When is a ginkgo to big for bonsai?

leatherback

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Hi All,

I just spoke to the new owner of a house in my street. He is getting rid of 2 old ginkgos. THey have been there for 20+ years, and in spring were chopped to a metre tall. Trunk at groun level is 1 1/2 ft across or so. Some taper in the first foot of height, but nothing drastic, just the regular "fluting" of a trunk.

Besides not being sure I can get them out.. Would you think this worth collecting? The trees are free; he is paying a bunch of people to do a garden renovation next month. Naturally, I do not expect them to be gentle, so if I want to have them, I better take them out by hand..

Any thoughts? Is this one size too much for bonsai? Or does anybody know of examples this size? And of course.. What sort of roots do mature ginkgo make? Do they build heavy dense roots, or more azalea like fibrous mats with some mains?

ANy thoughts?
 

Shibui

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Way too big for my old back. The pot alone would bankrupt a small country and you ill need crane or small gang of large friends to assist with repotting whenever that is needed. Don't underestimate the real size of these. Trees seem to expand as they come out of the ground. The container you will need is likely to be at least half as big again as your estimate. The stump will weigh around twice what you guess.

Gingko have thick roots with few branches or feeders (similar to the branching?) - a bit like Chinese elm. These are likely to have quite a few larger surface roots that will need to be chopped. Roots have thick bark and (smaller ones) are relatively soft.
They seem to tolerate drastic root pruning quite well so the actual collection is probably feasible but i certainly would not bother with something this size.
 

Graft

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Would seem like a huge project. I for one would love to see the outcome 😀
 

leatherback

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Way too big for my old back. The pot alone would bankrupt a small country and you ill need crane or small gang of large friends to assist with repotting whenever that is needed. Don't underestimate the real size of these. Trees seem to expand as they come out of the ground. The container you will need is likely to be at least half as big again as your estimate. The stump will weigh around twice what you guess

yeah, getting similar responses in my club. some started laughing when I asked whether they wanted to join me, and get one of them.

sounds like the smart move would be to forget about them.

I did conveniently forgot how I hate repotting my biggish olive.

thx
 

Cadillactaste

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My husband would veto the collection. As he did the honeysuckle. Where I live the weather has me in spring doing a two step. If your climate has you doing that as well. If you could put the pot/grow box onto wheels. But if you are having to move it about. I for sure would pass.
I am curious about the chop...they don't really heal over well. ..how that would effect overall look as well.
 

leatherback

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the deed is done. I grabbed a 6 inch yew. in a plot down the road someone was playing digger and the digger dug the ginkgo which I left behind. They were too big: we could not lift the tree with 2 persons. that is outside my range. but jay. new yew!
 

leatherback

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actually.. in my climate they may be the best species for bonsai
 

Cadillactaste

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the deed is done. I grabbed a 6 inch yew. in a plot down the road someone was playing digger and the digger dug the ginkgo which I left behind. They were too big: we could not lift the tree with 2 persons. that is outside my range. but jay. new yew!
Glad you scored something workable in the trip. Respect for trying to save the Ginkgo.
 

Colorado

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I have a pretty big ponderosa...my wife already told me she’ll help me move that one since I already have it but from now on my Bonsai Size Limit is whatever I can lift myself 😅
 

DonovanC

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Go for it! I’ve always thought that Ginko had such a strange growth structure for bonsai - the large size would help make it appear more natural.
Fun fact: Ginko biloba is the oldest tree species alive! Relatively unchanged for 200 million years!
Also here’s a large bonsai...
76C13E60-B849-475A-B8D4-46858C39ACDA.jpeg
 

Graft

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I guess the answer is if it's not portable it's not a bonsai. 🚜🌳
 

Kadebe

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Hi All,

I just spoke to the new owner of a house in my street. He is getting rid of 2 old ginkgos. THey have been there for 20+ years, and in spring were chopped to a metre tall. Trunk at groun level is 1 1/2 ft across or so. Some taper in the first foot of height, but nothing drastic, just the regular "fluting" of a trunk.

Besides not being sure I can get them out.. Would you think this worth collecting? The trees are free; he is paying a bunch of people to do a garden renovation next month. Naturally, I do not expect them to be gentle, so if I want to have them, I better take them out by hand..

Any thoughts? Is this one size too much for bonsai? Or does anybody know of examples this size? And of course.. What sort of roots do mature ginkgo make? Do they build heavy dense roots, or more azalea like fibrous mats with some mains?

ANy thoughts?
You have a picture? 🤣
 

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