New to bonsai. I think I have a problem...

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So, I've been lurking the forum for a while now and figured I should finally make a post so, here goes something.

I had no idea growing trees in pots would become so addictive. This spring I started plucking little trees out of parking lots and off the side of the road. I quickly moved on to taking cuttings of everything I could. Air layering seemed like the next logical step so, I went all in on that too. I now have close to 150 trees potted in anything I could scrounge up that slightly resembled a pot. My spare time is spent wandering around the woods looking for trees to collect next spring.

I see no end in sight. This isn't going to stop. My only regret is I didn't start sooner.

Anyways, I guess it's sharing time so here are a few little trees I've collected.

stump.jpg
This Amur chokecherry was growing up against a curb and had been stumped.

abused alder1.0.jpg
This abused Alder was growing into the road and had been hit by more cars than I have (For the record I've only been hit by 1 car).

abusedalder2.0.jpg
Another abused alder from the side of a logging road.

anotheralder1.0.jpg
Scooped this guy off a sand bar on a camping trip.

birch1.0.jpg
Who knew little beat up birch trees liked to hang out around train tracks.

chokecherryairlayer1.0.jpg

Don't try to airlayer trees near a homeless camp unless you like kindly asking hobos to stop tearing apart your airlayer.
 

Tbrshou

Mame
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If only u knew how much we have in common. I got rid of 3 trees this year in an attempt to down size. Then dug in the trash pile to retrieve 2 of them,re-potted the, apologized and promised to never throw them away again.
 
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The longer you hold onto that, the longer everything else regrettable will stick around.

Welcome to Crazy!

No Regrets.

Sorce
I'm familiar with crazy, I've just found a new avenue to explore.

If only u knew how much we have in common. I got rid of 3 trees this year in an attempt to down size. Then dug in the trash pile to retrieve 2 of them,re-potted the, apologized and promised to never throw them away again.
I already have a plan for next year when I downsize, I'm just going to drop a bunch of little trees off at my parents place. Both of them like gardening and couldn't ignore orphaned plants dropped off on their doorstep.
 
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The longer you hold onto that, the longer everything else regrettable will stick around.

Welcome to Crazy!

No Regrets.

Sorce
"Look, I've never had a dream in my life
Because a dream is what you wanna do, but still haven't pursued
I knew what I wanted and did it till it was done
So I've been the dream that I wanted to be since day one."

-No Regrets
Aesop Rock
 

Tieball

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I simply replant unwanted or downsized trees back in the forest around me. They thrive well in a natural habitat. I often downsize….even trees with promise….so I can enjoy other things of interest.
 

PA_Penjing

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welcome, your the only Alaskan on the site that I'm aware of. I think you're off to a great start. Learning to identify trees around you and getting good at collecting them is the way to go. Especially in such a wild place
 

penumbra

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For many reasons I am glad you are here.
I love the fact that even in zone 2, you kick ass.
You share a common addiction with many of us.
You listen, you learn.
Most of all, this short thread has produced several bouts of laughter.
 
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welcome, your the only Alaskan on the site that I'm aware of. I think you're off to a great start. Learning to identify trees around you and getting good at collecting them is the way to go. Especially in such a wild place
Thanks.

There might be others but I doubt there are many Alaskans attempting bonsai. I've tried looking for clubs in AK and all I could find was one club posts from like 2013-2014. I also found an an article on Harry Harrington's b4me site written by an Alaskan about wintering trees but that's about it.

For many reasons I am glad you are here.
I love the fact that even in zone 2, you kick ass.
You share a common addiction with many of us.
You listen, you learn.
Most of all, this short thread has produced several bouts of laughter.
I've learned a lot already but have barely scratched the surface. I have a feeling I'll never stop learning if I keep at this hobby.

I like a challenge. It would be no fun if it was easy. Limited species, short growing season, 140° temperature variation in a year and cold dark winters, it going to test my abilities just keeping trees alive much less making anything worth showing.

Its better for me to nerd out on forums so I give my family a break from all the tree talk.

...and you have a way-cool avatar, to boot!
Thanks. Yours ain't to shabby either.
 

hinmo24t

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im a year ahead of your process. gained a lot of horticulture knowledge. know what i want to spend time on in the future now.
how to prioritize, etc. what youre experiencing is normal, itll render down or continue lol
 
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So I told myself I wasn't going to collect anymore trees this year, but I was walking around one of my blueberry picking spots in an old burn area flagging trees to collect in spring and I found this ~8 inch tall triple trunk red alder. I knew I wouldn't be able to find it again in the spring so, I took out my pocket knife, cut around it and it popped out just like this. The soil up there is only about 2-3 inches before you get down to a layer of ash and debris from the fire. There were no roots in the ashy layer so it has a nice shallow root base with no tap root, almost all of the leaves had already dropped and the ones remaining fell off with a gentle touch. I figure it wasn't stressed much since I got it out with very little root disturbance, it's damn near dormant and I've had a very high success rate digging alders so it should be fine.

It's nothing spectacular but it's an interesting little tree that has close to 60 buds ready for spring. My friends and family are getting tired of me showing them pics of tress so I'll show them to all of you.

241790069_3158124364415904_5901637368243625773_n.jpg

Minutes after collecting

241857960_3158122704416070_1690619205922084775_n.jpg

Just slipped it into this little grow basket on top of some decent garden soil when I got home. Didn't disturb the roots at all.
 

Forsoothe!

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So I told myself I wasn't going to collect anymore trees this year, but I was walking around one of my blueberry picking spots in an old burn area flagging trees to collect in spring and I found this ~8 inch tall triple trunk red alder. I knew I wouldn't be able to find it again in the spring so, I took out my pocket knife, cut around it and it popped out just like this. The soil up there is only about 2-3 inches before you get down to a layer of ash and debris from the fire. There were no roots in the ashy layer so it has a nice shallow root base with no tap root, almost all of the leaves had already dropped and the ones remaining fell off with a gentle touch. I figure it wasn't stressed much since I got it out with very little root disturbance, it's damn near dormant and I've had a very high success rate digging alders so it should be fine.

It's nothing spectacular but it's an interesting little tree that has close to 60 buds ready for spring. My friends and family are getting tired of me showing them pics of tress so I'll show them to all of you.

View attachment 397607

Minutes after collecting

View attachment 397631

Just slipped it into this little grow basket on top of some decent garden soil when I got home. Didn't disturb the roots at all.
Gotta go here. post#1
 

Tieball

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Nice looking start to the tree. I find Alaska fascinating. I suppose in a city it simply looks like any other city at times, however, the wilderness has a certain dangerous calling on numerous fronts. The wilderness requires an amount of respect for survival. Well, that’s been my feeling anyway. Perhaps I’ve watched to many episodes of “Life Below Zero”.
 
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Nice looking start to the tree. I find Alaska fascinating. I suppose in a city it simply looks like any other city at times, however, the wilderness has a certain dangerous calling on numerous fronts. The wilderness requires an amount of respect for survival. Well, that’s been my feeling anyway. Perhaps I’ve watched to many episodes of “Life Below Zero”.
Yeah, town can look like any other place sometimes but it's easy to get away and forget it's all there. I went on a little walk the other day searching for larch to collect next spring and found a nice little muskeg bog filled with hundreds of larch and some black spruce. It's <100 yards from a main road running through town and like 10-15 minute walk from my front door.
get larch here.jpg
 

Mapleminx

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I was really proud of myself yesterday. I could have had a fairly large sized taxus sapling for 4€ but I resisted! It was a bargain but I resisted! It can be someone else’s bargain gold.
 

Tieball

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Yeah, town can look like any other place sometimes but it's easy to get away and forget it's all there. I went on a little walk the other day searching for larch to collect next spring and found a nice little muskeg bog filled with hundreds of larch and some black spruce. It's <100 yards from a main road running through town and like 10-15 minute walk from my front door.
View attachment 398496
Fabulous. That’s the Alaska I visualize and admire.
 
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