Matt_09
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Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2009 3:12 am

New Plants and Ideas

Umm.... hi, I'm new to the Bonsai community and also, I'm young and inexperienced in this Japanese art so I don't know much. I've been wanting a Bonsai tree ever since I saw one in this documetary on Japanese culture. So, I went to look for some suitable looking plants and I found three, two Coniferous Pines, ( I have no idea what their names are) and a little offspring of my Deciduous tree thats in front of my house.(don't know either) So I'm having some trouble with that but anyways, I would like to make them into Bonsai. I'm not very clear with the soil. Their not really at the pruning and styling age so yeah... I don't know if I should put them into the Bonsai type soil yet. I put them into soil near my shrubs but then I put them into a mixture of coarse sand, potting soil, and some natural soil that is found here and planted them in a pot, I just leave them to be watered by rain since their used to it. And I simply don't know what to do.
(Sorry for this being so long.)
Thank-you for reading, all help and suggestions are deeply appreciated.

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Gnome
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Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

Matthew,

Hello and welcome to the forum.
I'm new to the Bonsai community and also, I'm young and inexperienced in this Japanese art so I don't know much.
We all had to start somewhere so don't be discouraged. It has been said that in bonsai the young have the time but no patience and the old have patience but little time. If you start young you have a lifetime to learn.

I too began at an early age but unfortunately I did not stick with it uninterrupted over the years. This is my third go round with bonsai and due to the guidance I gained on-line I feel that I finally am getting somewhere.

A lot of what was once taken as gospel has changed over time, soil, watering and fertilizing to name just a few. For instance modern bonsai practice almost universally eschews the use of any garden soil in pots. So that is one area in which you have already made a misstep. Watering is another, you cannot rely upon rain as the sole source of water for you plants.

Had you inquired beforehand we would have discussed proper soils.
I'm not very clear with the soil. Their not really at the pruning and styling age so yeah... I don't know if I should put them into the Bonsai type soil yet.
The development of the plant is not the point, once they are in pots drainage becomes paramount. Read this to understand [url=https://www.evergreengardenworks.com/earthpot.htm]why the earth is not like a pot.[/url]

In fact read everything [url=https://www.evergreengardenworks.com/articles.htm]here[/url] that applies and pretty much everything [url=https://www.bonsai4me.com/Basics.html]here[/url] as well.

You will, of course, not be able to digest this material in one day, one week or even a year but focus on the obvious first, watering, soil, re-potting, over-wintering, etc. When you have specific questions we will do our best to help.

Know that you will lose plants, it is inevitable. Don't take it as a failure but look upon it as an opportunity to learn. One more thing, bonsai is as much about the journey as the destination, enjoy the process.

Would you please be a little more specific WRT your location and post some pictures in order to allow the possibility of an identification.

Norm

Matt_09
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Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2009 3:12 am

need help

Thank-you so much for replying I was afraid that people wouldn't really pay attention. Yeah I didn't know what I should do with my trees but I guess this gave some insight into directions. But anyways I don't have a picture of them yet but, I shall a soon as I can. I live in the Southpark area in Charlotte, NC. It's starting to rain normally now so about one shower per week. It has been cold, it snowed twice already, but the weather changed drastically since yesterday, about 70 degrees.Thank-you again Mr. Norm.

Kenshin14435
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Posts: 284
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 7:33 pm
Location: Northern VA USDA Zone 7A

Whats up Matt??
Your not alone. I'm a young one too!
The sooner you get those pictures up we can try to identify what species of tree you are looking at transforming into Bonsai. I am with Norm. First Bonsai I had was a Juniper. I made the mistake of bringing it inside and keeping it there. After around a month the tree was as good as dead. I wasn't so much as sad that it had died but more frustrated with myself for being a total noob at Bonsai and LETTING it die do to lack of knowledge on the subject. I am very happy I found this site when I did. It has helped a HUGE amount and everyone here is very helpful. Infact, I think I live only a few hours north of you in Northern VA. So I know the climate kinda well. I don't know what the technical stuff is and all that but I understand it more and more as time passes on. I have killed about 3 or 4 trees. I'm not saying that is a good thing, but everytime I killed one of them, I gained more knowledge about what to do, how to do it, and when. As Norm said, alot of this information is hard to digest. When he first referred me to some of the stickies(where did those go BTW??) I had no idea what some of the plant lingo was. Even now....after being on this site for almost a year, I have not yet digested even a small chunck of information. This does take time and alot of patience. I completely agree with Norm. We young folk have all the time in the world but no patience.

Now, onto the good stuff.
In general, there isn't Bonsai soil. As long as you have a medium(AKA soil) that drains well you should be good. But that does not work for every tree. Sometimes you have to go more in depth on what kind of soil your tree lives. I do a ton of research on the kind of species I have to see what kind of climate they live in and what kind of medium they are normally in, in nature. You can find potting mediums all over the web at a cheap price too. Most times you can go to Home Depot or Lowes and even buy medium there! I am looking into buying soil on bonsaiboy.com or dallasbonsai.com but don't recommend doing it unless you know what kind of medium your tree is most at home in. We can get more into detail after you post those pictures.
Looking forward to having you on the board.
Welcome!

Take Care
~ Ken ~

Matt_09
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Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2009 3:12 am

Thank-you Kenshin14435,
I'm pretty sure that my coniferous trees aren't Junipers I examined many pictures online and all that I could conclude is that it's probably a black pine. They have the characteristics that sort of indicates me that its a black pine. I haven't stuck any inside my house the temperatures outside have been a bit cold but not to a point where its dangerous. I didn't know that I was supposed to plant them into the earth but now I know and I'm a bit worried. But anyway they all seem fine. But I'll get those photos as soon as I can which will probably be the weekend.

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Gnome
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Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

Matt,

Earlier you wrote:
I put them into soil near my shrubs but then I put them into a mixture of coarse sand, potting soil, and some natural soil that is found here and planted them in a pot,
And now:
I didn't know that I was supposed to plant them into the earth but now I know and I'm a bit worried.
I'm confused by these statements, let me clarify. Young plants are commonly allowed to stay in the ground early in their development. They thicken quicker and require less care. Once you decide to pot a prospective bonsai you are really better off using a coarse, free draining medium as shown [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3422]here.[/url]

Ken,

The sticky threads were moved to reduce clutter at the top of this forum. They can now be found in the new forum 'Bonsai Learning Forum & Library' If you back out one level (use the link 'Garden Forum' near the top of this page) you will see that there are now three subsections in the bonsai section. Or just click [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=36]here.[/url]

Norm

Matt_09
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Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2009 3:12 am

Ok, thank-you. I already looked over some some soils to to put my trees into come the time they seem suitable to be trimmed and pruned, but for now I planted them back into their natural soil. I know its going to possibly harm my trees to keep moving them back and forth but I need to make sure their fine until that time, so, I chose to put them back into mother nature. I tried to be cautious and careful. I'm sorry if this form of thinking confuses you Norm but I was thinking from one thing to another. By that second quote of my words were referring to me not knowing that I should have re-planted them into the Earth in Winter. So I think I have covered all things of my future Bonsai.

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