Kaede Bonsai

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This is the second year I have purchased seedlings from Matt Ouwinga. I have to say he's been one of the easiest and best vendors to work with I've seen. The seedlings are healthy and Matt always gives more than you ask. The cajun folks call it lagniappe, "a little bit more." This year I decided to focus on trident maples and Japanese black pines. I purchased 100 of each and got a fantastic price for them. Matt sent probably 115 of each, plus added some japanese maples, red pines, and japanese larch just for good measure!

This is very good business practice. It builds a great deal of good will and may whet my appetite for these other species. In addition to the extras, I'd have to say Matt's customer service has been incredible. This year I was debating whether or not to go with seedlings and then life got in the way and I forgot about it. Matt emailed me personally (instead of in an email blast) to ask if I was interested and let me know he wanted my business. He shipped out the day he said he would and the trees were waiting for me when I got home from work by Wednesday.

I spent a happy day Sunday potting up the seedlings (and building a new bench to carry them) and highly recommend Matt as a conscientious businessman who puts his customers first.
 

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Red Truck

Mame
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Congrats Chris, you are a nurseryman now. Did you put any roof tile under the rootballs ?

Truck
 

Attila Soos

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I purchased 100 of each

I did the same thing 15 years ago: 100 trident maple seedlings. It was the best investment that I've made. Today I still have them all, and they provide me with an endless supply of great material. Some are a just couple of years away from getting a fitting bonsai pot.
 

Smoke

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I did the same thing 15 years ago: 100 trident maple seedlings. It was the best investment that I've made. Today I still have them all, and they provide me with an endless supply of great material. Some are a just couple of years away from getting a fitting bonsai pot.

What kind of trunk do you get in 15 years? Thats a long time for a trident.
 

cquinn

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The one's Warren dug this year were about 8 to 12 inches across. Monsters! I was reading in the Stone Lantern Pine book about the Japanese guy who grows Black Pine from seed, and has fairly good shohin stock in 6 yrs, and in ten years they look almost finished. Grows them in Collanders. I think I'm going to order some seedlings. I'm thirty-one, so I figure when I'm forty-one having about 25 shohin Black Pine laying around might not be such a bad thing. Especially when folks are paying 4 figures around here.
 

nip

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I am apparently blocked from bidding on kaede auctions. Not so good for business
 

ovation22

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I am apparently blocked from bidding on kaede auctions. Not so good for business

Have you tried contacting Matt directly? This is likely a function of ebay. I've purchased from him several times as well, and have always been happy with my dealings with him.

http://www.kaedebonsai.com/
 
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The one's Warren dug this year were about 8 to 12 inches across. Monsters! I was reading in the Stone Lantern Pine book about the Japanese guy who grows Black Pine from seed, and has fairly good shohin stock in 6 yrs, and in ten years they look almost finished. Grows them in Collanders. I think I'm going to order some seedlings. I'm thirty-one, so I figure when I'm forty-one having about 25 shohin Black Pine laying around might not be such a bad thing. Especially when folks are paying 4 figures around here.

Take your time. Ten years to finished bonsai is what he has achieved after possibly 40 year growing bonsai. There are techniques to know and tricks to follow. I did that experiment which was going quite well until we had to uproot and move just an hour away, then I took a job travelling and well...that's life.

A couple of hints: Use 3mm aluminum wire to wire bends in the trunk, it will be far easier to remove and be more effective in affecting trunk size. If you get enough seedlings, experiment with leaving wire in a couple to see what you get. Also, make sure the wire is coiled all the way to the nebari, since if you don't, the tree will produce dramatic reverse taper. Something has to produce swelling at the base.

And although that article doesn't say anything about removing the leader the first year, I'd seriously consider it. Although there were low buds on the trees I had, when the top grew unfettered it only took about one season for them to weaken considerably.
 
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I am apparently blocked from bidding on kaede auctions. Not so good for business

I did not bid on these. I contacted Matt and he made me a very good price. As I said, he even went out of his way this year to contact me.
 
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Matt just emailed me that for anyone who orders from him and mentions that they saw it from me, he would DOUBLE their order! Whew! Go for it guys!
 

mcpesq817

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I've bought seedlings for the "grow and style method" from Matt Ouwinga in the past and have been very happy as well. Healthy seedlings and he is a pleasure to deal with.
 

cquinn

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Take your time. Ten years to finished bonsai is what he has achieved after possibly 40 year growing bonsai. There are techniques to know and tricks to follow. I did that experiment which was going quite well until we had to uproot and move just an hour away, then I took a job travelling and well...that's life.

A couple of hints: Use 3mm aluminum wire to wire bends in the trunk, it will be far easier to remove and be more effective in affecting trunk size. If you get enough seedlings, experiment with leaving wire in a couple to see what you get. Also, make sure the wire is coiled all the way to the nebari, since if you don't, the tree will produce dramatic reverse taper. Something has to produce swelling at the base.

And although that article doesn't say anything about removing the leader the first year, I'd seriously consider it. Although there were low buds on the trees I had, when the top grew unfettered it only took about one season for them to weaken considerably.

Thanks for the advice it will come in handy for sure!
 

Attila Soos

Omono
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What kind of trunk do you get in 15 years? Thats a long time for a trident.

Funny you ask. It's a long and complicated story, but I'll try to explain it just for you.:)

The trunks that I have from this batch range from 1.5 inch diameter to almost 7 inches, and anything in between.
The reason for this incredible discrepancy in growth rate is that I planted these seedlings in the ground when I lived in Vancouver, Canada. A year later I had to leave the country (secretly, in the middle of the night :) ) and quickly settled in California (for those who wonder why, it's nothing interesting, just a drug deal gone bust).

For the next 6 years, these trees were not watered by anybody, but they survived, on the brink of extinction. They were naturally stunted.
When I went back 6 years later to dig them out and take them over the border, they were alive, but I saw barely any increase in size. I couldn't believe it: six years in the ground, and barely any growth. But I was glad that they were alive. On the other hand, I was heartbroken that my pride, a 200 year old naturally stunted sitka spruce was dug out and stolen. I still can't get over it today.

I dug them out, bare-rooted them, and individually wrapped them in wet perlite, in a Vancouver hotel room. It was March, still winter in Vancouver. I had about 150 trees to pack, so the hotel room looked like a pig stye. Neither UPS nor FedEx were willing to take my trees, so I mailed them with Canada Post air-mail. Two days later they were at the US DA warehouse close to the Los Angeles airport, and I picked them up after inspection. Interestingly, half of the boxes came directly to my house and were never inspected by USDA. From winter in Vancouver, to tropical heat in Los Angeles, in just two days. But they all survived, except the hemlocks and larches.

From then on, some of them went back into the ground and today they have large trunks, others were planted in small pots, to keep their small size. I don't want uniform trunks, but prefer to have all the sizes possible, just in case I decide to do some group plantings or landscapes.

Anyway, these litte trees and I share a long and twisted history, I am glad that I never gave up on them. In spite of the exact same age, today I have all shapes and sizes to work with. Tridents all very versatile, you can create anything out of them.

This is my story and I am sticking to it...
 
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