Lynna
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Location: southeastern PA

what to do with a cutting?

Hey! I'm new at this Bonsai thing and I tried growing from seed. i knew that wasn't going to work, I just wanted to try it for kicks. I want to know: what is a good kind of tree or bush that is good for starting with a small cut branch? I've decided to skip the whole mess with seeds. :P

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tarian
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welcom to the wonderful addicting world of 1:bonsai and 2:online forums :lol:
skip all the way to a tree :D
go to a garden center pick out a sutable tree/shrub and some wire
and from that then shape your tree and don't forget to get a pot for the future .
how much do you know about bonsai at the moment a little ? a lot ?
i mean how much reading have you done on the internet or in books on what and how to do stuff correctly
youll pick up a few tips on here reading helps alot and well everyone has theyre own methods which youll discover if you carry on bonsai as a hobby

Lynna
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Location: southeastern PA

I know that you need to trim the roots and branches to keep the guy small and when you use wire, you can't wind it too tight or it will damage the bark. i've read some on caring for them, but only little random facts stuck in my mind. I'm basically a beginner.

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Gnome
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Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

Lynna,

Since you are so inexperienced may I suggest that you follow tarian's advice. Rather than try to create a bonsai from scratch, acquire something a little further along.

Before you can do anything though you have to quantify what you want from bonsai. Would you like to grow outdoors or indoors? From this preference you begin to whittle down your possible species.

Outdoor trees, are just that, trees that will not easily tolerate being grown inside. Think of Maples, Elms, Pines, Junipers and many others. For the most part, these species are inappropriate for indoors.

If you wish to grow inside there are other choices, Ficus, Schefflera, Jades, Portulacaria and others. These will not tolerate being grown outside during winter in your area. Most indoor growers need to rely on supplemental lighting. Are you prepared to make a modest investment in equipment and materials?

You may be able to find some outdoor plants at local nurseries that still have some stock on hand. If you do you will likely not be able to do much work now, rather you will simply store them until spring. You might be better off waiting until spring.

You can usually find some indoor species at the big-box stores or there is always mail order, although shipping during cold weather might be a problem.

Once you answer these basic questions we will be able to better guide you. Whatever you do don't buy one of the mass market Junipers you may see, they are a disappointment waiting to happen.

Norm

Lynna
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Location: southeastern PA

ok then I think I want to stick to outdoor bonsai because my house doesn't really have room for things like that. its dark too so i'll go with the outdoor Maple or Elm. I do need to go to a nursery somewhere and see what they have.
Thank you both for your guidance!

Marsman
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Location: Coventry, CT

This time of year, you can get some great deals at nurseries trying to unload their stock. I was browsing today myself and saw some beautiful trees. Too bad I didn't have any $$$. (Or maybe that's a good thing.) May I suggest a juniper, they are pretty tough to kill.

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djlen
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Lynna -
I hope you won't get over anxious and go out, buy a tree and start hacking at it like some do.
This is not the season to do any hacking on these deciduous trees. They are getting ready to go into dormancy.
If you do go looking and find something you like, make sure it is a small leafed tree, because much of the left over stock this year is leafless at this time. I was just out to many places looking for pine bark and there really isn't much out there currently.
BTW, I live across the river from you near Cherry Hill. :)
If you have a south facing window in your house with a semi-wide sill you could get a ficus and it would be happy as a clam in that light. We grow one in west light that is somewhat shaded with no issues.
Just suggesting that as an alternative to going out, dropping money on something you might not even know you'll like when it leafs out, and being disappointed. You can't do much with the temperate stuff right now anyway as I mentioned above.
I would think about it.
Regards,
Len

"As the twig is bent, so the tree inclines"
- Virgil
"I rarely agree with most of what I say........." -
- Len
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Gnome
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Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

Lynna,

OK, since you are interested in outdoor species you have all winter to study and shop around. Now is the end of the season for temperate species. I am getting close to putting everything away for the season, although the weather here has been unusually mild this week.

If you should purchase anything this year it should be with the understanding that no work will be done until spring, at the earliest. BTW, I think a nursery Juniper would be good first choice as well. You will get more for your money than if you got one of the mass produced Junipers that are already severely stressed.

Begin by reading these:

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1479
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3422
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3423

Norm

Lynna
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Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2009 4:22 pm
Location: southeastern PA

Ok thanks for your advice. :D for now I will find a nursery that sells bonsai trees and read up on my care tips!

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