I tackled some bigger garden grown trident seedlings today. Thicker roots so these took a bit more time and effort to extract than the smaller ones I usually offer.
After they are out of the ground and roots separated from each other the trunks and roots need to be trimmed
Trident trunks like this are still available bare root – until the new shoots start to open. Prices from $15 through to $30 for these XXL bare root tridents depending on how good the root base, trunk taper and trunk bends. This one priced at $20 as an indication.
XL trunks are a bit thinner, usually around finger thick – that’s about 1.5-3cm thick at the base – and priced at $10 – $15 each depending on quality as above.
As shown, XL and XXL tridents are usually tall and thin. They are good for larger groups as is but can be trunk chopped and grown on to create trunks will have good taper in a few years.
There are a small number that already have forks in the trunk which will give a natural point to chop for taper and for trunk bends. $30 for trunks like this one with good roots and a natural fork for trunk reduction. Not many of these so get in quick before they are sold.
Some have lots of side branches. Expect to pay $20 for a trunk like this. Only while stocks last.
More details of Shibui Bonsai winter seedling offer
Small tridents are up to around 3mm thick near the base. They will generally be from 20-30cm tall as shown here. Some have good lateral roots while others may have few. The good news is that tridents survive with very few roots and can easily grow more. Just snip the tap root short and plant them Next year you’ll be amazed at how many new roots have emerged and grown. Small tridents $1 each
Some customers plan to wire the trunks and make lots of twists and bends as potential shohin and mame sized bonsai. If that’s your plan please tell me and I’ll specially select thinner, more flexible stems which should allow for better bends with less unwanted snaps. From experience there’s no point trying to put tight bends into thicker maple trunks. They rapidly get hard and brittle so larger trunks snap rather than bending well.
Medium tridents are roughly 3mm through to 6mm thick. Again, some will have lots of roots like these and others will have just a few. $2 each. Medium and larger seedlings may have the roots roughly trimmed to make it easier to wrap the roots. Trunks will usually be chopped at around 30-40 cm tall for packing.
Large trident seedlings are from 6mm (around pencil thickness) up to 10mm (almost small finger thick) $5 each
Small Japanese maples $2 each. The Japanese maples are slower growing so the trunks tend to be a but shorter than similar thickness tridents. Some may only be 8-10 cm tall but most will be around 15cm. $2 each for smaller Japanese maples due to slower growth, higher demand and limited numbers.
Any Japanese maples thicker than around 3mm are $5 each. These are mostly 2-3 years old now. There’s not so many of these so only available while stocks last.
Quite a few of the seedlings have had to grow through mulch and other plants which often gives the trunks natural bends and twists. I normally separate out bent trunks so if you fancy growing some small, twisted maples just ask. Same prices listed above depending on trunk thickness.
I’ve just come across a patch of super small Japanese maple seedlings. These have grown in tougher conditions. They are still a full year old but much shorter. That means closer internodes on the existing trunk which should work well when developing smaller sized bonsai. $20 for a bundle of 20 seedlings. Available in either straighter or bent trunks.
XL and XXL tridents – These tridents were hiding last year when I culled so are now 2-3 years old. Trunks from 2cm -5 cm thick near the base will give you a head start on growing larger trees. Be aware that these larger tridents have grown quickly and have very little trunk taper. The necessary trunk chop will leave quite a large scar though tridents heal rapidly if they are allowed to grow freely again in the year or 2 after the chop As untrained seedlings they may have good radial roots or not. I’m happy to send photos of potential XL and XXL if you want to see before committing to the purchase.
Forest packs – Bundles of different thickness trident trunks specially selected to make starter group plantings. Forest pack typically consists of 2 large, 6 medium and 6 small trident seedlings at just $20 each. See this post Trident maple group planting for my tips and techniques to build your own group from a Shibui Bonsai forest pack.
All winter seedlings are sent bare root. That means no soil but don’t worry. While they are dormant your maple seedlings won’t even know. Roots are packed in wet newspaper or damp sawdust so the roots don’t dry out, then wrapped in a plastic bag to retain moisture while they travel and packed in a cardboard box to protect them while in transit. Seedlings can travel for up to 2 weeks this way with no ill effects. When your package arrives, open the bag and check that the packing is still damp. Add a little water if required. Bare root plants can be stored for several months if necessary. They will eb fine in the plastic bag for a few days but for longer term storage – dig a hole in the garden and cover the roots with soil or place the roots in a suitable sized container and cover the roots with damp soil, sand or potting mix and they will be fine until you get round to dealing with them. Obviously the sooner you pot up your new Shibui Bonsai seedlings the better but provided the roots don’t get dry the seedlings can be stored this way until leaves start to open in spring.
Don’t forget if you don’t think you have the time or patience to grow your bonsai from small seedlings Shibui Bonsai has lots of more advanced trees in pots. Prices starting at just $10 and up depending on age, trunk shape and branching.
Make sure you include your mailing address when you order so I can calculate post costs to get your order delivered right to your door.
I don’t usually start digging the grow beds until July but a Shibui Bonsai customer has been keen to learn more by volunteering to help. Jim had a couple of days off work due to wet weather so we picked a dry day and got started a week early.
Jim is younger and enthusiastic. He started on the shovel and kept me so busy pruning that I did not get any photos of the actual dig.
In a few hours we managed to dig and do a rough top and root prune on most of the larger trident maples, some Japanese maples, a few crab apples and some of the first year tridents.
They have all been ‘heeled in’ to a spare patch where they can wait until I’m ready to do a final inspection to decide if they get potted for sale, put back in the grow beds for more growth or go on the scrap heap.
Still plenty of trees to do but I have all winter so I just do a few any time I can. The trees pictured are Prunus ‘Elvins’, Hawthorn and more crab apples with a couple of Seiju elms for good measure.
The trees in the picture were all chopped and root pruned last winter so nearly all of the 2m of growth shown has emerged through last summer.
We have plenty of self sown maple seedlings in the garden beds at Shibui Bonsai again this year. These have all grown without any help so I can supply them at reduced rates. These seedlings will only be available until they start to grow in spring or until sold out.
First up let’s deal with quarantine. We cannot send trees to either WA or Tasmania due to plant quarantine rules and before you start complaining it is best to remember those restrictions are there to protect you and your wonderful environment from a range of pests and diseases that we battle daily here in the Eastern Mainland.
Trident maple seedlings are supplied in a range of different sizes
Small: seedlings with trunks under 3mm thick only 50c each. These are still flexible so suit wiring and bending or as smaller trees in a group planting. Also useful for root grafting.
Medium: trunks 3-6mm diameter approx $1 each
Suit group plantings, growing on, threading through plates, fusion projects and more.
Large: trunks 6-10mm thick $2 each
Great for larger trunks in a group planting or to grow on for larger bonsai trunks in future.
There are a few trunks larger than 10mm. $5 each while they last. Please note that thicker does not always mean better. These will usually have a large trunk chop and may have less attractive roots than the smaller ones.
Forest packs $20. A mix of different sizes suitable to make your own group planting. Usually 3 large, 10 medium and 10 small trunks.
Bent trunks: While most of these feral seedlings are pretty straight some have bends. These bent ones could be better for approach grafts to roots or to grow small trunks with good low bends. Price as per trunk thickness above.
I am happy to select seedlings with specific characteristics if you let me know exactly what you require so the more info you can give me as to your plans the better I can tailor your order.
Japanese Maples: These are not as prolific so numbers are limited and most are smaller size than tridents above. All JM seedlings $1 each and you get whatever sizes come up.
Please don’t expect too much from these feral seedlings. They will be packed just as they come out of the garden as shown above so some have lots of roots, some have fewer but all should survive as tridents are really tough. Even those with just a very few roots have great survival rates. The roots are only trimmed roughly to fit in bundles. You can’t expect me to do detailed root work at those prices so that’s up to you when they arrive. Trunks will be chopped to fit into a 50-60 cm long pack. Further detailed pruning to size is also up to you.
Trees are sent bare root. I’ll bundle the trunks, wrap the roots in wet newspaper and wrap in a plastic bag to retain moisture. Trees will survive quite comfortably this way during delivery and for several weeks if necessary. On arrival please check and refresh root moisture if necessary. Trees can be stored in a cool place for a few weeks or even longer if you are not ready to pot up straight away. For longer term storage roots should be buried in damp soil, sand or sawdust until planting is possible.
Delivery: Please allow for the cost of delivery in addition to the tree price. Trees are sent direct to your mailing address via Auspost. Price depends on the size, weight and destination of the order so I’ll need to quote each package to give you the best price so please supply your delivery address or at very least a postcode when ordering so I can calculate a price for delivery. typical cost is likely to be: smaller packages under 1kg $15 regular mail or $20 express. More than 1 forest pack or larger numbers of individual trees could be $25 or $30 for delivery.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to place an order or to discuss your needs this season.
Late winter is typically busy at Shibui Bonsai. Trees in the grow beds must be dug, pruned and assessed. The best are potted up for you to purchase. Others are replanted to continue developing. A few that don’t look like measuring up are consigned to the scrapheap. Continue reading →
Spring is propagation time at Shibui Bonsai. I try to start plenty of new trees every year to allow for plenty of choice for you the customer. It can take quite a few years to achieve a good bonsai but we need to always have new trees coming through to keep up supply. Continue reading →
Today I pricked out the last of this year’s black pine seedlings. Correct treatment of the roots at this early stage pays dividends later with better rootsystems to give superior nebari on your bonsai. These photos show my methods. Continue reading →