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Help with my first Bonsai

I spotted this small Ficus Bonsai in my local nursery and instantly an enthusiast offered to help me right away. He showed me how to re-pot it and helped me cut back some of the odd leaves, he also put some mesh on the bottom and wired it in to stop it moving about and placed some moss ontop of the soil for me.

I've left it for a while now sitting nicely on a shelf in good light but not direct sunlight and I've been keeping the soil moist but now I'm wondering if it's the time to start wiring it or changing the shape, the only thing I'm concerned about is the trunk seems quite think and difficult to bend whereas the branches seem to small and brittle to bend. I'd love some tips on what to do here.
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IMG_0766 (2).jpg (33.07 KiB) Viewed 9406 times
IMG_0767 (1).jpg
IMG_0767 (1).jpg (39.88 KiB) Viewed 9406 times
Thanks for any feedback!

Posts: 11682
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:32 am
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Help with my first Bonsai

It looks o.k. I think it needs to grow out more. There isn't much to wire yet. You will have to thin out the branches but it depends on the style you want. The best thing to do would be to join a bonsai club. Every tree will be unique. You have to develop the skill to look at a tree and see what it can be and learn how to prune and direct the growth.
For now you can try to identify your main branches and direct their growth. Bonsai and ikebana are related. You want a branch to represent heaven (the apex) Man ( the middle ) and Earth. The tree should have a generally triangular shape if it is an upright.
branches should brach left, right, back and each branch should be coming off the trunk at a different level. Leaves are pruned in layers. You should be able to see the trunk and branches between the layers.

Get some basic bonsai tools. A fork or rake, tweezers (great for weeding), concave cutters, and a good pair of shears or pruners. And wire. Wire should be selected by branch size so you usually will need a couple of guages of wire later on. Weights also work. Weights are a safe way to bend a branch without breaking and it mimics nature (the effect snow has on pulling down branches in winter). The trick is to us a combination of wire and weights to bend a branch down. Wires need to be removed before they cut into the branches or the scars will remain. I would take out the nubs left behind from the pruning with the concave cutter. You have to decide which side will be the front. Right now, the trunk does not look that interesting.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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