Where are these fields that Ryan gets material from? Are these fields that grow trees specifically for use with bonsai?
He mostly gets his field grown stuff from Telperion Farms in Oregon.
And they have a lot more for sale than what’s on their website (definitely more affordable material). It’s all dedicated to bonsai.
There is also Driftwood Bonsai, also in Oregon, that specializes in field grown bonsai material.
Oh man, thanks for the info! On a related note, does anyone know how much the trees were when Mirai had that web sale last year? Just curious.
I think the least expensive tree was maybe ~$800 going all the way up to $8000. I would say most were between $1500 and $4000 (maybe?)
I think I could convince my wife to eventually let me buy a sub-four figure Ryan Neil tree.
I don’t think I could ever " convince" my wife, so I go ahead anyway ( hopefully, she won’t notice the corvette isn’t in the garage anymore ).
Lol, I have to convince myself first. I don’t know anywhere near enough to feel like I could keep it alive.
Some may complain about Ryan’s prices until you have done your homework to find his pre-bonsai costs for some of the field grown material can approach $1000! That’s alot of speculation on his part which explains why he selects such superior material to start with ( which he is still selecting for its potential ).
And we all know that everything you buy doesn’t always thrive and go the way we want. By researching his sources ahead of time, I imagine his loss rate has been greatly reduced. Even if his source may seem pricey, he still benefits from a reduced failure rate and knowing his source allows him the foreknowledge of care and feeding to start the ball rolling.
Knowing all this, his prices now don’t seem that far fetched. That being said, I still plan on purchasing from him at a later date ( after more practice on watering, pruning, feeding and long term care of my $200 to $500 trees before I throw down $5000 or more on my dream tree ). IMHO
Oh, I agree. I actually don’t find his prices to be out of proportion to the craftsmanship that goes into his trees. I’m just not at the point where my skill set even comes close to what would be required to honorably continue his work/vision.
I am in the same boat. After 5 years of practicing and improving ( I hope ) my skill sets, I still have the occasional screaming failure ( I’m the one screaming, the tree just dies, lol).
My most expensive purchase to date was a $700 RMJ collected and growing healthily in bonsai soil. One year later, is still thriving with all new growth and a new design. Ask me in two years whether my investment was speculative or not.
IIRC, the sub-four figure trees were either unstyled, or potted in training containers And generally on the small side of things.
I’d be okay with smaller, but I wouldn’t buy one that hasn’t been styled at least once. Guess I’d be spending the big bucks. I’d love to get that flat top bald cypress.
The cheapest tree in the sale (which also sold VERY quickly) was around $350 and a very lovely Stewartia. There are always a pretty solid range of Ryan’s trees at the Puget Sound Bonsai Association’s annual auction with reserves ranging from $500 to $2500.
If you keep your eye out and are patient, you’ll end up with a Ryan Neil masterpiece.
Get something thriving in bonsai soil before you worry about style.
You can set the basic structure and establish best front without too much damage to the plant. Repot to bonsai soil in the early spring and tend to it through the growth season to the next spring. If it is thriving next spring, maybe the second styling. If not, more care until it shows you its ready.
Patience is all ( ask anyone ), as soon as you try to rush the tree it responds in reverse. IMHO
Very sound advice Leonard. I’m trying lol. I’ve got a hinoki and a parsoni juniper that I think will be ready to repot next year. Both nursery stock. I’m in the process of setting structural wire on both.
Really didn’t do much to the juniper aside from set direction of the branches and laid out the tufts of foliage. It’s nowhere near as strong as I need it to be, so it’ll spend the summer/fall putting on foliage. If it produces what I like then I’ll repot next spring.
The hinoki is healthy, but its branches are too strong for my aluminum wire. I’m getting copper wire next weekend (and hopefully some pre-bonsai). With the stronger wire I’m going to just set the structure of the branches, lay out the foliage and then let it sit until I repot in the spring. I really need to just observe it to get an understand of how it produces branches and how it reacts to things.
I’m basically done with those, so my bonsai hand is itchy. Now I’m just buying things and putting them in the ground to have something to tend. Hitting a bonsai show in NC in October. Hopefully I can grab some pre-bonsai then.
I have worked on some Hinoki but find they are still out of my skillset to keep them healthy. So I usually wait till late fall and try to pick them up cheap at the local nurseries. Then they are just work in progress pre-bonsai to add to my knowledge base ( without alerting my financial planner (wife, lol)).
Next spring, I hope to obtain an in ground nursery grown Hinoki over 50 years old. This thing has a scary thick trunk filled with movement and branches everywhere. I want to try and slip pot it into partial mix of bonsai soil and the soil it’s planted in ( very black and loamy). Since it is such a find, I will be taking it to a professional bonsai artist that I have worked with in the past who specializes in Hinoki to set me on the right path. Should be a rare experience.
Man, that sounds like a lot of fun! I don’t even have a local bonsai club here in Charleston, SC. None that my google skills can find at least. I picked up the hinoki for like $15 from a nursery before I know what I was buying. I liked the base and trunk movement. Then I watched the hinoki stream and Ryan said that it’s an advanced tree. We’ll see how it goes. Hopefully I’m going to look back at my 2019 trees and marvel at how far I’ve come…or cry because future me still sucks haha.
I got an amazing Amur Maple for $350 during the last tree sale, I believe it was the cheapest tree available. It was unstyled and in development, but it came in a beautiful Tom Benda pot. There was a smaller version of the same pot for sale for ~$500, so I think the pot itself was worth the price
That’s awesome. Thanks for sharing!
If you’re in SC, I’ve gotten some great field grown Trident Maples from this nursery in Greenville: http://www.greenthumbbonsai.com/