new to bonsai, wanting to grow from seed

Sami

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I'm moving to oregon this fall, and want to bring some well cleaned seeds from local trees that grow here on the east coast.
I already checked the USDA zones, and all the trees I wish to bring will survive in willamette valley, so I'm good to go ^_^
I've only had a couple bonsai in my life, three there failures and two got killed by the cold.
I'd say I am great at finding out what NOT to do with bonsai all by myself. :p
Anyhow, the species I'm taking with me are
Rose of sharon
Multiflora "rambler" rose
Eastern hemlock
Black cherry
Red maple
and some seeds from a random purple leaf spiney bush out front that produces rose hip looking fruit.
I'm using these plants as a way to remember home, any advice on how I could do this would be appriciated. I'm willing to drop all but three species, but I REALLY want to try the black cherry.
 

rockm

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Skip the black cherry. They are a collossal pain in the bu%$. I collected an old gnarled one a decade ago. It's proven to be a headache. I only put up with it because of the old flaky bark and ancient looking trunk.

The species requires specialized pruning, as it will drop entire branches if you prune at the wrong time of the year (like most of spring and summer). I is also very apically dominant and will drop lower branches to devote energy to the top of the tree. Is is also prone to fungus and about a million kinds of insects (tent caterpillars are the worst and can defoliate an entire 24 inch black cherry bonsai in a couple of days in mid-spring if you're not watching.

Additionally, they draw borers, which are very hard to get rid of in older specimens. Borers can destroy a tree from the inside in a short amount of time by eating the bark cambium mostly unnoticed.

Wouldn't waste your time on Red maple either. It's more trouble than black cherry. I've also had a collected wild rose bonsai--which was OK, but had to be treated agressively because it grows strongly like wisteria -- only with thorns. It is also prone to fungus and mildew and borers.

The species you describe as purple leaved with thorns and "rose hips" is mostl likely barberry. It is not an Eastern native, but an ornamental shrub that's probably pretty common out west also.

Rather than pine for the east coast, go native. There are extremely good species on the other side of the Rocky Mountains for bonsai.
 

Sami

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thanks, I think I'll save the hassle on the black cherry.
I know that the spiney purple thing isnt a native, but thanks for ID'ing it for me. I know rose of sharon isnt either, but I dropped the red maple and black cherry from my list.
thanks
also thanks for ID'ing the purple spiney guy for me
 

Bill S

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Not up on the import laws there, some could be on thier invasive species list, maybe not but I know the rose of Sharon goes crazy if not kept in check. There are about 500 more in my yard than there was 5 years ago.

Rock is right, they have so much that grows well out there don't drive yourself nuts with less than good stuff to work with. Lots of growers out there too, and from what we are told the prices on the west coast are quite attractive.

One other aspect is that from seed your bonsia will drive you to do something you shouldn't, work on them when they aren't ready, get some things you can put the shears to now, work on seeds later, assumming you are young(ish at least)

As to Hemlock, the western version is much better than the ones dying off around this coast.
 

Sami

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Yeah, I have nothing but time.
I dont have anywhere to collect trees from though when I get to oregon. does anyone from the valley know of anywhere I can collect from the wild?
For that matter is there anyone on this forum from the salem/corvallis area that could help me o_O ??
btw all the hemlocks here are pretty healthy, maybe theres a blight that hasnt reached us?
 
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rockm

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The blight affecting hemlocks on the East coast has wiped out vast stands of the tree from Maine down to Ga. It's carried by the wooly adelgid -- a fluffy looking creep of an insect.

http://maine.gov/doc/mfs/idmhwa.htm

If you plan on taking a sapling or other tree with you, you might investigate whether OR has restrictions on it:
http://na.fs.fed.us/fhp/hwa/
 

capnk

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Here's some info on Oregon restrictions.
http://www.oregon.gov/ODA/PLANT/quarantines_index.shtml.
Where are you coming from? If you are planning on going through California with any plant material, I would recommend a change in plans.

There are active bonsai clubs in Salem (Willamette Valley Bonsai Society), Corvallis and Eugene.
Good luck,
Chris
 

Bill S

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Sami, something just hit me is just plain skip it til you move, just the hassle of taking care of trees you aren't really up to snuff on a road trip will take away from the ride. Enjoy the trip, then see why they call it the wild northwest. There is a great movement in bonsai in that part of the country these days(from what we read anyway), it'll be worth the wait. Like Chris said taking plants etc thru Cal. could be an issue, the outta state plates will be a dead give away it didn't come from aunt Ednas garden.

my humble opine.
 

Sami

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Thanks guys, I'll be waiting till I get there to collect trees. I guess I am sentimental and wanted a tree from my old home, its not worth the hassle, risk, etc
 

rockm

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It depends on the hassle and the species. There are more than a few species in the East that make excellent bonsai. You've just fixated on some of the more difficult ones.

Hackberry, white cedar, pitch pine, American elm, slippery elm, blackhaw, blueberry, willow oak, possumhaw, Carolina hornbeam, hophornbeam, American beech are a few of the better Eastern species that take to bonsai training.
 
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my two cents... skip the seeds!!! Your grandchildren would love you for it but thats about it... buy small items at the store, play around with them and if they die, so be it... when you have learned from your mistakes as all of us have, you will make up for it by growing cuttings, layerings, or at that time planting seeds. I think one of the biggest probs. about just starting off would be that it is new, exiting and that you always want to be doing something to the poor little devils... then eventually you reallize they don't last if you keep it up so, you will aquire more and more so you can always be doing something... just not on the same tree!!! I personally think your best bet might be junipers, they are easy to work with... seem to do well just about anywhere and are cheap. You can often find some descent size trunks and shrubs at smaller landscape stores. When you get tired of that one buy another. Keep in mind that we all are going through a learning cycle, and making mistakes is just part of the job. It is just nicerto make mistakes on a $10 tree than it is on a $700 buttonwood!!!(which got bit by the cold) Also, for now go locally... there is a reason they are selling those type of plants, they do well in that particullar location. A whole other battle you don't really want to encounter when just starting off, same goes with collected trees... Not sure where you are headed but there is Wee Tree farm in Corvallis, Oregon they sell alot of nice bare root field grown plants each winter/spring. Other plants to try might be elms, maples, azealas, etc. Good Luck!!!
 
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