Deflation33
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Bonsai Care Help

Hello,

I am a new bonsai tree owner, and my first tree is a Juniper Bonsai.

I do not know much about these but my plant seems to be healthy and doing well. However, I have a few questions.

At the beginnings of my branches, a lot of the leaves are brown. Down towards the base of the branches. Ive been told this is natural, but it just dosent look natural to me. At the ends of the branches there is a healthy looking green growth on the branch and leaves. Ive watered it enough so that it kinda is going away, but some places it isnt.

Also, I cant find many good tutorials on wiring my tree. I woud like to train it to be cascading down on one side, much like this: https://www.helpfulgardener.com/bonsai/03/fullimages/y_f.jpg

I know that that tree is very old, whereas mine is young (I do not know how old exactly, i think about 6 years), and it will take years to train it to be like that, but apparently I need to get started right away. Where would be a good place to go and learn how to wire properly? Im thinking about buying a book. Do you have any suggestions?

Ive been going through many tutuorials online, and many of the pictures show moss at the base of the tree. Does this make a difference or is it merely for looking at?

I saw that some people mention a humitity tray to place underneath it. How would i go about doing this, and where can I get one. Just a normal tray, or a specific kind?

What is a good moisture meter?

My tree gets plenty of sunlight, and I am going to leave it potted on my screen porch all through the seasons, where it is not to windy and it doesnt not reach the elements. But, because I am leaving it potted, should I bring it inside my garage (not too cold, but not heated like the house) at night or anytime it is under 45 degrees? What baout placing it under a cardboard box?

I just got it, so would it be a good idea to take it out of the pot and prune it, or should I wait?

What kind of soil and fertilizer do you suggest?

Thanks so much for all your help! Your website is one of the best i've been to!

Deflation33
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Bonsaie Care Help

Oh yes, and should I remove the brown leaves from the tree or leave them?

sorry about the mispelling of the title, I have been in a hurry htis morning.

The Helpful Gardener
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The best books I know of are John Naka's Bonsai Manuals (I and II); while not inexpensive they are how to's from America's preeminent master, and there is everything you would need to know there.

As for the tree as it stands now, it sounds healthy, so no repotting yet (best done in spring). Fertilizing once more is o.k., but it's time to knock that off until spring soon too (Peter Adams has some winter fertilization schedules in his books, but that requires knowledge in the various fertillizers and what you're trying to accomplish; best to wait on that one until you're a little more comfortable with your tree). By all means, remove the brown foliage; it can do no good and can be harmful, so off with it.

As for soil, fertilizer and all those other questions, please refer to the bonsai sections on the Helpful Gardener site; there is a lot of time and heart in those articles and I think they will serve you well as basic guides. A quick tour through the book page will help pick out some other great books and the Florida Bonsai Society has been gracious in allowing us access to their training program; thanks to my friend Tom Zane for that.

And feel free to follow up on anything with me here; congratulations on the new tree...

Scott

Deflation33
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thanks for the help. Ive been reading tons of online stuff and was just looking for some input.

I noticed this afternoon a few leaves had some little white spots on them. Ill try and see if they come off, but
im not sure they will. You cannot see it
unless you really examine it, and its just one
or 2 leaves here and there. Is this a big deal?

Deflation33
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As far as I can tell, the white is gone now. I just don't see it anymore. It might have been dust.

Anyways, my tree is about 7 inches high or so. I was wanting to make it maybe 5 - 8 inches taller. Is this possible? Would a bigger pot be necessary? How long would this take (i have all the time in the world).

Im still very confused about wiring my tree. Should I go to a local nursery and ask?

Thanks so much!

The Helpful Gardener
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Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2004 9:17 pm
Location: Colchester, CT

The chances of finding good help with bonsai at a nursery is very hit or miss; I think you would be better served finding our link to Florida Bonsai Society's site and getting Tom Zane's intermediate class manual or getting a good book and learning there (see our book listing for lots of good ones on the topic). The John Naka manuals I mentioned have greast diagrams for how and how not to wire. Wiring is best done on evergreens in fall and leaving it on for the winter, so you have a little time to round up reading material and get up to speed. Just remember, wired trees can't take quite as much sun (they heat up quicker). Here's a link to the wiring section from our bonsai pages...

[url]https://www.helpfulgardener.com/bonsai/03/index.html[/url]

The white on the tree could be water deposits, sap, or a million other things the fact that it's gone is good reason to forget it (unless it returns). As for the height of the tree, follow the request of the tree; if it wants to a taller tree to fit the scale, then find a bigger pot. If the tree has gotten overgrown by two inches, then you may want to wait until spring for a major revamp of styling; pruning stimulates new growth and at this late date in the season you don't want that (it probably won't harden off in time for winter). And as always, junipers are outdoor trees, so start thinking about overwintering and where you're going to keep the tree for the cold months; that's the life and death decision that's coming fastest...

Scott

Deflation33
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ok, well, apparently I couldnt see them as well before, but the spots are still there. On pretty much every leaf.

The Helpful Gardener
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Are you sure we're not talking about the stomata (little holes in the needles the plant "breathes" from?

Deflation33
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im not sure, would u happen to have a picture of it?

I couldnt find one, and they are pretty visible. The leaves are very small.

Deflation33
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OK, I can see the white stuff a lot better now, and it does come off. But the leaves on my tree are so small that I cant really see them all, and its hard to get the stuff off.

The Helpful Gardener
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Posts: 7492
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2004 9:17 pm
Location: Colchester, CT

With a lot of evergreens you can get a little sap weeping from stomata; the most obvious culprit is bristlecone pine that leaks freely to the point that people often think it's sick (white spots ALL over the needles) . Without better visuals of what you're talking about I don't want to prescribe anything drastic, but a spray with neem oil will take out any insects, mites or fungii, so if you want to try a safe and easy way to knock down any badguys with the shotgun approach, that's it.

Let me know how things progress...

Scott



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