Sage Brush

Tachigi

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This spring I am returning to South Central Colorado to collect some material that was marked last fall. While I was there I studied sage brush and found that at least initially it looked promising as bonsai material. It's attributes were very similar to European Olive. Its my intention to collect a few specimens and try. I was wondering if any of you western folk have insight into this plant or any advise about collection. As I can not find any reference in print or electronically:(

Edit: I should correct myself, Pacific Rim Nursery hints at the fact that it might make a good bonsai and/or Penjing
 
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BONSAI_OUTLAW

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I have a few hybrids in pots rIght now and while I am very fond of these bushes I have been told that they are very difficult to Bonsai (bonsai as a verb?). They have the most fantastic foliage and purple flowers.

I might be wrong about this, but I think it was Behr who told me that it was not the best of subjects to use. I did not really need to go into it as I generally do not question his guidence. Perhaps he can chime in here and elaborate. I hope I am wrong about this and it was a different plant. They are truely lovely plants especially the hybrids.
 

Baz

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Hi if itaint jap is it wesh?
 

Brent

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I suggest we refrain from using the American slang shortening of "Japanese". Many may not be aware that it is derogatory and offensive to persons of Japanese origin, You can be certain that we will never get any participation by Japanese bonsai practitioners as long as it is used here. It may not sound bad to us white Honkies, but that isn't the point. The internet is international by its very nature and we should strive for the highest standards of communication and practice cultural tolerance. Americans already have a lot to answer for.

Brent
EvergreenGardenworks.com
see our blog at http://BonsaiNurseryman.typepad.com
 
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I have a few hybrids in pots rIght now and while I am very fond of these bushes I have been told that they are very difficult to Bonsai (bonsai as a verb?). They have the most fantastic foliage and purple flowers.

I might be wrong about this, but I think it was Behr who told me that it was not the best of subjects to use. I did not really need to go into it as I generally do not question his guidence. Perhaps he can chime in here and elaborate. I hope I am wrong about this and it was a different plant. They are truely lovely plants especially the hybrids.
I think the inquiry was about one of the native species--Artimesia tridentata. If yours has purple flowers, it isn't the native species. I collected a small one from 7,000' in Montana and planted it on a flat stone found near the collecting site. I used a cactus mix for the drainage layer and mossed the sides of the planting. It grew very well on its slab. I remember having to constantly pluck out the dead leaves further back on the new shoots. It is tedious work and needs to be done with tweezers so you don't damage the healthy leaves, which are easily bruised. I don't remember why, but one year I decided to pot it in a bonsai pot and used pumice, lava and akadama. The tree died very quickly after that. It did not like the "magic mix". Another club member said he'd heard they like sand in their mix, which is one of the ingredients in the cactus mix. I think sage bonsai falls into the herbal bonsai category and I particularly enjoyed rubbing the leaves and smelling the scent--took me back to the days when I grew up in Montana hiking through sagebrush hunting grouse and deer.
 

BONSAI_OUTLAW

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The purple flowering one is a native to Texas. That is where I am from. Perhaps I should have specified this in my earlier post.
 
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This spring I am returning to South Central Colorado to collect some material that was marked last fall. While I was there I studied sage brush and found that at least initially it looked promising as bonsai material. It's attributes were very similar to European Olive. Its my intention to collect a few specimens and try. I was wondering if any of you western folk have insight into this plant or any advise about collection. As I can not find any reference in print or electronically:(

Edit: I should correct myself, Pacific Rim Nursery hints at the fact that it might make a good bonsai and/or Penjing
Tom--I'm doing this all backwards, I should have replied to your post first. I have collected a couple of the sagebrush that are native to the area you are thinking about. Forget the notion they work like an olive. You need to get a decent rootball and I don't think you could saw it off like you could an olive and expect the stump to root. That's one difference. The leaves are soft and delicate, unlike olive leaves that are tough and leathery. They constantly slough their leaves closer in to the trunk and you will find you are spending a lot of time keeping them tidy. The branches are not very limber and prone to dying for no apparent reason. Given all the negatives, I probably would still attempt another one again for the sole reason of their arromatic foliage and how it takes you right back to where you found them. There are a couple of nurseries in Colorado that stock them and I saw them available when I was in Montana also. I suppose there are places that carry them in Wyoming, since half the state is covered with the stuff!! Give 'em a try and let us know how they fare on the east coast.
 

Tachigi

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Great Info. Greg! I appreciate the input.
 

bonsai barry

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There are two families that are called sage, Artimesia and salvia. I have a black sage (salvia) that I will be digging out of my garden and planting in a pot next week. I'll post a photo at that time.
 

Tachigi

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Forget the notion they work like an olive
Its forgotten :). I guess what I was referring to was the texture of the bark and its general wild look. I really had no notion as to how it would train, this species is obviously new for me. They did leave an impression though will I ate my lunch on a rock at 6,500 feet last fall. Your comment about leaves slough close to the trunk makes me wonder just how close. The tidbit about sand and cactus soil will be of immense value. Now if the snow in Colorado mountains will just melt away
 
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Right. Now we're on the same "sage page". Texas ranger makes a better subject for bonsai in my opinion because it's nearly impossible to kill and responds to bonsai techniques pretty well. And the purple flowers are an added bonus. And it's widely available as nursery stock throughout the southwest. It does not have the same wild quality as the native species does, I'm afraid to say. Nor does it have that distinctive smell when you rub the leaves. Can't have it all all the time, I guess.
 
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Its forgotten :). I guess what I was referring to was the texture of the bark and its general wild look. I really had no notion as to how it would train, this species is obviously new for me. They did leave an impression though will I ate my lunch on a rock at 6,500 feet last fall. Your comment about leaves slough close to the trunk makes me wonder just how close. The tidbit about sand and cactus soil will be of immense value. Now if the snow in Colorado mountains will just melt away
Tom--perhaps a better species to compare the native sage to would be Rosmarinus officionalis or herbal bonsai. The bark resembles rosemary and the aromatic leaves can be as powerful as rosemary. The horticultural requirements seem to be similar as well.
 

Tachigi

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Nice Fred, Is this a type of European sage? The trunk and bark look different from what I saw out west. (Just looked up and saw the netherlands so I guess I answered my own question) :eek:
 

imholte

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I collected a few (artemsia tridentata) last year. They are definately not your typical bonsai material. I am still trying to figure out the best way to train them. I potted them in 80% grit and 20% bark and they responded greatly. I pullud some out this spring to look at their roots and they seem to have grown quite a bit of roots. They were located in very gritty soil with a solid base a few inches under the soil so they practically were pulled up with 80% of the roots.
 

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Tachigi

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Hi Imolte,
Thanks for the pictures. The first two are some tasty bits. As my time draws nearer to my collecting trip in Colorado, these pictures and your description really confirms that this might be a viable subject. I truely appreciate your response.
 

Dale Cochoy

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Tom,
Experience was a cruel teacher....
I marveled at sage during several trips across the country, and my mouth watered at sage on the rim walk of the grand canyon...
During the ABS convention in Denver in 1977 (?) there were some dwarf sage workshops with fantastic little shohin collected sage. and, a couple guys fromArizona I think had quite a few collected large sage.
I had to get one each for my friend and I to bring back to Ohio. I was told by SEVERAL folks out there that they will not thrive and will probably die in Ohio...why?...Too humid and wet, too much rain. They will tend to rot along soil/bark line most probably.
Pooeyy! says I, I can control that.
I knew a couple from Cleveland area who took the sage shohin workshop.

well, theirs died FAST.
And mine and my buddys ( kept by two different experienced people) died fast.
Now, it's possible they were never established befoe being sold. Who knows, but...
Been there....done that....having T-shirt printed!

Leave them here....

http://pages.prodigy.net/dalecochoy/
go to "Articles" and then "Canyon of Inspiration"


Dale
 

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