Recent content by Zach Smith

  1. Zach Smith

    Lesson learned.

    Forget wiring it. Get yourself a fairly heavy rock or something similar and weatherproof, then force it (gently, so as not to snap the shoot) against your new seedling so that it ends up growing at an angle. Let it keep on growing to get thicker, then when the time is right cut it back to that...
  2. Zach Smith

    How does my wiring look?

    The size is based on what is required to bend the trunk/branch. At this stage you can really only put some movement in the trunk. It needs to be a much bigger specimen for more detailed training techniques (setting branches). That requires unrestrained growth. You'll want to do all sorts of...
  3. Zach Smith

    How does my wiring look?

    Good angles. Is that electrical wire? If so it's usually too stiff for normal bonsai use.
  4. Zach Smith

    Does your age dictate your repotting procedure?

    At first I thought the title was, "Does you age dictate your potty procedure?" For sure. But on the bonsai front, I try not to have too many really big trees though that's really hard sometimes. Repotting them is no fun, so if I sell all the new arrivals I only have to rip 'em out of the tubs...
  5. Zach Smith

    Would like advice.

    Actually, I've had a lot of bird activity this year. They dig in the pots for seeds and don't replace their divots like the squirrels do. So I guess I'll take the squirrels.
  6. Zach Smith

    Would like advice.

    Usually I get oak seedlings sprouting by mid-year because the squirrels bury acorns in my pots. But I'm sure if I planted the acorns in pots, the squirrels would show up to dig 'em back out. I'm convinced they don't really eat the acorns, just use them to dig holes everywhere.
  7. Zach Smith

    Would like advice.

    Do both. It's the best way to learn. Better yet, plant half of the acorns in a pot and let them germinate inside, half outside. Move the inside ones outside when weather permits, and compare how they do.
  8. Zach Smith

    Remember the story about cutting the ends off the ham? (wiring branch extensions)

    I'll throw in a couple cents' worth that makes sense to me (and possibly only me). When a shoot takes off and I wire for movement, it's partly to introduce movement where none will be the case otherwise - that's the "looks good now" idea that's been expressed above. Frankly, a tree full of...
  9. Zach Smith

    Bald Cypress Forest Repot & Placement

    Don't separate the trees unless you're dissatisfied with their placement. Mostly trim around the edges. If need be you can take out a few wedges deeper in. But you want your forest to function as much as a whole as it can.
  10. Zach Smith

    Pricing Bonsai- how are prices determined?

    I'd say that the one thing we never want to see happen is for all of bonsai to become "industrialized" - obviously here I'm not talking about the industrial "mallsai" business which of course has been around a long, long time. The growing/collecting and developing of nice material is a real joy...
  11. Zach Smith

    Collecting a Cedar Elm

    Don't forget to seal the trunk chop!
  12. Zach Smith

    Collecting a Cedar Elm

    Reduce the roots and chop the top at the same time. Cedar elms are easy to collect. Very forgiving and great to work with.
  13. Zach Smith

    Pricing Bonsai- how are prices determined?

    Dollar-wise, I sell more large Bald cypresses than anything else. Size does matter. I don't fool around with seedling-size material (whole other market). For collected material, nothing smaller than 1" base. The "sweet spot" for most buyers seems to be around 2" base - a good combination of...
  14. Zach Smith

    Pricing Bonsai- how are prices determined?

    The best way to start is to see what's already out there in your particular market. If someone is selling a tree of the same species and size, age and quality of yours for 100 euros, then you may want to price in that same range or perhaps a little less since you won't be a known quantity in...
  15. Zach Smith

    Root kill temps

    Good list. I don't know the root kill temps for BC or Chinese elm but can relate that both have survived 15F on my bench (a not intentional experiment). I just posted a blog on winter protection at my website, considering what may be headed our way. Couple of species also not shown on that...
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