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Getting started with nursery stock

Posted by catalina_101 UK (My Page) on
Sun, May 6, 12 at 5:33

Hi there, I have what may seem like a newbie question, or a beginner question, but I hope you can share some wisdom with me.

I have been accumulating a few little plants to practice on, including a sloe berry tree, a Berberis atropurpurea nana, a little Euonymus winged spindle, two 1-2 year old maple seedlings, and a few others. They're cheap and I like them, so why not. :)

There are two things that I find really difficult, both relating to chopping off the top (as I scientifically call it).

1) in a few of my little pre-bonsai, the tops have been quite aggressively chopped, leaving a big (1") flat stump at the top. I really have no idea how to approach this. Should I leave the plants to grow on, thicken out, or is there something a person does to smooth that out?

2) in the maple and crabapple saplings, they still have the apical tip growing away merrily. Is there a point at which I should cut that off to force branching? Or should I let them grow on in a nice deep pot and thicken up so I can then clip and get the branching started?

Sorry again if these seem like silly questions, but everyone has to start somewhere. :)


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Getting started with nursery stock

Kat, I'm curious how your trees are doing. I have seedlings coming to me from Arbor Day. Most of them will be used for bonsai, and I'm a novice as well. 10 Colorado Blue Spruce, 2 White Oak, and 1 Red Maple. Most of the seedlings will be small enough (6-12 inches) to be manageable for bonsai, but the White Oak will be 2-3 feet tall. Guessing I'll have to just use 5-gallon containers for the White Oak.


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