners. Not sure of your location so do not know what agencies or corporation may assist.
I’m located in Lehigh Valley Pennsylvania. I submitted a permit to collect for “research” for state parks and forests. I’m looking at the Tamarack Swamp , and Leatherleaf Cranberry Bog in Tannersville PA. Also looking for permission in Pocono state parks or Tioga State Park. They all have pitch pines, Virginia pines, Black Spruce , and Tamarack. Probably red pine as well. Also to my delight I got permission this weekend to tour a tree farm in along the Blue Mountain range in PA… the owner said they have a good amount of non-Christmas tree stock that could be what I’m looking for, like aren’t upright or not straight and under 5ft. So I’m excited for that, and hoping my application for permit is accepted for the state of PA too … stopping by Natures Way Bonsai in Harrisburg as well.
I’m not looking for shortcuts… In my opinion and I could be wrong , people that have been in Bonsai rather than enthusiastic and excited at younger people getting into it… are very cautious of newbies because they’ve seen people fall out of it. But although it’s not my full time job, I want to cultivate and grow this to maybe a side business or a small backyard nursery one day. That’s my goal, but I’ll always have my 8-5 job for stability. I want to put the work in , and get in the trenches seriously. But I guess it’s just eye open to how pricey it can get and knowing how to control progression I’d say.
To answer the above question about bonsai on a shoestring budget: yes, nurseries sometimes have good, and occasionally great, material at low cost. It’s not always easy to find, and it requires discretion to identify it, but there are definitely good starting points out there.
By connecting with a group of people who excavate trees you’ve covered an obvious starting point that also has the possibility to yield good results.
High mountain collected trees are just one kind of bonsai - a popular one, but just one of many ways to start a great bonsai.
Frank’s suggestion to start developing your own material checks several boxes: it’s an inexpensive way to get started, it teaches the skills needed to work on higher quality trees, and in many cases, the results aren’t actually that far out.
And as for being greeted by less than enthusiastic people in bonsai, that tends to be more of the exception rather than the rule.
Thanks for the suggestions guys , I appreciate it. Now I’m thinking about it, there are two trees I should probably re-wire. Is this acceptable to re-wire a tree ? It was an earlier tree that was styled and now that I wired more trees, it’s lacking good wrapping around the tree and there are gaps in it.
It’s perfectly fine to re-wire trees, but proceed with care as re-wiring can lead to damage depending on the extent of the work and the care taken with the wire application.
Hi James. I just wanted to share my two cents on this! I don’t know your age but i’m myself in my twenties and only a year and a half into my bonsai journey. I have about 15 young small trees none of which are of very high value, or size. However I love them all and find them all to be awesome. Because when i look at them I see the past (how it looked a few months ago) the future (how I wish for them to look) and the now (how it looks at that very moment i’m looking at them) and I find that beautiful in every aspect. Fact is neither you or me are ready to have or work on such high quality trees that Ryan Neil, or Jonas Dupuich (shoutout jonas), or Mr.Kimura have. I have personally realized since I started my interest for bonsai that the further you dig into the subject the more you realize how deceivingly deep it is. It’s beautifully simple to the untrained eye, a tree in a pot, yet almost overwhelmingly complex. It seems that both you and me are both at the stage where we have plenty to learn from just cheap nursery material. (i have even gone to the park and dug up little fieldmaple seedlings and put them in a pot and wired them. I might be living in a fantasy, but I personally think that these trees that I have started will with time and with growing experience and skill, all become beautiful trees. (That obviously being they survive, and if not it’s properbly for the best it wasn’t one of those mulity-thousand dollar trees) So maybe just slow down and if you can learn to see beauty in just a seedling in pot, or your first seed you have germinated yourself i think you are on to a good start.
ps other option is going to japan working your ass off for 6 years and as an apprentice and you can scratch everything i just said
Great tips, just think, do you want to be the one to climb a mountain, find an awesome 200 year old tree, dig it up and bring it home and kill it? I dug one up from across the street, probably over 50 years old since when the house was put in, did the best I could and it looks like it’s dead, it wasn’t the right time or method but it was going to be dug up and thrown away, will make a great tanuki and live on with the rest of my trees.
Go kill a bunch of $10 trees and have fun and learn, success doesn’t come before the work.