Material I have

owenislush

Seedling
Messages
13
Reaction score
0
I'm new to the whole bonsai thing, but i've been doing plenty of reading on the whole concept... I'm 19 and claiming job seekers allowance so funds aren't great... This is what I already have in the garden the pictures are abit rubbish but i can get some better ones if needed!
I was just wondering if any of these could be used to create anything that resembles a bonsai? and what sort of styling or anything I should do or should they be let to grow? I'm particularly interested in the largest tree and I would love to make something out of that just I'm not too sure weather the branches are thick enough. Any input would be really great thanks! Owen.

Having abit of trouble uploading pictures!.. when i click insert image its just coming up for me to input a URL?
 
Last edited:

Speedy

Yamadori
Messages
79
Reaction score
11
Location
Kernersville NC
USDA Zone
7a/
Click on the "manage attachments" button and take it from there.
 

Gandalph

Yamadori
Messages
80
Reaction score
0
Location
Alton, IL
USDA Zone
6a
Yeah, I can see your images. I use Servimg.com and simply copy and paste the image URL straight in to the post.
 

DaveV

Shohin
Messages
408
Reaction score
54
Location
Nebraska
USDA Zone
5a
I am noticing that the soil looks very wet and very organic - just looks that way in the photos to me. If the soil is too organic and stays wet long, your trees could die.
 

owenislush

Seedling
Messages
13
Reaction score
0
its just compost... like i said funds are abit tight so what could i use to substitue it with ? any ideas on any sort of styling i could do at the mo? or just let them grow? thanks.
 

monza

Shohin
Messages
384
Reaction score
6
Location
Alberta, Canada
USDA Zone
3
Ok I'll toss you a bone here...

Your trees don't really have much of a short term future as a bonsai. If you have the space, I'd place them in the ground and let them grow. Feed them well, and water them properly.
Get a job.
Keep reading about Bonsai, in a few years with some expendable income or as cash allows buy some more suitable bonsai material.

Timing on putting them in the ground may be an issue, depending on your location, but generally read how to plant a tree and they should be way better off in the ground.
 

Attila Soos

Omono
Messages
1,804
Reaction score
34
Location
Los Angeles (Altadena), CA
USDA Zone
9
I was just wondering if any of these could be used to create anything that resembles a bonsai?

To directly answer your question, none of these plants can be used to create anything remotely resembling bonsai - at least for the next 10 years.

Now, if you want to spend the next 10-15 years, creating a trunk (which is just the beginning of bonsai), then you can use them for that. In that case, of course, you need to learn how to grow nice bonsai trunks. It's not easy, and it takes a lot of knowledge, and most importantly, experience. By the time you are in your mid-thirties, you may nave some nice trunks (but you also may end up with useless material-depending on how well you've learned the craft).

The much easier way to do this, is to find a job, and then spend a few hundred dollars on some good bonsai material. Then you don't have to wait 15 years before you actually do bonsai.
If you live in an area where there is an active bonsai scene, that would make it much easier.
 
Last edited:

mat

Chumono
Messages
728
Reaction score
71
Location
Central Florida
Spending a few hundred dollars on the first plant you attempt to keep alive in a pot sounds like a good way to waste a few hundred dollars and possibly be turned off from the hobby forever.

Owenislush, if I were you, I'd keep the plants you've dug up. Learn how to take care of them - watering, fertilizing, maybe even get into pruning, repotting, wiring, etc - while you save money for some nice material and maybe some tools, soil, etc. Just keep in mind that the plants pictured will most likely never become actual bonsai.

I have plenty of these sorts of plants, and they are getting less & less attention now that I've begun to recognize and purchase better material. I've also killed and mangled many of these along the way. I really enjoyed "experimenting", learned some lessons, and now I'm confident & competent enough to spend some real money on pre-bonsai.
 

Speedy

Yamadori
Messages
79
Reaction score
11
Location
Kernersville NC
USDA Zone
7a/
Spending a few hundred dollars on the first plant you attempt to keep alive in a pot sounds like a good way to waste a few hundred dollars and possibly be turned off from the hobby forever.

Owenislush, if I were you, I'd keep the plants you've dug up. Learn how to take care of them - watering, fertilizing, maybe even get into pruning, repotting, wiring, etc - while you save money for some nice material and maybe some tools, soil, etc. Just keep in mind that the plants pictured will most likely never become actual bonsai.

I have plenty of these sorts of plants, and they are getting less & less attention now that I've begun to recognize and purchase better material. I've also killed and mangled many of these along the way. I really enjoyed "experimenting", learned some lessons, and now I'm confident & competent enough to spend some real money on pre-bonsai.

That was a much more tactful way of putting it. After some of the responses I wouldnt be surprised if Owenislush never comes back to this site or even stays with the hobby.
 

owenislush

Seedling
Messages
13
Reaction score
0
harsh but true criticism, thanks all the same! like i said i never went out n bought any of these, or dug them up, they were just plants i had in my garden that i thought might be able to use! i think i may take a trip to a garden centre to buy something abit more suitable.. i think i'm leaning towards some kind of juniper... i live in the uk i dont know if this makes a difference as to whats the best type! what kind would make a good starter tree? thanks, owen.
 
Messages
954
Reaction score
2
Location
HELL
owen, I think I would start working with your pine... perhaps trying to wire it for some shape. Also, I would check out Graham at http://kaizenbonsai.com/shop/index.php and depending on where you live I would try and stop by his place. He has some starter trees on his web site , which might give you a good idea of what not only grows well in your area, but what would make good starter trees... good luck and don't take anything these guys said personal, they forget, that they had your trees when they first started!!!
 
Messages
700
Reaction score
83
Location
cincinnati, USA
you don't have to buy expensive material. just a shovel and a saw so u can dig stuff. work on developing your eye and learning to keep trees alive in containers.
 

rockm

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
9,683
Reaction score
12,418
Location
Fairfax Va.
USDA Zone
7
You don't have to buy anything, but doing so will improve your initial survival rates.

Collecting trees also has a very steep learning curve. It's a steeper learning curve than already containerized material, since most everything you collect will have a severely compromised root system. Before you can do any actual bonsai work on such trees, you have to get them healthy enough for it. Depending on the material, than can take a year or three...

There is no "free lunch"...
 

owenislush

Seedling
Messages
13
Reaction score
0
thanks for the repsonses! I'm not expecting to just poof a bonsai tree out of thin air like some of those posts implied! I want to go through the learning curve myself even if it does take years! i just want something i can practice on etc, or even collect abit of material to pot up and get going for the future. I think the idea of collecting some things from the wild may be my best option, and i could use the method of air layering (i think thats right) to get some decent size plants to start with and keep alive!... I've seen quite a few videos and stuff where smalll shrubs are styled straight from a nursery and they look half decent, so I'm gonna go hit all the garden centres in the area for potential. I'll post up some more pictures if I pick anything up! thanks, owen.
 

mcpesq817

Omono
Messages
1,809
Reaction score
479
Location
VA
USDA Zone
7
I wouldn't waste your time at garden centers - you're going to go through dozens, if not hundreds, of trees to find something decent usually. I would suggest going to a nursery that specializes in bonsai material - in case you don't have one nearby, there are a number of good online retailers that you can go with.

I'd also think about doing airlayers a little bit down the road when you are more experienced.
 

DannyBonsai

Sapling
Messages
33
Reaction score
1
Location
Shoals, NC
USDA Zone
7-8
I like the first tree, some kind of maple. I could see that being a nice tree, but it will take a few years of untampered growth, let some more branches grow, etc. also, boxwood trees make excelent bonsai, small leaves, interesting bark, and most trees from nurserys have rather nice trunk taper. they can be made to look pretty nice in a few years. My uncle gave me one from his farm that had sort of flopped as a upright colum for a path or garden, but had nice characteristics as a bonsai. right now it is about half the height of what it was, with nice taper and should be ready to start training in about a year.
 

monza

Shohin
Messages
384
Reaction score
6
Location
Alberta, Canada
USDA Zone
3
I was trying to be positive, in a way?
I cant tell a young guy with out a job to go spent some money on trees and or soil. So I was saying, take this time to learn and read. I wish I started at nineteen but I was burning weeds and crushing beer cans.

If you have been reading the right material you'd know, if your planning on keeping those particular trees in containers they will need some new soil/ growing substrate- Bonsai Soil. In the UK I understand there are cheap soils available ie. http://www.bonsai4me.co.uk/ scroll down hit cat litter.
Here is a link helpful for soil, water and feeding http://walter-pall-bonsai.blogspot.com/2010/06/feeding-substrate-and-watering-english.html

BEFORE you get any more trees you need to get bonsai soil.

Welcome to the site. Job idea ... bonsai nursery! Being Graham Potters slave ...

There more positive.
 

Attila Soos

Omono
Messages
1,804
Reaction score
34
Location
Los Angeles (Altadena), CA
USDA Zone
9
Spending a few hundred dollars on the first plant you attempt to keep alive in a pot sounds like a good way to waste a few hundred dollars and possibly be turned off from the hobby forever.

I really don't know why somebody has to spend a few years on useless material, just for "learning to keep them alive". Here, in Los Angeles, one goes to any bonsai nursery, spends $50 on a small bonsai that really looks like a decent bonsai, and saves many years in the process.

If fifty dollars is not worth 5 years of your life (the price of a dinner, by the way), than I am not sure what to say.
When you go out with a friend and spend $100 in a bar, what do you come home with? But spending a little less on a REAL bonsai, and a hobby of a lifetime, is not worth it? Here, the adage applies: "you get what you pay for". If you want to pay nothing, you will get nothing. That's life. You want reward, with zero risk? There is no such thing.

I had no teacher for the first few years of my bonsai adventure, and one of my first trees was a 200 year old collected sitka spruce. I kept it alive with no problems, until it was stolen 3 years later. The other spruce I collected in that year (much younger in age), is still in my backyard today.
So, not sure what's the fuss about being able to keep a plant alive, if you love the hobby.

I know that my post may sound a bit harsh, but it's spirit is actually quite the opposite. It's just that after 20 years of experience, I am not interested in niceties and advising people to waste their time. I've never, ever, seen any of these young seedlings, turn into bonsai, in the hands of a beginner (on the other hand, I've seen plenty of examples, when an experienced grower created something from nothing). I am just being pragmatic. Trust me, you get more substance this way.

Caring for a tree, every single day, is a big commitment. So, you might as well spend your time on something that has a chance to become a bonsai, some day. The truth is though, that many of us, who claim to love bonsai, are in fact gardeners, who just want to grow plants. And that is fine, if gardening is your real hobby. If that's the case, you don't need to worry about how the tree will look 10, or 20 years from now, so your collection, as of today, will do just fine.
 
Last edited:

Similar threads

Top Bottom