tomc
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Can you buy your way to bonsai bliss?

I got a son-in-law he's a likeable enough bloke. I have a nasty habbit of keeping bonsai. Um this is sounding more than a little like a 12 step meeting.

"My name is Tom and I am powerless to resist training tree babies"...

Any way the SIL leaf prunes when ever he thinks I'm not watching. This is a habbit I aim to reinforse.

I have always sought to forage my stumps instead of buying them. I stumbled into bonsai collecting trees nobody else wanted, and stayed with it mostly in that manner.

I got a lead on some upright yew via freecycle, which I still might collect.

Yesterday I went to my local service station to get a new bottle of propane. They had some landscapers onsite who were ripping out an autumn olive, and boxwood hedge.

For the cost of begging they set aside and I took two of the boxwoods. This was mutually agreeable and free.

I spent the next four hours chopping the heck out of these substantial bushs so that they could be wedged into 15 gallon tree-pots. I got about an 1/8th cord of brush to chop as a result.

We'll see if SIL wants to keep up with initial pruniing of these monsters. I wish I hadn't let daughter move her pottery wheel off to a workshop space. It'd come in real handy as a turn table about now... :lol:
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manofthetrees
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ha ha i seem to have caught the same bug...i think im going to run out of yard if things keep going like they are ...me and the kids do alot of bike riding/hiking and i spot material all of the time .( i have 12 picked out for the spring ) there is also the 10 foot blue spruce next door .the lady hates it cuz its crooked ...long story short its mine in spring... no kids there is no more room for the pool i promised :shock:

tomc
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Some of my larch are on decline. This is the southern frontier for them. if they succumb I will not be venturing to Maine to collect more.

I disremember exactly now, but I seem to recall that anthracnose is dust-borne and the cause of decline.

Box however likes it nigh the appalachia.

Edited to add: that I have a couple trees on decline is a valid (not really) reason why its OK to rummage up more trees...
Last edited by tomc on Fri Sep 21, 2012 11:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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tomc
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The pots and the stumps were free. The soil I used is specific to bonsai; so even though I buy it by the 50#. there is about $ 8.00 worth of dirt around their feet.

If they survive this very unseasonal transplanting I'll be in for about four bucks a tree.

Edit: still can't spell
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tomc
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I see more than a couple newer growers who stay with attempting to train too small mass market nursery stock, or growing their trees out from seed.

By themselves sapling or seedling stock is a waiting game. When I see very juvenile trees (trees, not the growers) being styled. The grower is disregarding what they have read about bonsai.

Impatience has kicked in, and futile labors are going on. Stop wiring twigs. Take a deep breath. Go find a nice fat stump nobody else wants.

One big enough that even when dropped into a stolen shopping cart, the cart wants to tip over. Wheel that puppy home and get it in a box or landscape pot.

If you collect one a these logs a year and start coppicing them down to bonsai, your babies will get a chance to bulk up.

Some will be less desirable stock, but still worth the learning experience for wiring, airlayering, and plain old styling practice.

I am not the sharpest crayon in the box. All the good advice I'm shoveling out here was pushed on me. For exactly the same well intentioned reasons your getting it now.
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tomc
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My new leaf pinchin' son-in-law spent a couple hours top pruning his new boxwood.

Oh he's gonna be so stuck on this...
Last edited by tomc on Fri Oct 05, 2012 1:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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manofthetrees
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I am not the sharpest crayon in the box
haha that means youve just made some colorful pages :wink:

my colection ranges from a stick in a pot right trough to why did i dig this huge thing up . ive been playing with mame sized stuff lately. a 3-4 year old tree can be made interesting at such a small size . i really don't care either way if my trees become "show quality" maybe a few ,but im not one to follow strict rules and i'd probubly get thrown out for unruley conduct :lol: . i have just loved trees since i was little and now i have 15+ species on a 1/4 acre of land and if i move they can come with :D

oh yeah, congrats on passing on the bug, i ended up infecting my father...
bonsai zombies ...need trees,mooore trees

tomc
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MOT, Old Zeko Nakamura's little mame with their obligitory pack o Lucky Strikes stood up next to them, have seduced me at least twice into attempting his style. It takes about ten years to forget how disastrous the last go was.

So I think I have another couple years grace before I fall on my face with this particular endeavor again.

I was sure I had the wrinkles pressed out of this with an automatic timer to water with. wrong !

Put Tom on the sad list...
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manofthetrees
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yeah id agree it can be alittle frustrating... i found just putting them in a full shade spot during the summer stopped the " i looked at it an hour ago and it was fine" problem.they do suffer alittle bit due to the lack of sun but perk back up towards the fall and seeing i only have used found trees and not purchased ones makes it a little easier when they dry up

tomc
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Because I forage trees. Not every kinda neet-o tree falls at your feet every time I (at least) go lookin'.

My present accomodation is to slightly under-pot some Texas Ebony, that I grew out from seed. My justification is underpotting them will keep them small (it does).

And their very small compound leaf pokes my eye for uber minature size. IMO they too big already to keep Zeko Nakamura's ghost happy. But its close enough to keep me smiling on a twice a day watering schedule in August.
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manofthetrees
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thats all that matters with all the crap in the world nowadays something that makes you smile i think is more precious than gold...even though a big lump of gold would surely bring the pearlies out :wink:

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It don't take much to keep me entertained. A nice Yankee I know sent me a dormant rooted sweetfern.

Now Comptonia probably isn't the ideal bonsai. But with a wide enough tray and a very sandy soil mix it will minaturize some.

It will enrage the straights who will be sure it is pot (its not), it will elicit lust in hippies, who hope its pot (its still not).

It will entertain me as a harmless (and drugless) cousin to bayberry that it is.

I've never tried keeping it this far south, I may be too far from its home range. But I do aim to try.
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manofthetrees
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cool what a neat plant always looking for something different in the garden.
looks to be a zone 2 so you shouldnt have a problem keeping it alive. they like acidic soil if you didnt know already (4-7ph). it may need a larger than normal pot being a rizome tho...
my father has a j. maple that passes as "the pot" so maybe i can get him back on the "holy crap dads growin pot" thoughts i had . :lol:

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Yea MOT, a green leafed dissectum might if you've never seen a good photograph look a little like pot.

Tom shakes his head; the stuff we do for entertainment...
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tomc
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A Texican I know was wanting a shade tree tough enough to live in her yard. So I rustled up some Osage Orange fruits to make a few seedlings.

Some for my aquaintence, some for me. They went into a germinaing pan broken up, against a spring awakening.

I had a couple of these at the tail end of my old residence, and they were looking a little like candidates for tray training.
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tomc
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Spring is drawing nigh. Much like autumnal leaf rustling this can be a very feast-or-famine supply.

Good stumps to look for at trash-day curb-side could be blueberry, boxwood, quince, apple, pear, prunus, holly just to name a few.

You can ask the owner if it'll make you feel better; however they did put it on the curb for removal.
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manofthetrees
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i have been contemplating putting an add in the paper for headge removal...i fugure i could make some extra $$$ and if the bonsai gods so choose pick up a few choice specimens :D

tomc
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MOT I'm a lazy old cripple. I keep a sharp eye out for landscapers and guys with powertools.

If they're willing they dig for me and don't have to haul stuff to the tipping station.

Win win.
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manofthetrees
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i think i like your idea better, knowing me ( i have trouble throwing out ficus cuttings) my backyard would be nothing but trees and shrubs.i wont even kill a tree for christmas. me and my wife debate over the ethics of christmas tree farms every winter ...i still have the plastic one :lol:

tomc
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If you add a really affordable tree every couple years, and your planning on living past the age of 19. It don't take that long before you have a heck of a lot of trees...

Ask me how I know ;)
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manofthetrees
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well im well past 19,but have been growing bonsai for only 7 years now.at last count i have 53 trees. granted half of them are in the ground and only a few are really specimen grade but more are still to come you can bet on that :D



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