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my other hobby.....not carving

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  • my other hobby.....not carving

    I have had a really bad case of Spring Fever lately.... makes it hard to go into the studio and work. Instead, I'm out working with my bonsai. I've been growing bonsai for over 40 years. Like carving, once you're bitten, you never really get over it.

    I did sell off half of my collection over the last 3 years. You can't leave one on the work table for a couple weeks and go back to it later. They have regular maintenance schedules that you have to keep up with or lose them. I used to have so many that I really didn't have time to do anything but work on them. I kept a few of my favorites and right now, some of the flowering trees are in bloom.

    This is a cascade style Barbados Cherry. After the blooms, they get tiny little blood red berries all over them, and if the bonsai gods are smiling, the berries are still there when the next round of blooms appear. These guys bloom all Summer long.....

    They are not house plants but when one is blooming, I'll bring it inside for a day or two, to enjoy it.

  • #2
    Re: my other hobby.....not carving

    Beautiful Bonsai,I used to grow Bonsai but when I moved to California,I had to
    decide between working on Bansais or carving because of lack of space.Thanks for
    sharing. By the way Susieq,I thought you were going to tell us that your second hobby
    was buying micromotors. LOL
    Oscar

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    • #3
      Re: my other hobby.....not carving

      ROTF! Oscar, you made me "snort laugh" when I read that..... there is some truth to what you say..... ;o

      You would have room for one or two of these little guys and they would certainly thrive for you in California. I never intended for tropical trees to become my favorites but slowly, they have won me over. I do still have a couple Kingsville boxwoods, a couple of "nana" junipers and an old San Jose' juniper...or two. But the Malpigghia's (both the Barbados Cherry and the Singapore Holly) along with a couple of Fukien Tea's have quietly taken over my shelves out there. If we ever do move to Tenn, I will either have to get rid of the tropicals or get a green house to winter them in......

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      • #4
        Re: my other hobby.....not carving

        They are beautiful Susan!
        I don't do Bonsai myself, too lazy!
        I admire people that Bonsai. My daughter has some she has done.
        I bought a Bonsai Trident maple from a Japanese man. He didn't have any of that variety of maple in his nursery in regular size. I planted it in the ground and it's about 3 ft. tall now. He'd probably get mad if he saw it after keeping it nice and small.
        My ETSY shop:
        https://www.etsy.com/shop/WoodforddellDesigns

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        • #5
          Re: my other hobby.....not carving

          Hi Sharon,
          Wow, trident maple..... First off, 3 feet tall is still bonsai material. Folks in bonsai often refer to a tree by it's size as being a one man, two man or four man sized tree because that's how many people it takes to lift and move the darn thing.
          Bonsai isn't about keeping a tree tiny. A friend of mine who owns a bonsai nursery often has to use a fork lift to move some of his...... People don't realize that a bonsai can be as tall as 5 ft or more. But you put something like that in an appropriate sized bonsai pot and it will weigh hundreds of pounds....LOL

          I never got into any of the large. Mine are all table top sized. Even some of those can be hard for a smaller person to move around.

          Trident maples are highly prized bonsai material though..... it's not too late. ;o

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          • #6
            Re: my other hobby.....not carving

            Susan,It's in the ground! I almost lost it quite a few times when it was potted up. I paid 20 something bucks for it in a gallon pot. To pricey for me to have it die from neglect! And I have a nursery!
            The man I bought it from has a beautiful nursery of just maples, mainly Japanese. He had some good sized bonsai.My favorites were the beautiful lacy red Japanese maples.
            My ETSY shop:
            https://www.etsy.com/shop/WoodforddellDesigns

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            • #7
              Re: my other hobby.....not carving

              Hi Sharon,
              I know it is in the ground....... and it's probably happier there. Most trees are. To be fair, I never kept maples because they do need special treatment. I never kept pines either.... those seem to be specialties apart from more general bonsai keeping.

              I do well with elms, boxwoods, junipers and tropicals. I do just love those lacy red maples though. I'd love to try one but they don't do well in Florida. I think I'll stick to what does well for me.

              Some people I used to know from our bonsai club, 25 years ago or so, worked on training and digging up a native FL maple. It took them at least 5 years to finally dig it up. They found a 20 foot tall specimen that they liked the trunk line on the base of the tree. They cut it back to about 2 feet tall early one spring. They'd go back to that location and wire new growth as needed, training a bud that popped near the top of the remaining tree, into the new top. Trimmed side and back branches and wired as needed. I think that they also would jam a shovel into the ground in a ring around the tree to cut roots so that they'd form fine feeder roots in the ground closer to the tree.

              After about 5 years or so of training the tree where it was in the ground, they finally dug it up one year and then worked on it for a few more years. By the time I saw the tree in a bonsai pot, it had been in training for 12 years. It was probably 10 years old when they started working on it.

              I can tell you it was gorgeous though. Looked like a mammoth tree in miniature..... it's overall height at this point was about 3 and a half to 4 feet tall with a massive trunk. It went through all the changes of the seasons too. Gorgeous in the fall, beautiful in winter when it was bare and you could see the trunk line and branching. The old saying that nothing worth doing, is easy....applies to bonsai too.

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              • #8
                Re: my other hobby.....not carving

                Susie, that is a beautiful cascading bonsai. I love it. You obviously excel at both of your hobbies.
                Ron T.
                http://stickcarving.webs.com/

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                • #9
                  Re: my other hobby.....not carving

                  Thank you Ron,
                  A lot of hobbies have come and gone for me over the years. But there will always be a couple of bonsai in my life. Used to be the main interest but now it's just a pleasant diversion. A couple of my junipers are 20 and 30 years old...started from cuttings by me. They get to be like old friends.

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                  • #10
                    Re: my other hobby.....not carving

                    They are beautiful, here people pay high prices for a nice ones like that!!!
                    . Explore! Dream! Discover!” aloha Di

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                    • #11
                      Re: my other hobby.....not carving

                      Beautiful!!!! I have always enjoyed them, but don't have the right color thumb for growing them.

                      Thanks for posting the pictures!!

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                      • #12
                        Re: my other hobby.....not carving

                        Thank you Di.
                        I bet there are some fantastic bonsai over there with such a large Japanese community there...... Families hand them down through the generations. They are family heirlooms.

                        It is not uncommon for a high quality bonsai to cost thousands of dollars. You can pay that much for high quality "pre bonsai" that have been grown in the ground for years, being trained, pruned and wired the whole time but not potted up yet....

                        In Japan, this is how the best trees are grown. You get a lot more development on a tree in a shorter time, if it's done this way. There are bonsai growers here, who have acres of selected trees, growing in the ground while they develop. To buy one of them would cost anywhere from $500. on up to several thousand dollars.....

                        I have sold a few over the years, for a fraction of that. Mostly to pay for tools and supplies. Mine was always just a hobby that I really enjoyed. Still do. It's a very calming pass time.
                        Thanks again.

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                        • #13
                          Re: my other hobby.....not carving

                          Thank you Tom...... bonsai are easier to keep alive, than house plants. All you need is patience....kind of like wood carving. LOL

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                          • #14
                            Re: my other hobby.....not carving

                            Susieq that is really cool. My son at one time got interested in bonsai. We got books and did research on the internet. Found out there is a bonsai club here in Pittsburgh that is if I remember corectly world renown. The pictures that we found was amazing. The one that really struck me was of a grove of trees. I cannot remember the species. It was really cool. Once my son found out how much work was involved he lost interest. I have often thought about trying to get into it but alas too many hobbies already and not enough time. Hal

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                            • #15
                              Re: my other hobby.....not carving

                              I grew a couple of "dead" bonzai plants
                              "Lif iz lik a box "o" choc lets, ya nevr kno whut yull git!"

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