Where to look?

jadewtch

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Anyone have any suggestions on where to go when looking for bonsai in the wild? All my backyard seems to be able to grow is lots and lots of blackberries :mad:
 

Tachigi

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Hi Jade,
This is an age old question, where to go to seek what you desire. I will start this post by saying that gaining permission and collection etiquette is paramount when collecting. Will Heath wrote an article about this subject, hopefully we will chime in and offer a link as it alludes me at the moment.

Where to exactly look depends on your area. Areas that are subject to be bulldozed for development have been good for people in the past. A simple phone call to the developer or construction company usually ends up with permission. Private land is good if your lucky enough to know someone and obtain their permission. Some people have placed advertisements in the paper offering free shrub removal for those people that qualified. This meaning that if it wasn't the plant you wanted you weren't on the hook.

Places in places, this is really a topic of were to look when you find your collecting ground. Say in the case of farm land or open fields waiting for the bulldozer. To narrow my search when looking for yamadori here in the relative flat lands of the mid-Atlantic just about every tree looks like Popsicle stick. So when I collect in this area I look for geographic features that would lend to the formation of the tree. The example that comes to mind is a tree that is on the bank of a dry creek. Its influence is the bank and the water that runs through it in the spring and other times of high water run off. The angle of the bank will want to make the tree bend and turn upward and grow towards the light adding movement to the trunk. The moving water over time will expose and twist the roots. I have included a picture of a yew below that was collected and later after an initial styling to show the features this tree was collected from a spot much as I described. Looking for these geographic signs will lead you toward finding better quality trees and let you get to the business at hand ,then running through the field check out every gun barrel poking its head out of the soil.

Good luck in your quest.
 

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Jon Chown

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Thats a great explanation on where to find stock Tom, I particularly like the Yew and what you have done with it in its first styling.

Unfortunately there is not a lot that one could find in my area that could be used successfully for bonsai and that has always been a disappointment for me.

Jon
 

Vance Wood

Lord Mugo
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Anyone have any suggestions on where to go when looking for bonsai in the wild? All my backyard seems to be able to grow is lots and lots of blackberries :mad:
Holy Smokes, you live in Oregon! Go to the mountains. I have seen a lot of excellent material come out of Oregon, Western Hemlocks, Doug Firs, Limber Pines, Lodge Pole Pines and lots of other stuff. However most of the good material does not grow along side the road. You have to be willing to hike and get your hands dirty. It would help a lot if you could find a club with a member or two that do this and get them to take you with them. The best stuff is usually found at higher altitudes, and the really good stuff is almost at timber line where the growing conditions are poor and the the weather worse. It can be dangerous so you need to do some research.
 
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Hi Jade,
This is an age old question, where to go to seek what you desire. I will start this post by saying that gaining permission and collection etiquette is paramount when collecting. Will Heath wrote an article about this subject, hopefully we will chime in and offer a link as it alludes me at the moment.

Thanks Tom, the article can be seen at http://www.knowledgeofbonsai.org/collecting/basics.php but there is a updated version in the ABS Journal. Although it must be said that you have covered the topic quite well indeed.

Where to look?

If you live in an urban environment, look at the landscaping in the yards you pass going to and from work and then remember the great stock you see because chances are a few pieces will be dug up and discarded by the home or business owners this year. Drive through the old neighborhoods, the inner cities and you will see collectible stock next to porches that will rival any found in nature. The constant pruning and such that some of these trees and shrubs have endured over the years has created some remarkable trunks.

Where to look?

Sheep fields, cattle fields or areas heavily populated by deer, the browsing of these animals create some decent collectibles as well.


Where to look?

Everywhere my friend, everywhere, great trees grow where you find them.



Will Heath
 

Tachigi

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Unfortunately there is not a lot that one could find in my area that could be used successfully for bonsai and that has always been a disappointment for me.
Hi Jon, I am no expert on Australia vegetation, but would assume there are some things worth pursuing. My brother in Perth has sent pictures of his hikes out in the country side of W. Aus. I can remember seeing all sorts of goodies poking out here and there. Especially of one picture of a dry creek bed that had some of the gnarliest trunks I ever laid my eyes on. Now to be candid I couldn't tell you what they were, but they sure looked like they wanted to be brought home and stuck in a pot.
 

jadewtch

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Thanks for the great link, and the great ideas!

Yeah, I'm a newbie here in Oregon, as well as to bonsai so a club is definitely a good idea. I need a sensei so he/she can look at my bonsai and say "what the heck is this crap" :D and point out everything wrong with it that the books don't tell you.

Denise
 

rlist

Shohin
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Where in OR do you live? I might be able to point you in the direction of a club to help you on your way.
 

John Hill

Mame
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I Love collecting urbandori ;-)
Yamadori : taken from the mountains,, so there is no mountains around me I call it urbandori.

A Friend in bonsai
John
 

jadewtch

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Where in OR do you live? I might be able to point you in the direction of a club to help you on your way.
I'm in St Helens.

FYI... The mountain isn't here. It's just the town's name. The mountain is over the border in WA.
 

JasonG

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LOL, I about fell out of my chair laughing when I saw he/she was in St. Helens!! Look me up Jadewtch, email me as I am in St. Helens as well. You have no idea that you are living in the bonsai capital of Oregon. This little small town holds more than you could ever imagine.....

I collect a lot, and let me tell you that elevation has nothing to do with how gnarly and twisted the trees are. It has everything to do with growing conditions of the soil.... I know several places where the trees are twisted, tons of deadwood and grow at 2000 feet. Its all in the conditions, that should give you a place to start...... can't give away all te secrets....

Serious though, get ahold of me and I can help you along in this bonsai thing a little.

Jason
 

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Shohin
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Talk about dumb luck. Jade - you should play the lottery more often...:)
 

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