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I think I found a natural/wild Bonsai tree. 1 month 3 weeks ago #71466

  • Si Guy
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It is on a remote island that I kayaked to today. It is pine, and has lots of dead branches. It has a very thick trunk for the size, and looks very old.

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I think I found a natural/wild Bonsai tree. 1 month 3 weeks ago #71468

  • Wes V.
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The concept of picking up a tree in the wild and training it as bonsai is called yamadori. I think it could only be done during the winter or early spring (don’t take my word on that). Some places have regulations. Check with your local jurisdiction to see if you could pick up a wild plant legally. In California, it’s illegal.
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I think I found a natural/wild Bonsai tree. 1 month 3 weeks ago #71469

  • Si Guy
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My question is, is it already a bonsai? It has a very wide trunk for its size and it is grown in a tiny bit of dirt. Could it be a rare wild bonsai?

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I think I found a natural/wild Bonsai tree. 1 month 3 weeks ago #71470

  • Wes V.
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The term would be pre-bonsai. If you love the size and shape, then by all means it can be a bonsai. Bonsais aren’t necessarily a specific tree. Many different types of trees can be trained as bonsai. It’s a little hard to tell from your photo, but it looks like a juniper. Unless there’s a clearer pic I can have a better idea.

Where did you kayak to? Is this in British Columbia? See if it’s legal to dig up wild plants in your jurisdiction. If so, dig it up during the appropriate season and make sure the tree stays hydrated but not drenched. You can prune and wire it with copper or aluminum wires to train it as bonsai. Bonsai training wires are specifically for bonsais. Don’t use random stuff like metal hangers.

But of course, if you love the shape and the amount of foliage, you don’t have to do much to turn it into bonsai.
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Last edit: Post by Wes V..

I think I found a natural/wild Bonsai tree. 1 month 3 weeks ago #71474

  • leatherback
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No, it is not a bonsai. It is a aturally stunted tree.

Do not try to bring this home. You will not be able to get it with enough root to survive. Collecting yamadori is a very specialized activity and not something to just do on a whim.
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I think I found a natural/wild Bonsai tree. 1 month 3 weeks ago #71475

  • lucR
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There is no such thing as a "rare wild bonsai". Trees grow as they grow. If nutrients/climate/growing spot deliver harsh conditions trees tend to stay small or become distorted.
This spruce ( not a juniper) looks like it grows in a crack in the rock. As Leatherback says, getting it out of there with enough roots will probably impossible.Leave it there and enjoy it if you see it where it grows.
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I think I found a natural/wild Bonsai tree. 1 month 3 weeks ago #71477

  • Si Guy
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OK, thanks to all of you. I cannot dig it up, I was just wondering if it was already bonsai. I read online that wild bonsai are actually a thing. Anyway it is in Nova Scotia, and I actually found a small two foot tall seedling that I am going to dig up (on my property so it is ok) and prune and wire. I am completely new to the art of bonsai and have never had one. I am also growing jade plant, and Japanese maple seedlings to someday wire into bonsai. I have really enjoyed bonsai empire articles and YouTube movies, so thank you!

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I think I found a natural/wild Bonsai tree. 1 month 3 weeks ago #71479

  • Ivan Mann
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If you spend time in the woods you will see a lot of trees like this. It is quite photogenic but I would not say wild.

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I think I found a natural/wild Bonsai tree. 1 month 3 weeks ago #71484

  • Si Guy
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leatherback wrote: No, it is not a bonsai. It is a aturally stunted tree.

Do not try to bring this home. You will not be able to get it with enough root to survive. Collecting yamadori is a very specialized activity and not something to just do on a whim.


Isn't a bonsai tree just a stunted tree though? what is your definition of a bonsai tree? Wild bonsais definitely exist.

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I think I found a natural/wild Bonsai tree. 1 month 3 weeks ago #71485

  • Wes V.
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Si Guy wrote:

leatherback wrote: No, it is not a bonsai. It is a aturally stunted tree.

Do not try to bring this home. You will not be able to get it with enough root to survive. Collecting yamadori is a very specialized activity and not something to just do on a whim.


Isn't a bonsai tree just a stunted tree though? what is your definition of a bonsai tree? Wild bonsais definitely exist.


A bonsai is not always a stunted or dwarf tree. Bonsais are usually normal trees trained to be small, mainly by pruning and wiring.

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