Developing bonsai from seed or cutting.

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Developing bonsai from seed or cutting.

Post  PeacefulAres on Fri Apr 18, 2014 12:24 am

I know there are a few growers on this site who enjoy taking the scenic route. For those of you who do, I'd appreciate it if you would delve into the process by which you create a great tree from a seed or cutting. And please, no philosophical debates. I don't want this to turn into a discussion of the efficacy of starting bonsai from seed or cutting, but rather the techniques and tools used to achieve that goal.

PeacefulAres
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Developing bonsai from seed or cutting.

Post  JimLewis on Fri Apr 18, 2014 1:30 pm

It depends on your goal, but the key with seedlings or cuttings is time -- lots of it -- and patience. If your goal is a tree that is bigger than a shohin, it will take more of both. It also depends on the species and your environment. In Florida, you may have an advantage from a (near?) year-round growing season. So, I think we need more info on your plans.

_________________
Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

JimLewis
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Developing bonsai from seed or cutting.

Post  PeacefulAres on Fri Apr 18, 2014 9:51 pm

Thanks for the comment Jim. I actually wasn't looking for specific advice, as much as I wanted to read opinions on the subject from various people. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like a lot of people were eager to share their secrets  Razz 

The trees I am attempting to grow from seed are Chinese elm, Zelkova, Siberian elm, Osage Orange(all started last year), American elm and two species of Celtis. When I planted seeds last year, I followed the directions I had read from several people on how to grow from seed. I cut the taproots and spread the lateral roots, and placed the seeds on flat surfaces. I still got some ugly roots on a lot of trees. So this year I had to do a lot of ground layers to correct those problems. With the seedlings I've collected this year, I'm trying the seedling cutting technique to see it I'll get better results.

I don't have any specific plans for these trees. I'm just going to attempt various techniques on them to see if I can create nice, natural looking bonsai. Some will probably be left in the ground for a long time to grow wild, while others will be placed in colanders or pots to receive more regular attention.

PeacefulAres
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Developing bonsai from seed or cutting.

Post  appalachianOwl on Sat Apr 19, 2014 1:47 am

i myself am still in the seedling proccess. throw a couple through cds or anything for that matter, this will cause a layer effect and give ya a bit of a flare. Seen this work quite well for a buddy this year. good growin

appalachianOwl
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Developing bonsai from seed or cutting.

Post  MichaelJ on Sat Apr 19, 2014 2:51 am

Growing elm from seed, some techniques to make the tree more interesting:

Twisting. Take your seedlings and wire dramatic bends in the trunk early on, or wrap a thin seedling around a stick to coil some movement. Then prune branches that emerge in places that do not fit the bends on the trunk.

Clip and Grow. Once your No. 1 branch is in place, clip everything back to one pair of leaves and let the new branches grow out. Once they get to 4-5 pairs of leaves, clip them back to a pair. Repeat for many growing seasons.

Thickened Trunk Chop. Plaint them in the ground and encourage tall growth. When the trunk gets to be maybe 1.5 to 2 inches thick at 6-8" from the soil (maybe just a couple of years depending on your climate), do a straight trunk chop and let the new shoots build a broom style foliage canopy.

Boxing. Consider planting some of your seedlings in a grow box, then covering the top with a fine screen. Let them grow like that, hitting the top and then contorting every which way as their upward growth is thwarted. Next winter, remove the screen and evaluate the trees, then clip as you deem appropriate and re-cover them.

MichaelJ
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Developing bonsai from seed or cutting.

Post  Vance Wood on Sat Apr 19, 2014 3:01 am

PeacefulAres wrote:I know there are a few growers on this site who enjoy taking the scenic route. For those of you who do, I'd appreciate it if you would delve into the process by which you create a great tree from a seed or cutting. And please, no philosophical debates. I don't want this to turn into a discussion of the efficacy of starting bonsai from seed or cutting, but rather the techniques and tools used to achieve that goal.

There have been several articles in both Bonsai Today and International Bonsai magazines over the years that chronicle the process over several year.  I do not now remember which volumes of which publication to point out to you.  The real problem here is the parameter you put to your question, in stating that in which is created a great tree.  I guess at this point it depends on what you mean by a great tree but I hardly see the process taking anything less than 15 years.  By the way; I used to grow a lot of things from seed.  You will have better luck producing a decent tree with things like Maples and some other deciduous trees, conifers take a good deal longer.  I'm sorry if you consider this too philosophical.

If you wish to really get into this practice you will have to learn about super feeding and seed coat scoring. Seriously; I doubt will find anyone qualified to help you.

Vance Wood
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Developing bonsai from seed or cutting.

Post  PeacefulAres on Sat Apr 19, 2014 4:19 am

Vance, by a great tree, I only mean a tree that most people would be happy to have in their collection. I don't necessarily mean a world class tree, or anything like that. I appreciate your opinion, though.

MichaelJ and appalachianOwl, these were the kinds of suggestions I was looking for. Thanks.

PeacefulAres
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Developing bonsai from seed or cutting.

Post  jgeanangel on Sat Apr 19, 2014 12:09 pm

just a small tip...when planting seedlings don't plant them straight up and down...plant some of them at a significant angle...45 degrees or so. It is pretty boring if all your trunks emerge straight from the ground. I also use Cds for root base development...be careful to control the strongest roots...otherwise 1 or 2 roots will get very large and out of proportion with the rest...next go round I will be digging mine every spring to work on the roots.

John

jgeanangel
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Developing bonsai from seed or cutting.

Post  DonH on Thu Jun 05, 2014 8:55 am

There are several people online that are experimenting with "Trunk Fusion" were they use 120 seedlings in some cases, and tie them to a wire mesh mold to create a thick trunk within 5 to 6 years. Depending on species some may be quicker or slower at fusing, the website is Fusion Bonsai and the guys name is Greg Wentzel.

DonH
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Developing bonsai from seed or cutting.

Post  JimLewis on Thu Jun 05, 2014 1:48 pm

I prefer using cuttings, and I try to get th largest branches possible to root; nothing less than pencil size -- more if possible.

_________________
Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

JimLewis
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Developing bonsai from seed or cutting.

Post  appalachianOwl on Fri Jun 06, 2014 3:36 am

DonH, that sounds creepy, to me. Hey if that is what your in to, then go for it though. Jim, do you mean for fuseing purposes?

appalachianOwl
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Developing bonsai from seed or cutting.

Post  MrFancyPlants on Fri Jun 06, 2014 3:58 am

I'll report my experiences w a fusion of seedlings.. They always looked awkward as the variations of bark foliage and growth habit never go away between the different trees (others on this forum warned me, but I tried anyways.) Now a fusion of cuttings from the same tree makes some sense.
I've also I had mixed luck with the turnicate method on some wild elm seedlings. Sometimes it works great, but I didn't document well enough to hone the technique properly.

MrFancyPlants
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Developing bonsai from seed or cutting.

Post  JimLewis on Fri Jun 06, 2014 1:09 pm

 Jim, do you mean for fuseing purposes?

No, to make individual plants.  

Azalea from cutting.




Juniper from cutting:



_________________
Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

JimLewis
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Developing bonsai from seed or cutting.

Post  Randy_Davis on Fri Jun 06, 2014 3:18 pm

PeacefulAres,

I appreciate your interest in this subject as it has been a life long approach of mine to create miniature natural looking trees that mimic what I see in nature.  Being a grower, I have done most of my work with seedlings or cutting grown material. After almost 50 years of what I consider playing, I have come to the conclusion that all of the techniques that you've read about or seen first hand can be used to execute the vision of the tree you have in mind.  I for one, never start a project with a specific tree but rather a mental vision of a tree that excites me such that I want to attempt to execute that vision and then find a tree that I have to begin the process.  It doesn't always work that way, sometimes I am watching a block of trees (of the same kind) just growing them on like one sees in a nursery and maybe one or two of them at some point in their development kindle the fire in the belly of a previous vision and that starts the project.  Natural tree design in my estimation does not necessarily follow some of the more common tenants of "Bonsai".  Nature is diverse, messy and somewhat random which can be a curse or a blessing depending on your ability to stay true to your vision or submit to the vision of others.  All that being said, Jim and Vance are quite right that time and patients are required.  Starting from small seedlings or cuttings, Vance's 15 year figure is just the beginning.  What I mean by that is, I have trees (deciduous or broad-leaf evergreens) that are that age that are just beginning to look natural and some of them will require an additional 10 or 20 years to reach the vision of the tree that I had in the beginning.  My only comment here is to learn as many techniques as you can by playing and then use them as required.  Techniques are just tools to use to execute the vision.

Randy_Davis
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Developing bonsai from seed or cutting.

Post  Sponsored content Today at 12:54 am


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