Heading out to get a new tree...

Chub

Mame
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Brian Van Fleet

Pretty Fly for a Bonsai Guy
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When I buy a tree, I look at the cost as "buying time" and try to keep the highest percentage of the cost associated with the time it takes to get a tree to a certain point, rather than the finished product.

In other words, I'd far prefer to spend $300 on a tree in a nursery can that has a good base and heavy trunk but with no branch work done, than to spend $300 on a tree with a relatively thinner trunk, but in a bonsai pot with some branch work already done.

That's my experience, have a great trip out!
 

Si Nguyen

Omono
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Just debating...Should I get starter stock, or an already potted tree. Was thinking about getting a "Brush Cherry". Never really priced bonsai before, are these in the ball park? About a 100 mile drive round trip, but it's nice out.

Starters
http://www.northlandgardens.com/pages/starter.html

"Finished"
http://www.northlandgardens.com/pages/Bonsai-Trees-trop.htm
Looking at these 2 links, I would get the "starters", but you should be able to get these at any regular nursery. Brush cherries are very common material for topiaries and hedges, so there should be much bigger, fuller bushes to work with than these seedlings offered here. One should always support the local bonsai nursery, but don't buy the cheap material there. Buy the higher end specimen trees or tools there in order to promote their quality improvement. Don't reinforce their tendencies for cheap mallsai material. I am not sure what level of bonsai you are at, but to me, it is more fun to work on new starter material anyway. That way when you finally pot them, you know it is done correctly, and you know the tree will survive. If you are willing to drive that far, you should get bigger trees.
Good luck.
 

xghostx

Yamadori
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I would recommend staying away from northland gardens. It is more or less a regular nursery and not worth the drive. What exactly are you looking for. I would be more then willing to help you out.
 

Chub

Mame
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O.k..Went and picked up a Brush Cherry. You all will probably think Mallsai, but I liked it. 13-14" tall from top of pot, little over half inch "trunk". Not crazy about the "bushiness", I'd like to thin out the branches quite a bit. How much can I thin this out? As you can see in the 2nd pic, it's full of small branches.

I would recommend staying away from northland gardens. It is more or less a regular nursery and not worth the drive. What exactly are you looking for. I would be more then willing to help you out.
Whoops too late...lol. Thanks anyway.
 

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milehigh_7

Mister 500,000
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I would recommend staying away from northland gardens. It is more or less a regular nursery and not worth the drive. What exactly are you looking for. I would be more then willing to help you out.
This must be the day for altruism! Way to go!:)
 

treebeard55

Chumono
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Definitely some potential there, Chub, but also work to be done. Now it's up to you. Do you have an idea yet what you want this tree to look like?
 

Chub

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Definitely some potential there, Chub, but also work to be done. Now it's up to you. Do you have an idea yet what you want this tree to look like?
I think I thinned it out quite a bit. I want to go much further losing branches but not sure if that would harm the tree. I added a couple pics that I took after thinning . Can I go further? Where do I want to go with it? Not sure yet. I would like to lose all except the 9 or 10 thickest branches and go from there. I'll add a pic of a Brush Cherry I found on the web, that's the direction I want to go. I also added some moss yesterday, left side of the 3rd picture.
 

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Redwood Ryan

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Personally I would take the moss off. It is really only used for finished trees to be shown or just for pictures to be taken. It also holds too much moisture. What does the soil look like?
 

Chub

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Personally I would take the moss off. It is really only used for finished trees to be shown or just for pictures to be taken. It also holds too much moisture. What does the soil look like?
I'm pretty much a beginner. I only have one other tree, a Firethorn which I've had for about 4-5 years and have had good luck with. So please excuse any stupid questions...lol.
I'm not crazy about the (spagnum?) around the base of the tree, just doesn't look right. But I'll let it go awhile. But as for the other moss, it seems to work well for my Firethorn, so I'll leave it and see how it goes. Funny thing about the Firethorn, I didn't start the moss, it started naturally when I left it out for one summer. I added a pic of the soil, there's not much to see, most of the surface is taken up by the spagnum and the two rocks. The gravel on top is going to go..
 

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bonsaiTOM

Mame
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Chub,
While it is a pretty green your cover of moss can do great harm by retaining too much moisture, leading to root rot - the number 1 killer of young bonsai. As Redwood Ryan said it can be placed (temporarily) on the soil for a bonsai show or for picture taking but not for long term.
I would remove it pronto. Your roots will breathe better.
 

treebeard55

Chumono
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... So please excuse any stupid questions...lol.
There's a difference between "stupid" and "ignorant." :) And we've all been newbies at one time or another. So don't worry about your questions. :)


... Funny thing about the Firethorn, I didn't start the moss, it started naturally when I left it out for one summer.
Moss spores are small enough to be distributed by the wind. Transplanting moss, as if it were sod, seems to rarely work. To my knowledge, there are two good ways to get moss established in a pot. One, let the wind bring you the spores (as will often happen anyway.) Two, dry some moss, crumble it, and spread it on the soil. That gets the spores onto the soil, and they survive the drying just fine.

EDIT: Didn't see Tom's post until I put mine up. He has a point, especially with trees like pines that prefer dryer soil, or when a soil is too water-retentive to begin with. It can be a serious problem at the base of a trunk, keeping the bark too wet and promoting rot.
I'm not sure what I think of leaving it on a brush cherry, if the soil is well-draining. But my experience with brush cherry is somewhat limited.
 
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Chub

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The wetness= rot does make sense. Thanks. Any suggestions on how far I can go with pruning this?
 

IdahoDR

Sapling
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i would recomend not touching it untill it aclimates to your home climate, and also that way you dont carried away. Start work next season.

in the mean time get alot of cheap material to chop on so you dont butcher the poor cherry with itchy bonsai fingers.
 

Chub

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i would recomend not touching it untill it aclimates to your home climate, and also that way you dont carried away. .

You know,...I was thinking about that, and was going to ask about it. But I figured I'd get laughed off the board....lol. A tree getting used to something, who knew. Guess I should have asked.
 

digger714

Shohin
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Yes, let it get used to its new climate and home. During that time, look and study the tree, and other pictures of trees to see which branches you will use as the main trunk, then pick your branches for the final. Learn how to take care of your species, and how to water, fertilize, and find the best location for it. Then, start taking the branches you dont want, wire the keepers, and shape in the direction you want. Keeping it healthy is the main concern. Good luck, and have fun.
 

october

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Hi Chub.. This is a good starter tree...As mentioned, I would not do any more work this season as far as pruning.. Also, if you have the means.. All bonsai, even tropicals, need and should be outside from spring till Fall. For this tree..when temperatures are consistently above 60 it should be outside. Then come Fall when temps are consistently below 60, it should be brought inside. These temps will provide a safe range.. Even if it came from a heated greenhouse.

Also, when it is outside, a nice spot that gets about 5-6 hours of morning sun would be great.. Keep in mind that you will probably need to water it 1-2 times a day in the summer if the tree is outside.

Rob
 

Chub

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Hi Chub.. This is a good starter tree...As mentioned, I would not do any more work this season as far as pruning.. Also, if you have the means.. All bonsai, even tropicals, need and should be outside from spring till Fall. For this tree..when temperatures are consistently above 60 it should be outside. Then come Fall when temps are consistently below 60, it should be brought inside. These temps will provide a safe range.. Even if it came from a heated greenhouse.

Also, when it is outside, a nice spot that gets about 5-6 hours of morning sun would be great.. Keep in mind that you will probably need to water it 1-2 times a day in the summer if the tree is outside.

Rob
Rob thx for the advice. There are a couple of problems for me with it being outside for the summer. One is I'm gone from 5:30am until 6pm, and it's a South facing yard. I'm afraid it would dry out during that time. And the other problem being pests. My roses get covered in aphids every year and I'm sure they would love to hop on my two trees. . So I've kept my Firethorn indoor under lights the last 3-4 years or so.

...Though I just had a thought. If I build a small screen enclosure, with a tight weave screen that might take care of both problems. It should filter the sun a bit, and maybe keep out pests. Does that sound like it may work?
 

Smoke

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Rob thx for the advice. There are a couple of problems for me with it being outside for the summer. One is I'm gone from 5:30am until 6pm, and it's a South facing yard. I'm afraid it would dry out during that time. And the other problem being pests. My roses get covered in aphids every year and I'm sure they would love to hop on my two trees. . So I've kept my Firethorn indoor under lights the last 3-4 years or so.

...Though I just had a thought. If I build a small screen enclosure, with a tight weave screen that might take care of both problems. It should filter the sun a bit, and maybe keep out pests. Does that sound like it may work?
This may sound pretty stupid but it works for me. Ever heard of bunching flys? Ever heard of bunching meat bee's? The flys everyone has heard of the meat bee's, well I put a strip of bacon in a small can and place it about 30 feet from the campground and never see a meat bee around camp the whole time I am there.

As far as critters and especially aphids,....I plant two or three rose bushes around the benches. There is nothing aphids like better than roses. My wife thinks I planted them for her to enjoy while I have them there to bunch aphids. I never have critters on my plants. The one critter I can't seem to find a way to bunch is spider mites. Now if someone can tell me how to bunch spider mites I would be pretty happy.
 

Mojosan

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This may sound pretty stupid but it works for me. Ever heard of bunching flys? Ever heard of bunching meat bee's? The flys everyone has heard of the meat bee's, well I put a strip of bacon in a small can and place it about 30 feet from the campground and never see a meat bee around camp the whole time I am there.

As far as critters and especially aphids,....I plant two or three rose bushes around the benches. There is nothing aphids like better than roses. My wife thinks I planted them for her to enjoy while I have them there to bunch aphids. I never have critters on my plants. The one critter I can't seem to find a way to bunch is spider mites. Now if someone can tell me how to bunch spider mites I would be pretty happy.

What the hell is a 'meat bee' - this must be a local name, do you know what they are actually called?
 
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