Hi, I'm new to the forum. I was originally intrigued by bonsais in 7th grade, when my science teacher had someone bring their collection into school and talk to us about them. After that enough of us were interested that he set up a field trip to take us to the closest bonsai place (Bonsai West in Littleton MA) where we all got a bonsai (Benjamin Fig) and a lesson on pruning/potting. Surprisingly, I've been able to keep that tree alive for the past six years, although I did kill the $10 one I also bought while at Bonsai West. I am now a freshman at Umass Amherst (studying Mechanical Engineering) and recently renewed my interest in them in a visit to the greenhouses on campus. (They have a small collection of bonsais there among an amazing variety of other plants)
I would like to start my own collection and would like to start basically from scratch. I would like to grow trees basically from the seed or close to it. My question to you guys is how to best go about doing this. I also would like to know what species are best for it and/or if any species can be made into a bonsai.
In the courtyard between a couple of the greenhouses are two magnificent European Beeches. They are enormous. I asked the guy in charge of the conservatory there how old they were and he said that they were estimated to be somewhere over 100 years old. I would like to create a bonsai European Beech if possible. He said I could take some of the seedlings that were popping up under/around the trees. How should I go about this/what should I put them in/how should I grow them?
I was reading some articles that have been linked to in recent posts
and I am thinking that I should find a good place to plant them in the ground to let them grow for at least a few years before trying to limit them to a pot.
I read a bit about European Beeches on Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_beech) and this part under habitat worries me a little. Ã¢â‚¬Å“The role of the mycorrhizae in the growth of the European Beech is important. Without mycorrhizae, it often does not develop well.Ã¢â‚¬