Where to get bonsai material?

Njyamadori

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I’ve been looking to see where to get almost any kind of bonsai material such as crab apple , Chinese quince , and other fun Japanese/Chinese trees ?
 

stu929

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Superfly or Meehans Miniatures are good options. I have only purchased from local nursery though. I figure I'll learn on cheap stuff before buying something I'm really worried about killing.
 

Firstflush

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Most of the really cool old nursery stock went away with the 2008 financial crisis, when many mom and pops went under or were picked up by a larger competitors. As others have said, well known online sellers may be your best bet.

I would look around for off the beaten path nurseries in your area...back woods, way off a highway on a country road.
You’ll have to put in the work to find the diamonds in the rough.
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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I heartily endorse the suggestion of Evergreen Gardenworks, link provided above. They have rooted cutting grown crab apple cultivars. and many other species for bonsai.

Meehan's Miniatures is at:
  • 4925 Woodstock Lane
    Rohrersville, MD 21779
  • 301-432-2965
I am not sure how long a road trip that would be, but you should visit in person if you get a chance. They come to our local bonsai show every year, and I always end up buying a dozen or more of their $10 starters. Sometimes I buy more mature stock. Good assortment. The on line catalog is maybe a third of their inventory. Call if you are looking for something not listed.

 

stu929

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I'm about an hour from meehans they have a ton of material of various sizes and stages.
 

HorseloverFat

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It’s not the worst idea to go to nurseries in your area to see what they have.
This is TRULY ... FAR from the worst idea...

When I FIRST started, I though that the local non-“bonsai” nurseries didn’t have what I was looking for... THIS was one of my largest mistakes.

🤓

Shovels and handsaws are relatively cheap!
 

stu929

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This is TRULY ... FAR from the worst idea...

When I FIRST started, I though that the local non-“bonsai” nurseries didn’t have what I was looking for... THIS was one of my largest mistakes.

🤓

Shovels and handsaws are relatively cheap!
I agree with this. Not that I have amazing material but I have a lot that I believe has some potential if I could just get a little more experience. Reject piles at local nurseries have been my fav spot. Picked up a very large bald cypress for 30 bucks, japanese maple for 5, etc etc. Plus I'm going to visit my uncle's farm 100 acres and drive around on a 4 wheeler to see what I can find.

Hoping to bring home a birch, beech, Hornbeam and larch. If I can get even two of those I would be happy.
 

Adair M

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And, I repeat my advice: wait for a while before you attempt the “fun Japanese/Chinese” varieties. They often require specialized techniques to master. Whereas, you’re a beginner, you need to learn the basics first. Stick to Japanese Maples, Trident maples, elms, shimpaku, and JBP. There’s plenty of challenge in those trees, and they’re easy to obtain. Once you have demonstrated you can be successful with those, then move on to the more difficult species.

It’s like how you must learn basic arithmetic before learning algebra before learning calculus. One step at a time.
 

HorseloverFat

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And, I repeat my advice: wait for a while before you attempt the “fun Japanese/Chinese” varieties. They often require specialized techniques to master. Whereas, you’re a beginner, you need to learn the basics first. Stick to Japanese Maples, Trident maples, elms, shimpaku, and JBP. There’s plenty of challenge in those trees, and they’re easy to obtain. Once you have demonstrated you can be successful with those, then move on to the more difficult species.

It’s like how you must learn basic arithmetic before learning algebra before learning calculus. One step at a time.
This is VERY sage advice.

You don’t learn “proofs” the day you discover 180-degree angles...

🤓
 

HorseloverFat

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I agree with this. Not that I have amazing material but I have a lot that I believe has some potential if I could just get a little more experience. Reject piles at local nurseries have been my fav spot. Picked up a very large bald cypress for 30 bucks, japanese maple for 5, etc etc. Plus I'm going to visit my uncle's farm 100 acres and drive around on a 4 wheeler to see what I can find.

Hoping to bring home a birch, beech, Hornbeam and larch. If I can get even two of those I would be happy.
I will, also, give you a piece of advice that I MYSELF should have utilized straight off the bat..

Don’t collect JUST for species sake... specie IS important.. but evaluate specimen’s quality.. or else you fill your benches quick and have no room for the “outstanding” collection trees you find... and your stuck.. with benches that look like mine..crowded AND shitty.

🤣🤣
 

stu929

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I will, also, give you a piece of advice that I MYSELF should have utilized straight off the bat..

Don’t collect JUST for species sake... specie IS important.. but evaluate specimen’s quality.. or else you fill your benches quick and have no room for the “outstanding” collection trees you find... and your stuck.. with benches that look like mine..crowded AND shitty.

🤣🤣
It was a 8 ft all 8 inch wide baldy with a small curve and nice base. I was happy to take it for 30 😁

That being said I have picked up trees just to grab another species which wasn't always smart. I do try to always look it over to find find something of interest though.
 
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I also vote for www.evergreengardenworks.com - always been happy with the quality of material there. Coincidently enough I did a picture progression on my FB page of a Hedge Maple I got from them in 2017. First pic is the $25 Hedge Maple (middle tree) in 1 gal I received Fall 2017, 2nd is that same Hedge Maple this morning.

just got.png

PXL_20201125_134121000.jpg
 

stu929

Mame
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I also vote for www.evergreengardenworks.com - always been happy with the quality of material there. Coincidently enough I did a picture progression on my FB page of a Hedge Maple I got from them in 2017. First pic is the $25 Hedge Maple (middle tree) in 1 gal I received Fall 2017, 2nd is that same Hedge Maple this morning.

View attachment 341289

View attachment 341290
II was looking at their site last night, I saw hedge maple listed. Never heard of a hedge maple.

NiceNicee tree!
 
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II was looking at their site last night, I saw hedge maple listed. Never heard of a hedge maple.

NiceNicee tree!

Fantastic trees in my opinion. I think they're more popular as landscape trees in Europe. My yard is full sun almost everywhere and the delicate maples burn up. This guy stays in full sun even through July/August without issue.
 

Johnnyd

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I’ve been looking to see where to get almost any kind of bonsai material such as crab apple , Chinese quince , and other fun Japanese/Chinese trees ?
When I lived in your area the closest place for reasonably priced material that had been ground grown was Natures Way in Harrisburg PA. Last time I was there they had some great starting material, Trident,J.Maple and Hornbeam . Look for the Woodstock weekend. This is when they restock!
 

HorseloverFat

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It was a 8 ft all 8 inch wide baldy with a small curve and nice base. I was happy to take it for 30 😁

That being said I have picked up trees just to grab another species which wasn't always smart. I do try to always look it over to find find something of interest though.
Oh yes.. i was just talking about collecting. 🤓
 

stu929

Mame
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Oh yes.. i was just talking about collecting. 🤓

The laceleaf cost me 3 bucks and the baldy was 30 so there are things to be found at your local nursery scrap heap 😁
 

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