Newly Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:12 am
Location: Oslo, Norway

My first Bonsai!

Hello, me being a "bonsai-father" for the first time, i've got some basic questions i hope one of you guys could help me with... :roll:

1. Can you "trim" all kinds of branches, or are there a limit to how big the branches can be in order to have a "successful trimming"? :)

2. The soil seems a bit clay'ish (it's very compact), is that the way it should be, or is this reason enough to change to some "newer" soil?

3. There are also a lot of moss on the showing roots of my little Bonsai, could this cause the roots to rot (i've seen this on different "trees"), or could i just leave it as it is for now?

Sorry if these questions come out as stupid, but like i said, I'm new at the "bonsai-game" :)


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Super Green Thumb
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It's very difficult to give you much help without knowing what kind of tree you have. Juniper? Chinese elm? Fukien tea? something else?

A few pictures would help also. Instructions for posting them are in New to Helpful Gardener? under Helpful Tips and Suggestions for New Members.
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Newly Registered
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Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:12 am
Location: Oslo, Norway

And here's a picture of my little tree :wink:


Ps:If you could tell me what kind it is aswell, if would be awesome! :)


Senior Member
Posts: 134
Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2011 9:57 pm
Location: Indianapolis IN

That looks like a Fukien Tea (ehretia microphylla).
They like LOTS and LOTS of light. If you search this fourm, you will find a lot of information, also u can google it.
I'm a new to bonsai myself so i can't anwer your questions with confidence. but here's what i can tell you... and someone else may come along and correct me, or provide better info.
The soil is definetly wrong, so u may want to re-pot within a month or so, but make sure you do some research on the type of bonsai "soil" u should use.
Re-potting is stressful for the tree so i don't think you want to re-pot AND cut a large branch all at once. Don't try to do everything at once to any tree, every "modification" is stressful to it, so you should give it some recovery time after each step.
And it may be better for the moss to be removed since the tree is in poorly draining soil right now.

As i said I'm new to bonsai myself, and by no means an expert, but i've owned my Fukien Tea for about a month and a half, it seems to be happy with 14 hours under flourescent light, on a humidity tray, and water misting to maintain humidity, i do not water mine often since it's also in poor-draining soil for now. I use the chopstick method to determine when it needs to be watered.
The reason i think my tree is happy is because it has constant new growth, and blooming.

Good luck! :)

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Full Member
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Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2012 7:02 pm
Location: maine

All of that is great information. It seems to me that you either did a lot of research before you got the tree, or right after you got it.
Something I might add though. Fukien tea don't heal large wounds very well. If you cut off a big branch it will always be keep that in mind when pruning large branches.
patience.......wait for it :)

Newly Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:12 am
Location: Oslo, Norway

Thanks a lot, guys. I'm gonna schedule a re-potting for my little tree then. And now that i know what kind my tree is aswell, it's easier to read up on it aswell.


Green Thumb
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IMHO FTs don't do well in cold climates and it's very sensitive toward temperatures below 60 degree F, dry air and cold draft. I don't even know why they'd still sell it in cold climates. In terms of clipping as mentioned before. I wouldn't attempt it unless it's actively growing. The branches can be very brittle for wiring. For the soil, watch out for fungus knats. I recommend letting it settle into your enviornment before changing out the soil when weather warms up.
ficus, maple, elm, juniper, pine

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