Early November. The leaves are turning from green to red and yellow. Time for the long-awaited annual trip of our bonsai club. Visiting the fields of a nearby bonsai nursery to do some trunk searching. About an hours drive from my place is a tree nursery. The owner of this nursery has as hobby Bonsai. As such, next to his regular field he also has a growing field for bonsai. With one of my clubs we try to visit this field at least once a year. Best time is in fall, during leaf drop, or in early spring, as bus are swelling.
These trips for me are a highlight of a year. It is great to be out and about with the club. As it is outdoors, even during Corona times one can go to these places. And if you are lucky, you find a little jewel. All these trees have been grown with Bonsai in mind. Every few years the owner takes a spade and cuts the main roots. Twice a year all plants are hedge-trimmed. Do this for a decade or more and you have a great collection of pre-bonsai, worthy of the name.
Every spring, the owner things the rows by digging a number of trees. These are potted up in regular potting soil, to be sold. They make for easily transportable plants. However, the field are free to wander around in, and select a tree too. The selected trees are then dug on the spot, and wrapped in burlap for you to take home: Nearly crawling on hands and knees do we inspect the rows of trees. Did you see the white pines? No, but did you see the Chinese quinces?
This year, I came home with Chinese Quince and a thick cork bark (?) elm. It was a nice trip, see you again next year!