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Finding trees in the wild

Posted by nicholiarelius NC (My Page) on
Fri, Jan 12, 07 at 17:20

Since my current trees wont be workable for years, I was thinking I'd go in the woods and find a tree to use. I live in the backwoods so there are tons of trees everywhere. My questions are:

What should I look for in a potential bonsai-in-training?

How tall is too tall? Can I get a tall thick one and cut it back? Wouldn't that be ugly?

Can pine trees make pretty bonsai? I've seen hundreds of them on the ride too and from University.

When would be a good time of the year to dig one up and transplant it? Do I place it in a pot or in the ground again/

Any other tips would be great as well :)

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Finding trees in the wild

Hi, you're asking questions that have huge answers, and I seriously think you need to get hold of a lot of reading material (try - 'Bonsai books'/Used) as we've all had to do along the way. There are no short or easy answers to some questions, though we can give you some, but that would be cheating you. Pines are not beginner bonsai... ('bonsai articles) is one place to learn a lot, as is reading everything by Vance Wood (particularly about mugos), or Michael Persiano (all googlable and on the net). There's no 'too tall' per se... but that's not really the right question. You can cut many trees back, but again .... Collecting requires specific knowledge of immediate and long term aftercare for survival... so read up on it all.

RE: Finding trees in the wild

Nicholiarelius, despite the fact that collected trees (the Japanese term is "Yamadori") be more appropriately-sized for immediate bonsai training, you will have to realize that they are not ready to undergo any drastic training right away. They too have a "waiting" period in which the tree recuperates from its removal. Some species respond better/quicker than others, but even that can change according to the conditions it was previously growing in, the way it was removed, and the effectiveness of the after-treatment. It is not uncommon for people to not touch (styling-wise) their trees for a few years after collection to allow them to regain their vigour. After that, then styling can be done more safely.

My tip would be to focus on developing your bonsai skills on nursery stock. From things as "simple" as watering appropriately, to wiring skills (not even as much about the styling aspect), to trimming, root-pruning, etc., all these will be invaluable when you tackle on larger, more ambitious projects such as collected material.


RE: Finding trees in the wild

  • Posted by rjj1 Norman OK Zone7 (My Page) on
    Sat, Jan 13, 07 at 8:27

Both give good advice.

I have some collected material from spring of 2005 that will finially have a little work done on them this year. This is not a hobby to be rushed. You have to work within the timeframe of what can safely be done with a certain species depending on season and current conditions of ther plant.

If you are wanting to collect material, read up and do it wisely. It's a great way to end up with a nice tree, but learning on nursery stock is also a good start.


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