Hickory into bonsai?

has anytone bonsaied hickory

  • yes i have and can help you learn more

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dawoodsnrsy

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i am experimenting with hickory and want to know if anyone has done any and if there are any tips on how to do them?

i collected one last year and it has a descent amount of back budding it did from pinching the new growth. my leaves have kept small and similar to wisteria. will post pictures soon of the one i am talking about soon. i just collected 4 more and two are descent sized trees.

My rules when collecting in the wild are
1: if i have any doubt that collecting the tree that it will not make it, too big to get enough root, or too big to carry back to the car, it stays
2: if i only see one of that specific tree and none while walking a bit it stays
3: i make sure i ask whom ever the land belongs to if it is ok to dig on their property, NEVER TRESPASS!
4: have distilled water (distilled water has no chlorine salts that may do some damage to roots) and paper towels and black plastic bags
 

sorce

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Welcome to Crazy.

If anyone has Hickory thoughts.
It's Probly @Leo in N E Illinois

I'm pretty sure if it grows....he's had it in a pot!

I think it may help to be heartless!

Sorce
 

dawoodsnrsy

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Not me. If it's a good tree it comes with me.
the only reason i say that is some plants are fairly rare in curtain areas and i like to see at least 1 or more in the area before thinking about taking it.
 

M. Frary

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the only reason i say that is some plants are fairly rare in curtain areas and i like to see at least 1 or more in the area before thinking about taking it.
They will be even rarer if I see a worthy candidate. Usually the lone tree out of a bunch of different trees are the ones you're after.
 

rockm

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FWIW, there are hickory all over the place here. I don't think they're all that great for bonsai. Other species growing right next to them (like black tupelo, hackberry and others) are extremely good bonsai material.

Having leaves like a wisteria isn't a great selling point. Wisteria (which I do collect) looks like a haystack from May through October. Those big, compound leaves make it pretty chaotic looking. Can't change it much, but at least it blooms for a month before turning in to Cousin It.

BTW, unless your water is very, VERY bad, using distilled water is unnecessary and potentially harmful. Plants can get a lot of minerals, etc from plain old tapwater. Some actually rely on water that's got stuff in it, like acid. Acid loving plants like azaleas might be sensitive to it, as well as a few others.
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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@dawoodsnrsy - You are in West Virginia, a bio-diversity hot spot, Appalachian species, meets midwestern forest, and several other ecosystems all overlapping in your area. Lots of great species to collect in your woods. @rockm was correct, usually growing near the hickories are a bunch of better species to use. Familiarize yourself with Hackberry (Celtis) and Tupelo (Nyssa) the various Elms (Ulmus), persimmon (Diospyros virginiana), and even your native azalea (Rhododendron). They are all better choices for bonsai. Sure, you can apply bonsai techniques to most any woody tree or shrub, but not all species will respond well. The many Hickories, Walnuts and Pecan all have large compound leaves and coarse branching that does not ramify well. I tried walnut in the past and can say from direct result, they do not tame easily. I have seen hickories in my woods that have giant leaves, compound leaves with just the terminal leaflet being nearly a foot long. (young trees in part shade). They really don't respond to bonsai techniques.

Beech, Oaks, and Chestnuts (Castanea dentata, mollissima & sativa), Chinquapin (Castanea pumila), & Tulip Poplar (Liriodendron) all have big leathery leaves and are also considered not the best choice for bonsai - but yet these with their simple leathery leaves are better choices for bonsai than Hickories. Occasionally you will see a good bonsai from this group. Especially beech, and oaks. Here leaf reduction techniques will eventually work, though not until much later in development than with choice species like Carpinus (Hornbeams) or Ostrya (hop flowered hornbeams). You should have both hornbeam genera in your local woods, Carpinus in the more moist locations, Ostrya in the same environments you find hickory.

And you should have several varieties of wild plums, genus Prunus, and deciduous holly (Ilex) right there in your woods.

So next trip out, see what else you can spot. A good tree book field guide is a good thing to bring along. Your local pitch pine (Pinus rigida) and Virginia Pine (Pinus virginiana) have proven to be good candidates for bonsai. Expand your horizons, there are some great trees in the woods of West Virginia.

Now all of us have a few "pet projects" species we know will never be bonsai, if you really want to try, knock yourself out. But nobody will be able to give much advice from personal experience, because so far nobody has really pulled it off. I have some pet trees of my own, but I don't call them bonsai, they are just potted shrubbery.

My nephew and niece both have worked as white water rafting guides on the New River. It is pretty country out there.

Look for species with leaves less than 4 inches long, and species that can naturally form fine twig patterns. Also any species with great rough interesting bark. Good bark on a twisty trunk goes a long way to making a good bonsai.
 

dawoodsnrsy

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I have tried all the above you mentioned have had and trained and then moved them on once i learned from them. I have aprox 50 trees currently. Have to send you a few picts of some of the better ones i am working on.
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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I have tried all the above you mentioned have had and trained and then moved them on once i learned from them. I have aprox 50 trees currently. Have to send you a few picts of some of the better ones i am working on.
Because of the low number of posts tied to your profile, I assumed you were new to the hobby, but obviously that is not the case. Since you are experienced, use search function and check out the handful of examples of horse chestnuts. Aesculus species. Similar issues to hickory, without the big flowers to show off. If you find a hickory with a gnarly first few inches of trunk, at least as thick as a soda can, maybe you could make it work. would definitely like to see some of your other trees, start a new post for each species. Or a thread of your collection in ''General''. I'm a proponent of using locally native species.
 

dawoodsnrsy

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Will do that thanks. Had an amazing amarican hornbeem before all the snow this winter snapped it in half..... Was heart broken bit will grow it in a different dirrection. The roots on this guy are still really cool
 

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