kllkll
Newly Registered
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2016 6:04 pm

where to purchase a pre-bonsai tree?

Hi, I'm looking to buy a pre-bonsai tree at a reasonable price. I would be grateful for any help. Links would be especially helpful. Thanks

imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11273
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: where to purchase a pre-bonsai tree?

Where do you live. It helps to know that. If you are thinking to keep the plant indoors, think again most bonsai are outdoor plants. Some can adapt to indoors but others cannot. Your choice depends on how you keep them.

Ficus are good in or out, they are fussy about changes in light but can adapt
Junipers are outdoors only
Citrus - need very bright light but can come in in winter
Schefflera can in or out
You can also bonsai flowering shrubs like azaleas
Pines
desert rose
geometry tree
jade

Almost any plant with a long life, small leaves, and a small root system that takes well to root pruning qualifies.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

tomc
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2665
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 6:52 am
Location: SE-OH USA Zone 6-A

Re: where to purchase a pre-bonsai tree?

Any tree destined for bonsai training could just about be any tree if you understand some of the caveats. The tree you will start with will be based on its stump first. A tree that back-buds will make this smoother. Rule out cork barked trees as a starter.

Short internode length (or reducable internode length) is important to you.

Where in the world are you? Almost all trees will live at a minimum a significant part of their year out of doors. Please amend your signature line to give a state-provincial and USDA witness.

A hearty tree for me in SE-OH (USA) zone 6-A might be a bald cypress, yezzo spruce, boxwood, Japan maple, juniper, any elm. Those will do to start.

Some of these can collected from local to-you remodeling as bigger stumps. Or with permission locally. I might try Brent Walstrom's evergreengarden works for rooted cuttings, for tinier or rare trees to train. Seek out your local Rhody club for hearty (or tender azalea).
Think like a tree
© 2016 Invisable Inc.

kllkll
Newly Registered
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2016 6:04 pm

Re: where to purchase a pre-bonsai tree?

I live in southeaster PA. I think my zone is 6-A also.

tomc
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2665
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 6:52 am
Location: SE-OH USA Zone 6-A

Re: where to purchase a pre-bonsai tree?

Then you want to amend your signature line with that data.
Think like a tree
© 2016 Invisable Inc.

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: where to purchase a pre-bonsai tree?

There are some on-line sources for pre-bonsai trees. I have never bought from any, can't give recommendations:

https://wigertsbonsai.com/store/index.ph ... x&cPath=66

https://www.bonsaiofbrooklyn.com/products/bonsaistock/

https://www.bonsaitrees.com/gallery.php?id=10

I suggest you do the research first to decide what kind of tree you want, starting with whether you want an indoor tree or outdoor. "Indoor" trees, like ficus, should still be outside during the warm season, but can come in for the winter. Outdoor trees, like juniper, should stay outdoors year round. After deciding that, you can narrow it down more, do you want something evergreen or are you OK with a tree that is bare branches half the year? Do you want something flowering? Is there a particular look you have in mind (e.g. sturdy, delicate, etc)?

Oak tree bonsai:
Image

Cherry tree bonsai:
Image

Once you have in mind a few trees that you are interested in, then look at the nurseries to see who carries what you are looking for.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11273
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: where to purchase a pre-bonsai tree?

Tom is right short internodes are important. The expert bonsai artists like old trees for subjects. A 40 year old tree though is usually not a beginner tree. It takes a lot of patience and skill to cut down a large stump and a lot of muscle to redirect the branches.

I would suggest you find a bonsai society if there is one near you. Bonsai clubs usually have sources for supplies, tools, and pots and they usually sell starter trees at their annual sales. They will usually have trees that are local to your area.
Bonsai is an art and a skill. While there are many forms and styles, you will have to make unique decisions for styling each plant. The bonsai society mentors are good for helping you to style your tree. Most clubs members bring the trees they are working on to the meetings.

Putting a tree in a pot does not make it a bonsai. Topping a tree willy nilly is not good for any tree.

It takes patience and skill to do bonsai. Notice the trees in Rainbows pictures. The oak is a formal upright. It could use some maintenance trimming but it has the upright pyrimidal form and notice on the oak and the cherry tress that the branches are in layers with alternating braches in th opposite direction. Notice that the trunk in each case is featured. If the oak was trimmed a little more of the trunk should be visible. The cherry tree has had part of the bark removed to give it more interest (lightening strike) the trunk on the cherry undulates a little. Cherry trees are only in bloom for a short time and they spend half the year naked so keep that in mind if you get a deciduous tree.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

tomc
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2665
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 6:52 am
Location: SE-OH USA Zone 6-A

Re: where to purchase a pre-bonsai tree?

Free-cycle or a craigs-list can be an avenue for free remodel stumps with more age on them to work on than the little rooted cuttings you can afford to buy mail order. My recommendation is to do both. Get and keep alive a bigger stump or three, and grow out some groovy starts.
Think like a tree
© 2016 Invisable Inc.

imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11273
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: where to purchase a pre-bonsai tree?

Some of the mall sai are not really bonsai, they are more topiary if you look closely enough. Mall sai are good if you want a topiary tree and you get one that hasn't been sitting in the mall for a long time.

For beginners learning the basics, I would actually start looking for trees at landscape nurseries. You can get some decent stock shrubs and trees there. Again you will be looking for something that has bonsai potential and for the first six months or so you would just be keeping it out in the yard finding the best location for it and getting it acclimated. It will give you time to study the tree and decide how to style it. Bonsai masters take the time to study a tree and think about what would be the result from making each cut. You have to decide which branches can be taken off, which to keep, how far to cut back and where that branch is going to regrow so you can direct growth and wiring. Even wiring takes time since the branches have to be flexible enough to bend without snapping and weights may be needed to hold the branches in position. Wires have to be removed before they cut into the branches. Bonsai also have to be well fed, root pruned and repotted anywhere from every 6 months to a year or two depending on the plant and the size of the pot.

A good beginner tree for me would be one that is very forgiving about watering. Shrubs and trees with small leaves and flexible branches are better. Evergreens are easier than deciduous trees. Some trees and shrubs lend themselves to certain styles and don't require much pruning and you can get away with doing more pinching than pruning. These would be small jade and geometry tree. Flowering shrubs and trees are harder to bonsai and I would say they are for more advanced students. Junipers are good for cascades but they need to be outside they don't live long indoors. Ficus do not like light changes so you need to find a permanent spot for them. Ficus has very flexible branches and are easy to bend. Ficus can be trained into a few different styles. Schefflera is another good starter bonsai for an indoor bonsai.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

Return to “BONSAI FORUM”