Author Topic: Bonsai in 3 years  (Read 3642 times)

bwaynef

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Bonsai in 3 years
« on: August 26, 2010, 10:58 AM »
I've set myself a goal of adding a new tree to my collection that will be show-ready in 3 years.  The easiest answer to that is also the most expensive so lets assume I'll be doing some work.  The ground rules are that I'm willing to invest $350-400 in material.  I have a penchant for JBP, Shimpaku, and maples.  I could certainly make exceptions.

Is my goal reasonable?  What resources do you guys know of with stock in that price range that is roughly 3 years out from being show-ready?
 

rockm

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Re: Bonsai in 3 years
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2010, 02:30 PM »
Maybe with a maple, but the pine and juniper may be more problematic. It also depends on what you mean by "show ready." What kind of show? Do you you actually mean to show the tree or do you want a nice tree to look at yourself? There's a big difference...in price and perception in those goals.
 

Zach Smith

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Re: Bonsai in 3 years
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2010, 02:49 PM »
I've set myself a goal of adding a new tree to my collection that will be show-ready in 3 years.  The easiest answer to that is also the most expensive so lets assume I'll be doing some work.  The ground rules are that I'm willing to invest $350-400 in material.  I have a penchant for JBP, Shimpaku, and maples.  I could certainly make exceptions.

Is my goal reasonable?  What resources do you guys know of with stock in that price range that is roughly 3 years out from being show-ready?
Your goal is reasonable provided you establish certain criteria and accept the limitations that come with them.  By "show-ready," I'd assume you want at least tertiary branching with a smoothly tapering trunk (no obvious chop and funky-looking transition) of good character and suitable nebari.  You can get all of these things, but your starting point will depend on which species you go with.  Faster growth would be essential the farther away you are from the show-ready goals when you begin.  It's hard to imagine this working with JBP at all, and Shimpaku with difficulty.  Maples?  Sure, trident comes to mind, but forget Japanese maples unless your chosen material is pretty close already.  American hornbeam grows almost all year long, that's one deciduous species that comes to mind as workable.  Bald cypress would certainly fit the bill for vigor.  Chinese privet would be a snap.

Zach
 

MatsuBonsai

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Re: Bonsai in 3 years
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2010, 03:14 PM »
I agree, starting with the best material possible will help.  If you're wanting shimpaku and/or JBP check with John Kirby, among others to be sure.  He has some good material with a good future, particularly JBP and a few itoigawa, if I'm not mistaken.  With the proper work, wiring, trimming, thinning, feeding, fertilizing, watering, knowledge, etc. I don't think it's tooooo ambitious.  Certainly a lot of the right work to be done to reach your goal.
 

Tim Gardner

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Re: Bonsai in 3 years
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2010, 05:12 PM »
I agree with John. You could have something presentable in three years, if proper technique is applied.
 

John Kirby

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Re: Bonsai in 3 years
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2010, 06:32 PM »
I don't think it would be too difficult to get a tree in shape, with the price target you have set. Showing is a power incentive for getting your trees"right". By that I mean it makes you do the little things that you might not normally do. I think there are JBP and junipers in that price range that ciuld be very nice in three years. I also think that a satsuki could also be found that could fit the bill (bonsai west in Littleton Mass has a couple) and if you join new england bonsai they had acouple as well.

 

bwaynef

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Re: Bonsai in 3 years
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2010, 08:06 PM »
Maybe with a maple, but the pine and juniper may be more problematic. It also depends on what you mean by "show ready." What kind of show? Do you you actually mean to show the tree or do you want a nice tree to look at yourself? There's a big difference...in price and perception in those goals.

I do actually mean to show the tree.  That's the motivation behind this project.  I understand that 3 years of training probably isn't going to win Kokufu, but I'd like to show a tree w/ a complete canopy, tertiary branching even (though I realize 3 years is stretching it), and scars at least hidden by the canopy. 

I understand that my goal may be unrealistic.  Part of the point of the question is finding out if it is reasonable.  I may have to spend more money, or stretch my goal beyond 3 years.  I've heard enough that I'm hopeful of the outcome.  I just need to find suitable stock.
 

bwaynef

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Re: Bonsai in 3 years
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2010, 08:08 PM »
Your goal is reasonable provided you establish certain criteria and accept the limitations that come with them.  ...  It's hard to imagine this working with JBP at all, and Shimpaku with difficulty.  Maples?  Sure, trident comes to mind, but forget Japanese maples unless your chosen material is pretty close already.  American hornbeam grows almost all year long, that's one deciduous species that comes to mind as workable.  Bald cypress would certainly fit the bill for vigor.  Chinese privet would be a snap.

Do you know of any places that stock any of those species that could be ready in 3 years? 
 

cbobgo

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Re: Bonsai in 3 years
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2010, 03:21 PM »
Jim Gremel has some really cool twisty shimpakus for sale in this price range.  They are not on his website, but if you send an email and ask about them I'm sure he'd send you some pics.  They were wired as whips then field grown for several years.  Then he's been putting them back into nursery pots recently.  They would definitely be able to get into a bonsai pot and have the canopy wired up nicely in 3 years time.

- bob