Home Depot shohin Yew in it's final stage

october

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I found this yew 2-3 years ago at Home Depot. It was about $15. I noticed the natural shari and decided that something might be able to be done with it. This season, the tree came out of the grow pot, was planted on a different angle and some new branch choices were made. This is the smallest pot that the tree will be able to go in. Actually considering where it came from, this pot is pretty good. Also, the natural shari was refined by John Romano in a workshop.


Here is the progression.

pic 1 is the tree as purchased
Pic 2 is the tree styled and put in the grow pot
Pic 3 is about 2 years later. The tree put in the final pot and pushing new growth
Pics 4 and 5 are the tree after some fresh pinching a little bit more wiring
 

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mrchips1952

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Yew

Patience has it's rewards......very nice job. Great little tree. Dave in Colorado:D
 

october

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Thank you Dave from Colorado...It only took a little patience since the tree grows so fast.. Here is an example.. The first pic is after the initial styling, the second is about 1 1/2 years later.. An astronomical amount of growth..


Rob
 

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bonsai barry

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Patience? I was thinking just the opposite. I was thinking, "!@#$%^& ... Why can't I grow a tree out like that in just two years!"
 

monza

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It had just finally started to sink in, quality stock only and I finally was able to go to a Home Depot and not go look at every trees truck... you post that! Nice little tree.
 

woodguy

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Nice tree. Good example of what can be done with inexpensive material. It's for little gems like this I still have to look when I'm at place like that. Even you need to look through a lot of crap to find something like this. Great find.
 

evmibo

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What size wire did you use on the tree? Also, how long did you keep it on in that 1.5 year growout period?

Great work man.
 
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october

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Thanks everyone for the comments

Hello bonsai barry... I was amazed myself by the growth rate. It grew branches that were around 1 foot long and about 1/3 of an inch thick in a little over a year.

Hello monza, yup, you have to go through hundreds, literally, to find a good one sometimes... Sometimes I'll take a day and visit a bunch of garden centers, Lowes and home depots. Sometimes out of looking at about 500 trees you may not find 1. Then, other times, you are there for 2 minutes and something jumps out at you. The natural shari and single trunk on this one caught my eye. It didn't really matter what the rest looked like. It had a great trunk and it was a yew so it would grow from eveywhere.

Hello woodguy..ya, you are correct about a lot of crap.. I swear that there has been times I have looked at 500-600 trees is a day and came up with nothing.

Hello evmibo.. Well, I used aluminum wire for this. I tend to change my mind some times and sometimes want to augment my initial stylings so the aluminum is more forgiving.. As far as wire, I think I used 1.0, 1.5 and 2.0 gauges. I can't pin point the time the wire was on. However, this tree grows very fast. It is a good idea to check this tree about every 4 weeks, sometimes less.

Rob
 

akhater

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WOW highly inspirational ! I wish I could have in 10years what you had in pic 2 :D (After your initial styling) I'd be happy with it
 

october

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Thank you very much akhater.. I have to say, that at one point, I was unsure about this tree's future. However, I made some changes to the initial style. Just this season, I chose new branches and gave it a different planting angle. Actually, it was after these things and the tree growing new buds everywhere that made me see it's true potential.

Here is one more pic
 

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amkhalid

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Congratulations on producing a lovely bonsai. Your really have great technique, and always bring out the best in the material.
 

jferrier

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Sweet little tree. What a wonderful transformation. I'm glad to see that there are others that believe that nice bonsai can originate from anywhere and doesn't have to be an expensive "pre-bonsai" from a bonsai nursery.
 

Alex DeRuiter

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This gives me a lot of hope that I may be able to find a good tree at a department store. Everything I come across at places like Lowes and Menards seems to be poor stock, but perhaps I haven't been looking hard enough. Thanks for posting :)
 
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treebeard55

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Axxon, you can find decent raw material at general-purpose nurseries, but be prepared to look hard. In my experience, one good find in 100 visits is about par for the course. Remember that growers for the landscaping industry aren't interested in compactness, taper, low branching, everything we're after!

I've found it worthwhile to ask to see their "setback/hospital area:" where they keep the shrubs and trees that haven't sold for a couple of years, and also where they keep anything that's recovering from trauma or disease.

When plants don't sell for landscaping, it's sometimes because of features that are desirable for bonsai.

I'd stay away from anything diseased, but trees that have suffered mechanical damage (careless pickup driver, for example) sometimes make good bonsai stock.

Either way, plants in such a section can often be had for a discount.
 

rockm

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Best time to shop upscale nurseries is in early to mid autumn. They're looking to unload trees that were damaged in the summer, or trees they don't want to pay to overwinter. I've picked up $400 maples for $25--the only "damage" was sunscalded leaves that made the tree look dead (and unsellable) to Harry Homeowner. It was fine the next spring.

BTW, no one ever said (and as this cool little tree proves) good material can't be found. It can, but like 'beard said, it can take a lot of visits and more than a bit of luck.
 

Alex DeRuiter

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Steve, thank you for the advice! That's a really good idea. I remember someone telling me about a private nursery near me that sells landscape trees, but some of his trees were hit with herbicide and it stunted their growth quite a bit. Come to find out they're these really nice wisterias with incredible taper, so I'll be picking up a few of them soon.

I never actually thought about asking to see the recovery section though -- thank you :D

Rockm, I've noticed that too. I've gotten some trees on a significant markdown -- sometimes up to 80% -- in the fall. I'll be expanding my nursery search this year to find some good stuff.

I'd consider one in one hundred to be worth it ;)
 

october

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You will usually have better luck at independent garden centers and nurseries rather than chain stores... This Hinoki came for a local independent garden center 9 years ago. It has been in training ever since.

Rob
 

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october

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p.s. This one came from Lowes.. A yellow tag Fall special for like $7. I have been training it for about 4 years. I recently cut the top off and I am in the process of growing a new apex.
 

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Joedes3

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What is the best time of the year to trim a yew as much as you did? I live in the Boston area, zone 6.
Joe
 
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