Can you form Bonsai from trees in the ground?

flowergal15(6)May 27, 2011

Is there such a thing as forming bonsai from trees planted directly in the ground? This pictures shows a little tree, some kind of conifer, growing in my grandmother's flower bed. Could it be formed into a bonsai? What would be the first steps?

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jastitizer(zone 7)

Well, bonsai literally means "plantings in tray", so having it in the ground would kind of defeat the purpose, but I suppose it could be done. The picture is kind of small, but from the looks of it, it appears to be quite small. You'd want to develope a strong trunk first by letting it grow out for a couple years. From there, you can start styling, using and accenting the tree's strong aspects. Do you know what species it is?


    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 12:43AM
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mike423(5 IL)

Yes, in fact most Bonsai in japan are placed in the ground for up to 50 years or more to grow and become more developed all while being refined and shaped before they are dug up and the finishing refinement processes are taken. Trees that are ground grown will develop at an exponential rate compared to those in a pot and will have better health and vigor.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2011 at 5:25PM
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Mike is right. Leaving a tree in the ground and shaping it is a sure way to get a nice specimen. I have grown wisteria and bald cypress this way for a number of years. What I have done with the trees was to place a large piece of plastic or clay dish on the bottom of the hole where I plan to plant the tree.This is to keep the tap root from going too deep.

Patience is the key and if you wait a minimum of two to three years, you can see the trunk has expanded and the shape is making it look like a bonsai in the ground. A wisteria grown from seed will require at least four years to bloom. Afterwards, you pick the right time of year to dig it up and plant it in your bonsai pot.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 5:02PM
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You can apply your bonsai styling skills to the trees and shrubs that you need to control in your yard. Pruning the fringe of trees into shorter and more appealing shapes is much easier than trying to cut them out by the roots. If you have ever lived on the edge of a woods you know how hard it is to keep it from encroaching into your space.Vigorous but thoughtful pruning can turn it into a permanent bonsai style landscape. Keep them short and expose interesting trunks and be mindful of the color in the fall.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 10:47AM
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Some bonsai sites offer growing bags for in ground growing while confining the roots to a certain extent. Often times specimens collected in the wild are then placed in these bags and planted in the new location to grow and also to minimize shock for a period then transferred to training pots and then the permanent pot. I found that B 1 shock minimizer works well when transplanting

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 6:22PM
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