Wooden bonsai pots

Pixar

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Anyone using wooden bonsai pots . I was think getting wooden carve pots and drilling the drain holes in .
any thoughts ?
 

Lorax7

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Are you talking about a wooden pot for display or wooden boxes for growing trunks & recovering collected trees before their roots are reduced enough to fit in a bonsai pot? I haven't seen anybody display in a wooden pot. It would certainly be nontraditional, but it could work aesthetically if done well. That said, the wood is going to rot eventually, so a wood pot is inherently an ephemeral thing.

If you're just talking about wooden boxes for growing trunks, I think most bonsai people get into using them sooner or later. For example, here's a juniper potted in a wooden planter I picked up from Lowe's. I just used a power drill to put a bunch of holes in the bottom so it would drain well.
 

Pitoon

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Pixar

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I was talking about wooden pots that have been wood turned on a lathe ( round ) they look suitable and are reasonably cheap
 

penumbra

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It depends upon three basic things.
Type of wood, obviously some will hold up and most will not.
Wood sealer or treatment.
Exposure.
I certainly wouldn't invest very much in wood pots and would consider them temporary.
 

Japonicus

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Longevity would not be an issue using lignum vitae wood but mahogany would be a great selection.
Mahogany is easy to work and used in decking on coastal walkways and marinas sometimes.
Lignum vitae used to be used at Norfolk Navy yard, where ships were launched on the wood
submerged in sea water due to its natural oils that reduce friction and resists rotting. Pricey!
 

rockm

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It depends upon three basic things.
Type of wood, obviously some will hold up and most will not.
Wood sealer or treatment.
Exposure.
I certainly wouldn't invest very much in wood pots and would consider them temporary.
Wood containers are temporary. They don't stand up to "bonsai conditions" for long. They rot. Some rot very quickly. Others can last a while before they start falling apart from the constant watering, sun, fertilizers (corrodes nails and metal fasteners pretty effectively). ...Nothing like trying to move one after its begun to fall apart, having it fail completely dumping soil and tree on your feet.

As you can tell, not a fan.
 

penumbra

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Longevity would not be an issue using lignum vitae wood but mahogany would be a great selection.
Mahogany is easy to work and used in decking on coastal walkways and marinas sometimes.
Lignum vitae used to be used at Norfolk Navy yard, where ships were launched on the wood
submerged in sea water due to its natural oils that reduce friction and resists rotting. Pricey!
There certainly are many woods that would resist decay, but the are Very pricey, hard to find in any dimensional size, and usually very hard to work for lay folk. Teak comes to mind as a wood that is durable and not too difficult to work. There are teak doors on temples in the far east that are over 1,000 years old.
Having said that, I would probably use cedar and not count on it lasting all that long and not looking all that great after a few years.
Having said that, I would probably never make a wood bonsai pot. Training pot yes, bonsai pot no.

There are a plethora of sealers and finishes, the most durable being epoxy.

Lignum vitae makes a great bonsai but is very slow growing. I have several seedlings that were about 6-8 inches tall 4 years ago when I got them and are about 8-10 inches tall now.
 

RKatzin

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I have not, but I've been thinking on it for some time now and I have several large pieces of Pacific Yew, Taxus brevifolia, that I've collected for the purpose. The wood is super resistant to rot, even when submerged in the creek or buried in the ground for many years.
Unfortunately I had all my woodworking tools stolen a few years back and haven't been able to replace them with new, many I've had since my twenties, but I still collect any pieces of yew wood I can drag home.
I can cut out blanks with the chainsaw if you want to try your hand at it.
 

Grovic

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I was talking about wooden pots that have been wood turned on a lathe ( round ) they look suitable and are reasonably cheap
I'd say go for it, a wooden pot looks much better than a nursery pot.
If you're doing it in order to save money, just know that a well cared for bonsai pot lasts practically forever (money spent ÷ ∞ = 0 😂 ).
 

rockm

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I have not, but I've been thinking on it for some time now and I have several large pieces of Pacific Yew, Taxus brevifolia, that I've collected for the purpose. The wood is super resistant to rot, even when submerged in the creek or buried in the ground for many years.
Unfortunately I had all my woodworking tools stolen a few years back and haven't been able to replace them with new, many I've had since my twenties, but I still collect any pieces of yew wood I can drag home.
I can cut out blanks with the chainsaw if you want to try your hand at it.
Being buried and submerged is NOT really an accurate comparison for the wood used for a bonsai pot. Being buried and submerged involve limited exposure to air, and in the case of being buried, a relatively constant environment...When used for a bonsai pot, the wood is constantly wet then dry, then wet, frozen (if you live in a temperate zone), exposed to direct sunlight, acidic fertilizers, etc. Constant freezing and thawing accelerates the deterioration of dead wood (boards are dead wood) by expanding the grain and pushing it apart. On a bonsai bench, the wooden pot is in a much more dynamic environment with a lot more variables that being buried or submerged. Bald cypress wood has long been used in the South for piers, siding, etc. If I had a wood that I'd build a container out of, it would be cypress, but doing so would cost more than a decent bonsai pot. Cypress wood also decomposes, particularly when exposed to repeated freeze/thaw cycles.

Look, bonsai have been kept in ceramic pots for literally a millennium. Many of those pots are still around. Not true of wooden bonsai pots (think this is a new idea, uh uh). I have kept collected trees in wooden containers for a few years. I still have a few of those (although the bottoms of all of them have been repeatedly replaced over the years).
 

AnacortesSteve

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Anyone using wooden bonsai pots . I was think getting wooden carve pots and drilling the drain holes in .
any thoughts ?
My Dad makes wooden bowls, this bowl has been out in the weather for 4 years now and the Alberta Spruce has been very happy and the soil is mostly DE. I think it insulates well, I never put any treatment on it, it does look nice, will have to try some type of oil on it. I just drilled holes in it.
 

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Toche

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Hello,
I made a pot out of Larch wood
This pot, although temporary, had to be nice to look at in order to use it for a presentation during an exam at my bonsai school.
I protected it with a special two-component resin for wood, it was as if glazed.
For the visible part and I used a polycarbonate plate for the part in contact with the ground.

After a little more than two years, it looked like it had just come out of my workshop. 🙂


DSC_0587.JPG
 

penumbra

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Hello,
I made a pot out of Larch wood
This pot, although temporary, had to be nice to look at in order to use it for a presentation during an exam at my bonsai school.
I protected it with a special two-component resin for wood, it was as if glazed.
For the visible part and I used a polycarbonate plate for the part in contact with the ground.

After a little more than two years, it looked like it had just come out of my workshop. 🙂


View attachment 402826
That is a beautiful pot. The 2 part epoxy resin finish made all the difference.
 

Pixar

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That's great , so no problem using wooden pots .
Being buried and submerged is NOT really an accurate comparison for the wood used for a bonsai pot. Being buried and submerged involve limited exposure to air, and in the case of being buried, a relatively constant environment...When used for a bonsai pot, the wood is constantly wet then dry, then wet, frozen (if you live in a temperate zone), exposed to direct sunlight, acidic fertilizers, etc. Constant freezing and thawing accelerates the deterioration of dead wood (boards are dead wood) by expanding the grain and pushing it apart. On a bonsai bench, the wooden pot is in a much more dynamic environment with a lot more variables that being buried or submerged. Bald cypress wood has long been used in the South for piers, siding, etc. If I had a wood that I'd build a container out of, it would be cypress, but doing so would cost more than a decent bonsai pot. Cypress wood also decomposes, particularly when exposed to repeated freeze/thaw cycles.

Look, bonsai have been kept in ceramic pots for literally a millennium. Many of those pots are still around. Not true of wooden bonsai pots (think this is a new idea, uh uh). I have kept collected trees in wooden containers for a few years. I still have a few of those (although the bottoms of all of them have been repeatedly replaced over the years).
Doesn't this depend on the type of timber being used ? We have swamp Kauri timber that is dated back 10,000 years
 

rockm

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That's great , so no problem using wooden pots .

Doesn't this depend on the type of timber being used ? We have swamp Kauri timber that is dated back 10,000 years
AGain being preserved in a peat bog does not really equal 10,000 years exposed to the elements. We have similar Bald Cypress timber, mined from swamps. It weathers like bald cypress when exposed to the elements.

 

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