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Growing a tree from seed in its final pot vs growing it in the ground 10 months 4 days ago #65501

  • SlavTuxedo
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Let's get the necessary stuff out of the way so you won't bombard me with useless comments and we spare each other time:

Yes, seeds take a lot of time, yes, cuttings are better. I realize it will take years to develop a proper bonsai tree, but from reading and watching a lot of Peter Chan ( herons bonsai) and Nigel Saunders, it's not impossible. In fact, you can get a pretty decent starter bonsai tree in as little as 2-3 years ( depending on species) and just form personal exp. seed growing doesn't take that long ( again, dep on spe.

I've grown a beautiful, finger thick lemon tree in just 2.5 years. So it's not impos. Also, there is the enjoyment factor of growing yr very own & developing from scratch.

Now, the following question is ONLY for MAME aka miniature trees:

What is better?
-Growing MAME from seed in its final pot
Or
-growing MAME from seed in ground, letting it grow , prune as to maintain small size and then pot

I do think growing in the final pot is better because it
1, trains the tree in terms of roots and branching
2, keeps it in size ( growing in ground the tree can get too big for the miniature mame pot.

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Growing a tree from seed in its final pot vs growing it in the ground 10 months 4 days ago #65503

  • leatherback
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I am not sure why the first half of your post. I think everybody should be growing stuff from seed.

I would grow in-ground to develop a trunk first.

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Growing a tree from seed in its final pot vs growing it in the ground 10 months 4 days ago #65504

  • SlavTuxedo
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Well, honestly a lot of bonsai people can be a bit snobbish and instantly throw out an idea put the window. Most bonsai people dislike , even hate the idea of growing from seed, and given the bs 21 century internet, i felt necessary to state it so as to save myself time explaining it to idiots.

I didn't expect a like minded individual, what a surprise :)
At any rate, do you really think the ground is better for a miniature mame style?

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Growing a tree from seed in its final pot vs growing it in the ground 10 months 4 days ago #65506

  • lucR
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Most of us ( those that are in it a good number of years) have trees all the way from seedlings, saplings, trees in the ground,to (pre) bonsai in all stages of development.
This being said- I think it serves no purpose calling people idiots that have a different opinion then yours.

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Growing a tree from seed in its final pot vs growing it in the ground 10 months 4 days ago #65507

  • SlavTuxedo
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By idiots I mean people who say seed growing bonsai is a futile effort. I think seed growing is not a matter of opinion, it's just a fact. Styling is opinion based, but the very fact that bonsai can be grown from seed is, well, a fact. And anyone who says otherwise is....

But anyway, so given the size of a mame, is field growing still better? How do you even control something like that? I mean for nomal pots, you let it grow for a year or two and it can be easily transfered. But mame size is pretty specific. Too big and it won't do well...

I've grown some grapefruits and pomegranate trees in ground and then to bonsai, but never done it in mame.

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Growing a tree from seed in its final pot vs growing it in the ground 10 months 4 days ago #65517

  • persimmon
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Your question "is field growing still better?" is ill posed. Define "good" or "better" first. Why do you want to grow bonsai in the first place? Do you want to grow bonsai for your personal enjoyment, or do you want to grow bonsai for sales and make lots of money? (If you want to make lots of money, the follow up question would be do you want a quick buck, or lots of money for your grandchildren...)

If you want a fat trunk quickly, grow in the field. If you want something really small, do you even want a big fat trunk?

I grow bonsai from seeds with my kids. They love it. 5 years ago we lived in an apartment house with no personal yard, so we planted all kinds of seeds in pots. 3 years ago we moved to a house with our own backyard, where some of the seeds and/or prebonsai get planted. Some remain in pots... Last year, I got something like 15 1-year old ume saplings, some of which were planted in my yard, and some in pots.

If you have a yard, do plant tree seeds in your yard. Also, plant same seeds in pots. If you post your progressions on this forum, we can all reflect together on which is "better".
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Growing a tree from seed in its final pot vs growing it in the ground 10 months 4 days ago #65519

  • SlavTuxedo
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Thanks for your input. The main idea is that by growing in pot from 0 the tree will have a perfectly developed bonsai root system as opposed to one that's been field grown.

I don't know where did you get I want to sell them, as I've mentioned growing these for enjoyment.

At any rate, I appreciate your input.

By the by, did you say ume? Prunus mume? Japanese apricot? That ume? What a coincidence!
I've been searching the internet for weeks now to find cuttings, or seeds but everywhere it's either sold out or just extremely expensive.

Did you plant them by seed? If you still have some, would you mind selling me a few? They are not sold anywhere! Not ebay, not reputable tree seed stores, I cannot find them anywhere!

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Growing a tree from seed in its final pot vs growing it in the ground 10 months 4 days ago #65520

  • persimmon
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By the by, did you say ume? Prunus mume? Japanese apricot? That ume? What a coincidence!
I've been searching the internet for weeks now to find cuttings, or seeds but everywhere it's either sold out or just extremely expensive.

Did you plant them by seed? If you still have some, would you mind selling me a few? They are not sold anywhere! Not ebay, not reputable tree seed stores, I cannot find them anywhere!


Cool. I think all of us grow bonsai for our personal enjoyment ;) Tried to be sarcastic or something, but that rarely works on this kind of web discussion boards :(

I live in Tokyo, and most of my neighbors have ume trees in their yards. Many of them are 80+ years old, so every year I get 20-30 kg of ume in exchange for cutting the trees. Most of them end up pickled, as jam, or become a liquor. I also make an amaretto like liquor of the pits. But few days after all this ume processing is over, I find a bunch of rotten ume lying in my yard or on the street, and these I thrown in pots or let them grow where they have fallen. The seedlings I got from another neighbor, who's yard wasn't cleaned up in a long time, so there were a bunch of 1-year old seedlings around the ume trees...

I will have lots of ume pits next June/July. I'm pretty sure that mailing live ume seedlings requires meters of red tape, and is not worth our while. If you figure out the legality of receiving an envelope with ume pits from Japan, I will happily send them for free. Chances are, it is illegal to send plant seeds from Japan to your country without proper documentation. I suspect this is why ume seeds are expensive outside Japan.

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Growing a tree from seed in its final pot vs growing it in the ground 10 months 4 days ago #65526

  • leatherback
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I suppose it depends a lot on what you try to achieve. I do not think you can grow a bonsai from seed in 2 years, as you seem to indicate. To me, even a mame needs to have a trunk. In fact, the best mame have a relatively absurd thick trunk with trunk-to-height ratio nearing 1:2 or even 1:1. This requires many years of clever growing.

Note: I do have several trees in pots which I have never had in the ground, as I want to try and grow them without big chops and they will be slender trees.

The best mame supposedly come from air layering the top out of mature overgrown bonsai.

One of mine, which included a stint in the ground to get a little bit of mass on the trunk:
www.bonsaiempire.com/forum/progressions/...-larch-from-seedling

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Growing a tree from seed in its final pot vs growing it in the ground 10 months 4 days ago #65529

  • Tropfrog
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I dont think that you have a better chanse to grow a perfect root structure just by putting the seedling in a pot instead of in the ground. Actually I think it is the opposite. What we want in bonsai is root spread and that cannot happen in a contained space. The roots will just circle the rim of the pot. More specific, we want even and shallow root spread and that have very small chanse of happening without root work no matter if it is in ground or in a pot.

But maybe I am just one of them idiots that this forum is full off?

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