Scot pine nursery stock

ibnozn

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Was at a local nursery yesterday, poking through last years stuff and saw a couple of balled Scots Pines. They were about 7 ft, 4-5" or so at the base. Although a growth of them was a little thin, one had very good buds and small branches on the lower trunk. Marked down to $50 a piece. If I took them home and put them in a grow box could I do an initial trunk chop, say down to half size right now? Not a final chop down to a new leader. I'd just want to bring the down to a more manageable size. Thanks!
 

tnaz71

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You shouldn't have any issue cutting it in half or so, just make sure that there is growth to support the tree below the cut. Cutting it back to the point of no needles will be certain death to the tree.
 

Dav4

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When I first started out in this wonderful hobby, Nursery crawling was a weekly event for me. You can bet a 7' tall pine for $50 would have recieved a second look. I'd think, "What a great deal!" and convince myself there was good potential in the stock. I've come to realize that most stock like this, generally with poor nebari, little or no taper or movement in the bottom 1/3 of the trunk, is useless as bonsai stock(good stock has all three). Though 50 bucks is not THAT much money, it's probably too much money to spend on something that will never cut it. I'm not saying that you can't find descent stock where you are looking...I actually have. I'm just saying I have never seen a pine like the one you describe that was really worth investing any time in. Feel free to post a picture of potential purchases and we may see something worth something. Good luck,

Dave
 

Brian Van Fleet

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Couldn't agree more, Dave. If a local bonsai nursery is anywhere nearby, that $50 will go much further. The tree may be smaller, but made for bonsai.
 

ibnozn

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Thanks for the replies. From what I've seen, $50 is about 1/3 the way to bonsai nursery potensai. I might find good mame material, perhaps a ponderosa whose needles won't reduce for $75 but the good stuff really isn't that cheap, at least not what I've seen.

Not saying I disagree with you, I probably am sacrificing trunk movement in these guys. Nebari and taper to a certain degree can be developed though, right? I'll try to get back and snap some pics If I don't decide to bring one home. Still, where can I get decent material for close to 50 bucks?
 

Dav4

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I guess part of the learning curve for me was realizing what good stock is, what it is worth, generally speaking, in time and $$$, and, finally, where I could find it. I was lucky in that I lived, for the first decade of my bonsai obsession, less the a 1/2 hour drive from a great bonsai nursery that offered stock from $10 to greater then $5000. I spent a fair amount of money there, but some of my favorite trees have been found on nursery crawls through local box stores and Mom and Pop nurseries. Others have been dug from my yard, or planted there and grown out by me. The bottom line is that, regardless of where you get your material, there has to be real potential to justify the cost in either, 1) buying it, 2) the effort in digging it up and nursing it afterwoods, and 3) the years required to grow out and develop good pre-bonsai stock. At this stage in your bonsai experience, $50 might be all you are willing to afford for pre-bonsai. That's fine...I was there, once, and still love a good deal. The thing is, at this point for me, if the tree doesn't have real potential, I don't want it, and I'm pretty sure you will be wasting $50 on a piece of stock that will never amount to much, even after years of effort. If you really want it, then go for it and give it a shot. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, I guess. Most folks who have been at this for more then a few years would tell you to skip the landscape trees and save your money for stock being developed as pre-bonsai.

By the way, you increase your chances of people on this forum helping you by letting us all know your location by filling out your profile.
 

mrchips1952

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Alberta Spruce

I believe it was late March at Home Depot when I spied Dwarf Alberta Spruce for $5.97 each. They were all about 18 inches tall. I bought three and in hindsight I should have bout a dozen. The three are now in an 18 inch rectangle pot. I'll let them sit for a year developing and then next Spring start to thin each of them out so they don't look like Christmas trees. $17.91 for a small forest is not a bad price....in fact that is what the plastic bonsai pot cost now that I think of it. Dave in Colorado, Wild Bonsai Capital.:D
 

rockm

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"From what I've seen, $50 is about 1/3 the way to bonsai nursery potensai. I might find good mame material, perhaps a ponderosa whose needles won't reduce for $75 but the good stuff really isn't that cheap, at least not what I've seen."

You're wrong. You can get a very nice medium-sized ponderosa (whose needles DO reduce if worked adequately) for $75 or even less, if your timing is right.

You can also get a pretty nice semi-finished bonsai for that IF you look in the right places. I've gotten some very nice stock from club auctions over the years for less than 1/3 what it would go for retail or at a wholesale nursery. I've seen some spectacular trees go for pennies on the dollar at such events. I've never seen any tree at such an even bring the seller more than $500, and that includes azaleas with 5-6 inch diameter trunks and other stuff. Between $50 and $100 will usually get a VERY nice tree...

Nurseries aren't the place to get decent bonsai stock. They can be, but nice bonsaiable trees are few and far between at landscape nurseries, just as they are in the wild. You have to look through literally hundreds of trees to find one that's worth the effort.
 

rockm

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Wow. Dude, you asked...I answered.

"Still, where can I get decent material for close to 50 bucks?"

All I was saying was expand your search. Try a club auction. Don't think nurseries are the end all of bonsai sources, or that decent bonsai stock is for the rich.
 

ibnozn

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You're right, sorry. Seemed like my only other option was sniping Muranaka potensai on Ebay and they're not very cheap either. Maybe I'll have to join a club or hit an auction. Thanks for the help, I appreciate it. I did pick up a Fuku Zumi JWP which seems to have the right stuff at a garden center over the weekend so I do still think you can find stuff at them if you look hard enough. I'll start a thread on it soon. Cheers!
 

rockm

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fortunately, or unfortunately, :D you seem to be interested in pines, which are the most expensive and slow to develop species for bonsai. You will always pay a premium for good pine stock. The more specialized it is, the more $$ you will put out.

Good to excellent deciduous stock (purpose grown, collected, or even lanscape trees) tends to be less expensive, more developed and more available.....jus sayin'...:D
 

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