Worth buying?

Ollie

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£5, 5 minute drive away.

But is it worth the space in the garden?

I'd either chop or repot this year - any ideas how I could bonsai a pretty characterless piece of material like this?

A more experienced opinion than mine would be appreciated!
 

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Paradox

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I cant even tell what species it is. Some kind of spruce?

I would say no, its not worth the effort. The trunk is very straight and has little taper.
I would save for something that has better characteristics for bonsai.
 

Bonsai Nut

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any ideas how I could bonsai a pretty characterless piece of material like this?

A very common solution when working with material like this is to jin the top, and run shari down at least part of the way down the trunk - making the tree look like an old tree that got struck by lighting.

Shorten the branches and wire them down so they sweep down and then start to turn up towards the ends. (This image is pretty dramatic - but it illustrates my point. You don't have to use so much deadwood if you don't want to.)

2014-10-04-21.30.12comp.jpg
 

Paradox

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Alternatively, could I chop pretty low to make a curvy shohin?

No matter where you chop it, there will be no getting around the fact that the part below the chop is straight.
Not every species can reliably be chopped. I dont think Spruce or fir are ones that can
 

Ollie

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Decided for £5 it'll be good experience with conifers, of which I have little, whether or not I manage to make it a bonsai.

Thanks for the advice.
 

Forsoothe!

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From this distance it looks like a skrawny spruce or a skrawny Norfolk Island Pine. If it is, it's dead and just hasn't fallen over yet.
 

Bonsai Nut

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Can you share a close-up of the foliage?

Regardless... my advice stands. If it were £500 I'd say pass... but £5? Make sure to start at the nebari first. Uncover the surface roots and determine the best front of the tree. Then decide on the primary branches and move up the trunk cleaning out the bad branches (bar branches, crossing branches, redundant branches, etc). Think in terms of reducing your current tree by about half... but make sure you don't prune it at the halfway point. Prune it higher and strip away the bark. You can always remove dreadwood... but you can't add it back :)

One other style that might work... jin the main trunk and then take a high branch and wire it up as a new leader.
 

Gabler

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Unsure because of picture quality, I guessed fir or spruce ?


I had thought about this, where would you chop?

Thanks both for the thoughts

I'm a little odd in that I like taller, skinnier trees than I'm told that I should. Literati trees are my jam. I would chop off the top at about two thirds of the way up the trunk and trim back the branches as much as is horticulturally feasible to get a slender and elegant but tall and mature tree.
 

Ollie

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Went ahead and got it, it's straggly but alive and backbudding so I'll repot and let it gain some strength.

Guessing I shouldn't 100% bare root this - should I aim to bare-root 1/2 at a time?

Daym, wouldn't have crossed my mind but could definitely make a generic tree more unique.

Thanks all for the suggestions.
 

Colorado

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$5? Nice pick up. Yes, it does had a straight trunk....but last time I checked there are a lot of trees out there in the forest with straight trunks ;)

Nice find!
 

Ollie

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Can anyone confirm the species from the foliage?
 

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