Author Topic: Developing stock the right way  (Read 13095 times)

coh

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Re: Developing stock the right way
« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2014, 07:22 PM »
I appreciate the notion of creating your own stock from scratch.  However, people could have better trees faster if they also supported the people trying to create bonsai for a living too.
Good point. I try to do both, as I enjoy the process of trying to develop material from scratch. However...after doing it for a few years now, I'm coming to realize why good stock costs a fair amount - it's quite a bit of work! Buy the plant, work the roots, plant in the ground, grow for 2-3 years (more or less, depending on the species), dig up, work the roots, plant again, etc...all the while trying to direct the trunk and branches in the right direction. A year of neglect and it can get completely away from you.

Chris

 

Adair M

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Re: Developing stock the right way
« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2014, 07:26 PM »
Oh, I absolutely agree, Owen.

Whereas it can be fun to try to find the pearl in the oyster at the "big box stores", the typical material found at a bonsai shop will almost certainly be better bonsai material either because the material is better suited to be bonsai, or it has been raised with bonsai in mind, or both.

The more successful our bonsai retailer are, the better they will be able to acquire good material for us to work on.

And then, there's this attitude:

There are many who feel that for a bonsai to be "theirs" they must develop the thing from raw stock.  They won't, as a matter of principal, buy a finished or refined bonsai.  The truth of the matter is, no bonsai is ever "finished" until it dies.  The great Japanese bonsai have passed through many hands on their way to becoming great bonsai.
 

Owen Reich

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Re: Developing stock the right way
« Reply #17 on: May 08, 2014, 07:45 PM »
Adair, I've been on both sides of that argument now and I feel doing both is best.  In Episode 9 of Bonsai Art of Japan on YouTube, I showed people how Chamaecyparis obtusa are rooted in Japan.  That cultivar (Sekka) is not that common here.  For many species and cultivars, pre-bonsai stock is just not readily available. 

    About minute 1:00

People can and should make bonsai from scratch if that's what you enjoy.

Perhaps the Almighty Admin can move the last part of this thread elsewhere to keep Wanyne's link page pure.
 

bwaynef

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Re: Developing stock the right way
« Reply #18 on: May 08, 2014, 08:20 PM »
As "the Almighty Admin", I'll leave it where it is.  I'm enjoying the discussion.  I also don't disagree that we need to support the local bonsai nurseries ...that are good, and fair, and honest.  I'm not one to subscribe to the line of thinking that if I didn't raise the parent of the trees that I grow from seed, that they're not truly mine.  I believe I've ruffled some feathers here and elsewhere for having said that I'd prefer the best trees to be shown, even if they were recently purchased ...and even if that means that my trees don't stand a chance.

I also happen to be at a season in my life where I don't have the money to spend in support that I'd like to.  Realizing that, I want to maximize my returns.  Hence this thread.

That said, I've recently(ish) paid the most I've ever spent on a tree to my local bonsai nursery and have found a couple other ways of supporting them.

So I guess, I agree with doing both.  The topic of this thread is about developing material though.  (And no need to limit discussion to 4 species.)
 

Owen Reich

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Re: Developing stock the right way
« Reply #19 on: May 08, 2014, 10:06 PM »
I don't know if anyone has ever said "thanks" for the work you (Wayne) and John C. do on this forum.  So, thanks  ;D.


As an add-on to the YouTube video, the reason I used three different sizes of blended media is so that the large grade at the bottom allows for better air and water exchange.  The medium grade aoki blend occupies most of the container volume for the root systems of all the cuttings to fill in and causes the roots to branch well.  It also allows for the cuttings to remain congested for a year or two before separating them in the future.  The top 1/2 to 1'' are the smallest size aoki blend for shohin so when the cuttings are stuck, they don't fall over or move when water is applied.  Had about a 95% success rate on them including one almost thumb sized branch.  Many in Japan use pure akadama (high fired for conifer propagation and low for deciduous) with similar layers of particle grades. 

For the sake of this thread, hinoki and other rooted cuttings are often wired their first time when separated from a propagation bed or tray.  These first twists and turns are the start of purpose grown material for bonsai.  It matters.

 

Anthony

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Re: Developing stock the right way
« Reply #20 on: May 09, 2014, 07:49 AM »
Wayne,

for what it is worth with J.B.Pine seed, what we use is just builder's gravel at 3 to 5 mm and Canadian peatmoss/perlite. Have had no fungal problems, and have learnt that the seedling should not be touched until a year later. So we don't use the cutting of the seedling technique [ though it did happen by accident and the single specimen is healthy.]

Any seedlings interfered with, soil-wise before a year in the seedling trays always dies. Why ?

We have moved onto cuttings instead of seed, as for example, we might start with 40 seedlings and by the second year at least half will not adapt to life down here. Those that die tend to be be spindly.

We do not try for Mikawa, simply because one seed company was honest enough to say, comes from Mikawa area, and the seed is not hand selected.

So even with all the botches, misunderstandings and so on, the population of J.B.pines grows - ha ha ha.

We are also testing our local pines, Honduran/Caribbean but these are genetically selected for growing straight, as lumber material, the battle is suppressing the top. Candling is in response to watering, constantly.

Also, noted is that in our desert to rainforest climate, porous pots are best, concrete and porous glazed earthenware.

Knowledge of how to, is to transfered to the younger growers, if any ever show up, yup, our island is so green and forested that few find Bonsai to be of any interest. So from 200 strong we are back down to 10 or so die-hards, and they are all cheap folk, being part Chinese, myself included - ho ho ho.
For whatever reason, on our side, those that do Bonsai tend to be part Chinese, must be genetic, they also often keep fish and birds, still have to get to the cricket stage though.

As to stock, we just grow for ourselves, but the philosophy of root to trunk is an excellent piece of advice.

As far as is know  the heavy S of the mallsai, is stock rejected by the Chinese as inferior and good for export to Western ignorants. Additionally, if you do a visual projection on those S's and twists, it is noted that with trunk thickening/ root growth, the specimen will turn into a very fine trunk. Which is how they would move on in China.
It pays to have family living in South and North China, does it not?
Good Day
Anthony
 

akeppler

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Re: Developing stock the right way
« Reply #21 on: May 12, 2014, 08:13 PM »
I have been developing my own shohin material for 12 years now. The tridents I started 12 years ago are now almost 4 inches across at the base of the trunk, not nebari, base of trunk. I ony grow out what thrives in my climate. Black pines do well as well as elms and tridents. I get good extension and can grow fat trunks in half the time as the east coast.

Right now I am growing out the tridents I started last year from seed under window screen. This year the seedlings, which had pencil size trunks were planted thru a tile and have had a window screen cup over them to add the same movement to the branches that I captured in the trunks. Breaking new ground here so I have no idea what I will have after the grow out period.
 

akeppler

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Re: Developing stock the right way
« Reply #22 on: May 12, 2014, 08:16 PM »
This spring they were planted thru the tile and prepared for the screen cup.
 

akeppler

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Re: Developing stock the right way
« Reply #23 on: May 12, 2014, 08:21 PM »
These elms are root cuttings. They were started 8 years ago. They are now about an inch across at the base and about 6 inches tall. They are allowed to grow and continually whacked back hard to induce budding closer in. I have 8 of these in production currently. A few I will keep and the rest will be sold off.
The first pic was last night before cutting back and then after the hack. These elms were beginning to be covered by a huge button fern that was blocking light from getting to the trees. They should do better now that they are uncovered.
 

akeppler

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Re: Developing stock the right way
« Reply #24 on: May 12, 2014, 08:31 PM »
These are the shohin pines I have going right now. The trees were started by a grower here and were purchased from him in the rough stage but well on their way. As of the point of purchase I have done all the branch building and growing on from here. These pines have the wire embedded in the trunk to constrict the trunk and add girth as well as movement.

Again I will keep a few and sell off the rest.
The first is two views of one of the small buggers. The upright shot shows the sacrifice leaders still growing.

The third picture is another undergoing some wire training for a small shohin bunjin tree.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2014, 08:38 PM by akeppler »
 

akeppler

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Re: Developing stock the right way
« Reply #25 on: May 12, 2014, 08:33 PM »
The first one is a cascade pine in training and the three shots are different views of the same piece.
 

akeppler

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Re: Developing stock the right way
« Reply #26 on: May 12, 2014, 08:36 PM »
The final one. I am missing a couple, maybe didn't take pics of them but you get the idea.
 

jlushious

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Re: Developing stock the right way
« Reply #27 on: May 13, 2014, 09:55 AM »
I do agree with some of the commentary above about supporting bonsai nurseries, in my defence it's hard when you're in hard to reach places. Shipping live materials to Canada is near impossible with import rules (unless you live close to the border and have a US post box you can ship to). Not a great excuse, but the quality of online shopping from Canadian sellers of bonsai isn't the best. The few nurseries that do have good stock, want you to pick up - and none are anywhere near me.

Anyways, I digress. I have 35 tree saplings coming today from a regular old tree nursery in northern Alberta. They are all cold hardy to zone 3, which has been the challenge for me lately, so I am pretty excited to see what I can do with these!  I am getting:

5 3-year old eastern white pines
5 1-year-old trembling aspen
10 1-year old nanking cherries
10 1-year old Siberian Larches
5 3-year old russian olives

Apparently they do cold hardiness testing on their trees and the nanking cherries didn't pass the test, but they are sending them to me anyways. I will be planting these out in baskets and maybe making a forest planting with the larches. I will probably have to do some taproot cutting and tile planting in the baskets.
 

akeppler

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Re: Developing stock the right way
« Reply #28 on: May 16, 2014, 07:34 PM »
Thats it? This is the extent of growing in America? No pictures, no trees in development?
 
hmmm..people wonder why there is no quality content on discussion forums anymore. This isn't the only one either....
 

Owen Reich

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Re: Developing stock the right way
« Reply #29 on: May 16, 2014, 10:14 PM »
There are a few thread that have recently been started or revisited on here about bonsai creation and refinement.  Al, you happen to good at documenting the process which is commendable.  I try to take photos of my projects too, but usually I'm working and photo documenting the bonsai my clients own. 

Al, do you raise the window screen over time to get new contortions or is it just a one-time thing?