What was your very first tree

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What was your very first tree

Post  Mike Jones on Wed Jul 28, 2010 7:29 pm

Was there indeed a first that actually made it all happen? Discounting the wonderful box with a seed in it that said...'grow your own bonsai,' sucker that I was 27 years ago actually believing it! My first real Bonsai was a purchased Chinese Juniper that had around 50 branches that I reduced to probably 8 or 9. It actually turned out really well but turned its toes up after 15 years.

What was your first then?

Mike

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Re: What was your very first tree

Post  mike page on Wed Jul 28, 2010 7:40 pm

I remember my first formal bonsai instruction was in 1975 in a class tought by a local bonsai practitioner/teacher by the name of Bob Kato. I proudly brought home the 1 gallon pot conifer that I had trimmed and wired into a "formal upright" style.
I was soon deflated. I brought the "bonsai" into the house, my wife took a look at it and said: "What's that? Charlie Brown's Christmas tree?" Sad

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Re: What was your very first tree

Post  Mike Jones on Wed Jul 28, 2010 7:50 pm

Nice one Mike, that will take some beating

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Re: What was your very first tree

Post  EdMerc on Wed Jul 28, 2010 8:38 pm

I suppose mine was back in '86. I had just moved to Florida and knew next to nothing about horticulture (there is a lesson in here kids Smile). I ordered two "bonsai" from a catalog the regularly made it's way to my mom through the mail.

What I recieved in the mail was one scraggly looking juniper (procumbens nana) and one Japanese red maple. The juniper hung in there for a month or so, but not having the slightest idea of what I was doing, I eventually killed it.

The maple was a sadder story still. There is a good chance it would never have survived in this climate anyway, but I never got a chance to figure that out because based on the "wisdumb" of a neighbor I tossed the sappling before I even got to pot it.

You see, it had lost it's leaves in the mail. They where in the box. My neighbor took one look at it and said, "No leaves means it's dead. You got ripped off." So off to the bin it went. Mad

My fault really. I should have done some reading, but what does a sixteen year old know about patience and due diligence?

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What was your very first tree

Post  Guest on Wed Jul 28, 2010 9:59 pm

Serrisa Foetida for me. 1997 was the year, BP petrol station was the place. BP were selling them for £9.99 at the till. There were figs as well but I didn't like the large leaves. Took my prize home, got the usual Rolling Eyes from Bev(wonder how long he'll stick at this one)and I haven't looked back. The Serrisa died within a year.

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Re: What was your very first tree

Post  Tony on Thu Jul 29, 2010 10:00 am

A yamadori oak sapling given to me by a Neighbour which I promptly wired and potted in a 'bonsai' pot, it actually survived long enough for me to give it away quite a few years later... I wonder where it is now?


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Re: What was your very first tree

Post  Kev Bailey on Thu Jul 29, 2010 10:32 am

Aged 12 or so, I spotted some "mallsai" in my local garden centre in about 1967. I was there on a regular visit admiring their cacti. I was a real sucker for any greenhouse plants then and still am now. The little trees (from a North Wales company called Little Timbers) were in 6" mass produced Chinese pots. They piqued my interest, so I looked up bonsai in library books. Very little good information available there then, they hadn't yet bought Dan Barton or Harry Tomlinson's books. A couple of months later, after the trees had died, I bought the pots. A new interest was added to my Cactus and Succulent obsession.

I've still got the pots.

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Re: What was your very first tree

Post  Stone Monkey on Thu Jul 29, 2010 11:19 am

1993 Chinese Elm, had not got a clue what I was doing Evil or Very Mad Died a few weeks later but was hooked. Then Ceramics crept in to my life in 2003 and slowly but surely took over and the Bonsai that I have left, about 6 trees, has slowly taken second place Wink

Regards

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Re: What was your very first tree

Post  wabashene on Fri Jul 30, 2010 11:20 am

Here it is in all its glory

Gave up the ghost this spring - finally!

Rgds

TimR

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Re: What was your very first tree

Post  JimLewis on Fri Jul 30, 2010 3:26 pm

Frankly, my dear, I can't remember that far back. Prolly a J.p.'nana.'

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My first time

Post  Todd Ellis on Sat Jul 31, 2010 1:26 am

My first time... I was 20 yrs old and received the Sunset Bonsai book. I looked at the pictures and dug up a young, bushy, Loblolly Pine. I had a "gaurdian service' Aluminum skillet which looked like a bonsai pot (to me), dug some clay and potted the tree. I put moss in it and had some oriental figurines to make a nice scene. I put the tree on my dresser and proclaimed "I now have a bonsai!". Of course, it turned brown within a month, but being color blind, I wasn't convinced it was dead yet. When the needles started falling off, I knew. I found the Raleigh Bonsai Society that same Winter and started tolearn how to grow bonsai. Very Happy Salut, Todd

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What was your first tree?

Post  growlikecrazy on Thu Aug 26, 2010 11:27 am

My first tree was "mallsai". I spotted it into my little garden. It was a very fine tree. I remembered that it's leaf's was so good and soft.

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Re: What was your very first tree

Post  stavros on Thu Aug 26, 2010 1:59 pm

My first one was a Serissa, bought from a flower shop, 8 years ago. I was told that i should keep it indoors and water it twice a week. After a couple of weeks the poor tree started to deteriorate, losing its leaves and eventually died. I was sad but got hooked up. My first book was Harry Tomlinson's. Since there was no nursery, club or any specialist on the island, i started experimenting with different species, materials etc. It was very difficult during the first few years to find the right substrates, tools atc as i had to import everything myself (i still do, actually).

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Re: What was your very first tree

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Mon Sep 20, 2010 3:59 am

Hmm, I got Peter Adam's book and the Kamuti one, went out to the backyard and dug up a cherry [ malphigia glabra ] with some clay and put it into a Shelltox's plastic cover, with added holes.
It lived and was about 3 inches tall.

About a year later I went off to Art school in the US and it was left with a friend.Two years later I had it back, still 3 inches and in new clay soil - Smile - then a year later I was off to Florence, Italy and it was left with another friend.

When I returned 3 years later, he took it up to just under 14 inches. I am happy to say it is still with me and it is also happy.
[ sub-note - I was rather shocked at the 14 inches - Smile ]
Khaimraj


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Re: What was your very first tree

Post  suerowbotham on Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:03 pm

Mine was a chinese elm, beautiful healthy tree, I bought it through a friend who, I thought, knew what she was doing. So to water it she said put the pot into water and when the bubbles stop it has enough water, I was so proud of this bonsai. Then the leaves started dropping at such a rapid rate I had to give it back to my friend for some tlc and I haven't seen it since. I now have my second tree, a fukien tea and I am determined to keep this one Smile
I think I am getting the bonsai bug, not literally, so watch this space.

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Re: What was your very first tree

Post  ogie on Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:28 pm

Mine was a serrisa who i thought was a good one,but later knew i was HAD by the nursery,gave it away and since then was wise in choosing,nice to read all of the story from you guys,very inspiring.
regards All
alex Smile

P.S....Kev,
you still crazy about cacti and succulent?I still am.... Smile Smile


Last edited by ogie on Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:31 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : words)

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Re: What was your very first tree

Post  graham walker on Tue Oct 19, 2010 10:05 pm

Hi Alex/Ogie,
Cacti and succulents was my first hobby originally, but bonsai have nearly taken over.
Still have a fair collection of C&S and am Vicechair of our local Branch on Teesside
Am I right in thinking you are ex UK??
How deeply were you into C & S ??

Graham

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Re: What was your very first tree

Post  Kev Bailey on Tue Oct 19, 2010 10:28 pm

I had a 40' greenhouse full of cacti. Favourites were Mammilarias, Opuntias and obscure succulents. I was growing them from seed and had some really good specimens until the aged greenhouse collapsed one winter and I lost almost all of them as I was away in college. The few I rescued are still with me, but I manage the obsession well! Always happy to tour a collection and occasionally I add a new succulent or cactus. I still have an Agave americana that I "propagated" (stole a pup) when I was age 12!

I found out recently that my grandfather, who died when I was very young, was the gardener at William Gladstone's castle! It must be "in my blood".

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Re: What was your very first tree

Post  ogie on Tue Oct 19, 2010 11:58 pm

Kev Bailey wrote:I had a 40' greenhouse full of cacti. Favourites were Mammilarias, Opuntias and obscure succulents. I was growing them from seed and had some really good specimens until the aged greenhouse collapsed one winter and I lost almost all of them as I was away in college. The few I rescued are still with me, but I manage the obsession well! Always happy to tour a collection and occasionally I add a new succulent or cactus. I still have an Agave americana that I "propagated" (stole a pup) when I was age 12!

I found out recently that my grandfather, who died when I was very young, was the gardener at William Gladstone's castle! It must be "in my blood".
Sad to hear about your greenhouse Sad but am glad your still at it.LOVE agave...will post one adenium that i try to bonsai it Smile Smile Smile see if it works for you guys.
regards,
alex

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Re: What was your very first tree

Post  Jim Doiron on Wed Oct 20, 2010 3:06 am

My first bonsai book was Peter Chan's Bonsai Master Class so my first trees were a beaten down mowed over stick of a mulberry from the back of my apartment and an Ulmus parvifolia volunteer from the side of a city road on the college campus where I was at the time. The mulberry died as so many others after it have, the elm I still have and is now in the ground gaining some girth for a re-design after the loss of a secondary trunk. I also have a few tropicals including this ficus salicaria (thank you Iris) from 2001.


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Re: What was your very first tree

Post  jjbacoomba on Wed Oct 20, 2010 4:30 am

My first was a boxwod. I remember going for a drive and spotted the Central Texas Bonsai Exhibit sign, so I decided to stop in. I bought a boxwood. Almost 4 inches tall. Took it home watered it everydayb it kept inside. The very next week I went to my first meeting( san antonio bonsai society). I won a korean hornbeam in the raffle. Brought it home and kept it inside. Well, they both died. I have just entered my16th month with bonsai,and I am the new club librarian.

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Re: What was your very first tree

Post  jjbacoomba on Wed Oct 20, 2010 4:32 am

korean hornbeam

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Re: What was your very first tree

Post  杰遨-jie on Wed Oct 20, 2010 6:05 am

mine was a J-procumbens nana... my mom bought it from a small garden shop years ago.I dont have it now cause when we moved i planted it in the backyard...oh how i wish i could go back and collect it!haha Surprised

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Re: What was your very first tree

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:27 am

Here is an image of my first tree.
Khaimraj

Mapighia glabra -


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Re: What was your very first tree

Post  suerowbotham on Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:38 am

I think I am going to say this is my first tree as I intend to start a collection, so here it is.

https://i27.servimg.com/u/f27/15/77/23/23/003_210.jpg

I am not sure how old it is, bought it from a Lidl Supermarket 2 months ago, I am told by you brilliant people in the forum that it is a ehritia microphyllia or fukien tea.
Obviously this pic is before trimming which I intend to do at the weekend, so I will update with another pic.

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Re: What was your very first tree

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