My 2 cents worth for what's it's worth.....

greerhw

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I see newbies and people that have a little bonsai experience already buy those little S curve Chinese elms for 35 to 55 bucks and higher. In about 8 to 10 years, they will have a larger S curve Chinese elm. I'm sure I will have people disagree with me and that's a good thing, because we want to stimulate bonsai conversation, so speak up. IMHO everyone should have a Juniper in their collection, especailly a Green Mound or Procumbens Nana, whichever you prefer. They will grow almost anywhere, they are tougher than nails, just keep the spider mites off them. They are like a bad haircut, give them a while and they will grow back. They are inexpensive and like the one below, can become a near finished with one styling. The one below is like I bought it, it has NOT BEEN STYLED. All I've done since I bought is water and fertilized it. You can't see real well from my picture, but it's a double trunk. Would you rather have five 25 buck trees or a bonsai for 125.

keep it green,
Harry
 

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october

Masterpiece
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Hi Harry.. Ya, most of those elms are pretty much just going to be those S curved little trees. However, they are tough trees and will tolerate many beginner mistakes.. Also, junipers seem to be sold as started trees (mallsai) ect.. However, as far as pruning, they are not really a beginners tree, so to speak..Junipers require a good deal of pruning knowledge (as you know) before you begin. Incorrect pruning on junipers can lead to horrible browning, death of portions of the tree or just the tree dying in general.

Rob
 

digger714

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I got this one last week after a workshop. I took some of the branches off to be able to see the tree. Im gonna study it for a while and decide where to go. Your right, a procumbens nana gives you the instant satisfaction us beginners need to keep us satisfied, lol. I think they are the best type for beginners because of that. Also, if you are working with one gallon trees and you kill a few, its not such a big dent in the pocket. This one was 55.00. Its about 2" at the base, 30" tall or so in a 3 gallon pot. Days of fun getting into it.
 

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Dwight

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Harry , that is the ugliest thing I ever saw. Box it up and send it to me so your other georgeous junipers won't be insulted. I'll even pay the freight and give you haly of that 124 back.

Cereally I love pro nanas. I have a procumbens major ( not nana ) and the foilage isn't near as nice. I can't see what anyone sees in needle junipers when compared to pro nanas. The nana has softer foilage , better color , is way tougher and can be bent all to heck when young. I'm really considering buying a bunch this spring , wire them upright like yours and place them in grow boxes then forget them for four or five years. The wire scars will heal and in fact might add character.
 

Attila Soos

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I agree with you, Harry.

Buying a bonsai is no different from buying a wife. You are supposed to look at it/her for the rest of your life (theoretically, at least).
I don't know about you, but I'd rather spend those extra dollars to get a great wife that brings me joy ever day, than get a cheap one who will make my life miserable.
And a juniper will make a great companion.

(I know, I know, those times when a man actually had to buy a wife with money, are long over... at least in this side of the world.)
 

Smoke

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I agree with you, Harry.

Buying a bonsai is no different from buying a wife. You are supposed to look at it/her for the rest of your life (theoretically, at least).
I don't know about you, but I'd rather spend those extra dollars to get a great wife that brings me joy ever day, than get a cheap one who will make my life miserable.
And a juniper will make a great companion.

(I know, I know, those times when a man actually had to buy a wife with money, are long over... at least in this side of the world.)
You have it backwards my good man. You need an ugly one....they try harder.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9NF5XU-k2Vk
 

greerhw

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I got this one last week after a workshop. I took some of the branches off to be able to see the tree. Im gonna study it for a while and decide where to go. Your right, a procumbens nana gives you the instant satisfaction us beginners need to keep us satisfied, lol. I think they are the best type for beginners because of that. Also, if you are working with one gallon trees and you kill a few, its not such a big dent in the pocket. This one was 55.00. Its about 2" at the base, 30" tall or so in a 3 gallon pot. Days of fun getting into it.
This is crude and quick, must meet the wife on the patio with a a drink. Bend the the apex and start a new apex. Good start on your part !!!!!

keep it green,
Harry
 

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painter

Mame
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its my third year into this hobby obsession.
money is a little issue for me as i dont have much and get a little pissy when i waste it.
but now im at the stage where i want something nice to look at and feel ive contributed to making and has some future potential.
i also feel i have enough knowledge to keep something of this caliber alive and thriving now.
im actually looking for stock like this, and dont know if for me without those 3 years of dawdling with those little pieces of garbage id be where im at now. so for me it was a bit of a necessary learning curve.
anybody who wants to lead me in this $125 direction lemme know.
p
 

grog

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its my third year into this hobby obsession.
money is a little issue for me as i dont have much and get a little pissy when i waste it.
but now im at the stage where i want something nice to look at and feel ive contributed to making and has some future potential.
i also feel i have enough knowledge to keep something of this caliber alive and thriving now.
im actually looking for stock like this, and dont know if for me without those 3 years of dawdling with those little pieces of garbage id be where im at now. so for me it was a bit of a necessary learning curve.
anybody who wants to lead me in this $125 direction lemme know.
p

My perspective fwiw. I don't look for material at box stores, though I have bought 2 trees from home depot this year while I was looking for landscape material. Trees that I haven't come up with a workable future for are almost all gone now, the remaining ones are getting planted out. I search ebay for trees between 100-300 dollars since that's my price range and make sure I check out the seller's feedback on tree sales they've made. I check meehan's tree gallery, weetree, bonsaiwest, and evergreengardenworks larger stock pretty regularly. I try working the smaller mom and pop nurseries but haven't had much luck, they seem to cull pretty ruthlessly.

Of course, there's no bonsai nurseries within hours of here, if you access to one that would probably be your best bet. I imagine there are other websites with trees in that price range but I haven't found them yet.

Getting rid of the frustration of looking at trees I didn't know what to do with has been very nice.
 

subnet_rx

Mame
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I have all kinds of trees at this point, all in training, but each at different stages of the training process. I have two S-curve ficus trees, and one ficus with bulbous root growth. Those 3 trees get the most comments from the visitors at my house than anything else I have. I am certain I could post all the pictures of my trees here and other trees would get ranked higher by bonsai artists (relative to my collection mind you), but bonsai artists aren't the people that visit my house. I definitely think some other trees are better, but if I didn't have those 3, I may not get any comments other than quick glances and "that's nice". Whereas the those 3 have actually gotten people saying "Where can I buy one of those and start my collection?". So, in short, I would suggest getting many different styles of trees, because there's a tree out there for everyone.
 

RickMartin

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its my third year into this hobby obsession.
money is a little issue for me as i dont have much and get a little pissy when i waste it.
but now im at the stage where i want something nice to look at and feel ive contributed to making and has some future potential.
i also feel i have enough knowledge to keep something of this caliber alive and thriving now.
im actually looking for stock like this, and dont know if for me without those 3 years of dawdling with those little pieces of garbage id be where im at now. so for me it was a bit of a necessary learning curve.
anybody who wants to lead me in this $125 direction lemme know.
p
I totally agree.I have 4 pro nana and 1 green mound, and i like working on these little guys, just takes patience, but they can and will come around. I look at itas you have to start somewhere.

Rick
 

KennedyMarx

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Those elms can always be chopped to the first branch which can be used to grow a new apex. In a few years in a grow pot they can have a neat little shohin.
 

Derek91

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While we are on the subject of nana's being fun to work with and a great beginner tree I figured I would mention(plug in) plant city bonsai out of Clermont Georgia.
I stopped by there for the first time Wednesday and the amount of top quality procumbens nana's Steve has is unbelievable. He has got to have close to a thousand of these guys that where in the 30 year old range and the pricing seemed to be pretty good.
I had a hard time choosing one because they all looked amazing. If you are looking for a really good procumbens nana you have got to check with him. I don't think you will find a better selection to choose from. These trees are allot of fun to play with and have a countless amount of possibilities for each.

Here is a pic of the one I picked up.this is after I did some initial pruning so that I could open it up to get a good pic.
 

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Adair M

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Steve calls it. "The Sea of Junipers".

Many great trees have come from there.
 

Derek91

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Steve calls it. "The Sea of Junipers".

Many great trees have come from there.
It really does look like green waves when you walk up. I have been meaning to drive up there for a long time but it seems like I have always found a way to put it off. I'm kinda pissed at myself For waiting so long because it's really not that far of a drive for me.lol I will definitely be making many more trips up there though.

I'm sure there has been many great trees come from there based on what I saw.how these trees were grown is perfect for bonsai. They are like really good yamadori almost
 
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