Where to buy Shimpaku as bonsai starter

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Where to buy Shimpaku as bonsai starter

Post  trucdan on Sun Oct 19, 2014 6:42 am

Hi all,
This is my first post so forgive me if the question is not appropriate.

I am new to bonsai, and most of the advices I got is: start with Shimpaku.

However, it seems impossible to find shimpaku, at least in San Francisco Bay Area. I have visited a few bonsai show, and only saw a few shimpaku. I search many nurseries in Bay Area, but found none. The only place which I found shimpaku was Lone Pines Garden. But they only have the big ones which cost $80 a piece.

I really want to know where do you find Shimpaku bonsai starter.

Thanks.

TD

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Re: Where to buy Shimpaku as bonsai starter

Post  fiona on Sun Oct 19, 2014 11:24 am

Why not start with something that grows well in your area and you can pick up for next to nothing at a garden center or is an unwanted garden plant. Once you are sure you can do the basic techniques, then move on to something a bit more advanced. Maybe someone from your area can advise on that.

Dunno about your area, but over here $80 IS a starter price for a shimpaku of any size and quality. :;


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Re: Where to buy Shimpaku as bonsai starter

Post  Precarious on Sun Oct 19, 2014 2:02 pm

your question is appropriate.  Can you tell a little more?  Are you experienced as a gardener?  It seems a silly question, but are you confident you can keep a plant alive?  I wasn't when I started. Embarassed   Do you want something you can spend a lot of time maintaining, such as pruning and wiring and watering up to twice a day, or are you busy and want something a little more carefree?  There really is, anymore, something for just about anyone.

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Re: Where to buy Shimpaku as bonsai starter

Post  JimLewis on Sun Oct 19, 2014 2:30 pm

Any Chinese juniper cultivar (of which Shimpaku is one) will do as well. Look for one which has a wide base and a trunk with nice movement. And PLEASE remember that all nursery junipers do not need to be turned into cascade bonsai!

As for the money, despite those who say that any plant can be a "learning experience," it is so very true that you can't make a silk (or even a cotton) purse out of a sow's ear. Good stock leads to good trees.\

Also, please remember what time of year this is. It is not the best time to be doing a lot of bonsai work on a tree unless you really know what you are doing. You probably can do some top pruning, and maybe some wiring now in the SF area, but leave any repotting or root work until next spring.

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Re: Where to buy Shimpaku as bonsai starter

Post  augustine on Mon Oct 20, 2014 3:52 am

Evergreengardenworks.com. Mail order for trees works well. This business is reliable and in Ca.

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Re: Where to buy Shimpaku as bonsai starter

Post  Colin Lewis on Mon Oct 20, 2014 5:43 pm

Trucdan,
If you're new to bonsai, perhaps the first lesson to learn is that $80 is not expensive for a starter shimapku.  

Unlike many people, I do not recommend learning on small, cheap plants for three reasons:
- First, they are much weaker than more mature plants and are less able to tolerate the abuse of bonsai training, especially when done by someone who is inexperienced.
- Second, larger, more developed material provides opportunities to learn and practice far more techniques, on a far more realistic scale, and with a feasible design in mind.
- Third, if you learn with cheap, small plants they become regarded as 'sacrifice' trees - trees that you almost expect to die, which they usually do. When you start this way, there is a likelihood that you will continue this way for a long time, if not always, because all you have really learned is how to kill a young plant. If you begin with material that represents a reasonable financial investment, you learn to care, and that is the most important lesson of all.

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Re: Where to buy Shimpaku as bonsai starter

Post  M. Frary on Tue Oct 21, 2014 2:37 am

Exactly how big are those $80.00 Shimpakus? I paid $125.00 for one with a 2 1/2" trunk. Thought it was a good deal.

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Re: Where to buy Shimpaku as bonsai starter

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