evan
Full Member
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2005 9:34 pm

New to Bonsai

Hello,
Recently i have become interested in bonsai and hope to begin a tree soon.
I live in South Alabama where it is very humid and very hot during summer. In the winter it usually does not go much below 30 degrees F during the day. So my question is
What type of tree should I get for my environment?

evan
Full Member
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2005 9:34 pm

Oh and by the way, I am really new to this as I said and klnow nothing about it... any helpful hints would be great!

Thanks!

opabinia51
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Posts: 4659
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 9:58 pm
Location: Victoria, BC

I think that your best bet would be to find your local bonsai club and ask them. A lot of bonsai clubs have websites now and a google search can often turn up more than one club in your region.

Also, look for a local horticultural society.

evan
Full Member
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2005 9:34 pm

Thanks! I was suprised to find 2 groups in my first search.

opabinia51
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Posts: 4659
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 9:58 pm
Location: Victoria, BC

Great! Send them an email and maybe even attend a meeting. Also, you can look for books on bonsai in your local area. I have a really great bonsai book entitled: THE BONSAI SURVIVAL MANUAL that describes what conditions different trees grow best under.

Might be a good book to read. But for now, I would talk to some local Bonsai Masters.

Oh, and be aware that growing bonsai is not as simple as buying a tree and leaving it be. You need to prune, pinch, mist, water, fertilize and so on. It's actually a lot of fun! I love taking care of my trees.

Joining a club is about the best thing you can do.

evan
Full Member
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2005 9:34 pm

Well it seems the closest club is up in Birmingham, several hours away, so it doesn't look like I'll be joining the club, but hopefully they can help me out a bit anyway. I bought a book a today called Indoor Bonsai For Beginners by Werner M. Busch. Seems to be pretty good.

opabinia51
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Posts: 4659
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 9:58 pm
Location: Victoria, BC

Great! Good luck with your bonsai attempts. Feel free to ask any questions or share any information with us at any time.

The Helpful Gardener
Mod
Posts: 7493
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 2:17 am
Location: Colchester, CT

Hi Evan,

Opa has given you great advice; much the same as I would say. I might add that there are a lot of [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/bonsai/]bonsai articles[/url] here on the site that are suited to beginners and intermediates, so you should read those for sure. Decide how you want to grow bonsai and what you have for resources and use those criterion to decide. I have a friend in our local club who grows all tropicals because she lives in an apartment and has nowhere to overwinter. THAT's what I'm talkin about... :)

Scott

P.S. They still go out on her balconey all summer...

evan
Full Member
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2005 9:34 pm

Many thanks to all! I now am looking for a good place to buy some soil and tools from online. Do any of yall have a favorite online store or something?

Thanks again,
evan

The Helpful Gardener
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Posts: 7493
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 2:17 am
Location: Colchester, CT

Again, look over our site. You'll find several links to qualified sources... :)

Scott

evan
Full Member
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2005 9:34 pm

Thanks again!

evan
Full Member
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2005 9:34 pm

One more question... I think...
I ordered some Baobab seeds off ebay because there were like 5 minutes left and it was only a couple bucks. Any tips on these plants specifically?

opabinia51
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 4659
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 9:58 pm
Location: Victoria, BC

The Baobab tree is also known as Adansonia digitata try this website for some general information on the trees:

https://www.plantzafrica.com/plantab/adansondigit.htm

I found some more information at this website but, all that it says about starting from seed is that the plants can be grown from seed. (not very useful)

https://www.floridata.com/ref/A/adan_dig.cfm

Here is a great site on growing Adansonia from seed:
https://www.baobabs.com/Baobabs_cultivation.htm

The Helpful Gardener
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Posts: 7493
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 2:17 am
Location: Colchester, CT

THAT would be an interesting bonsai...formal upright maybe?

evan
Full Member
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2005 9:34 pm

Thats what im thinking, the natural look...
Thanks for the links!

The Helpful Gardener
Mod
Posts: 7493
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 2:17 am
Location: Colchester, CT

Actually Evan, formal upright is the hardest style in my mind; very implicit rules to be followed on branch placement, height of the first branch from the baseTotal height vs. first branch height. Not really a beginners style, but I'm hard pressed to figure what else to do with that tree. I guess informal upright unless you get lucky and the structure comes just right...

evan
Full Member
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2005 9:34 pm

ah well i guess my inexperience is obvious :lol:
i have planted one of the seeds after nicking it and soaking it over night.
I was going to plant another today but Hurricane katrina screwed me up (im in alabama).
Anyway I also purchased a buxus harlandii from home depot and pruned that. Hopefully by the time my baobabs are a bit older i will be more experienced.

At this point I really don't worry so much about making a perfect bonsai at this stage. I most likely will go with informal upright if i understand what that is, will research a bit more.

As far as training in the first year, how far should i let it go before pruning? i understand they need to get started.

The Helpful Gardener
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Posts: 7493
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 2:17 am
Location: Colchester, CT

It's about time to stop pruning for the year. Any new growth triggered by pruning now MIGHT harden off before winter, but it would be a crap shoot. Better to get used to the watering and care and do your restyling in spring.
Boxwood won't grow much anyway...

HG

evan
Full Member
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2005 9:34 pm

oh i meant the baobabs. in the first year should i mess with them at all?

The Helpful Gardener
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Posts: 7493
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 2:17 am
Location: Colchester, CT

I'd say not, but my experience with this plant is, frankly, nil...

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