Bonsai Pillar Stand

Nishant

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Hello Friends, I want to build a wooden pillar stand, about a meter tall, for my bonsai trees. I was wondering what will be the best way to secure the pillars in the ground. Can I use ground spike to hold them or should I use the concrete to hold the base. My trees are one of those large ones.

Please share your experience about using spikes. Thanks for this.
 

eryk2kartman

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Hey,

Mine is in a bit windy spot, Ive used concrete, dug the hole about 50cm deep and used those K-post quick fix(its a pre-mix for setting up post it settles in about 15 min)
I was thinking to use spikes but it seems to be very wobbly for me.
I used 4x4 pole.
 

choppychoppy

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I have feet on my pedestals. No tip overs - several hurricane tested.
 

penumbra

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Set in concrete in a hole deeper than frost line. I go about 18 inches deep in my yard, about zone 6. I use a pressure treated 6 x 6 and fast set concrete.
 

PiñonJ

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Hello Friends, I want to build a wooden pillar stand, about a meter tall, for my bonsai trees. I was wondering what will be the best way to secure the pillars in the ground. Can I use ground spike to hold them or should I use the concrete to hold the base. My trees are one of those large ones.

Please share your experience about using spikes. Thanks for this.
The spikes with 4X4’s work just fine. A little hard to control rotation as you pound them in, though, at least in our soil (which is a dry, hard clay). So if you place them next to a straight object, like a fence, or display bench, the alignment may not be perfect.
 

Cofga

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Mine are set in the ground 18” and I just pack the earth in around them with a digging bar—saves hauling cement around. People tend to overdo it when they build these things and unless you are in an area with a lot of frost heaving I don’t think cement is needed. Mine are still as tight as my mailbox post which is cemented in. That said none of my trees weigh near as much as the post itself!
 

Joe Dupre'

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Think about this. People have been putting down fence posts for several thousand years without the use of concrete. Dig a hole, insert post, pound in dirt around post. If and when you want to move a post, just shimmy it back and forth and remove. MUCH easier than removing a 200lb blob of concrete.
 

Nishant

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Thanks all for your posts. As concrete will involve a bit of work, I am thinking of another idea, please let me know if you see anything wrong with this.

At the lower end of the post , I want to screw two metal bars to be sunk in the ground and at top end of post, another metal bar which will fixed to garden wall 50 cm away from post. So I wouldn't have to worry much about the post falling.
 

Joe Dupre'

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I think that's a great idea. The bar fixed to the wall will just about disappear, giving the post center stage. Pretty easy to move, too.
 

penumbra

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Concrete envolves almost no work. Dig the hole. Set the post. Pour in 50# quick set. Add water. An hour later you are down. I have set many posts without concrete and over several years I regret it. It really depends on your soil. Mine need crete. Been setting posts for nearly 60 years. Also weight of bonsai is relevant. The one I did last week holds a bonsai in pot that weighs 72 pounds. It needed concrete in my soil. It will last 30 years minimum.
 

Nishant

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Penumbra, Great to meet someone who has done this job for so long. Two questions for you please.

(1) Is there any issue you foresee with my approach? I will really appreciate time you would devote finding some criticism to my design. I want to find a method which is more workable for me as I have to setup about ten posts.

(2)My small garden is small one and there are Pyracantha and other trees along the boundary wall where I want to place the posts . Just wondering if digging will cut through roots and subsequent concrete setting will release heat and may hurt the roots of tree in vicinity. Any thoughts along this line?
 
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jimib

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I’m using the spikes attached to 4x4 for a couple of reasons. I plan on selling and moving in the next few years, so I dint want some concreted in and my soil is pretty much clay, so it’s damn near solid. Hell, my mailbox is on a spike and it’s been in there 15 years with the door being open and closed almost daily,it’s still firmly set. The next place will have more permanent displays.
 

Nishant

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Hello, Could anyone advise what height should the pillar be. I am thinking of keeping the pillar about a meter high so that the tree can come to my shoulder level and the tree can be seen in entirety from front , rather than from top.

Also I am thinking of using some thick Bamboo ( 120mm diameter ) as post. You get some very designer Bamboo Java Black, Spotted etc. Anyone tried this?
 

Brian Van Fleet

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I like my stands to be 36”-54” high to get the trees up closer to eye-level, so you’re on the short side.
I would be concerned the bamboo may rot and become unstable.
 

Cofga

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Unless you can find a way to treat them with wood preservative I would avoid using bamboo. I currently have 13 monkey poles all made of pressure treated wood. Most are 3’ tall although I just added 3 that are 3.5’ to compensate for a slope. Consider the desired viewing height for your trees as smaller shohin may need to be placed higher than a large pine or hornbeam or beech.
 

Nishant

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Hello Can someone please advise on the diameter typically used. My guess is 12mm.

Please share your thoughts on this.
 

penumbra

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It has been a month and you still haven't set a post?
Diameter of what? My thumb is 14 mm wide. Do you mean 12 cm? That would be best for heavy plants, about 6 inches.
Are you doing more than stand? Vary the heights if you are. My lowest one is about a meter and my tallest is a bit over 1.5 meters.
I am going to install three 4 inch round posts to be in scale for a few of my smaller bonsai. These will be rising out of a bed of ground cover and the heights will vary. There is no other archetecture near them so the round posts will blend nicely with the background trees. These three stands will have irregular flagstone tops fastened with construction adhesive used for stone walls.
 

Nishant

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I have been busy putting trellis on my boundary wall and lifting my wisteria on them.

I am trying to get a clear background first so that the bonsai trees do get fudged up in background greenery.

Also what is important about the posts is that it should not look much thinner than the pot itself.
 

penumbra

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I have been busy putting trellis on my boundary wall and lifting my wisteria on them.

I am trying to get a clear background first so that the bonsai trees do get fudged up in background greenery.

Also what is important about the posts is that it should not look much thinner than the pot itself.
I get it, I'm just messing with you. I have a lot of projects that won't get done in a month. Like the background for my bonsai benches.
 

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