New and looking for a few ideas...

View previous topic View next topic Go down

New and looking for a few ideas...

Post  Phillip W. on Fri Oct 14, 2011 7:50 pm

My names Phillip. I live in Augusta Ga. Im new to the forum, and also new to Bonsai. Im in the process of finding prospective trees to dig up and get into training pots this winter. I have access to several thousand acres. I was wondering if anyone here had any information about which trees I should begin with. Much of the land I have access to is covered in Pine trees, ( which i believe to be scotts pine ). There are a lot of hardwoods and a good bit of swamp land. The climate here, as many of you may know is terrible hot in the summer, especially June, July, and August. We often see temps over 100 degrees, which im sure can be challenging to a rookie trying to maintain healthy trees. In the winter temps get regularly into the 20's at night but generally rise above freezing on most days.

Recently I visited the Monestary of the Holy Spirit in Conyers Ga. where I was given some great starter information. The monks there specialize in the Art of Bonsai. Also Ive done a ton of research, and even tried to transplant a few trees this past summer (total rookie error)...they all died of course; poor timing. Im very serious about learning this art, and I would be very appreciative of any advice. I look forward to reading and learning from your posts.

Sincerely,
Phillip W.

Phillip W.
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: New and looking for a few ideas...

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Fri Oct 14, 2011 7:59 pm

Did you buy trees at the Monastery and try to take them home to Augusta, or did you dig up trees?

If you killed trees getting them home from Conyers, then you need some basics about plant care, before you dig anything up.

If they were dug up it was the wrong time of the year. You should collect in Jan. when the temperature is above freezing.

You must have as large a root ball as possible and immediately put the plant in a training pot with good soil.

Sandy soils are tough to collect from because the roots are so spread out. Our native pine, which I doubt are "Scotts" are difficult Bonsai subjects.

Your best bet might be Bald Cypress. These will lose their leaves in winter. They can be transferred to a black plastic cement mixing tub filled with soil and water, kept very wet many of these survive.

I will add the standard advice, find and join a local club.



Billy M. Rhodes
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: New and looking for a few ideas...

Post  Phillip W. on Fri Oct 14, 2011 9:04 pm

Hey, thanks for the reply.
The trees I killed were trees that I dug up, and yes it wasn't the right time. Other follks have recommended the bald cypress so Ill be trying that out for sure. I didn't buy any trees at the monestary, though they did have some really nice ones. I've been looking for a local club, you'd think we'd have one here in "the garden city"...sadly.
I haven't been able to find one.

Phillip W.
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: New and looking for a few ideas...

Post  JimLewis on Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:18 pm

Go to http://www.gfc.state.ga.us/education/nativetrees.cfm and download the PDF file "Native Trees of georgia." It is an excellent publication and gives nice descriptions and habitat information for most of the trees you will find in the state. For $1.00 (a bargain!!!!) You can order a hard copy from the Georgia forestry folks.

The trees you are looking for will have small leaves (generally under 2 inches). Inland from where you are you should find Vaccinium (sparkleberry, blueberry, etc.), Hornbeam, hophornbeam, swamp maple, and sweetgum. Sweetgum leaves will start out too large, but after a few years of pot cultivation they reduce nicely. Few of your native pines make great bonsai -- but the shortleaf and the spruce pine have possibilities. Dunno if the Virginia pine grows around but it is OK too.

Alas there seems to be no bonsai clubs near you, at least none that register themselves with the American Bonsai Society.

Here is a mini-review of many of the current crop of bonsai books. Search for some of them in your local bookstores, libraries, or on line. http://www.bonsaisite.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=19258

It is not 100% up to date, but new isn't necessarily better in the world of bonsai literature.

_________________
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: New and looking for a few ideas...

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:20 pm

So far the only club I found is in Atlanta. But the list I checked isn't complete.

Billy M. Rhodes
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: New and looking for a few ideas...

Post  Phillip W. on Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:36 pm

Thanks for that link Jim.

Phillip W.
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: New and looking for a few ideas...

Post  jgeanangel on Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:38 pm

Hey Phillip,

I live in the midlands of SC...about an hour from you. I would recommend just a couple of species to start your collecting experience.

First, is winged elm. This species is tough as nails, ramifies well, and can develop very interesting bark. You can collect large ones by cutting way back but I prefer to collect smaller seedlings...they can make excellent forest material in short time. prune, prune, prune...and they will grow like crazy. You can often find good ones along road ways in ditches and along old fences. Ditches which get mowed regularly are often good places to find trees that have been cutback year after year. Winged Elm is tough and could be collected about anytime of the year with good aftercare.

Carolina Hornbeam is another good candidate. In my neck of the woods this species is always found near water...not necessarily right next to water, but just up slope from water...up to 100' or more from the water. Look in clearings for seedlings...where old trees have fallen or been removed. I have typically found them to be understory trees and I think this is important recognition for their successful long term care. I have collected both stumps and seedlings successfully. Small seedlings can be collected most anytime. Anything more than 1/2" or so trunk diameter should be collected in later winter to early spring...before the buds move. If you risk collecting while in leaf, strip off 80-90% of the foliage. I have found it difficult to keep large surface roots of larger stumps alive after collecting. I have also found it frustrating that stumps will often only bud from a couple spots. If you collect large stumps plan to do some carving at some point in the future as you most often cannot count on large cuts healing well.

You have already mentioned the 3rd species I would recommend and that is Bald Cypress. I collect large stumps of this species in June and July with a 90% success rate. I always strip foliage on small seedlings...they will bud back like crazy in just a couple weeks. I place newly collected material in quality potting soil to give them the moisture they like. I have a difficult time successfully collecting trees in the 1-3" trunk size...maybe a 30% success rate:(

There are certainly lots of other species you can collect...eastern red cedar, red maple, chalk maple, water elm, etc, etc....that just scratches the surface...but the 3 I have recommended are a great place to start and build some experience in the digging, transporting, and aftercare of material. BTW your pines are not Scots pine...perhaps Virginia or Short Needle...difficult to know without looking at them but we are much further south than Scots grows on its own in the US.

Over the years I believe that there have been a couple of small bonsai clubs in Augusta and Aiken but it has been several years since I have heard about any activity from any of those groups. I suspect the nearest club to you maybe Atlanta....and I know that is not close at all but they have a large and active club that might be worth visiting a couple times a year for special events.

Last little piece of advice...be very selective when you collect...there is natural tendency in the beginning to collect anything and everything that you see. Then you get home and say, "what was I thinking?" Scout a large area marking potential trees then reevaluate each tree before actually digging. Limit yourself until you have been successful...then go back for more if that is still what you want to do.

Good luck...walking in woods is one of my favorite pastimes:)
John



jgeanangel
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: New and looking for a few ideas...

Post  drgonzo on Sat Oct 15, 2011 12:46 am

I'm gonna just jump in here quick and ask; when do we trunk chop hornbeams. I've had a heck of a time with both American and Hop-Hornbeam with doing the trunk chops, do we chop them while they're dormant or with buds just starting to swell, cause I'll tell ya If you let the leaves harden off THEN chop-em boy it's a toss up if they'll even sprout anything from the trunk. I cut paste them and everything. Haven't figured these guys out yet.
-Jay

drgonzo
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: New and looking for a few ideas...

Post  Phillip W. on Sat Oct 15, 2011 12:21 pm

Thanks for the reply John. Sounds like you've got a lot of experience with local trees and climate.
I was actually able to find a winged elm right in the edge of the woods in my backyard...which I thought
was very exciting =) I dont see any reason to dig it up at the moment since Ill be able to access it freely in
January. When is the best time to begin training? Could I start now as the tree is still in the wild? Or would
you recommend I wait until a particular time of year?

Phillip


Phillip W.
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: New and looking for a few ideas...

Post  FrankP999 on Sat Oct 15, 2011 1:20 pm

Phillip,
Welcome. The Atlanta Bonsai Society is a good group. They have meetings one weekend a month. Saturday is usually a hands on workshop with visiting artists. Sunday is more meeting and presentations. I live in Macon and try to go to the workshops. There are usually only 6-8 people at the workshop so you get lots of time with the visiting artist. I can't judge if the drive from Augusta to Atlanta would be worth it for you, but the drive from Macon is a little over an hour and well worth it in my opinion. They have an auction in August . The meeting next weekend (10.22) is on boxwood with a local artist Rodney Clemons. I hope to see you there!

Frank

FrankP999
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: New and looking for a few ideas...

Post  JimLewis on Sat Oct 15, 2011 4:35 pm

And Rodney is WELL worth learing from!

_________________
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: New and looking for a few ideas...

Post  Phillip W. on Wed Oct 19, 2011 12:41 am

Frank,
Sadly, I dont think Ill make the workshop Saturday in Atlanta. I do appreciate the info. Hopefully next month
I can make it.

I went for my first Bonsai marking-walk in the woods yesterday. I marked about 30 trees.
One thing i noticed is that we do not have a huge variety on the property. I did find a ton of
winged elms, maples, and one other tree that seemed to be thriving. Im not sure what it is
so Im going to post a picture of the leaf and see if anyone can identify it. At its mature height
Id say it was no more than 8-10 feet tall. All of the leaves are small, the most mature ones
being no longer than match. Where there is one, there are many small ones around it. So Im
assuming each small one is growing from the root system of the large one.

Phillip W.
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: New and looking for a few ideas...

Post  Sponsored content Today at 10:03 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