Nursery Stock -Tips & Tricks-

akhater

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I will start with some quick 'history' my love to bonsai is not new at all (15 years+) & I'm currently in my mid 30's. However my relationship with them was never maintained for long due to various reasons mainly time and lack of knowledge.

A couple of years a go (2009) i took things back in hand and started with some seedlings that I planted and waiting for them to grow. last fall I noticed that this was gardening and not bonsai at all so I decided to change my approach, I will not kill my seedlings and maybe will get a few more but I want to focus on nursery stock: 1 good stock per year or so in that way I can pay a bit more for it and start with some real material.

my first experience was this spring when I bought a fireglow maple that I picked for leaves colors (http://bonsainut.com/forums/showthread.php?t=5377) but now I realize that may have been another "expensive" mistake. I picked a tree for its color and didn't look at anything else but I LOVE that tree :D

Sorry for this long introduction but I am looking for all the tips & tricks you are willing to share about "how to pick a good nursery stock" for bonsai.

A few I can think of
  1. Check the Nebari
  2. Check the trunk for movemen
  3. Check the trunk for taper

If anyone cares to add to this list or even maybe throw more details on each of these points I would be more than grateful.

Pics of some nursery stock material you bought (just as it was bought) are also welcome ;)

Thanks
 
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tnaz71

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Here are a few I would add to the list:

4. Check overall health, dead branches, leaf issues (dead, burnt, lack of), insects etc.

5. Check soil it's growing in. I always try to pull the plant out of the pot (if possible) and check out the soil & roots. Soil is not a huge deal if you can repot right away but if you buy out of repot season then you need to consider this.

6. If possible I try and poke around the top layer around the tree to see if any dead, rotten roots. This also can tell you if the trunk is burried quite a bit (which is the case sometimes).
 

akhater

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Thanks for adding to the list, if a tree looks sick you will refrain from buying it ? (i dont mean dying sick but just sick)

Any pictures of stock mateial you bought?
 

flor1

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Nursery stock is at best a hit or miss situation. For a little more money you can go to a bonsai nursery and buy prebonsai. Save yourself years and have a better chance of having something that you can work with.
 

milehigh_7

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7. Be sure to check clearance sales when they are just trying to get rid of damaged or not popular sellers. Trees that have had their tops broken can't be sold for landscape but might be just fine for us.

8. Don't be afraid to haggle for a good price on items that clearly won't sell to their normal clients.
 

monza

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Nursery stock is at best a hit or miss situation. For a little more money you can go to a bonsai nursery and buy prebonsai. Save yourself years and have a better chance of having something that you can work with.

That might be true where ever you live. I think there might be two in Canada that I know about and the closest is 10 hr. drive then a 10hr drive home. Oh I wish I wish I could.
 

bonsai barry

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Make sure that the you can actually see the nebari and roots. I've bought a couple of trees in fifteen gallon pots, dug down to find that the trees were originally in burlap sacks, and the first branch was a lot higher on the trunk than I first imagined.
 

akhater

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Thank you all for your input, there is nothing called bonsai nursery in my county and, honestly, I find it much more fun to start with raw material even if I know I will never had a "good" bonsai per standards.

Anyone care to share nursery stock before and after pictures?
 

wahoo172

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before and after

This is a before and along the path shots, not bonsai yet still awesomepotensai
IMG_0792small.jpg


DSC_0007small.jpg
 

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