bonsai from SEED...yes SEED!

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bonsai from SEED...yes SEED!

Post  stagz on Tue Sep 04, 2012 10:54 pm

so ive been reading so much lately about how people dont advise growing from seed due to the fact that it takes to long and youll die before anything decent would be created. well i decided since im at the ripe age of 23 im gonna grow a plethora of species(exotic and common) so that when i am your guys age (people saying dont do it) ill have amazing material to work on at very little cost to myself other than the initial investment in some seeds. if anyone has pics of material theyve grown from seed i would love to see and hear about it as motivation. i think i can make some beautiful stuff, with all this time on my side...

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Re: bonsai from SEED...yes SEED!

Post  JimLewis on Tue Sep 04, 2012 11:22 pm

I don't think anyone says NOT to grow from seed. They just also suggest that you find something else to do while you are waiting. And waiting, and waiting.

I suspect every one of us who has been growing tiny trees for a while has planted a seed or two.

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Re: bonsai from SEED...yes SEED!

Post  Poink88 on Tue Sep 04, 2012 11:33 pm

In 20 years you may have a nice tree from seed...BUT...if you start with a descent stock now...IMAGINE what you will have in 20 years. Think hard then let me know when you figured it out. Twisted Evil

Your time...you decide how to use or waste it. No right or wrong way...but between the two, there is a better way.

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I second this request!

Post  JustLikeAmmy on Tue Sep 04, 2012 11:37 pm

I'd love some additional insight into this as well, and coincidentally am also 23!

I'm interested in planting from a seed to give myself a 2nd tree to take care of with more of a chance, as I'm raising my Juniper indoors, which is difficult.

Reading Poink's post, it makes me curious exactly how long it takes to get from seed to....maybe 6-7 inches tall?

I bought my Juniper from a stand and it was labeled "5 year old Indoor"--and it's a decent sized mini-looking tree, maybe 6 inches. Does that seem reasonable from a seed? But considering he labeled it 'indoor' as well as potted it in terrible soil, and it was only 24 dollars...I'd wager he just guessed or even cultivated it somehow from a parent.

I really love my tree and enjoy caring for it very much, but I'll be bitter with that salesman till the day I die for making my first bonsai tree so hectic to deal with by misinforming me so much just so he could make a quick buck. </bitterness>

cheers


Last edited by JustLikeAmmy on Tue Sep 04, 2012 11:39 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : woopsie mistake.)

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Re: bonsai from SEED...yes SEED!

Post  Poink88 on Tue Sep 04, 2012 11:41 pm

Depending on the species...you can have 6" in a year but what size trunk? Maybe 1/8" thick...another 1/8" the following year? How long will it take to have a 2", 3", or 8" trunk?

It depends on your goal...if you are happy with what you'll get, then plant away and enjoy the journey. Smile

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Re: bonsai from SEED...yes SEED!

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Wed Sep 05, 2012 12:01 am

Hee hee, haa, haaa,
Growing from seed or small cuttings.

Started bonsai at around 18 years of age and am now 50.
Trees usually show maturity around 10 years of age. and just get sweeter. Started some Black pine seeds this year and about 10 Tamarindus last year with about 30 more this year.

If you want fast results, grow a faster growing tree, Celtis, Serissa, Ulmus for say the cooler climates and Fukien Tea, Tamarindus, or Gmelina for the Tropics or maybe a Japanese black pine for both climates.

The trick is get about 5 very good, almost finished Bonsai to show off and ease that strain off of having to prove yourself to the viewer.

I am not a believer in collecting trees until you have at least 5 to 10 years growing experience under the belt.Too much impatience and the desire to pot in a Bonsai Pot. Bad for the tree.
Plus to really take a tree you have to remove a % of the soil around the tree and add your own mix [ when taking a prized specimen, why take anything less ?]

Seeds/cuttings are not difficult and you get a much more intimate view of the tree.
They are not really that slow, just know how much soil you can use in a pot, pot type plastic or earthenware and when to put into a raised bed.
Open ground prepared for growing is fine, but use a colander to control the removal of your plant.
BUT a raised bed allows you the laziness of sitting and pruning the tree and I am lazy.

If the tree type has roots that grow on the surface, then you need to pay attention to how you develop those surface roots first, even before you think about the branches.
Keep your [ try and draw or other the design you have in mind] design simple, generally 6 branches will give a good volumetric tree.
Know the thickness of the trunk you want and grow as say 1/2 an inch to the finished size. The tree in a smaller container will slow down on trunk thickening.

Also grow at least 10 or 20 seeds of the same tree, then nothing is that precious. Lots of experimenting and do take written notes.Memories will fail.

For me as a Fine Artist, I start with a blank canvas, and create a world. A seed or cutting will be the same for me.
See my trees in the personal gallery.
Later.
Khaimraj

From 3 leaves [ seedling] 80's

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Re: bonsai from SEED...yes SEED!

Post  MikeG on Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:58 am

I've only been into bonsai for 3 years now. I planted a whole bunch of seeds at the beginning and been having a great time with them. Sure the largest is only half an inch at the base, but working on the root spread is great experience. Think it gives a better appreciation of the time and effort put into pre trained older stock, purchased from a nursery.

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Re: bonsai from SEED...yes SEED!

Post  Steven on Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:17 am

JimLewis wrote:I don't think anyone says NOT to grow from seed. They just also suggest that you find something else to do while you are waiting. And waiting, and waiting.

I suspect every one of us who has been growing tiny trees for a while has planted a seed or two.


I have to agree with Jim, especially when so many sites and retail products push growing bonsai from seed, it is easy to see how people loose interest in the hobby if they are waiting on a seed to mature into workable material. This is why I started with nursery material, and some collected. That is not to say that I do not encourage growing from seed, I myself have around 150 seedlings of various exotic (or at least to my location) trees and shrubs growing because I enjoy it. Now I do also have to say many of the species I grow form seed or seedling are faster growing species because lets face it I wont live forever lol. Either way have fun with it, but like Jim says you are going to want something to play with while you watch your seeds grow.

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Re: bonsai from SEED...yes SEED!

Post  Poink88 on Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:19 am

Khaimraj Seepersad wrote:I am not a believer in collecting trees until you have at least 5 to 10 years growing experience under the belt.Too much impatience and the desire to pot in a Bonsai Pot. Bad for the tree.
Plus to really take a tree you have to remove a % of the soil around the tree and add your own mix [ when taking a prized specimen, why take anything less ?]
I totally disagree. In your scenario, I shouldn't have 70% of my trees right now. If it didn't work for you, it doesn't mean it won't for others. Wink

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Re: bonsai from SEED...yes SEED!

Post  bonsaisr on Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:28 am

JustLikeAmmy wrote:I'm raising my Juniper indoors, which is difficult.
I bought my Juniper from a stand and it was labeled "5 year old Indoor"--and it's a decent sized mini-looking tree, maybe 6 inches. Does that seem reasonable from a seed? But considering he labeled it 'indoor' as well as potted it in terrible soil, and it was only 24 dollars.
Moral: Don't buy bonsai from a stand. Buy from a reputable nursery. For $24 you could have gotten a healthy specimen from a garden center & trained it into a bonsai.
Your juniper was started from a cutting. I doubt if it was grown from seed.
Regardless of the label, it is not an indoor tree. Put it outdoors now in the shade, gradually into the sun if you have time. Leave it outdoors until night temperatures go down into the twenties. Then find a cool place around freezing to keep it for the winter.
Iris

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Re: bonsai from SEED...yes SEED!

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:36 am

Dario,

the wink is confusing Laughing

All I was trying to say, and since Internet attention spans are very short, was I have seen too many folk new to Bonsai go out and collect, and kill, and collect and kill and collect and kill..............
If they controlled the urge to collect and usually show off in a Bonsai pot, instead choosing one exceptional specimen[with the aid of an experienced person ] perhaps they might learn something.

I won't get into the illegal aspects or the green hat collections I have seen. A collected tree normally just gets a green dressing [ the hat bit ], and really isn't anything to crow about, save the collector has a good to excellent eye for design.

I tend to admire those that can really design, be it seed/airlayer/cutting or just some amazing do over.

Probably ruffling your and other feathers, but I would rathe be honest with you, than add icing to it all.
Later.
Khaimraj

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Re: bonsai from SEED...yes SEED!

Post  Poink88 on Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:57 am

Khaimraj ,

I know what you mean but you are generalizing.

I do admire people who have the vision and can design as well. No ruffled feathers here, just disagreeing and discussing. I am straight shooter as well (hardly sugar coat) so I appreciate the same from others.

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Re: bonsai from SEED...yes SEED!

Post  Guest on Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:53 am

[quote="Khaimraj Seepersad"]Hee hee, haa, haaa,
Growing from seed or small cuttings.....


Now you got the discussion you wanted!

hehehewink Wink wink Wink wink Wink


regards,
jun Smile


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Re: bonsai from SEED...yes SEED!

Post  marcus watts on Wed Sep 05, 2012 7:00 am

absolutely perfect plan to start growing from seed.

Now the reality check - they need to be in the ground and all recieve training and pruning basically every year or you will just have a forest of ordinary trees.

I look back to my 20's -since then I've had 3 wives, 5 house moves, lived in Australia, lived in England in 3 locations and walked away from all the semi trained material I started from seed with good intentions many years ago

You also need to get plenty of practicle experience in bonsai techniques so will need to work with better material while you wait. I certainly would consider putting the money from the seeds, pots, soil and time etc into one better tree. In 25 years time the trees that look expensive to you now will seem less so, it is all very relative.

start some seeds as part of the learning process for sure, but you have a full adult life ahead to live, you wont be dragging 100 stumpy trees around the country / world with you as you go Very Happy -

have fun tho,

marcus

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Re: bonsai from SEED...yes SEED!

Post  my nellie on Wed Sep 05, 2012 10:22 am

Khaimraj Seepersad wrote: ... ...See my trees in the personal gallery... ...
Yes, dear stagz. See them and get yourself a lesson of love, patience, vision, persistence.... and much more.
I think that Dario is on the other side..., something like "I do want it and I want it now". This is a different view and absolutely acceptable by all means.
Poink88 wrote: ... ...Think hard then let me know when you figured it out... ...
Dario, I am also interested in stagz reply Very Happy
I am also growing some seeds as from last September (water jasmine/wrightia religiosa). I also have some wild cherry/prunus avium kernels which are still in stratification phase. My japanese larche's/larix kaempferi seeds did not germinate... and I'm 59 Very Happy

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Re: bonsai from SEED...yes SEED!

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Wed Sep 05, 2012 11:57 am

Jun,

Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing

Alexandra,

there is joy that comes with growing seeds, that is similar to creating an imaginative world on canvas. I didn't get that in either 94 or 96 when I spent 3 months apiece in the U.K and bought elms,fukien teas, serissas and others to take home.Cost was not a problem either.

I am not much of a I want it now person and I enjoy being adaptable.

I lived abroad for a total of 5 years, 2 in the US and 3 in Italy, my trees stayed in the troughs surrounding the house and the maid/yardman watered them for me, though I did go home from Italy for summer, but not the US.

I expect until I die,I will grow seeds,it is way too enjoyable.Plus sometimes seeds can break boundries.As I am able to do with Japanese Black pines,I was able to do with a Japanese White pine, for 3 years,until the leaf cutting ants killed it.
I will try again, the entire earth was once supposed to be Tropical,and I figure the genes are still there,just dormant, waiting to be awakened.
Later.
Khaimraj

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Re: bonsai from SEED...yes SEED!

Post  stagz on Wed Sep 05, 2012 10:29 pm

ahhhh i love the discussion here. it all honestly arrived from an earlier post from JUN, and he said to start a different thread about growing from seed. that then "planted a seed"(punn intended) in my head and so brought this on. i just want to clarify to everyone i dont plan on starting a farm of seedlings. im talkin about mabe like 10 here people. and i completely know you can start from decent stock and in twenty years have something even better than starting a seed now. but thats not the point im trying to make here. im not looking for a debate on wether i should or shouldnt... im going to regardless. i understand the time and dedication its gonna take and what the end result could or couldnt be. and dont get me wrong, i have more stock now than i can shake a stick at, so i have plenty of projects to work on while i wait for my seeds to grow grow grow. this is more intended to be an experiment to see what i can come out with it said number of years, and curious to see if people had done it and what their outcome achieved. this forum has some crotchedy old timers! haha i love a good heated debate though!

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Re: bonsai from SEED...yes SEED!

Post  stagz on Wed Sep 05, 2012 10:36 pm

i also feel that by growing from seed i can have pretty much total control over certain aspects of the plant, and be able to manipulate certain things to achieve an even greater tree in the end. sure i can use one of the many pieces of stock i have and create, but when u can make changes to a plant at such a young stage, you can control the end result alot better. and after 20 years have a tree with amazing qualities because you were able to form them over a long period of time and not in 3 years of grafting etc etc etc. like ^ said " its like painting a canvas

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Re: bonsai from SEED...yes SEED!

Post  marcus watts on Wed Sep 05, 2012 11:38 pm

haha,

yes, of course you have total control over the material - it means the final outcome of the material is only as good as you are of course, - (everyone grows seeds and cuttings when they get bored, they make airlayers when they realise it is better).

The entire hobby is a cycle ....First its 1 tree,then 3 trees, more more more trees - then they all look total rubbish as the entire yard is full of plants you havent the time to look after or the money to repot and fertilize properly. Then you see a good tree one day and it sinks in that 30 of yours would equal the work to keep one proper one - so 90% of the plants you thought were bonsai are ditched and you end up close to where you started, but you do need the pile of rubbish to learn on - I know people who tried to skip this stage and they often ruin expensive nice trees.

Your most sentimental tree will be from a seed, your best tree probably not though as convincing bonsai suggests great age through bark, texture, ramification and colour - ignoring tropicals, nothing under 40 years has really true signs of maturity - - one you see and touch 80+ year old pine bark, see the weathered cracks and fissures in a juniper trunk that has sat for 200yrs or more in the elements you will know seeds are for mother nature.

have fun though - its the best path to follow to truely appreciate the real trees

marcus

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Re: bonsai from SEED...yes SEED!

Post  fiona on Thu Sep 06, 2012 9:38 am

You could always do what I have done with seed-grown trees and that is use them for landscapes and group plantings where you can to an extent get away with slimmer trunked trees. Have sold most of mine on now and don't have pics so have nothing specific to show you I'm afraid.

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Re: bonsai from SEED...yes SEED!

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Thu Sep 06, 2012 11:25 am

Hmm, and I kinda figured this would not be a positive discussion on how to effectively grow seeds in Bonsai Trees.

Well Jun, as you already know, that's why I left the Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing

Listen, the way it all works is like this,

Clay is free as are Stoneware glazes [ ash, sand, clay] you may have to buy some colour from probably Mason Stains, but they cost very little.
You can make your own kin as the ancients did. Still no real cost there.

Soil is free, compost [ gasp ], and just sifted sand or porcellainite [ natural crushed red brick ] and I doubt there is any place in the world that bad, and devoid of components to make a freely draining soil.

Design and trimming techniques can be had from Library books. No cost there. Plus you have two eyes and even if you cannot sketch, there are cameras/photos and tracing paper.

Tools, I use a small pair of scissors, a simple saw, secateurs and when I bought my concave pruners it was just $20.00 US [ Masakuni ]
When things are not popular, cost is usually low.

For thinly trunked trees, just use coarse soils and allow for very long extensions.
There is enough information on growing seeds to remove all known problems.See the Japanese or Taiwanese for visual proof.

You are expected to amass at least 300 efforts, if you are going to get any good at really growing/training Bonsai trees.
Nothing big there.

Fertilizer. Cost - oh get real - coarse ground growing, you get the stuff by the kilos for very little.

Here is the real problem - convenience --- which leads to laziness --- which leads to negativity.

Answer - as already stated --- buy 5 good specimens or so - if you really have to show off or you are expecting to turn your hobby into a career and make money.

If you are like me and started young --- 40 years would just make me 58.
The price you pay for being indecisive when young about your life.
I made up my mind to be a Fine Artist at 14, and was an apprentice until I was 25, and I also started pottery a bit before Bonsai.[ I still dig and refine local clays]

In other words, once you start early enough in Bonsai ----- TIME ---- has no meaning and this is my hobby, nothing more. I can sit back and enjoy.

So if you want to grow seed and are just a bit impatient, either go to the Library or talk to a person who is acknowledged as experienced in the craft, and guidance can be found for faster growing trees, that show age at an earlier stage.
It just requires a little preparation. Like the coarse growing soil.

I can promise an amazing sense of achievement and satisfaction.
It is as the Nordics say --------- a man is not a man until he has physically buit his own home [ which I have also done.]
Be positive please guys.
Later.
Khaimraj [ see my avatar ]

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Re: bonsai from SEED...yes SEED!

Post  Poink88 on Thu Sep 06, 2012 12:13 pm

Khaimraj Seepersad wrote:Be positive please guys.
And I thought we are. It is a matter of choice and we are telling/showing him the other side. No one told him not to do it...there is just the "time for money" thing on play. Also there is the matter of potentially creating yourself a masterpiece (or a junk) over decades. If it worked, great...how about if it didn't? Decades wasted?

I cannot match what mother nature creates and I actually try to choose from thousands (maybe millions) of what she made that I can afford or have access to. A block of stone has all the potential in it...but not all can sculpt it to a masterpiece...sometimes it is better to leave it as a block of stone. Starting from a seed is the same. Me I start with most of the rough carving done and just try to refine it. Saving me decades in the process. Maybe it is not exactly what I want and I like & enjoy the challenge it gives me...makes it more exciting and a good learning process. Most of the time, what I get is better than what I want anyway. Nature is really better than me (oh yeah, this is a repeat, LOL).

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Re: bonsai from SEED...yes SEED!

Post  Guest on Thu Sep 06, 2012 12:24 pm

Khaimraj Seepersad wrote:Hmm, and I kinda figured this would not be a positive discussion on how to effectively grow seeds in Bonsai Trees.

Well Jun, as you already know, that's why I left the Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing

Listen, the way it all works is like this,

Clay is free as are Stoneware glazes [ ash, sand, clay] you may have to buy some colour from probably Mason Stains, but they cost very little.
You can make your own kin as the ancients did. Still no real cost there.

Soil is free, compost [ gasp ], and just sifted sand or porcellainite [ natural crushed red brick ] and I doubt there is any place in the world that bad, and devoid of components to make a freely draining soil.

Design and trimming techniques can be had from Library books. No cost there. Plus you have two eyes and even if you cannot sketch, there are cameras/photos and tracing paper.

Tools, I use a small pair of scissors, a simple saw, secateurs and when I bought my concave pruners it was just $20.00 US [ Masakuni ]
When things are not popular, cost is usually low.

For thinly trunked trees, just use coarse soils and allow for very long extensions.
There is enough information on growing seeds to remove all known problems.See the Japanese or Taiwanese for visual proof.

You are expected to amass at least 300 efforts, if you are going to get any good at really growing/training Bonsai trees.
Nothing big there.

Fertilizer. Cost - oh get real - coarse ground growing, you get the stuff by the kilos for very little.

Here is the real problem - convenience --- which leads to laziness --- which leads to negativity.

Answer - as already stated --- buy 5 good specimens or so - if you really have to show off or you are expecting to turn your hobby into a career and make money.

If you are like me and started young --- 40 years would just make me 58.
The price you pay for being indecisive when young about your life.
I made up my mind to be a Fine Artist at 14, and was an apprentice until I was 25, and I also started pottery a bit before Bonsai.[ I still dig and refine local clays]

In other words, once you start early enough in Bonsai ----- TIME ---- has no meaning and this is my hobby, nothing more. I can sit back and enjoy.

So if you want to grow seed and are just a bit impatient, either go to the Library or talk to a person who is acknowledged as experienced in the craft, and guidance can be found for faster growing trees, that show age at an earlier stage.
It just requires a little preparation. Like the coarse growing soil.

I can promise an amazing sense of achievement and satisfaction.
It is as the Nordics say --------- a man is not a man until he has physically buit his own home [ which I have also done.]
Be positive please guys.
Later.
Khaimraj [ see my avatar ]


Explain, explain explain...I'll just watch and sit by the bench and have some popcorn. I'll watch your back LLB...just shout, when you can't handle it anymore...I'll give you moral support then.

regards,
jun Basketball Basketball Basketball Basketball Basketball Basketball


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Re: bonsai from SEED...yes SEED!

Post  marcus watts on Thu Sep 06, 2012 12:35 pm

nicely put Khaimraj - as mentioned earlier the trees grown from seed with be extremely satisfying.

The absolute essential point though is whether the guy is hoping to end up with truely high quality grade A+++ bonsai trees from his seeds? it reads like he is hoping for that outcome just through having control from the very first stage - but 10, 50 or 100 seedlings may not yield even one good tree.

Within a single tree species individual specimens randomly show better characteristics for bonsai while many are poor - bark colour & texture varies, node lengths vary, leaf size also , needle quality - some long, some curly etc.........the list goes on and on yet the seed packet would have the same species name. Look at how tridents vary from course thick growth and rubbish ugly leaves to the finest varieties with fine growth and neat, even leaves. Crenata (beech) can have big yellowy leaves on thick shoots and sludgy green/grey bark and the other end of the scale is snow white bark, glossy dark green leaves and nodes of less than an inch. Palmatum seeds...........99 % will be just garden trees or average bonsai at best - you want great spring colour, small even leaves & petiols , nice bark colour, fine twigs, and fine Autumn colour. There is much more to creating really high quality finished bonsai than getting some seeds, sitting back and hoping.

You could sow the seeds, tend and train them for years and realise they are actually poor genetic bonsai material, time wasted on learning ? No....time wasted if you were hoping for an eventual master piece? Yes.

Every tree we get be it seed, cutting, layer, dug up or purchased needs totally realistic self honesty - what do you want it to be & can you achieve it.

Who on this forum has a proper show worthy (lets say National level), (or beautifully refined if you dont like shows) tree they grew from seed ? it would be nice to see them.

cheers Marcus




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Re: bonsai from SEED...yes SEED!

Post  Rick36 on Thu Sep 06, 2012 12:42 pm

Me? I'm just happy with all my little trees - seedlings, cuttings, layerings, findlings - the lot.
There's room for everyone in this hobby (or business) - Japanese inspired purists, American modernists, all nationalities, all styles and stylists. All levels.
But then, what do I know? I'm one of these old curmudgeons I read about on this forum a couple of days ago.
Do what is good for you - but do it.
Cheers.

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Re: bonsai from SEED...yes SEED!

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