How to Plant a Bonsai Tree From Seed

Learn to Plant a Bonsai Tree

I’m planting a lot of nut trees today but not all goes well. I also show an update to my Ginkgo that was attacked by boring insects.

I want to show you how to plant a bonsai tree and to get it started from seed. – it’s time to get back to planting seeds. The whole purpose of this video. I thought i’d. Do the repotting a quick repotting at the start of this video, and i have lots of time for planting seeds and of course you know me.

I took way too long to plant that little ficus, but it’s off to a good start. So i’m, going to get more seeds planted today, the ones that are soaking in the bucket i’ve got a tray here with some used bonsai soil in it.

So i’ll, just top it up, get it to the right planting height. Okay, i think that’ll, do for planting, and then i can add a little more soil. On top my seeds, i’ll. Be planting. Today. Are soaking in this bucket? I’ve, got almond cork, oak ginkgo and european pine nuts [ Music ] right here.

So all these are in like a shell, a tough shell and if you soak them long enough, water penetrates into the middle and the shell kind of disintegrates. But if you open it up, it certainly speeds up germination.

Creating a Bonsai tree

So i’m, going to take the shell off a lot of these nuts. You know some of them have sunk already, so that means they ‘ Ve probably got water inside to the interior, but it’s still hard for the seedling to break out of a hard nut shell.

So i’m going to crack them open, and for that i guess i need nutcrackers. I thought about using the nutcrackers that are in the kitchen, but i thought i better not so i’ve got these curved pliers that i think, will do the job quite nicely.

I’ll, get all the nuts out of the bucket into my colander here. So these seeds, i don’t, really need any labels on them because they’re. All very distinct, like oak trees, are easy to tell apart from ginkgos and pines.

So i don’t think i need to do any labeling there’s. A look at all the seeds i have so i’ll, get cracking. I’ll. Try to be very careful when i’m cracking the shells open that i don’t disturb the seed inside well, the outer husk is definitely softened up on these almonds.

It’s almost almost like rubber. Okay, i’m. Getting it open now, maybe a little more persuasion. It’s like opening the nuts at christmas. You don’t want the nuts flying everywhere when they suddenly crack open.

My pliers aren’t. Quite big enough to get around there, i go that got it open and there it is. There is the almond seed in it. Now that one looks very shriveled up, i don’t think that’s viable. I’ll. Put it in water and soak it for a bit and see if it swells up, but i don’t think it will let’s.

Try another one yeah this one is a lot tougher. I think that was a bad seed. It was rotted out or something this one is very tough. This also has a hammer on it. I might have to hammer these again. I got ta be careful not to damage the seed inside.

Ah, i think i might have shoot, but you know what i can try eating it. These are supposed to be bitter almonds and not really edible, but yeah see i’ve kind of ruined that seed. I’m gonna try it it’s, got a very, very strong almond taste to it, like almost like almond extract, but edible.

I actually quite good yeah too bad. I wrecked that seed. That was a good one, but it’s also kind of nice to eat it. Let’s, try another! I got ta have a success eventually, oh that didn’t work. Well, look at that! It just broke.

The seed in half, however, gives me some more food yeah. I kind of like the taste of these almonds. They’re, really strong, but really quite good. I don’t know what to do here. You know what i’m going to do.

I’m going to plant the almonds without breaking the case open it’ll, eventually rot away. I’ll just have to be patient, it’ll. Probably take a long time, hopefully the squirrels won’t, get it in the meantime.

So i’m planting them pointy and down that’s, the way they would drop off the tree. So, okay, that’s. It one more almond and that’s, that’s, the last one, okay, so the next one i’m gonna try these oaks.

I’m gonna see if i can get it open, or at least cracked a bit some of these oaks soften up quite well when they’re put in water like this one’s, quite soft, but it doesn’t, look good inside. You can see it’s kind of black inside i don’t think that’s, a viable seed.

No, it’s, not smells funky too. That’s, not a good one. Let’s. Try this one! It’s! Soft! On the outside. It’s, cracking a little bit there. I got it started. Oh this isn’t. Looking so good, either it’s black inside i don’t know i’m, going to try breaking it open and see.

If there’s like a fleshy nut inside no, it’s. Soft. It’s, no good [, Music ], it’s. Very uh. Soft has a mildewy smell that’s. No good. I found with acorns the best method is when they’re, naturally falling off the tree.

You collect them ones that are on the ground and then you plant them almost right away. You know, put them as soil, you can even put them in the fridge stratify them, but even if you don’t stratify them, usually they germinate.

So this one it’s, also no good see it’s. All moldy inside that’s, no good, okay! Well, let’s. Go under the pine nuts. Let’s, see what they’re like not having much luck with the oaks here’s, one that’s, just naturally cracked open.

Okay inside i have a soft dried up thing that’s, not viable. I’ll, try another one. So maybe these ones that are cracked open, aren’t any good. Maybe they they need to be sealed. Okay, so there’s, nothing inside that one.

It’s, just all shriveled up that’s too bad um. I’ll, keep trying. It might be a good idea if you collect seeds just to break a few open and see what’s inside here’s, one that’s full inside, but again it’s.

Soft there’s, it’s; no living yeah. It’s, just a rotted shell of a seed that’s, no good! Let’s. Try a ginkgo, try, cracking up a gingko here: oh whoa, whoa, whoa, okay, that one was good. You can see.

I think i damaged it, but you can see the leaves the leafy green inside, so the ginkgos are definitely viable. So i’m going to plant the ginkgos um again. I think i’ll just damage them. If i try and crack the shells open, i mean i could sand them down, but i’ll.

Just leave them in the soil to kind of self-decompose and someday. I’ll, get little ginkgos growing, so i’ll, just plant them around the almonds and these ones. I’m. Putting there’s a pointy end and then the end that was attached to the tree or the fruit.

So i’m. Putting the pointy end down and the reason i’m fussy – is that if the seeds sideways, you get the plant growing up one side and the root growing down the other, and you get this kind of s-shaped curve in the in the tree.

It goes away with time, but it’s nicer to start out with a nice straight tree where the roots going down and the plants going up and there’s, no funny wiggles in it. I’ll plant. A few. You know the opposite way just to try some different techniques.

Speaking of ginkgos, i didn’t. Have much luck with my other ginkgo i’ll. Show you what it looks like here’s, my ginkgo! It’s way over here and i caught the bores on the very first day they showed up, and i got a needle with uh, my dormant oil mixture in it, which is uh vegetable, oil and dish, soap and water, and i squirted it into The holes – and the funny thing is, is that i would squirt it in one hole and it would shoot out another hole on the tree, which is kind of strange.

I almost shot myself in the face the one time, so i caught them as early as i could, and that mixture certainly killed anything that was living in there. I even saw some beetles backing out of their holes and then they died shortly after so the top of the tree isn’t, looking very good.

If you can see it here, yeah it’s. A little discolored, however, down lower. There are some, you know fairly good, looking leaves on it, so it is possible, it could recover. I’ve, never had a tree survive boring insects before.

If this survives, it’ll be the first and i think, because you know they’ve attacked the ginkgo once i think i ‘ Ll have to put a coating of vaseline on the trunk, so if any insects land on the trunk they’ll just get stuck to the vaseline and they’ll die rather than boring into the trunk.

So i’m. Going to try that if the tree lives it’s, part of bonsai, i ‘ Ve talked to other people about it and it’s. Just it’s. Like your worst fear. You know i don’t mind killing a tree because i prune the roots too much or you know if i left it outside in the cold or something then well, it’s, my fault, but when you get insects attacking that kill It that quickly, it’s, heartbreaking and it happens.

It’s. Just you just got ta put the tree aside and go on and be thankful that you know maybe it killed one or two trees in your collection, but the others are safe. So you know stuff happens in bonsai that’s.

Just you can’t control it, but this video is about creating trees, starting new trees, not about gloom and doom and death. So let’s. Get back to planting. I gave up growing horse chestnuts as bonsai. For that very reason.

The bores they just always attack my horse, chestnuts and it wouldn’t, be right away. You know, maybe i’ve developed the tree for 10 years and then the borers come in and they kill it. So i’ve. Just kind of said no to horse chestnuts now, even though i really like them as bonsai okay, so we were cracking stuff open.

I got my ginkgos planted. I’m still trying to find a viable pine nut that one’s. No good it’s. All moldy huh try another oak, no see that’s. All moldy inside that’s, no good too bad. This one’s. Cracked! I don’t, think it’ll, be good.

No, that one’s no good either. So maybe some of these pine nuts that are very small, i don’t, know nah. They don’t. Look good either! Oh that one does there’s, one that’s good. So i’ll plant that i’m, going to keep half the shell on plant that one there.

That was a good one that one’s; no good. It’s hollow inside here’s; another oak that’s, all black and moldy, no good. I should have known i left this bucket outside. Oh, that one looked good look at that it had a bit of mold, but it looked pretty good.

I’m gonna try and get it out. I’m gonna try planting it. It’s, not the greatest. Looking but who knows it’s worth a shot, so maybe maybe there is some viable oaks in here there’s one. I can crack open by hand that one’s, all kind of moldy, that’s.

No good but the ones that are intact. Maybe they have a good that one rattles. It might have a good seat inside that one doesn’t. I’ll plant them anyway, we’ll. Just see you never know again. I’ll point them with the top of the acorn up.

Just like they’d, fall off the tree. It’s, a general rule of thumb. I use okay and then i got a whole bunch of there’s. Another little almond. I’ll. Put that in there and then a whole bunch of pine nuts, which i’ll, just throw on the surface here and if they germinate they germinate.

If they don’t they don’t, it becomes compost. Okay. So i’ll, put a layer of soil on top now and just kind of cover all the seeds up. One thing i’ve learned today. Is i really like those almonds? They were just lots of flavor holy.

I’ve, never really had a nut with that strong of flavor before most nuts are quite mild that had a real almond flavor, just like almond extract, like i said, really good. Okay, i think that’s, good, i’ll.

Give it a nice watering now well that is well watered. Okay! Well, grow little seeds grow. This squirrel buffet here will definitely have to go in the greenhouse. I think this seed tray is strong enough.

I don’t need anything underneath i’ve still got hundreds of seeds to plant, but i’m going to have to end the video series with this video. I’ve got so much other bonsai work to do. I’ve got repotting, i’ve got pruning, so i ‘

Ll still be doing uh seeds, but i’ll. Do it maybe at the end of some of the videos, and then i’ll, show you what germinates and we’ll, follow along all these seedlings and their progress.

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