Forest Farm

Bonsai Nut

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Just picked up 8 nice Japanese Maples from this group, so I thought I'd give them a quick review. Their web site is nicely laid out and very informative. Lots of photos and care instructions. The ordering process was straight-forward, and I had my trees 5 days after I ordered (including two weekend days when they probably weren't in their office).

The thing that pleased me most about the experience was their packaging. My one gallon trees came in standard nursery pots and were supported by bamboo stakes. They then had newspaper over the soil, were bagged in plastic, taped into a heavy cardboard tray with strapping tape, and then the tray was taped and stapled into a taller cardboard box. All trees came with identification tags that included not only the tree name, but also description and growth characteristics.

My order came with detailed invoices, care instructions, and a 550 page nursery catalog (!) that is normally $5 but they included for free. Best of all, I felt like I was dealing with a family business and "real" people. I had one question about my order to which they responded quickly.

I would recommend them for anyone ordering Japanese Maples. In addition to all of the above, their prices were very reasonable.
 

BrianBay9

Omono
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I've ordered from them in the past, and have always been satisfied. Their website, ordering and shipping processes are excellent. If you're interested in plants for bonsai, you can call them and talk about low trunk movement, low branching, low grafts (if applicable)...and they do their best to satisfy your requests.

Brian
 

mcpesq817

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Were the maples grafted?

I've been looking for the specialty cultivars that aren't grafted, but am having a tough time finding any place that offers them...
 

emk

Mame
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In the "live and learn" category: I ordered two maples from them this spring, was plenty happy about the delivery time and the packaging, but I cringed as soon as I saw that both of my were not only grafted, but grafted high up the trunk and seem poorly matched for bark coloring (we'll see how they turn out as they mature). I learned a few swift lessons:

1. ASK about grafts before ordering. Since my wife was ordering a few plants from here I just put in my requests along with her order (I actually requested 3 different maples, but they sent one of my wife's "alternates" instead of my third maple). I didn't think to ask about the grafts, so I completely accept responsibility for not being mindful of the maxim: "buyer beware."

2. Don't expect ungrafted material. I've asked around and the concensus is that ungrafted maples are about the hardest thing to find unless you're buying from a bonsai grower, like Evergreen Gardenworks. (Brent does graft some of his trees, but his grafts are much better than you tend to find elsewhere.) Bonsai sales are such a small percentage for most nursery businesses that they just don't go to the effort of growing most exotic varieties on their own roots when a "quick and dirty" graft is so easy to do.

Anyhow, I'm encouraged to hear that Forest Farm is accommodating when asked, so I might just order a few more trees from them next spring. :)
 
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aredsfan

Yamadori
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Ive ordered from Forest Farm a few times the last few years. THey have always been nice. If you tell them before hand that they are for bonsai they will try and find the best grafts. Andy
 

mapleman77

Mame
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I ordered a JM from them once, but didn't have bonsai in mind. last year I ordered a 'Red Filigree Lace' JM from them and shipping, packaging, and plant were all good--until I killed it. Still don't know what happened, but I ordered another RFL (from another nursery) and it is doing well.

What I would do, emk, is airlayer above the grafts and that'll get you a nice nebari too!!!
 

parhamr

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I have a, uh, large order with them. It should arrive around March 15. It's hundreds of dollars for 42 total plants:
  • Vine maple
  • Japanese maple
  • Dwarf Japanese maple
  • Japanese hornbeam
  • Korean hornbeam
  • Englemann spruce
  • Black hills spruce
  • Colorado bristlecone pine
  • Two-needle pinyon pine
  • Japanese black pine
  • Japanese ume apricot
  • California live oak
I'm excited. Very excited. These are species I have wanted and sought. Some are in gallon size and others are the "tube" size.

I'll post updates when they arrive.
 

bleumeon

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I have a, uh, large order with them. It should arrive around March 15. It's hundreds of dollars for 42 total plants:
  • Vine maple
  • Japanese maple
  • Dwarf Japanese maple
  • Japanese hornbeam
  • Korean hornbeam
  • Englemann spruce
  • Black hills spruce
  • Colorado bristlecone pine
  • Two-needle pinyon pine
  • Japanese black pine
  • Japanese ume apricot
  • California live oak
I'm excited. Very excited. These are species I have wanted and sought. Some are in gallon size and others are the "tube" size.

I'll post updates when they arrive.
That's a rad list of plants. I've noticed in your threads you have a huge variety of young pre-bonsai material. A lot of nice species for sure. You're going to have some super cool stuff in 10 years. I hope I will too :D
 

LanceMac10

Imperial Masterpiece
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sharpening my horticulture skills.

Amen. Without this, there would be nothing. And you don't get skills without growing thru multiple years/seasons.

At least for me....I used to consider terra cotta containers great ashtrays!! Still do, but you get my point!o_O:D:D:D:D:D:D

The gub'ment should give you credits for expanding your "oxygen footprint"!!!!!:p:cool::cool::cool::D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D
 

Bonsai Nut

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I continue to order from them when I see some uncommon material I am in the market for...

Yes, they are all grafted, but they are, after all, marketed as landscape plants and not pre-bonsai.
 
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parhamr

Omono
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Michelle at Forest Farm is kind. She called me up because their website incorrectly listed Carpinus japonica as available and their Acer palmatum offerings are “not the best form.” It sounds to me like they were smashed during the harsh winter we had. They’re sending photos to me for my review.

Good stuff! My order ships on Monday.
 

parhamr

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The palmatum seem to just be bent over a little bit from heavy snow
IMG_0623.JPG
 

parhamr

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They've arrived at my doorstep and all look as happy and healthy as promised. Forest Farm is as good as they claim; I'm pleased.

The packing materials are top knotch and there is zero damage. The Korean hornbeam look especially happy and vigorous.
 

RKatzin

Chumono
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I have been a customer since the late 80's and continue to do most of my tree shopping there. We're in driving distance so I can hand pick my trees. They have recently moved and are now part of Pacifica Garden's. They do have a lot of pre- bonsai stock, more by accident than intent, but you have to dig around in the back corners for them. They get shuffled back because they're not quality landscape stock. For rare and unusual trees from around the globe they're the place to look.
 

dansocal

Seed
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They've arrived at my doorstep and all look as happy and healthy as promised. Forest Farm is as good as they claim; I'm pleased.

The packing materials are top knotch and there is zero damage. The Korean hornbeam look especially happy and vigorous.
Nice haul! Curious to know how they're doing. Also, could you confirm which, if any of your new trees, are grafts?
 

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