New Red Oak Growing in my Garden, Looking to Make it a new Addition to my Bonsai.

austindecker

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The other day as I was gardening I noticed these new plants that were growing in my garden that most definitely did not look like weeds. After some digging in the dirt to find a root source I realized they were growing from some acorns that Im sure some squirrel decided to bury in my garden. I have a few oak trees around my house that these acorns could have fallen from and so after some research I have come to the opinion that they are probably Northern Red Oak. Does anyone have any experience with growing a Red Oak from a seedling and then successfully potting it and turning it into a Bonsai? I would love to take these two (maybe 3) specimens and seeing what I can do with them but the only experience I have with Bonsai is tropical trees, and certainly not from a seedling. Anyone advice of pointers on how any of you have been successful or unsuccessful in doing this would be very appreciated.

Thanks!
 

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Potawatomi13

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Personally have three 2013 seedlings from fellow club member in 2014. Will see if can get some pics soon. This is 7th growing season for them and each has different level of vigoro_O.
 

Gsquared

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Give them a little trunk movement while they are super bendy. I have a volunteer hawthorn that will have some nice curves down low some day. For now it is a toothpick. A bendy toothpick.
 
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Leo in N E Illinois

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Oaks can make good bonsai, but they are slow to develop. You baby in your avatar photo will be finishing their PhD, before a seedling oak will look like much. Northern red oak has relatively smooth bark compared to some of the other oaks. Its autumn color is dull, red, but more dull brown-red than a bright color. There are other oaks that have better shape if you are going to put in the time investment.

Fully winter hardy to zone 3, and the roughest, most coarse bark oak that is hardy in the northern states is the bur oak. The big leaves reduce to sizes similar to most oak bonsai after you get some ramification. So if you need a cold hardy oak, try bur oak.
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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For oak bonsai, the only route that is less than 30 to 50 years from seed is to harvest a tree from the wild that already has the first 50 to 100 years of growing out of the way. Not trying to be a downer, but oaks really are slow to develop as bonsai.
 

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