My new nursery find- 'Jacqueline Hillier'

Hisaoka

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I went intending to buy a seiju and cam home with this. Any ideas? I was thinking some air layering in several places. It is in a 5 gallon container and the trunk is pretty thick.
 

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AlainK

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It is an interesting species, but maybe a bit more difficult to form than the Chinese elm: from my experience, some small branches tend to die after the winter, which makes the formation a little difficult.

But it is easy to propagate from branch cuttings, and root cuttings.

Harry Harrington has photos of a very nice specimen on his site (bonsai4me.com)
 

Ang3lfir3

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Ok... so you have offically been bitten by the bonsai bug... Awesome!!!

I am going to go off topic for a minute but please bear with me... I promise I have your best interests at heart here.

From now on... I want you to take a few minutes and do something for me... an excercise if you will. Write down the purchase for all your current trees and add them up. include the cost of the pots you have put them in. Now... I want you to write this number down. We are going to play a game now. if this price is less than 75 i want you to round to one hundred. If more than that round to the nearest fifty. This is the price range of your NEXT bonsai (you can pay more if you wish) _and_ you need to purchase it from a reputable bonsai nursery. Oregon is full of them and you have a personal invitation from Chris at Telperion.

still with me?

The point of this excercise is to change your mindset... now that you have "project" trees its time to get you some trees that need very little work to become bonsai and can become quality trees in a shorter time frame. The project trees will give you a place to play and trees to try things on. The new found Bonsai will teach you the joy of caring for a valuable and inspiring tree.

that sound weird?

Just think about it... if you have a 150 dollar Bonsai vs a 20 dollar tree in a pot.... which are you most likely to show concern and be inspired to care for and ensure it gets all the attention it needs? Caring for an established bonsai while working on creating your own will teach you so much and you will be able to truly appreciate the outcome of what you will have with those project trees in several years.

This is my attempt to give you something many newbies don't get. Advise about when its time to slow down and think more about quality over quantity. Believe me every single established bonsai I have purchased that was of great quality has taught me so much more than any project tree and has given me so much delight.

is there more to this?

absolutely!!! the best part is that it festures the love you already have for bonsai and helps you feel the satisfaction of a beautiful work of art. If you don't believe me ask Harry(greerhw) about the quality established bonsai he has. He will tell you that caring for them and enjoying them gives him great joy. You can ask Will (grouper52) and he will tell you that some of the best parts of bonsai are sharing them with friends and viewing trees that are established.

My wife's favorite tree is her Satsuki Azalea that I purchased for the Xmas before last. It was an established tree imported from Japan a long time ago. After making some changes to it (jinning a branch and shortening the Kiki-eda ) she had put her stamp on it. The tree is showable and in its prime... no waiting... just pure enjoyment... and refinement work that can only be learned on established trees.

I hope you understand that I am trying to suggest that the next tree you buy be the one that will keep you excited about bonsai. The one that will inspire you while you work on your projects. The one that will give you the knowledge to refine those projects into established bonsai. I want you to stay excited and this is a great way to do it!

my 0.02 (ok more like $1.50) :)

P.S. This has nothing to do with this tree in particular... I just have noticed your posts and wanted to give you that advise before it was too late.
 
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Bill S

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I have recently obtained one of these at our club auction, don't know much about it yet, but the one thing I found out is that the 3' tall approx. 1" diameter curvey stick I got was a rooted cutting taken this spring. these will root as cuttings quite easily up to about 1 1/2" dia.. Mine is doing very well, putting on all kinds of new growth. I am looking at 3-4 trees out of mine if the pieces I will cut off next year all root as well as the this one did. Leaves aren't as small as many of the Chineese var's. but should provide you with decent material to use for you endevors.

I will try to track down this thread again when I get more familiar with it's habits and quirks.

Have fun.
 

mcpesq817

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Just to second the advice that Ang3lfir3 gave you, he is right :D

I'm only in my second year in the hobby, and spent the first buying lots of small stock. The good part is that you can learn the horticultural aspects and figure out if the hobby is something you will want to keep up with, at not much of a monetary investment. Problem is, you can't really do much with these types of trees but practice using your tools on them and watching them grow. They'll take up room on your benches, and being in pots, won't grow very fast. So for me, I'm now at the point of putting my small trees in the ground or giving them away, and buying better stock.

I think lots of people start off the hobby this way, so no big deal. Just keep your eye out for bigger, more developed stock. Auctions and other events at your club, or some of the shows that come around, are good places to start. You can also buy from the great vendors that are frequently mentioned on this site.

Anyway, enjoy the hobby - it's an addiction :D
 

Bill S

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I'm not disagreeing with the guys telling you to get more of a finished tree, it's not a bad idea at all, but with what you are doing you will in a few years have a bunch of things you can actuall design, and truely call your own, nothing wrong with either approach.

I have seen club members yards full of trees grown from cuttings, layers, grafing etc., it all takes time and sooner than later you have many to work with. Although unless you are retired and may not have a "bunch of years" or a bunch of free time limit yourself a bit, at some point the "many " trees can be a daunting task to keep up with, then you can actuall loose time spent by some growing out of control.
 

Ang3lfir3

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Just to be clear I was not suggesting you ignore the project trees you have I was suggesting that it's time for you to do both. I believe the more expensive "finished" trees will bring you enjoyment while you take the time to wait for the trees you already have to become something. Adding a few finished trees will help you see things differently and will help inspire you to stick with it...because you have tangable evidence of what can be done over time.

So i was suggesting doing both... but focusing on getting a few established trees to really appreciate as well.
 

jjbacoomba

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Way cool tree Amy. Cant wait to see what you do with it.A work of art in progress. I am a total Bonsai newbie. Going into my 4th month, and its been quite a learning experience so far.Seems like this hobby is all about time and patience,and during all that you have enjoyment.I am looking forward to each and everyday with my new hobby. Take care and keep us posted.
 

mcpesq817

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Just to be clear I was not suggesting you ignore the project trees you have I was suggesting that it's time for you to do both. I believe the more expensive "finished" trees will bring you enjoyment while you take the time to wait for the trees you already have to become something. Adding a few finished trees will help you see things differently and will help inspire you to stick with it...because you have tangable evidence of what can be done over time.

So i was suggesting doing both... but focusing on getting a few established trees to really appreciate as well.
Yes, that's what I meant as well. Sorry if there was any confusion.
 

grouper52

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I don't know that type of elm from experience, but the tree looks like it will be fun to work with.

I agree with Ang3lfir3/Eric, but I also have a bit of a different take on it. One of the great milestones to reach in this hobby is the point where you have more, or almost more, trees than you have time for. The advantage is that you no longer are tempted to over-worry or over-work your trees, and I find they actually start looking better if you don't. This is especially true because some of the rather questionable stock you bought starts to move over to a side location in the yard somewhere, where you forget about it for a few years as it sits there with a lot of "What was I thinking?" stuff. And lo and behold! you are watering it one day years later and notice it has grown into something much more interesting, or you now see something completely different in it, and suddenly it bears fruit for you.

So I think it is great to have a lot of stuff to begin with as well as some more mature and expensive specimens. As your skills expand you will also be able to do more interesting stuff to trees that previously seemed rather limited. I remember my fascination once years ago to see, I think it was in Naka's books, trees that had gone through a number of major transformations over a span of decades. Our trees are never static, and as they grow, and as we grow, our initial styling is often revised numerous times, in addition to simple refinements.

Good luck with this tree.
 

grizzlywon

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As a newbie, I don't know if I completely agree. Now if I could do it all over again, I would have bought less trees. I would have gone to better bonsai nurseries and got a lot more for my money.

As far as buying a $150 tree right off the bat, go for it if you don't mind watching it die. How many of you on this forum killed many of your first trees? I did! I'm really glad I haven't killed anything I spent more than $25 on yet.

For me better advice would be to take a look at your financial situation (especially in a recession) and ask yourself, how much are you willing to possibly throw away? There are some nice $25-50 trees out there and you will feel less pain if you kill these.

Another great bit of advice is to buy at clubs and auctions. My largest tree was purchased for $40. It is a trident with a 3+" trunk! A tree that would sell at a nursery for at least $250 if not a lot more. And one of my other best trees was given to me by Al. A shimpaku with mites. But it is doing well after some treatments.

Good luck with this elm. I love elms, they are hard to kill!
 

Ang3lfir3

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As far as buying a $150 tree right off the bat, go for it if you don't mind watching it die.
I respectfully disagree.... My first bonsai was a $450 Maple... that still lives.... I was motivated by its cost to keep it alive... and have successfully done so. That motivation was the fuel for the comment. I remarked about spending the time to look for more established material due to the fact that one can spend the time saving the money in small amounts looking for the appropriate material to work with in those kinds of situations. I will add tho that I had the help of many great friends My Wife, Will and Daniel all to help me learn and learn quickly, but this not something that can't be gained from finding an experienced bonsai person to work with at a local club, etc.

This is a cornerstone of Daniel's teachings and its one I personally believe deeply in.
 

grizzlywon

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I'd like to see the tree too. It was cool that you had others to come along side you and help. Many of us don't have that in the begining. That is huge!

As far as going out and spending $450 on a first tree. Please don't go out and do that on your own. You will very likely spend way too much for a tree. It is vital in my humble opinion to take some experts with you to help if you are thinking about throwing down some major mula.

There are bonsai nurseries and then there are BONSAI NURSERIES. It also helps to know the owners, they will be more likely to sell you the tree at a price that is a lot better than the tag.
 
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The price of a tree or piece of material is not relevant to the quality or the resulting bonsai. I have seen great material for under 10 bucks and some real crap for over a hundred bucks.

Train the eye, not the checkbook.



Will
 

grouper52

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I respectfully disagree.... My first bonsai was a $450 Maple... that still lives.... I was motivated by its cost to keep it alive... and have successfully done so.
I believe it was Winston Churchill who said, "Play for more than you can afford to lose, and you will learn the game." :)
 

rockm

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"The price of a tree or piece of material is not relevant to the quality or the resulting bonsai. I have seen great material for under 10 bucks and some real crap for over a hundred bucks.

Train the eye, not the checkbook."

Not completely true and I think this can be one of the biggest impediments to progressing in bonsai. I'm not saying that less expensive material can't be made into great bonsai. It certainly can, but thinking that is the best place to look--and thinking that any tree over $100 is crap--puts severe limits on what you can do. Price CAN indeed, be extremely relevant in bonsai. If you're buying in the right place, you get what you pay for.

Investing $40 or less repeatedly in nursery material means you will have a back yard full of mediocre trees, with one or two exceptions. I've been doing bonsai for almost 20 years now. My biggest regret was not buying more exceptional starter material.

I wouldn't trade the experience I got with the tons of less expensive material I worked on. It taught me alot, but I have only one tree that I started with. The rest were sold off or given away. The vast majority--I'd estimate about 90 percent--of that material had no real potential in the long run; five percent more was just fair; and only one percent was pretty good. By and large, you're not going to find very viable, exceptional material in the sale bin at the nursery. The odds are against you (not to mention the health of those trees in that bin probably isn't the greatest--if you can't see the issues with the plants there, then you probably shouldn't be looking there. Sales areas at nurseries are full of "problem children" plants. Some are just unruly or need a little TLC. Others are on their way to Valhalla and there's not alot you can do about it).

Sure, nursery stock is great to learn on. It's easily obtainable. Some trees can work into exceptional bonsai.

Howevr, if you're buying more expensive material from a reputable bonsai nursery or grower, you get what you pay for and what you pay for will probably appreciate. I have seen $450 raw collected material that has appreciated into $10,000 bonsai. I have a collected cedar elm I paid $250 for 15 years ago. Comparable stock now goes for over $600. Fifteen years ago, I bought a collected Bald Cypress trunk for $50. It is now pretty well developed and, judging from what I've seen on Ebay and reputable sites online, that tree has also appreciated well. Can't say the same about the $5 Alberta spruce I bought in the "last chance" area at the local truck nursery a decade ago...
 

grizzlywon

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No one on here including myself said anything to the affect that someone in bonsai should spend a lifetime buying $40 trees.

I was speaking to newbies encouraging them to start off with some trees that they don't mind loosing and learning what it takes to keep a tree alive in a pot for years! Before they go out and spend a boat load on a tree they don't have a clue how to care for.

There has to be a starting point and somewhere along the journey when you have learned how to keep these guys alive, then go for it. Spend all you can afford.

Just my two cents.
 

Ang3lfir3

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I'd like to see the tree too.
This is a pic from the Fall when I purchased the tree some 2 years ago. As you can see I got a great deal on the tree. But it needs some work to become more "natural" looking.


It was cool that you had others to come along side you and help. Many of us don't have that in the begining. That is huge!
It was huge... and a rare case.
As far as going out and spending $450 on a first tree. Please don't go out and do that on your own. You will very likely spend way too much for a tree. It is vital in my humble opinion to take some experts with you to help if you are thinking about throwing down some major mula.
I totally agree 110% when doing this early on.. find someone who can teach you how to buy a tree. This is a skill I believe that should be learned early on in ones bonsai career, sooner than later.

The price of a tree or piece of material is not relevant to the quality or the resulting bonsai. I have seen great material for under 10 bucks and some real crap for over a hundred bucks.

Train the eye, not the checkbook.
As RockM already said it is true that $10 tree can become great works of bonsai. We have all seen that as a trueism. This is more the exception and not the rule. Spotting these trees can only be learned however by training yourself to see the potential. Even if you don't buy $150 stock... at least learn what $150 stock looks like. [ the price is irrelevant i only use it as a model ]

I believe it was Winston Churchill who said, "Play for more than you can afford to lose, and you will learn the game." :)
EXACTLY!!!


As my always brilliant wife reminded me last night. "It takes the same effort to care for a $20 tree as it does a more expensive one." The point being that often the human _desire_ can be raised , pushed even to burn brighter if we think about the $$ we spent on something.

One of the other great benefits to spending more $$ on good trees is time. Its a sad fact but in bonsai we pay for other peoples time... years of someone elses life are available to purchase at a resonable price. The tree you see above is probably at least 30 years old... guess what.. I'm not even 30 yet, so I got ahead in the game for about $15/yr. That sounds like a pretty good deal to me.

Now I am not telling people to do exactly what I did... most people don't have the support I was granted so givingly. I understand that... but I believe once you have 5 or 10 projects trees its time to begin concerning yourself with the next level. Learn from those trees for a year even.... how to keep them alive etc... and spend that time reading... envisioning and training your eye to understand good stock. That entire time... you should be saving for something in the next level .... because only once you have appropriate material will you be able to move up. *IF* you find that next level material in a nursery... then buy it... if you find it in a Bonsai Nursery... you will have the experience and $$ to take the next step.

One problem I have with most early bonsai training is that people _expect_ to kill trees. If you start out telling yourself that you will fail at something... than you probably will. Lets stop perpetuating the idea of "paying dues" in bonsai and spend more time focusing on how to create and keep great trees. Isn't _that_ what its all about any way?
 
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