Finally, peace

Fidur

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So, since I begun my bonsai journey (almost a year) , I've been going to nurseries at least twice a week.
In the first 10 times I think I bought 95% of the trees I now care as bonsai projects. Yes, the time in wich I was a bonsai analphabet, was the time in wich I bought my trees.
Anything with a name wich sounded to me like something I had read, or anything like a connifer was something I needed to buy and explore.
And so, in my first visit I bought 7 Dwarf Alberta Spruces, ( o_O ), and so on to complete my now 35 projects (all alive right now)
Today after my usual visit to a nursery, I was aware that I had bought nothing in the last 3 months, and what is more remarkable, I didn't miss to buy anything. And unless I find what I now know that can be a great candidate, I think I'm not buying anymore.
So finally, .....peace.

To my fellow beginners, I know it's difficult to avoid the "lust", but I hope that unlike me, you learn what can be a decent tree before the "nursery madness" stage.
 

JudyB

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So, since I begun my bonsai journey (almost a year) , I've been going to nurseries at least twice a week.
In the first 10 times I think I bought 95% of the trees I now care as bonsai projects. Yes, the time in wich I was a bonsai analphabet, was the time in wich I bought my trees.
Anything with a name wich sounded to me like something I had read, or anything like a connifer was something I needed to buy and explore.
And so, in my first visit I bought 7 Dwarf Alberta Spruces, ( o_O ), and so on to complete my now 35 projects (all alive right now)
Today after my usual visit to a nursery, I was aware that I had bought nothing in the last 3 months, and what is more remarkable, I didn't miss to buy anything. And unless I find what I now know that can be a great candidate, I think I'm not buying anymore.
So finally, .....peace.

To my fellow beginners, I know it's difficult to avoid the "lust", but I hope that unlike me, you learn what can be a decent tree before the "nursery madness" stage.
Lol. But it’s a stage everyone goes thru. Enjoy the process!
 

ShadyStump

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I didn't do it.
Couldn't justify the expense.
So just ran all over the place with a shovel and and pruning shears!

BTW, getting chased off by someone's dog is NOT worth a fist full of apple tree cuttings.
Unless you're really fast. ;)
 

AcerAddict

Shohin
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To my fellow beginners, I know it's difficult to avoid the "lust", but I hope that unlike me, you learn what can be a decent tree before the "nursery madness" stage.
I'm just going to echo exactly what you said. Last September, my wife got me a "bonsai starter kit" with seeds from four different species. Well, I got bit HARD by the bonsai bug. Starting last fall, I bought lots of stuff that I intended to use for bonsai, even though I knew it would literally do nothing through the winter and just sit dormant until the spring. But waiting for seeds to germinate isn't very fun or exciting, so I bought stuff that was already growing. I had "the disease" in full force once winter was over though. Earlier this year, I would go to a local nursery literally almost every weekend and buy something each time. However, I soon discovered (usually right after the purchase of course) that certain material isn't well-suited for bonsai. Fortunately, some of the species I bought in the last year now live in regular decorative pots as patio trees, since I have a long history of enjoying plants before I got into bonsai anyway. So at least there's that. Like you, most everything I've bought is still alive, which is always good. Plus, I had success with three of the four tree species in that original starter kit, and they're still growing a year later.

Today though, I am much more discerning and critical when I peruse stock at nurseries or the big box stores. I think about the long-term plan now, and ask myself "If I buy this, how much effort will it take for me to get it to look like I want? What will it look like two years from now? Five years? Ten years? Is this plant worth my time and money?" That mindset has me passing over LOTS of stuff that just six months ago would have been an instant purchase.

I'm happy to have finally left the "I MUST HAVE ALL THE PLANTS!" phase and shifted gears into the "Ready to grow some quality plants." stage. Looking forward to attending my first bonsai show this December and being able to use all the knowledge I've gained thus far. It's quality over quantity for me from here on out.
 
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Hmm. I'm kind of going through that phase. I have like 7 nursery trees/shrubs I've been experimenting with. What I'm actually prepping for is setting up areas on my property and my plot at the community garden for growing stock. As well as finding Yamadori candidates while hiking, and some Urbandori stuff at friends houses. Shohin sized Bonsai are nice, but I need some beefy boys in my life..giggidy. I also have some air layer plans for my 30+ year old almond tree and 15+ year old plumb tree on my property.

Yes I want to eventually have pretty trees, but I also want to experiment with different techniques at the same time. Acer trunk with no taper? Get stabby with it. Large almond tree branch that's going to fall off in the next few years from some bark die back? Might as well air layer it. Large pear tree root sucker that I angrily broke off to the trunk base because it was in the way of the chicken coop I was building and has since back budded? Make it grow some feeder roots before digging it up next spring. Frickon Siberian Elms invading everyone's property? Free material.
 

Carol 83

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That was so me when I started. The cheaper the better, which I thought was a good thing. Now I am more particular and realize that buying less volume and spending a bit more on a few things is better.
 

PeaceLoveBonsai

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Great point! I just finished a post on that very subject. I’m embarrassed to think of all the nursery stock junipers I’ve butchered over the years!
 

NGski86

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Sort of in that stage myself. I work with Wildlife so I'm outside all day every day and can't seem to help myself. So many trees!!! The ones that I absolutely can't pass up on are the ones that are certain to meet their doom at the hands of a mower or something of that nature. I'm using some self control...but end up Google map screen shotting my GPS location and making notes to collect stuff later if I pass on it at the moment. The way I see it is that I'm learning, will likely kill a lot of trees, and also want to experiment a lot. So the more I have the less I have to worry about trying something. Wife thinks I'm nuts a little but also is getting into it so this could get interesting lol. When I retire I want a field of trees so peace is a way off for me, but does sound nice...I'm exhausted!
 

Shogun610

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Bro , I live for planing my weekend friday afternoons day dreaming at work, waking up early in the morning Saturday , drinking a nice cup or 3 of coffe, grab the pup, and wonder a few local nurseries before going into the studio. Enjoy it, embrace it. But I agreee after a while you get a better eye whether that’s at a landscape or bonsai nursery/ show/ auction. Spring time will be special come collection szn, no shame. I even got one of my friends into bonsai recently lol.
 

Shogun610

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Great point! I just finished a post on that very subject. I’m embarrassed to think of all the nursery stock junipers I’ve butchered over the years!
There is a grave yard in the back in the woods , luckily nothing over 40, but still ( probably washed away now from the flooding).
 

coh

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Similar story here. I used to spend countless hours at nurseries looking at borderline/questionable material. Too much of it wound up being purchased. A few are still in my collection and some may eventually be nice bonsai, but most of them eventually wound up in the ground permanently and were replaced by better material from local club sales, various specialty (pre-bonsai) growers, Bill V's place, etc. I would say, probably the best place to get material if you're a beginner or transitioning from beginner to the next level, is club shows and auctions. People get tired of trees, or have too many trees and are willing to let them go for relatively low prices just to see them go to someone who wants them.

I haven't done a real "nursery crawl" in a few years now. Part of that has been covid, part is just lack of desire (and having too many trees already). I'd still love to find a decent sized hinoki with lots of branching at and end of season sale so maybe I'll venture out one of these days...
 

Shogun610

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Similar story here. I used to spend countless hours at nurseries looking at borderline/questionable material. Too much of it wound up being purchased. A few are still in my collection and some may eventually be nice bonsai, but most of them eventually wound up in the ground permanently and were replaced by better material from local club sales, various specialty (pre-bonsai) growers, Bill V's place, etc. I would say, probably the best place to get material if you're a beginner or transitioning from beginner to the next level, is club shows and auctions. People get tired of trees, or have too many trees and are willing to let them go for relatively low prices just to see them go to someone who wants them.

I haven't done a real "nursery crawl" in a few years now. Part of that has been covid, part is just lack of desire (and having too many trees already). I'd still love to find a decent sized hinoki with lots of branching at and end of season sale so maybe I'll venture out one of these days...
What about Pat in Long Island? But yes I agree , the only nursery’s I crawl around are native ones besides actual bonsai places. The native ones have good material for group plantings or nursery rejects.
 

AcerAddict

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Bro , I live for planing my weekend friday afternoons day dreaming at work, waking up early in the morning Saturday , drinking a nice cup or 3 of coffe, grab the pup, and wonder a few local nurseries before going into the studio. Enjoy it, embrace it. But I agreee after a while you get a better eye whether that’s at a landscape or bonsai nursery/ show/ auction. Spring time will be special come collection szn, no shame. I even got one of my friends into bonsai recently lol.
I'll probably never quit completely going to nurseries, but I am very picky now when I do go. My favorite local "mom-and-pop" nursery is going to be putting their Japanese maples on sale any week now as we get closer to fall. I already asked the owner about it, and he said they don't have a specific date, but it's coming. Pretty much all their JMs are grafted other than the standard greens, but I'll be looking to see if there's anything worth buying now that I can air layer in the spring to create nice bonsai. Of course, those plain green JM graft bases can become bonsai later on too.
 
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Drewski

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I have been through this phase as well. In fact, it’s not that long ago when I was still in it. 😊 But now, I’ve finally realized that with the finite space I have, I have to be very choosy with what I buy. And I’m also in the process of saying goodbye to more than a few ‘sticks in pots’.
 

hinmo24t

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nailed it @Fidur , that stage claimed me for a good $500-$1000

it has since slowed down and focused, and i feel ive learned a lot


prob done with pines for instance, after a JBP (slow death) and 2 nice (initially) mugo pines
over it
 

Paradox

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its the natural progression to go from buy just about anything to becoming more picky as you learn what makes for a good potential bonsai and as you reach your limit for the number of trees you can reasonably handle or "think" you can handle.
 

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