RobynsBonsi
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Bonsai Noob

Hi there, this may sound like a stupid question to you BUT,
Is there a right way to germinate a bonsai seed?

I just put one seed into soil (in a pot and lightly watered) and I'm hoping for the best (I did not use them all in case that was a stupid idea).

I'm (hoping to be) growing a "Japanese Flowering Quince Chaenomeles Lagenaira" (I just put the whole name from the packet).

I also have a pack of "Larix kaempferi Japanese Larch".

Any helpful information will be greatly appreciated.x
I realise that my name is misspelled. My keyboard gives me a lot of greif, I don't need it from you :3

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Gnome
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RobynsBonsi,

Yes bonsai can be grown from seed but it is a rather long process with no guarantee of positive results. There really is no such thing as a bonsai seed, your Quince seedling will just be a Quince seedling. The qualities that allow a plant to become a bonsai must be imparted by the grower.

I always like to start as many seeds as possible in order to increase my chances of success. Success not only in germination but also survival through the fairly harsh treatment that they will surely receive in their first few seasons. Early root pruning helps to establish a proper nebari, or at least the potential of such. It is not uncommon to lose young plants during this process. Then there are any number of things that can go wrong, from insects to herbivores, I've even had birds pull up seedlings.

To make matters worse not every plants seems suited to our purpose. Naturally occurring genetic variation is such that some just don't seem to cooperate. Of course this implies a greater effort on your part. At each re-potting they will require more medium and more space. More pots means more to water and fertilize. Then there is the aspect of proper training and each species has it's own idiosyncrasies.

Bonsai from seed is not as easy as it sounds.

Norm

kdodds
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GRRRR.... lol.... and landscapers. %^$%@^#$

Just came home to find my JMs in-ground hacked to bits by a weedwacker. %^&%$^#&

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manofthetrees
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take it as a unwanted styling they should grow back...unless they were literally to the ground. i just found 4 plum suckers that i have been mowing over for 5 or so years. they are in pots now and doing well. im always amazed at a trees resiliancey

kdodds
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Oh, no, these were all ½" or less whips, one of which was earmarked as a landscape tree. Chopped the the ground, shredded to bits. Heck, it even looks like they pulled some out by the roots. ^&*$^# weedwhackers. The worst bit is, they don't whack areas that SHOULD be whacked. <end of hijack>

tomc
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Re: Bonsai Noob

RobynsBonsi wrote:Hi there, this may sound like a stupid question to you BUT,
Is there a right way to germinate a bonsai seed?
For me starting bonsai from seed or seedling is an adjuct to training bonsai. it adds ten to fifteen years to the front of start-up for trees. I often start dozens if not hundreds of seeds when I do them.

Tree seeds do not store well dried. I prefer tree seeds I know (by picking fruit-cones) are fresh in the late summer and promptly potting seeds in soil suitable fast draining. I will leave them out of doors with minimal protection for germination the following spring.

Trees being trees, means they live just about every moment of of 24-7-365 outdoors. Tender trees onlt come indoors when it is too cold for their heartyness.

If you do not have greenhouse space, starting from seed is probably not something I would try at my work station in the office...

Mike Dirr writes encylcopaedic books on the care of trees, you might want to check one out from your local library.
Think like a tree
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kdodds
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And... both Quince and Larch are temperate, deciduous trees. You'll have to check your zone on a UK/European zone map as I am not familiar with non-US zones.

Sow all of the seeds. "Saving some for later" virtually guarantees that those stored seeds will not germinate, as already stated. Besides, not all seeds will grow to seedlings, not all seedlings will become saplings, not all saplings will become trees and not all trees are suitable for bonsai. Working one lonely seed virtually guarantees failure. Killing 9/10ths of your seeds at some point is probably inevitable. Killing trees in bonsai is not failure, it's part of the hobby. It's the 1/10th that measures success.

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