C&ABONSAI
Newly Registered
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2006 2:02 am

Bonsai from the woods?

I would like to try an idea...
Can I go out to the forest and dig a baby tree and make a Bonsai?

If so, can I do this now? What season is best to dig and repot into a Bonsai pot?

What would be required?
Do I have to trim the tree?
Do I have to wire the tree?
Do I have to cut the roots?
Can someone explain the soil, where should I get the stuff for the soil?

Just an Idea, to try to create my own?
Has anyone been sucessful?
By the way I live in Illinois...

Thank you for your advise!!!

Sharp
Senior Member
Posts: 139
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2005 4:42 pm

Re: Bonsai from the woods?

C&ABONSAI wrote:I would like to try an idea...
Can I go out to the forest and dig a baby tree and make a Bonsai?

If so, can I do this now? What season is best to dig and repot into a Bonsai pot?

What would be required?
Do I have to trim the tree?
Do I have to wire the tree?
Do I have to cut the roots?
Can someone explain the soil, where should I get the stuff for the soil?

Just an Idea, to try to create my own?
Has anyone been sucessful?
By the way I live in Illinois...

Thank you for your advise!!!
Yes, people do this all the time. Finding suitable plants to dig up can be hard. Alot of times they will air layer a branch (process of taking a branch and creating roots for it to stand alone on) but this takes time and isnt for beginners.

An advantage of doing this includes finding a tree that is native to the climate you are in, which is easier to raise. You most likely will have to wire it, which is fun but of course depends on the specimen you use.


Edit: Ps, please make sure you have permission from wherever you are taking it from. If its private property you can get in a heap of trouble. ;)

C&ABONSAI
Newly Registered
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2006 2:02 am

Sharp,
I think I will try it ... is there any special pot I should use?
Do I have to trim the roots??
I have 1 acre of forest that I own so I can try to find it out there. (It is my property) :lol: LOL
Any advise...

Sharp
Senior Member
Posts: 139
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2005 4:42 pm

Well hrmm, ive never done this myself but some tips I guess would be....

Find something that has smaller leaf size.
Something that you think has potential, and wont just end up looking like a potted shrub.


Generally if you are finding something near your home then its going to be a great outdoor tree, so don't force it to be an indoor.

C&ABONSAI
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Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2006 2:02 am

Sharp,
Thank you!
Ya, I'll keep this outdoors all year long... I will be posting pics of my progress...(I hope)

So I should go get a pot and screen for the bottem.
Try to create some sort of soil mix 70%nonorganic and 30%organic.
Pot the tree and see what happens...

Wish me luck! LOL

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Gnome
Mod
Posts: 5122
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:17 am
Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

C&A,
You wrote: Can I go out to the forest and dig a baby tree and make a Bonsai?
Yes you can but this defeats the purpose of collecting trees. If you are willing to accept a young tree then go to your local nursery and purchase one. The whole point of collecting is to find something that is exceptional or at least better than what you can purchase. don't overlook overgrown landscape trees and shrubs that are growing in your neighborhood. There are millions of such plants that are discarded every year. Two summers ago I found about 2 dozen Privets at the local dump that had just been dug and discarded, and today I got a line on 50 or more 40 year old Barberry.
You wrote: So I should go get a pot and screen for the bottem.
Don't make the mistake of putting recently collected, or young trees either, into bonsai pots, it will only slow down the recovery/growth of the tree. Proper pots are only used after your trees have reached a certain level of development. Collected trees especially need a substantial recovery period before they can be worked.

Norm

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Gnome
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Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:17 am
Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

C&A,

A little more information for you. Most species should be dug in the spring. Go out and look now and mark any good material with ribbon or something similar. Some larger trees can take several years to safely collect. Collected trees are placed either in the ground or into growing boxes.

These are wooden boxes larger than bonsai pots but not excessively so. A good box can be constructed from 1x4 or 1x6 lumber with a slatted bottom covered with screen. The pot should be sized to suit the specific tree that you intend to grow. Since you probably will not know what the conditions of the roots will be until you dig the tree, it may be best to plan on putting the tree into your garden to regain strength for a few years.

Use the time between now and spring to read up on collecting, soil composition, watering techniques, etc. Here is something to get you started.

[url]https://www.bonsai4me.com/AdvTech/ATcollectring%20trees%20from%20the%20wild%20W%20Pall.htm[/url]

[url]https://www.fourseasonsbonsai.org/allthereis/soil.htm[/url]

Norm

the collecter
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Location: Nj
Contact: Yahoo Messenger

I DO THIS ALL THE TIME


As you can tell from my username I collect trees from the wild.




The is how I do this:
1. I go into the woods, or find a sapling (usually within 2-3years of age) that I am allowed to dig up.
2. Once the tree is selected I use a garden spaid to dig around the roots.
3. I pull the tree from the loosened soil (taking as much of the root system as possable - this gets the tree through shock faster)
4. I use general topsoil I buy from a nursery
5. I pot it in a regular flower pot
6. I water daily and just let the tree do it's own thing for a while
7. I finalize it - putting it in the garden or a bonsai pot


I have collected many trees like this and most of my trees show little signs of shock and they get over the shock easily.


I started doing this with unwanted Poplars I found growing in my yard, the expariment worked and I've been doing this same thing with most of my trees...it works out quite well if you don't have the money for a bonsai tree but still like the art. The Japanese and Chinese have been getting trees from the wild for thousands of years so why can't we? The answer is simple: We can!

There is no conventional way to bonsai



something that happened to me:
I picked a Mimosa from the wild and after I pulled it I realized that I didn't get alot of the root system...rather than leaving it there on the ground I took it anyway. I thought this tree was going to die. Without firtlization I potted it in a regular flower pot...the leaves fell offand it appeared dead to me, rezembling a stick in a pot...this tree I've now had for about 2 months and I am now seeing results of new growth and rapid growth.

what I'm getting at is you'r trees might look dead, leave them, water them daily, they migh come back around



getting trees from the wild is an easy way to bonzai - you just might not know what kind of tree you are getting - so research as much as possable abouot native trees in you'r area

that's what I do and I now have about 20 native trees I took from the wild
The world would be much more peacefull if every one had a Bonzai

femlow
Senior Member
Posts: 127
Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2006 1:37 am
Location: 5a - Maine

I would suggest figuring out what species it is and what kind of root system it has before trying to dig it up. When I first started, I decided I wanted an oak, and I found a tiny, cute little oak and started to dig around it. I had no problem getting roots that went out to the side, but I soon realized that the taproot on this tiny little tree (at most 6 inches) went down more than two feet (in pretty dense clay and me with my little garden trowel), and cutting the taproot can risk pretty serious infection. Since then, I have always looked up the root systems of whatever tree I am trying to collect..

fem

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