What's the least suitable species for bonsai in your collection?

QuantumSparky

Shohin
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Who has the most difficult or unsuitable species of tree, and what is it? Bonus points for pictures!

I'll put my plan out there - I just received a patio peach tree from my job foreman and plan on propagating it and using the clones for a few bonsai attempts :p

Even better, I have a friend from out of state who is going to dig up a few seedlings that came from his Thorny Locust tree and, you guessed it, bonsai attempt.

Nothing you can say will stop me; now which trees do you own that would make everybody shake their head in embarrassment 😂
 

AcerAddict

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Least suitable...hmm. Well, I've been keeping plants for a long time, but I've only been into bonsai for about a year, so I don't really have anything too odd right now. I'm trying to stick with trees and shrubs that are actually known to be suitable for bonsai. However, if I had to pick one, I would say this hibiscus. It's just a small little thing right now, with a trunk only 1/2" thick. I picked it up for $6 at Lowe's a few weeks ago to do as a project for my wife since hibiscus is one of her favorite plants.

After doing a big root reduction and putting it in a terracotta training pot with bonsai soil, it immediately started to have some leaves turn yellow and drop off after a few days, so I moved it back into traditional potting soil until it can recover a little better. It has turned around nicely though and is getting ready to have 7 or 8 flowers bloom over the next week or two. I'll do some trimming and put it back in bonsai soil in the spring when it's a bit stronger. You don't hear about too many hibiscus bonsai, so we'll see how it goes!

I'm probably just going to leave this one small, but will look to buy a bigger, older one next spring and work with turning that into bonsai as well.
 

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BrianBay9

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I'm finally learning to (mostly) give up on the stuff you never see made into bonsai. There's generally a reason you don't see them. I used to beat my head into that wall, but I'm learning. My one possible exception now is a jacaranda. Mostly I'm waiting to see if it ever flowers before I lose patience.
 

AcerAddict

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My one possible exception now is a jacaranda. Mostly I'm waiting to see if it ever flowers before I lose patience.
I've got a Blue Jacaranda seedling myself that's been going since October of last year. How old/large is the one you have? They don't flower until they're mature, which can take at least a handful of years. Some articles I've read say 5 years, while others say 7, 8 or even 10 years. You may be waiting for a while.
 

Carol 83

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Rabbit's Foot Acacia. Half the bark fell off, just throws long spindly growth. It's probably not going to make the cut to come inside this fall.
 

BrianBay9

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I've got a Blue Jacaranda seedling myself that's been going since October of last year. How old/large is the one you have? They don't flower until they're mature, which can take at least a handful of years. Some articles I've read say 5 years, while others say 7, 8 or even 10 years. You may be waiting for a while.
I've had mine in a nursery pot for three years. I'd guess it's probably six or seven years old. No hint of blooms yet.
 
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I thought that species is used all the time in bonsai :p

possibly

I thought the ginseng ones with giant bloated roots weren’t considered great. It’s “trunk” is basically a root I think, and there used to be three or four of them.
 

A. Gorilla

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Despite nice bark, strangely nice nebari for wild trees, being unkillable, and having buds come out everywhere, buckthorn is not wireable, and strong winds breaks off (at the truck) those new branches you might be counting on. Nightmare.

I euthanised a nice large stump this year. Taking up real estate.
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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Got a few, mountain ash, Sorbus, don't know what species. Compound leaves, should have nice flowers. Staghorn sumac, a yard ornament for autumn color. I have a pawpaw, but that is for fruit, it's going in the ground. Ficus carica, going to blend container fruit tree with bonsai -ish training. Monster leaves and long internodes. I mail ordered them. The largest, 36 inches tall was supposed to be the dwarf. The 'Chicago Hardy' which can be a 6 to 10 foot shrub was in a little 2 inch pot. Going to let them all trunk up a bit.
 

RKatzin

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When I started bonsai I was living at a place with two large black walnut trees in the yard and I kept most of my potted trees under them. Consequently I had walnuts sprouting in many of my pots. So the idea of making a black walnut forest was hatched way back in the beginning of my journey. I actually made an attempt back then, but my lack of knowledge and experience fostered a failure. But, never say die! I collected seedlings that came up in my pots over the years and today I have 18 strong and healthy trees I had slated to build a forest this past spring, but they leafed out before I could get it done so it's a top priority for this coming spring. Have to do it! I have 18 trees taking up a lot of space (8-10-12" pots on three pallets) that should all be in one container.
I also have a clutch of Oregon Ash that have sprouted up in my pots. Same compound leaf, but I think they'll be more manageable than the walnuts. Time will tell.
 

hinmo24t

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Got a few, mountain ash, Sorbus, don't know what species. Compound leaves, should have nice flowers. Staghorn sumac, a yard ornament for autumn color. I have a pawpaw, but that is for fruit, it's going in the ground. Ficus carica, going to blend container fruit tree with bonsai -ish training. Monster leaves and long internodes. I mail ordered them. The largest, 36 inches tall was supposed to be the dwarf. The 'Chicago Hardy' which can be a 6 to 10 foot shrub was in a little 2 inch pot. Going to let them all trunk up a bit.
i still want a staghorn sometime...ghetto palm. have some good ones around where i live

youll have fun with the figs. they get big quick and respond to hard cuts anywhere during grow season

unnamed.jpg
 

Cajunrider

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I have been trying hard to develop one Eucalyptus deglupta (Rainbow eucalyptus). They bud back easily but only on well lignified branch. Anything they don't like and they will just drop the whole branch. The leaves are big but I expect them to reduce just fine. It's just that I never got one tree to that level. I've had many succumbing to freeze and lost some to storm (my bad luck).
I now down to just one tree in a grow box. The trunk is 1.5" and short (3"). The part of the trunk above that are dead to freezing. I have 3 long branches (3.5 ft) 5/8" diameter growing from it. I can't afford for it to drop any branches so I am allowing it to grow freely without any cutback this year.i

By the way, I've searched high and low for a bona fide rainbow eucalyptus bonsai and have not found any. I either find pre-bonsai stuff similar to my own or fake ones.
I'll post a picture of the one I have left tonight when I get home.

Until I am able to get one good enough to move from grow box to bonsai pot, I would say that it is a difficult one for me. Mind you I just start out 3 years ago but I now have a few trees that, although still in grow boxes, I can easily see that they will be bonsai. However, I've never been able to get to the point where I can comfortably say that I can turn a rainbow eucalyptus tree into a bonsai.
 
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