Author Topic: What kind of tree would you train from seed?  (Read 2534 times)

Owen Reich

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What kind of tree would you train from seed?
« on: October 26, 2012, 07:12 AM »
I started this to answer Anthony's question, but hope others chime in. 

I think this question is a difficult one as it would depend on species.  The real question to me is, what goals would I have and why?  Would I recreate a tree I'd seen in Nature, a bonsai from a book, or perhaps an idealized form embodying the essence of what makes a given species beautiful to me. 
 

dre

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Re: What kind of tree would you train from seed?
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2012, 07:20 AM »
from seed it would be larch or even a twisted shimpaku juniper for many reasons you can develop very nice tree with not that much time
 

Anthony

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Re: What kind of tree would you train from seed?
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2012, 09:18 AM »
Owen,

In the tropics,

from seed, the small of leaf Fukien tea would probably be my best bet, especially if you open ground grow for a few years. As a plus, the roots left behind will usually restart  several new trees on much stronger, well established roots.
This shrub will most closely deliver a classoc shape or new design with the greatest ease.

Shh! Big secret forget the shrub above ground, take the roots, more personality.

I would have mentioned the Chinese serissa, but that is for best results from roots.

Actually there are many tropical trees that do well from seed [ or better still from their roots.]
Later.
Anthony
 

bwaynef

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Re: What kind of tree would you train from seed?
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2012, 01:12 PM »
I've grown several varieties of Maples and Pines from seed as well as a few elms. 

I grow from seed for a few reasons: 
I simply like doing it.  I'm also able to be ruthless in culling seedlings that seem to lack the potential I'm looking for.  I've learned that my standards are higher than my abilities in some instances and I end up with MUCH less than I started out with ...and even less than I'd intended to keep (given the attrition I'd anticipated).  I'm also able to make sure that shortcuts aren't taken that I'll have to overcome in the long run.  I'm realizing that there aren't many shortcuts ...as much as we'd like there to be.


Is this the type of answer you were going for, or did I miss the point?
 

cbobgo

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Re: What kind of tree would you train from seed?
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2012, 02:45 PM »
the only time I have grown from seed is if I have acquired seeds that are special in some way.  For instance when on a walk with my  kids and they picked up some pine cones we took them home and planted the seeds.  It's more for the education and emotional connection, rather than the idea of it being for high quality bonsai. 

- bob


 

Owen Reich

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Re: What kind of tree would you train from seed?
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2012, 06:48 AM »
I suppose I read more into this question than necessary, but oh well.  When you collect yamadori or buy stock, you work within the parameters of the material even if that means decades of working from your starting point.

From seed, you have almost 100% creative control.  What causes you to create a style of tree and why?  Let's say it's for yourself and not for sale.  What causes you to want that style?  The answer doesn't have to be super complicated; as is the case with Cbobgo's answer  :).  The subject is fascinating to me. 

 I too grow plants from seed and cuttings and used to do it as part of my old job.  However, I also grew my own plants (mainly for bonsai  ;D).  Propagation is really fulfilling as a tangible result of your work can be had with relative ease.  I've heard some people say you can't truly grow bonsai unless they are from seed.  While I disagree, I can see the value of creating a bonsai with a defined vision from scratch.  Cuttings and other asexual prop work is generally faster and your genetics are identical.

If choosing species / shape, I'd grow:

Pinus sylvestris var. Rhodopea, Pinus bungeana (if you don't know it, look it up), Adansonia digitata, Camellia japonica, Stewartia ovata, and just about any oak with small leaves.  Shape-wise, it would depend on what looked closest to common forms although I'm partial to semi-cascade, clump, and bunjinji styles which would likely influence my choices. 
 

dre

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Re: What kind of tree would you train from seed?
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2012, 07:39 AM »
when it comes to style of trees i grow everything but cascade i dont know what it is just dont like them not one bit and to respond to the comment that I've heard some people say you can't truly grow bonsai unless they are from seed. to tell that to randy knight and ryan neil who are collecting and training so crazy rocky mountain junipers
 

Jay

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Re: What kind of tree would you train from seed?
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2012, 09:56 AM »
For me three things determine that growing from seed is not for me:
1- In Northern Vermont, our growing season is shorter than most on this board, seeds and seedlings will take longer to develop.... and no I will not think about indoor growing under light.
2- I'm not as young as others and the time needed for seeds etc is too long. No, I'm not planning on checking out anytime soon, but, to start seeds with the need for possibly a 20 plus year investment is not something I will consider.
3- With my travel between two locations (Northern Vermont and the Northern Adirondacks) the need to keep the numbers down is important. I'd rather move a tree in training than seedlings growing out.

Of course this is my thoughts and not necessarily yours
Jay
 

Anthony

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Re: What kind of tree would you train from seed?
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2012, 10:06 AM »
Dre,

as a former student Ryan and others to come [ by the way an apprentice is taken on by a master and paid a very little, once the apprentice pays the master, he/she is called a student,] will need to have something to show and it has to impress.
Collected trees can do that, seeds would need about 50 years +.

The bit on truly grow, unless from seed, is probably a response to the old collected tree better bit.

I worry more about the collected tree is dead.

As Owen stated, a seed is almost 100% - creative - control. For me that is like a blank canvas, and thus a great deal more satisfying, as a world is born from the unknown.
Later.
Anthony
 

Leo de Leon

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Re: What kind of tree would you train from seed?
« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2012, 08:55 PM »
Bonsai started from seed -  I only do this if the material or specie is not available locally. I live in the tropics and JBP is not available here, so i started my JBP collection from seeds. and that was 4 years ago.
Leo
Philippines
 

Yenling83

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Re: What kind of tree would you train from seed?
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2012, 10:46 AM »
Cool Topic and response Owen!

I grow from seed because the quality of deciduous and broad leaf evergreen would be extremely hard to get in the U.S. or way too expensive anyways-I plan to collect all the conifers that will make up my collection.  One of the best things about growing from seed is being able to create a good nebari over time by working on the roots at each repotting.  I'm currently growing Valley Oak, Black Pine and a native plum and cherry but would like to grow more.  I hope I will be "finishing" these trees when I'm an old man and plan to pass them down to the next generation.

Because my skills at growing from seed are untested, I think it's good grow a lot from seed, but at the same time not too much so you have time to work on everything.  I plan to try several different styles, but in general currently the one's that I like the most are informal uprights(most frequent), cascade, root over rock and exposed root.  A couple people in the BIB club are off to a great start with the exposed roots style-they used milk cartons or a wood box with various sizes of soil particle including some very large particles.   I just collected about 40 Valley Oak acorns from trees with nice bark.  I am very excited to work on these, I would love to create a nice Valley Oak with nice nebari and in the, "Mature Oak" style-which you never see in Japan. 
 

Leo in NE Illinois

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Re: What kind of tree would you train from seed?
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2012, 07:51 PM »
From seed I grow

native, local oaks
osage orange
japanese maples
bald cypress
larch
acacia
citrus
pomegranate
chinkapin - Castanea pumila
barberry
Euonymus - burning bush
any odd seed I pick up while hiking, if it catches my eye.

My expectations from seedlings is different from what I expect from nursery material or yamadori. I don't raise seedlings expecting to exhibit them within 5 years. I mostly raise seedlings to create pre-bonsai to give or sell to friends and others. It took me 35 years to get a pomegranate from seed to look like something.  :-[ It was a tree I learned on, if I were to do it again, I suspect it would not take so long. However, now that I am gearing more toward shohin, seedlings can make a presentable tree in a decade or maybe less. In my mind, it is a worthy endeavor on its own merit. I enjoy creating pre-bonsai and I enjoy seeing others take them over and work them from there.
 

Anthony

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Re: What kind of tree would you train from seed?
« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2012, 08:50 PM »
Leo,

can you show anything on the pomegranate?

I would like to learn anything about pomegranates. I have the large fruited one in my front patio, it is probably originally from India as the well known Anar, but it does not have the amazing twisted trunk of the Japanese type.
I also have the the nana types.

I love growing from seed. My friend Carl, sent me his variety of Fukien teas, small leaf types and I am growing those. Just started mind you, but it is exciting. I also grow Japanese Black pines from seed and though I may never have the masterpieces of the Ancients, I really don't care.

My friend encouraged me to plant over 100 Tamarind seeds, not sure where that will go, but I am looking forward to the next 5 to 10 years.

Yes, others will take over, my nephew has an interest, perhaps he will inherit all I have, who knows?
Later.
Anthony

Black pine from seed
 

nathanbs

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Re: What kind of tree would you train from seed?
« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2012, 04:05 PM »
The "creative control" and the cost of the seeds or seedlings are both significantly important factors when trying to "manufacture trees".  I can buy JBP in many different ages and shapes from quite a few "growers" here on the west coast however non of them are what I think of when I think of a finished tree to my design standards. Ive pictured the end game for these trees as best as I can and many of the available trees already have faults or issues that eliminate them as a candidate for what I'm after.  Occasionally I will buy a 5-10 year old tree from someone like Muranaka and trunk chop it to its first branch, change the planting angle and throw it into the ground to grow a new apex, but then that takes me back to the cost factor. I cant afford to buy 100 trees at $65-$100 a tree. I grow mostly JBP, but also ume, crabapple, kishu shimpaku, various oaks, several other stone fruit varieties, the typical raffle table seedling and some others.
 

Leo in NE Illinois

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Re: What kind of tree would you train from seed?
« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2012, 04:46 AM »
Leo,

can you show anything on the pomegranate?

I would like to learn anything about pomegranates. I have the large fruited one in my front patio, it is probably originally from India as the well known Anar, but it does not have the amazing twisted trunk of the Japanese type.
I also have the the nana types.

I love growing from seed. My friend Carl, sent me his variety of Fukien teas, small leaf types and I am growing those. Just started mind you, but it is exciting. I also grow Japanese Black pines from seed and though I may never have the masterpieces of the Ancients, I really don't care.

My friend encouraged me to plant over 100 Tamarind seeds, not sure where that will go, but I am looking forward to the next 5 to 10 years.

Yes, others will take over, my nephew has an interest, perhaps he will inherit all I have, who knows?
Later.
Anthony

Black pine from seed

I wrote a long response, and attached pictures. Nothing showed up. Lost.  I'll try again, and read the Intro thread again later in the week. Sorry about that. I understand how it works over at Internet Bonsai Club, where I use my own website or something like imageshack to host the images. But here I don't get the upload the images to Bonsai Study Group website. It actually may be simple, it is just not familiar.