Starting a bonsai from wild saplings

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Starting a bonsai from wild saplings

Post  kitdiot on Tue Apr 08, 2014 10:52 pm

I recently went out into the woods and dug up a few plants; a cedar (I think), a couple oaks, and a box elder (I think). Some of the trunks are of decent size to start a bonsai, but they are much too tall. Can I just cut it down to size? Will more branches grow lower on the trunk? Also can I prune the upper growth at the same time I prune the roots? Also, how should I prune? I'm obviously just starting out and would greatly appreciate any advice. Thanks!

kitdiot
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Starting a bonsai from wild saplings

Post  appalachianOwl on Tue Apr 08, 2014 11:51 pm

I think the wise descision, pot them up and let them recover a year or a couple. A bit of what can be passed on though from experience and research... If the "cedar" you refer to is Eastern Red (juniperus virginiana), it is acually a juniper. From what I understand most of there strength lies in the foliage, and will be stressed if 20% is removed, a healthy one no more than 50%. Let that one be and get strong for at least a season. No expeince with Oaks, have read they are a little root sensative though. Got nothing on Elder, hope others can help. I do emphasize the opening statement either way Wink. Good growing to ya!

appalachianOwl
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Starting a bonsai from wild saplings

Post  kitdiot on Wed Apr 09, 2014 12:30 am

In addition to my previous post- If I find a suitable young tree for bonsai in the woods should I begin pruning it where it is or should I dig it up and move it to a pot? Also what size tree should I be looking for? The ones that have a nice trunk size are usually fairly tall (2-4 ft); I'm afraid about pruning, it feels like I'm just massacring a pretty little tree and I'm worried I'll just be chopping down trees instead of pruning for bonsai. I'm also a little unsure about how to get a pleasing taper if I prune down a sapling.

kitdiot
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Starting a bonsai from wild saplings

Post  kitdiot on Wed Apr 09, 2014 2:04 am

Just a bit of background on me- I'm 27 and have always loved nature, especially plants. When I learned I could grow a miniature full sized tree I was hooked; I'm pretty sure bonsai is magical. Only recently I've decided to start bonsai(ing). I have some seeds starting out in the fridge so in a few years I'll have some questions on those, but for now I want to get my hands dirty and start with bigger plants. My idea is to go out into the woods and find a slightly stunted young tree. I'm not sure when I should start bonsai(ing) a young tree. I've heard to let them grow, but to what size? Where? How? How do I/can I make a tree shorter. I'm also not very familiar with plant terminology so please use layman. Right now I'm not looking to grow the most beautiful bonsai ever created, I want to create a 1 foot tall mature looking tree. Can someone also explain how and why the leaves eventually grow smaller? If someone could do like a 10 step very brief tutorial on how to start a bonsai: step one- find a suitable plant, it should... step ten- you now have a bonsai tree, keep up with trimming and shaping as necessary.
-Much more to come.

kitdiot
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Starting a bonsai from wild saplings

Post  fiona on Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:59 am

Hi. Your enthusiasm is encouraging and the best of luck to you in your new hobby.  

Perhaps the following will help:

kitdiot wrote: If someone could do like a 10 step very brief tutorial on how to start a bonsai: step one- find a suitable plant, it should... step ten- you now have a bonsai tree, keep up with trimming and shaping as necessary.

This particular wheel has been invented plenty times already and it is simply a matter of finding it.  If you go to this section of the forum (http://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/f17-forum-operation-faqs-and-tutorials)  you will find several topics that will assist you as a beginner.  There is a Getting Started thread and there is also a very useful one on beginner books. There are some on bonsai techniques and there are some on basic horticultural principles which is equally important at this stage for you. There's no point in doing a fancy styling if you dont know how to keep the tree alive.  You could also look at loads of stuff on the web, but be very careful on this as there is as much absolute garbage out there as there is good stuff.  Two that we recommend are mentioned at the end of the Getting Started thread.  

As well as reading reading reading, we strongly advise people to go along to a bonsai club and watch and learn. The people there are best placed to give you the hands on experience to back up your book learning. This, along with going to decent bonsai shows, lets you see what good bonsai look like. You will find they are many miles removed from the little trees you get in garden centres and hardware stores.

Last point, and I am making a plea to you here:  Please can I ask that you don't go out into the woods and dig stuff up at this point. Collecting trees from the wild is an advanced skill and should really only be done by those who have that skill.  At the very least you need to know exactly what you are digging up or you leave yourself open to killing it because your uncertainty over what it is means you can't know what its growing requirements are (the first lesson - never collect or buy anything if you don't know what it is.)

Looking back to my first, inexperienced attempts, I know that pretty much all of them subsequently died because I didn't know what to do with them. The bottom line is that it was really just very selfish of me to go and dig them up; selfish and irresponsible.  There is also the third issue that what you are doing might actually be illegal. Some trees are protected under law, and in most areas it is illegal to just turn up and dig, unless you have the permission of the land owner.

Anyway enough of the lecture.  I'd take a trip to your local garden centre and get some inexpensive material to try you hand out on first.

Good luck with it all.

_________________
"Espouse elucidation"
_____________________________________

my website

fiona
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Starting a bonsai from wild saplings

Post  kitdiot on Wed Apr 09, 2014 5:42 pm

Thanks for the advice, I'll do a little more research before I get started.

kitdiot
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Starting a bonsai from wild saplings

Post  kirk@localbonsai.com on Fri Apr 11, 2014 5:35 am

i would say when in doubt, play it on the conservative side. Year 1, transplant into decent sized training pot with some course soil, cut back the top, but leave the roots. Year 2 let the top grow back and choose your leader branch. Year three, repot and trim the roots.

kirk@localbonsai.com
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Starting a bonsai from wild saplings

Post  M. Frary on Fri Apr 11, 2014 11:09 am

Go with Fiona's advice and try some nursery stock. It will already(in most cases) have a ton of roots to work with. Collecting trees is an inexpensive way to gain material but there is more of a chance the tree won't survive collection. Plus nursery stock is labeled so you know what you're buying. That way you aren't trying to work on trees that aren't suitable for bonsai.

M. Frary
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Starting a bonsai from wild saplings

Post  Neli on Sat Apr 12, 2014 7:44 am

Check my blog I have an article on how to buy material from a nursery: http://nelibonsai.wordpress.com/2013/07/26/how-to-select-material-from-a-nursery/
And read this articles, they will open your eyes: http://www.bonsai4me.com/
Get ready by reading a lot before you make lots of mistakes like me.

Neli
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Starting a bonsai from wild saplings

Post  fiona on Sat Apr 12, 2014 9:11 am

Neli wrote:Check my blog I have an article on how to buy material from a nursery: http://nelibonsai.wordpress.com/2013/07/26/how-to-select-material-from-a-nursery/
A good and very helpful article, Neli, especially for beginners to the hobby.

_________________
"Espouse elucidation"
_____________________________________

my website

fiona
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Starting a bonsai from wild saplings

Post  Neli on Sat Apr 12, 2014 11:15 am

Thanks Fiona...much appreciated...still need to add few things...

Neli
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Starting a bonsai from wild saplings

Post  kitdiot on Fri Apr 18, 2014 7:00 pm

Just an update- THEY LIVE!!! the boxelder I dug up and pruned down is starting to get new growth! And the other ones don't appear to be dead. cheers 

kitdiot
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Starting a bonsai from wild saplings

Post  Neli on Sat Apr 19, 2014 6:18 am

Some time trees shoot from residual energy, but dont have any roots. I wish you best with your first attempt and post pictures ones they leaf out.

Neli
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Starting a bonsai from wild saplings

Post  Sponsored content Today at 9:22 pm


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum