Variety or specialization?

Adam D

Shohin
Messages
270
Reaction score
299
Location
Central North Carolina
USDA Zone
7b
My approach is to have a few species that I really want to specialize in. For me these are pines and maples. But to keep a variety i have a few other species i am interested in (Ginkgo, juniper, ume, hinoki hornbeam, and elms) i generally only have one or two of these that i am developing whereas i have many pines and maples that I am working with
 

Lorax7

Chumono
Messages
805
Reaction score
1,032
Location
Michigan
USDA Zone
5b
I have a variety of trees, but I also have several favorites that I have multiples of (or at least several cultivars of). Definitely have a thing for pines, junipers, maples, and azaleas.
 

Carol 83

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
8,564
Reaction score
20,560
Location
IL
All of the ones I grow go into cool rooms over the cold season. I have it "set" at Tropical Winter... some punicas blow all their leaves... and others blow about 2/3 foliage and slooooooow doooooown...

I believe they REALLY benefit from
this, but have no ACTUAL proof it is better than wintering any other way.

My friend Nick (lives real near me), had a Punica in an unheated, plastic-tarp greenhouse all winter... and it budded out in spring. That sounds like a crap-shoot, though.

🤓
I bring mine inside under the lights and they bloom all winter. It doesn't seem detrimental. One is happily blooming outside now.
 

Carol 83

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
8,564
Reaction score
20,560
Location
IL
When I first started out I focused on tropical's and every spring went on a buying spree. The winter set-up and hauling everything in is getting a bit tiring. I have since focused on some Satsuki's and crapes that can hang out in the garage and are much lower maintenance. I have been much more selective with my purchases, aiming for less quantity and more quality.
 

nuttiest

Mame
Messages
182
Reaction score
103
Location
fl
USDA Zone
9
I get carried away with thoughts of a specialty every season. Currently neea, but I know in fall I will get a couple more bougainvillea to stye. Then back to thinking ilex schillings is the only good material, sigh...
 

Adamski77

Yamadori
Messages
59
Reaction score
72
Location
Shanghai, China
If you have too many trees to keep up on your bonsai chores and reading, then you need to simplify. If you are bored, you need more variety.

I've raised orchids, bonsai, and various houseplants at various levels of obsession for my entire life. A varied collection keeps the mind stimulated. However, we all have our favorites, one SHOULD have multiples of their favorite species.

It a particular species captures your imagination, OR if a particular style of tree captures your imagination, you should have, or make more of them. Learn as much as you can about that species or that style. Become expert. Dig deep. Learn all you can.
I was about to write and answer but Leo already did it for me... I'm totally with you 👍 ;)

I would add one more aspect... sometimes I go and walk around in nursery or other establishment... I would actually grab a tree... regardless of what it is just because the shape/form caught my eye... and I might have an idea for what to do with it... and I will buy it regardless if I have it or not.

So sometimes it will create variety and sometimes will be duplicate ;)
 

Potawatomi13

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
5,160
Reaction score
3,595
Location
Eugene, OR
USDA Zone
8
A couple Pines are favorites. Wish Possible to specialize in them and no deciduous, But............ Over time have gotten several different trees before this feeling and now feel committed to keeping all for sake of their lives and value to me as more than mere worthless "material" in some soulless tree keepers hands.
 

Adair M

Pinus Envy
Messages
14,322
Reaction score
33,941
Location
NEGeorgia
USDA Zone
7a
A couple Pines are favorites. Wish Possible to specialize in them and no deciduous, But............ Over time have gotten several different trees before this feeling and now feel committed to keeping all for sake of their lives and value to me as more than mere worthless "material" in some soulless tree keepers hands.
Interesting… How do you know the person is “soulless”? In your area Hagedorn and Robinson are pretty good with deciduous trees. Would you describe either of those as “soulless”?

I have passed along a couple of trees that I had to someone who really wanted to learn about the species. I had started them as long term projects, and had given them a good start by getting them in good bonsai soil, grafted on a few branches where they were needed, etc.

They have gone from my bench as “just another project tree” to being someone’s pride and joy!

Who knows? Maybe years from now when the new owner has taken trees that you really don’t seem to care about to eat next level, that person will say “I got these trees came from Potawatomi13‘scollection! And they’ve taught me everything I know!”
 
Messages
203
Reaction score
142
Location
Chicago
USDA Zone
5b
I for sure have variety but I have a special place for Mugos, boxwood, and I think amurs (first year after collection but I love the way they look). I also have some shimpaku cuttings that may take a spot in a few years
 

Similar threads

Top Bottom