is there any potential here?

morb

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#1
i took my dogs for a run out in the back 40 today and started looking at a few trees with bonsai on the brain.
there is a bit of everything out there, mostly poplar but some buffalo berry. pine trees, willows and caragana.
i took pics of a couple small pine trees that caught my eye. being a total noob to bonsai i really don't know what to look for, here's a couple pics of the first one. it's about 18'' tall.

22385307_10155243791977572_1403862974_n.jpg 22447019_10155243789252572_1814272255_n.jpg 22447083_10155243788952572_1630689080_n.jpg 22471696_10155243789132572_893621830_n.jpg
 
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#3
Look for features such as movement, trunk taper, low branching, foliage close in, aged and craggy looking bark. Basically the opposite of these, especially the first one.
 

Paradox

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#4
These are young pines so it's hard to say.
Maybe in a few years or ten.

I agree with the movement comment. These really don't have any. They are too young for craggy bark and taper.

What species are they?

They probably have roots that are pretty long and might be difficult to collect
 
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#5
I assume these are lodgepole. They may work out if you collect, wait a year and then chop the trunks lower. You could also wire movement into the trunks now while they are young. Of the other species you mentioned, I think caragana and poplar will be very difficult to make into convincing bonsai. I'm trying buffalo berry now and it looks promising
 

morb

Sapling
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#6
Look for features such as movement, trunk taper, low branching, foliage close in, aged and craggy looking bark. Basically the opposite of these, especially the first one.
thanks tom. there isn't much to chose from out there although i really didn't look that hard since that is not why i was out there. i will go again and see what else i can find.

These are young pines so it's hard to say.
Maybe in a few years or ten.

I agree with the movement comment. These really don't have any. They are too young for craggy bark and taper.

What species are they?

They probably have roots that are pretty long and might be difficult to collect
i really don't know what species they are to be honest, just growing wild, could be from an old shelter belt i'm assuming.

I assume these are lodgepole. They may work out if you collect, wait a year and then chop the trunks lower. You could also wire movement into the trunks now while they are young. Of the other species you mentioned, I think caragana and poplar will be very difficult to make into convincing bonsai. I'm trying buffalo berry now and it looks promising
does one collect pine in the spring or fall? i thought about perhaps wiring movement in the trunks of a young one but like i said i'm a total noob and know nothing lol
would you mind sharing a pic of your buffalo berry? how do you mange with the thorns?
 
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#7
I've collected one lodgepole in the spring, and it did very well. I plan on collecting some older ones in the mountains next spring. I understand that mugo and related pines in the summer. Here in Alberta, winter onset is too unpredictable to make fall collection safe, I would think. My only two buffalo berry bushes were collected this April. You can trunk chop these on collection as long as you leave some foliage. That helps with the thorns a lot.
 

morb

Sapling
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#8
Here in Alberta, winter onset is too unpredictable to make fall collection safe, I would think. My only two buffalo berry bushes were collected this April. You can trunk chop these on collection as long as you leave some foliage. That helps with the thorns a lot.
same here in sask, i can't believe the fall we are having this year, it's been so warm. i been doing a lot of goose hunting this year and have only been wearing a light jacket and boots in the morning and have been quite comfy in the blind. i'm sure we will pay for it soon.
i'm going to look at the buffalo berry a little more closely and perhaps pick one for spring collection.
 
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#9
IMG_4400.JPG IMG_4401.JPG IMG_4402.JPG Different sides of one of the buffalo berries. Cut down from a 4' bush. Some branches left long to thicken them. Some new buds to choose from as well.
 
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#10
IMG_4403.JPG
A collected lodgepole that my son wired with me. This started similar to the ones you are looking at 3 springs ago. The ones you are looking at are smaller and thinner, so should be easier to wire.
 

Adair M

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#12
View attachment 163549
A collected lodgepole that my son wired with me. This started similar to the ones you are looking at 3 springs ago. The ones you are looking at are smaller and thinner, so should be easier to wire.
The raffia wasn’t needed. Those are pretty gentle curves, really. Using aluminum wire, as you found out, doesn’t really do the job on something like that. Heavy copper is the way to go!

Since you have the raffia on, take all that aluminum off. Stick a piece of 6 gauge copper into the pot at the nebari, and run it straight up the trunk. Don’t spiral it. Now take another piece of 6 gauge copper, stick it in the pot next to the first one, and spiral it up the tree. Trapping the first wire under it. Your raffia will prevent scarring. But that combo will hold the bends much better.

Edited to add:

I’ve seen some put the straight wire on, then wrap with raffia! Then a spiral of copper.
 

Paradox

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#13
Also if you use more than one wire in a spiral, try not to cross those over each other. I am surprised Adair, the Wire Stickler didnt mention that :D
 

Adair M

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#14
Also if you use more than one wire in a spiral, try not to cross those over each other. I am surprised Adair, the Wire Stickler didnt mention that :D
I did say to remove it.

I didn’t want Tycoss to get too mad at me!

(See what heavy medication can do? I’ve mellowed!)
 

Adair M

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#17
LOL
Say it aint so!

I hope you arent having heavy health issues.
That would be bad
Oh, nothing heavy! I’ve survived two bouts with cancer, high blood pressure, the loss of a kidney, and now it’s ADHD!

Now, what were you saying?
 
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#18
The raffia wasn’t needed. Those are pretty gentle curves, really. Using aluminum wire, as you found out, doesn’t really do the job on something like that. Heavy copper is the way to go!

Since you have the raffia on, take all that aluminum off. Stick a piece of 6 gauge copper into the pot at the nebari, and run it straight up the trunk. Don’t spiral it. Now take another piece of 6 gauge copper, stick it in the pot next to the first one, and spiral it up the tree. Trapping the first wire under it. Your raffia will prevent scarring. But that combo will hold the bends much better.

Edited to add:

I’ve seen some put the straight wire on, then wrap with raffia! Then a spiral of copper.
Thanks for the advice. I am just now getting to the point where I need to know what to do about wiring conifers. The raffia was on mostly to protect the bark. That aluminum wire was definitely not cutting it though. The tree was actually pushing the wire out of shape as it grew. The main shoots elongated about 6" this year, and the entire tree is pulling itself, and the wire, more upright.
Respect for your expertise as always
 

morb

Sapling
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#19
So if I were to collect these trees just to learn on if nothing else, when is the best time to collect them? I'm in east central Saskatchewan
 
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#20
In Alberta, spring between the ground thawing and the buds bursting has worked for me. That translates to late April-early May. Your climate is somewhat similar if I'm not mistaken.