My Bonsai garden

How many Bonsais do you think is plenty to look after for hobby while working

  • 0-50

    Votes: 49 76.6%
  • 50-100

    Votes: 9 14.1%
  • 100-150

    Votes: 2 3.1%
  • 150-200

    Votes: 4 6.3%

  • Total voters
    64
  • Poll closed .
Messages
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Location
New Zealand
USDA Zone
9
#1
Hi all,
Being a newbie here I thought I would introduce myself and my hobby.
Of course there will be people out there who say it is easy for me as I work in the landscape nursery industry. Yes, easy to get plant material, easy as I have had green thumbs all my short life. Also, easy for me to assume I know lots more than some, and for this I am sorry to those who I have offended with my 'arrogant, naive, Bonsai-inexperienced comments. Sadly my thoughts from a Horticultural perspective and my growing experience came across rude and maybe some will accept me as someone with anun-erring passion for plants/propagation and growing trees. Obviously what grows here is totally different from the USA, but hey plants still grow with media, soil, sun, rainfall, fertilizer etc.
So I have got a (bit) carried away with my plant purchasing (see photos) so I intend to only propagate this coming season as there is not really a bonsai nursery to visit ( I could be wrong). And these online sellers in my fair country only sell 'sticks-in-pots which I can grow anyway.
From my photos ( not that clear sorry) I have used a lot of my little garden already and wifey has said enough lol !!
My intention ( without much in-ground land available) is to grow most of my trees in 5-10 litre pots with regular rot-pruning etc for the next 5 years anyway, with retirement still 20 odd years away I hope I am starting early enough.
I welcome comments/opinions etc, and yes I am learning to have a thicker skin and not be so mean to others.
My other thread called 'my Cascade Juniper' is in the Beginner section.
I can take more photos if and when necessary. I hope to enjoy my time here and help where I can.
Charles.
View media item 3632View media item 3631View media item 3630
Charles
 

sorce

Nonsense Rascal
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Berwyn, Il
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#2
Let me recast my vote to....

0-50 plants worth taking care of!:p

Just playing!

You're gonna have to guide me to where these troubles of yours are so in as I can go and cuss someone out!

Not playing!

Anyway, you may have a few too many things in grow out mode for a regular, but for a nursery person, you're Probly in your element anyway!

It's important you know, while having a nursery background can be helpful in some aspects....

It can be downright damaging to a good bonsai collection if you don't consciously separate the other aspects.

I'd like to see some more of your better ones up close...
Or some kiwiplants!

Sorce
 
Messages
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Location
New Zealand
USDA Zone
9
#3
Thanks Sorce for comments. I am lucky I have you for comments. Hope others see this before it disappears lol.

Re the 'consciously separate out the other aspects' - can you explain as yes totally in my element here- a fraction of over -supply- is that what you mean?
Or bonsai practices way different to Landscaping?
Charles.

P.S . Ok I post more kiwi plant photos with better background and light - Go me !!
Charles
 

sorce

Nonsense Rascal
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#4
bonsai practices way different to Landscaping?
Yes, but not totally....
I myself would have a hard time finding them, the different aspects, not being a nursery guy...
It's more of a mindframe than actions I guess.

Just know that when our nebari turns out like shit Cuz you'ze dump new soil at uppotting....
We hate you...
But when you do the same thing and our nebari turns out good, we love you!

You gotta hate yourself sometimes!

Just read a lot and enthusiasm should win!

Bonsai4me.com is a good general start!

Ryan Neil has a nursery stock hunting series, the latest one not yet available on youtube... Mirai.com?
It'll give you a good start on taking best advantage of your position amidst the nursery stock.

Realistically, if your nursery sees say, 3 thousand trees a year....
You should find around 10-15 trees a year that are worth buying as "Great Starts".

Seems you have a bunch of "fun grow outs"....

Just be prepared to identify the "great starts" and make room for them always!
Keep em higher on the bench, easier to access!

Sorce
 
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Location
New Zealand
USDA Zone
9
#5
So I won't be able to get more photos til next weekend as back to work I go lol.
Hope you'all enjoy my poll
Charles
 
Messages
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255
Location
Appleton, WI
USDA Zone
5b
#6
The ideal number trees varies from artist to artist and is dependent on factors like your available time and the developmental stage of your trees. Personally, I could manage at least 1000 small trees in #1 nursery containers, but would struggle to maintain 30 show ready bonsai. It's not bad to have a lot of starts, you just need to be ready to cull as the trees develop or your situation changes.
 
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NE Ohio: zone 5b (USA)
USDA Zone
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#7
I voted for no more than 50...this is taking in many factors.

Watering system...is it by hand?
Winter set up
Stages of trees
Family time

I know some can and do handle more than 50 trees. But they have a quality watering system...and time to tend the ones needing wired and such.

You seem young...do you have young children? If so your time will be divided between work,family and hobby.

Myself...my goal is no more than 25 trees. To work and properly develop. Since I have a yard fetish and enjoy landscaping as well. I don't wish to feel so overwhelmed that my joy is stolen from me. Each person has their own rule thumb for what they can handle.
 

Giga

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#8
I have around 55ish, can't remember, but with kids work and life I'm at my max for now
 

rockm

Imperial Masterpiece
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#9
A dozen if you're serious about quality. 50 if you're not. 12-25 is about the range many people who have been doing this for a while settle on. You can have 100 "wannabe's" or 18 good ones and seven or eight that are better than good. Most experienced bonsai folks have pared down the number of trees significantly after they notice none of what they have are very good--mostly because they're busy with maintenance chores, not refinement.
 
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Location
Campbell River BC Canada
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#10
"Looking after" trees in pots is much different than maintaining advanced Bonsai trees in pots. I think most of us started as you did.....many many trees, all types of species, nursery trees, ones from landscape etc......killing a few over the years. I started 15-18 years ago and retired two years ago.......I now have too many and want to downsize so that I can do the work needed to bring all my trees to the refinement stage.
Then again if you can handle hundreds and bring them along nicely you might be able to sell them to other bonsai mates.
Good luck.
 
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Location
Alameda, CA
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#11
I can't resist propagating and buying something new. So, my total number of trees quickly grows to 100+. Many of these will never be worked by me. I donate to club raffles, give trees to beginners, etc. Probably more than half are just growing out - not much more care than water and fertilizer. For the ones I buy I try very hard to make each purchase a least a little bit better than the trees I have on hand.
 

Nybonsai12

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#12
I think rockm nailed it. The more developed trees take so much more work. I used to have a bunch more trees than i do now. I stopped the charity case acquisitions. I stopped walking through big box stores hoping for "the find" that does not exist. Don't get me wrong, growing stuff out is fun and I have stuff I've grown from seed, but it's not really doing bonsai.

I probably have somewhere around 40 in pots(not including 30 or so seedlings) and another 15 in the ground. Most require little attention.

I now find myself selling off younger stock and trees I've lost interest with in order to make room for something better. Finding the something better isn't easy though. I've spent this entire year trying to find the one tree i want to add to my collection.
 
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Location
Slovakia
#14
I cast my vote for below 50. (myself around that number) Try to count how many hours a week you are willing /able to sacrifice for the bonsai work. Take into consideration that wiring tree like on your pictures will take 20 minutes in 2017. But it will take 2-4 hours in 2023. Repotting stick in the pot is question of minutes, compared to repotting bigger developed bonsai could take 1-2 hours. Now, imagine it is spring 2023 and you need to repot 20% of your trees, so say 10. Multiply by hour and you have 10 hours Saturday doing nothing else just messing with substrate and pots. If we start to speak about serious styling, deadwood carving etc. you need plenty of time to perform it decently. So better be careful with numbers. My 2cents.
 

defra

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#15
I got around 50 plants nothing realy bonsai yet but giving water and fert and check them every once in a while is doable in combination with 40 hour work week and three kids
But this spring i repotted 70% of my trees from nursery soil to substrate and that was a bit stressfull job since i have so little time lol
 

Giga

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#17
A dozen if you're serious about quality. 50 if you're not. 12-25 is about the range many people who have been doing this for a while settle on. You can have 100 "wannabe's" or 18 good ones and seven or eight that are better than good. Most experienced bonsai folks have pared down the number of trees significantly after they notice none of what they have are very good--mostly because they're busy with maintenance chores, not refinement.


pretty blanket statement there, a lot of my tree's take a few days to wire alone, Have you seen Walter pauls personal garden? Not trying to start something but my main passion is bonsai and I know a lot of other people are too.
 

rockm

Imperial Masterpiece
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#18
pretty blanket statement there, a lot of my tree's take a few days to wire alone, Have you seen Walter pauls personal garden? Not trying to start something but my main passion is bonsai and I know a lot of other people are too.
Walter Pall has help...
 

Brian Van Fleet

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#19
You could have hundreds of cuttings and trunks growing out, and if you're in the nursery business or early in this hobby, it's difficult to toss out trimmings when it's just as easy to stick them in soil. I used to try to root everything, but after a while I realized I had to take care of all that stuff, and it took more time than I had. Growing out a couple dozen trunks is really rewarding and not too time- or space-consuming. But if you're going to do that, get the roots right first, and then you can leave them to their own devices for a few years at a time.

I honestly get bored with my trees at times; usually around this time of year, and I don't have a huge collection to prevent that. However, I also don't have time to maintain dozens of finished trees. They require a little attention often, and a lot of attention at several times of the year. @rockm is dead-on here. I've been at this for 23 years.

My collection is roughly 30 trees, and I try to keep them in about this stage of refinement, while I'm still raising a family in the peak of daily activities, and working a full-time job:

10 That I could spend 30 minutes on and not be embarrassed to show locally
2 That I am refining with an eye towards large regional shows (Expo, Silouette, etc.)
3 That I am preparing for upcoming USNBE shows
8 Rough stock ready for first styling
6 Trunks growing, maybe ready for work in the next 2-5 years

Some junipers in the ground and some shohin trees were excluded for simplicity sake...so call it 40.
 

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