Running thread: can it bonsai?

Figured it would be cool to have a thread posting potential species that aren’t often talked about. I’ll kick it off with one of my favorite shrubs.


Is the intention to be posting experience with uncommon bonsai subjects, or asking if it can be turned into a bonsai?

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Both? As with most of bonsai we don’t adhere to rules.

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Stopped by my favorite nursery of neglect and picked up this chaste tree. It has been in that one spot for so long that I had to pry it off of the ground due to how rooted the escape roots had become. :joy:

In an effort to expand my collection and exposure to various plants I figured I’d give it a try. I’m gonna chop it on th spring and toss it into a grow box.

They actually had a pine tree there as well. First place that I’ve seen a pine a nursery around here. I’m not sure what kind it was, but it was 10’ tall. Figured I wouldn’t have much success chopping it. :frowning_face:

What is it?

I did the same with this guy, it was a freebie from the greenhouse facility at the university where I work. Clearing out space, had 1.5” escape roots out of every hole in the pot.

I did a partial chop and it’s back budding like crazy, will chop lower and repot next year. It’s an Ostrya knowltonii, only occurs in a few canyons in the 4 Corners region (OK, one of those canyons is kinda huge, but still a pretty small range). Don’t know much about it, but the genus makes for some good bonsai. It gets beautiful flaky bark. Anyone else have one?


That’s cool. It looks like a kind of elm tree. That should definitely bonsai. The tree I bought is a chaste tree. Think butterfly bush that grows into a small tree. After looking at it this morning I’ve decided to chop the main vertically oriented trunk and plant it to allow the more horizontally oriented trunk grow and thicken.

Ha! Got it. I thought “chaste” was a weird adjective to use for a plant…

I had a Vitex in my yard down in Phoenix. Grows very fast and has beautiful purple flowers. You’ll probably have to go with a fairly large size, as I don’t think the leaves will reduce a ton and internodes may be longish. But could be a great seasonal interest plant for the flowers.

Good luck!

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In that case I can use my “naturalism” escape hatch :laughing:

@Brad ; knowltons hornbeam, an ironwood… !
What did you plant it in? Just original collected dirt for now?

It had already budded out when I got it this spring, so no transplant yet. Probably been in that 10 gallon pot for 20 years!

Soooo… still in collected soil? Probably best bet…
Ironwoods are unusually picky.

It was propagated from seed or cutting, not collected. Potting soil is just super broken down from not being transplanted in over a decade.