Bonsai for dummies

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Ethyl, Jan 18, 2008.

  1. Ethyl

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    Anyone into bonsai? I've always wanted to learn the art but I don't trust what the books say. I need someone to instruct me on proper clipping procedures. My ideal bonsai would be something like this wisteria or a conifer


    Suggestions? Comments? Protests?
     
  2. rob_just_rob

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    Cruelty to plants? :confused:
     
  3. jeff black

    jeff black <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    I've actually thought it could be a fun, rather interesting hobby.
     
  4. dustin7

    dustin7 Member

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    I tried it and it died the first week using the kit/small book. Just go to a nusery. They might have some
     
  5. dong20

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    I don't have the patience, but they look cute. Cute for trees that is.
     
  6. psidom

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    we actually just put together a bonsai grove.
    4 little pine trees in one pot.
    we bought the pot from the same nursery we bought our tree.
    with pruning a big part is knowing which part you want to be the front.
    then prune the tree according to how it looks from that angle.
    so what you cut in the back/sides/inside effects the front.
    scarring is kinda cool too,they carve the bark off and it
    gives the tree a duotone,you just have to seal where you peeled.
    that ryhmed.
    :smile:
    google video or youtube probably has some tutorials.
    i used "the complete book of bonsai" by harry tomlinson
     
  7. earllogjam

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    I'm not an expert but here's my experience with fiddling with one tree I got from a bonsai show years ago.

    Picking the right container is very important to the look you want to achieve. You will need some heavy wire to spiral around the branches and actually bend and force the the look you want. They also weigh branches down with twine and rocks before the stems turn into branches to get that layered horizontal look. I had a small spruce tree and the aesthetic is to prune the downward pointing branches and try to keep the ones that grow out. Asymetrical balance looking from the front is the look I was going for. It took over a year to get it to look halfway decent. I say I pruned and adjusted it maybe once every 3 weeks, even bought and grew some moss around the base and just watered it with all the other outdoor plants. I eventually gave it away as a gift.
     
  8. Ethyl

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    You're not gonna rat on me, are you? :tongue:

    I can see myself going zen every time I pick up the clippers.

    *next stop, nursery*

    I'm detail oriented and I think that's a large part of the attraction for me.

    I want a yard full of them but I think i'll start with something small first and see if I can prune my anxieties away. How hard can it be?

    *remembers saying this the last time she tried to paint with watercolour instead of acrylic or oil*
     
  9. Pecker

    Pecker Retired Moderator
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    You should see my bonsai sequoia.
     
  10. B_Nick4444

    B_Nick4444 New Member

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    bonsai involves a lot of work ... if you just want the smaller specimens, you might also consider buying dwarf conifers ... some of them remain quite small for a number of years
     
  11. naughty

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    Workin&#039; up a good pot of mad!
    The word sends chills down my spine I have killed at least 7 bonsai trees. Perhaps you will have better luck than I did.:biggrin1:
     
  12. hotguy8884

    hotguy8884 New Member

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    OOOOO.. I want a Bonsai tree.

    Sadly, though, I was not blessed with green thumbs. Perhaps black, at best.

    I had a bamboo shoot. Apparently all you need to do it place it in a jar with water and pebbles and then watch it grow (of course refilling the water). Although, mine died after the first week. I think maybe I cared TOO much.

    The best thing I can do for a Bonsai tree, is to leave it alone.

    Rob <3
     
  13. JustAsking

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    I tried that. I went through too many chainsaw chains, though. Its also hard on the back.
     
  14. kalipygian

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    Where I live there are small groves of natural bonsai mountain hemlocks, (Tsuga heterophylla) they look like they have been carefully attended to by ten generations of Japanese gardeners.

    You might try a Yaupon, (ilex vomitoria) native to the coast in your area, it is a Holly with tiny leaves. Pretty tough.
    There is also a myrtle leaf oak with tiny leaves, they grow where I am from in Florida, don't know if they are as far north as where you are.
     
  15. snoozan

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    bliss, let's take a road trip to longwood gardens-- they have many many very old, very beautiful bonsai. we may be able to hunt someone down to talk about them, and they also have a wonderful library and book store.
     
  16. SpoiledPrincess

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    I'd say buy one from a reputable dealer first to learn how to care for them, I killed mine.
     
  17. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    Bonsai, as you can see, is difficult.

    Bonsai wisteria is close to impossible. If you have wisteria then you know that it is beautiful but evil. Wisteria sends out runners overnight and will strangle you in your sleep if you give it half a chance.

    What you really need is a bonsai master who is willing to teach you, privately or in classes, how to do it. The correct aesthetic is important. The looks you see in bonsai are each various traditional bonsai forms.

    The key is to work with the plant, understanding its natural form, and understanding its needs. It's not easy to "get" it, but once you do, it can be very satisfying.

    Most people kill bonsai because they overwater it or do not clip the roots properly (or at all). Don't be a bonsai murderess.
     
  18. SpoiledPrincess

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    I became a bonsai murderess by breaking the cardinal rule of remembering that they're actually trees and treating it like a houseplant.
     
  19. Not_Punny

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    My ex is really good at Bonsai and orchids. But I can't pass on any of his skill cuz I never absorbed it...

    I kill all plants that enter my house. My roses are an accident... they're still alive. :eek:
     
  20. psidom

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    the not so hot,thing about buying them from dealers is you have to hope the
    dealer cares for the tree and is not selling them for the trend.
    most of my early ones died because of mites that were in the
    soil when i had bought it from the bonsai dispay.
    after i fixed my own soil they live and live.
    DIY is better for this kinda project,imho.
    you make it,that just makes it that much more
    spiritual and special to you.
     
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