Cool Member
Posts: 71
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2011 4:23 am
Location: chicago

Feeling overwhelmed

First of all; I love your forum! :D
I am new to bonsai and a new member. Last year; I bought a Gingko and a Nana; they are doing well. My problem is; that my friends noticed that I really love my trees; and they gave me a lot of bonsai; pre-bonsai and cuttings (with roots) for my birthday! I really love my gifts; but feel overwhelmed; too. I learned here to remove the glued rocks; so I did. But what about the moss? :roll: I like it, but does the tree? The Chinese Elm has some wire damage; how to take care of it? I have four White Pines now; I really like to make a group from them. Also I would like to try ‘over rock’ with one of the cuttings. I have a lot of cuttings: Chinese Dogwood; Mimosa Tree; Red Maple; Silver Maple; Cedar; Hemlock; several kinds of Oaks. I put them in training containers outside. However, some of the cuttings are already 3 feet tall; can I prune them? Again; I feel overwhelmed; but I really like my gifts! Please help!

Senior Member
Posts: 115
Joined: Sat Jun 19, 2010 8:50 pm
Location: St. Louis, MO (Zone 6)

about the 3 foot cuttings, It depends on how tall u want the tree to be in the end and how quickly u want the tree to thicken. personally i would chop them, but its hard to tell without see a PICTURE of them :roll:

it also depends on the species, for instance if you cut back a kumquat the following grow will be leggy. But it is essential to keep branches low enough on the trunk so that when you do finally make the trunk chop there is still green on the tree.
also consider the time of year you are making the cut, i have heard for junipers you never want to take more than 30 % of the foliage off at a time, where as some tropicals like ficus species tolerate more harsh pruning--it really depends on the overall health of the tree.

Newly Registered
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2011 7:05 pm
Location: Central Coast, CA


We should all be lucky enough to have friends like yours!!!

Greener Thumb
Posts: 1436
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 12:07 am
Location: Airmont, NY Zone 6/7

Develop a system. I have 60+ trees in varying stages. Honestly, other than watering, for MOST of the year, you'll be doing pretty much nothing. Come spring, it gets a little hectic. I diid probably 20 repots throughout April and May this year. Anyway, set a schedule, specific times, to check your trees and care for them and then stick to it.

User avatar
Senior Member
Posts: 269
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 9:54 pm
Location: Toronto, ON, zone 5a

I actually sat down just last night and made a list of tree species I have, then I looked up and wrote down when to repot, prune, wire etc...
(yep newbee here :P - the list is mainly to STOP me from trying to do too much and at the wrong time of year - aka fiddling)
Since I am growing most from seed, I'm totally not having much to do just yet. Whatever nursery stock I got, pretty much just got uppotted and pruned a bit this year, I made some plans as to what to do with them if they survive winter, but again, not that much work just yet.
There is no rush, just research what each species needs and keep them alive for a while. Then decide where to cut, wire etc, and do it at the right time of year :)
If you still feel overwhelmed, just plant some out in the garden for a while...

Have fun

Cool Member
Posts: 71
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2011 4:23 am
Location: chicago

Thank you; all! A system and writing down what has to be done is a good idea. I will make a "bonsai planner". :P
Yes; I have really good friends; I'm lucky! They gave me a lot of cuttings; I'm happy! :D

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