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BewilderedGreenyO.o
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Can't seem to grasp the concept O.o

I am really interested in Bonsai, I have read over most if not all of the recommended Forum Bonsai Beginner Posts and yet I am still feeling a bit lost with it all. I think what mostly sold me on the idea of Bonsai was the fact that I could put a use to Invasive Trees. After all if they are in Bonsai they are no longer Invasive right? :wink: Anyway I think my biggest question that I haven't been able to find covered in previous posts nor on google is, Where does main trunk of the bonsai tree comes from? I mean...is it the main trunk of a baby tree or is it a cutting taken from a full grown tree? Or a cutting taken from a baby tree? :? And furthermore if it is a main trunk taken from a baby tree, the trunk would be to long to cut it back right? Or is there a process taken to make the trunk smaller? I guess its just a hard concept to grasp how such a normally large tree with a huge trunk can stay so small without suffocating itself. And Yet viewing so many gorgeous bonsai out there is completely breathtaking and it is obvious that there are bonsai trees that thrive that way. Hope someone can shed some light on my confusion. Thanks! :D
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Zootenval
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Where to start

I can relate....

I started my journey in bonsai about a year ago. It was quite daunting to encounter the swell of information available. The biggest fear I had was of making a mistake, and perhaps even killing a tree.

Gradually, I lost my fear and started trying things I had read about. It is important to sort out your motivations for practicing bonsai. For me, it is my happy place. No matter how stressed I get from other areas of my life, a couple of hours working on my trees brings my back to my center.

I'm not interested in showing my trees, or in whether they ever reach show specimen status, for that matter. Don't get me wrong...I love looking at specimen trees created by the pros, and am often inspired by them. For me, the joy comes from training a tree to follow my mind image. I get a lot of satisfaction from that. My techniques may not be perfect, or even very good, but that matters little to me if I am happy with the result.

Enjoy and follow your new found passion!

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Gnome
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Bewildered,

Nothing mysterious about the origins of bonsai material, it can come from any source that you can imagine. Seedlings and cuttings are definitely one, albeit slow, route that can be taken. Layering will get you a trunk faster, and nursery material is readily available. Good specimens can be found in the urban landscape as well as collected from the wild but a certain skill set needs to be developed to utilize there resources.

Here's one 'secret' for you, bonsai are very often cut down from larger material. So if you find a piece of stock that back-buds readily (this is species dependent) you can generally cut it back hard thus shortening the trunk which brings it in scale. Repeated 'trunk chops' impart movement and taper which gives the tree character and eliminates long trunk you mentioned.

Of course this just scratches the surface but hopefully gives you something to think about.

Norm

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rainbowgardener
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Bonsai come from various places, sometimes trees started from seeds (VERY long slow way to get a bonsai), sometimes seedlings or cuttings, grown out, sometimes as noted bigger found trees cut back. One piece of what you may be wondering about, how you can keep a tree that would normally get big, small in a small pot without it getting totally root bound and smothering, is root pruning. When you cut the tree back to keep it small, you have to also cut the roots back, so they stay in proportion to the tree size. That keeps it from getting root bound.

As to how to do that, you have to ask one of the people like gnome. I am not a bonsai grower and have only theoretical knowledge of any of this.
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BewilderedGreenyO.o
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Thank You All for your replies..What started the whole bonsai idea for me was because I unknowingly started growing invasive trees from seed and haven't the heart to toss them in the trash. And if bonsai'ing them is the only way to go to keep them ( hopefully alive ) and well lol then so be it! :D It looks like an interesting and rewarding hobby and I think I'll give it a go. Since my invasive seedlings wont be ready for a long time :wink: I will do as advised and go check out my local nursery for decent specimens.. "If" I can find a decent specimen for a decent price :) At least this way I have plenty of time to practice on my very first tree/shrub before taking on the invasives :) I will definitely be keeping All non tropical bonsai I start outdoors I know that for sure since it is what is healthiest for the tree. And I like the look of the Ficus trees but still need to do a bit more research on what tree would be right for me to start with as I'm not completely fond of how junipers look for the most part. Any suggestions on what a decent starter bonsai would be good for my area other then juniper that might be easily found at lets say home depot or lowes?
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TomM
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Call me curious - what are these 'invasives' we are talking about here?

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zewald
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Boxwoods are great for starting out, but they are very slow growing. also scheffleras are fun and easy to take care of, but they may get a bit pricey. ficus as well. honestly, many of the small, $3-10 bushes sold at home depot could be used for bonsai material, including their bougainvilleas, heavenly bamboo, small maples, but i would suggest that you start out with the 3 i mentioned first. they are easy and pretty forgiving. And home depot stocks them pretty much all year 'round. of course, if you find a tree that you fall in love with, don't hesitate to buy it, you can always just let it grow out until you have a firmer grasp of the ideas and techniques of bonsai. i think i speak for just about everyone on this forum when i say that we are all beginners, or rather, we're all still learning. no one ever "learns" bonsai, we just keep learning and progressing as the time goes on. that's the beauty of bonsai, nothing is set, a plant can always surprise you and if you have the time, it's VERY rewarding.

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So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow (I Cor 3:7)

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BewilderedGreenyO.o
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TomM wrote:Call me curious - what are these 'invasives' we are talking about here?
Jacaranda and ChinaBerry :(
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BewilderedGreenyO.o
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zewald wrote:Boxwoods are great for starting out, but they are very slow growing. also scheffleras are fun and easy to take care of, but they may get a bit pricey. ficus as well.
Zach
Oh I really Like the look of Scheffleras... I will take a trip down to home depot and see what they have that sparks my imagination then will update everyone what I decided on :D I'm excited to start this, its so new and refreshing to me :-()
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BewilderedGreenyO.o
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I took a trip to home depot and searched and searched... I really didn't see anything that caught my eye for my very first bonsai... they had junipers ( which I'm not all to fond of looking at lol ) but they were pretty large already in 1 gallon pots... Ficus was incredibly scarce sadly :( I may try lowes to see what kind of selection they have... I also saw some Scheffleras there which seemed to have large fat trunks... O.o but that were in 6 inch pots though the plants seemed so large already... I ended up leaving Home Depot with something completely non related to bonsai lol!! A Bromeliad caught my eye and I "had" to have it so all that searching and I came home with a Bromeliad :flower:
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Bewildered,
I also saw some Scheffleras there which seemed to have large fat trunks... O.o but that were in 6 inch pots though the plants seemed so large already...
As I mentioned above, larger stock can be cut down. Schefflera can back bud on older wood. If you can get a Schefflera that is well developed you will be way ahead of the game compared to starting with one of their prepared 'bonsai'. Unfortunately it seems common for retailers to offer several smaller trunks in a single pot in order to have a fuller specimen.

I generally avoid variegated material as they seem to be less vigorous. There is also a larger leafed plant that looks nearly identical to Schefflera but I believe that you will be better off sticking with the actual Schefflera arboricola.

Norm

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BewilderedGreenyO.o
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I am such a noob to all this that I had to look up what back budding was !! :lol:

Back budding - a process of encouraging new growth on a branch where growth is currently non-existent.

So if I cut fairly large trunk back and there is zero foliage left then the trunk can still grow foliage? Hard for the mind to grasp :wink: I figured if you cut a trunk in half it would die.

I have decided that I don't want to buy a ready made bonsai because I really want to experience creating a bonsai from "scrap" or so to speak. Home Depot didn't have the ready made bonsai anyhow lol! :D I think I'm just barely beginning the process of learning how the whole thing works. I know that wiring, shaping, pruning, and root pruning are what makes them small I just think its one of those things that you have to actually "do" before really understanding how it works. I dunno if that makes sense to anyone else O.o

I'm really trying to avoid having to go out and buy a bonsai book to read ( As I'm sure you all know books can be expensive :) ) Does anyone have any helpful websites for beginners?... perhaps a step by step learning bonsai from scrap guide or somthing... I want to learn as much as I can before I buy my first specimen to practice the art of bonsai. And websites just seem so much easier for me to access then books :wink: :D
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TomM
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Try www.evergreengardenworks.com and look through the articles - several are specifically written for first timers. But always keep in mind that authors of bonsai books/articles sometimes are referring MAINLY to climatic conditions in the area where they live. It could be a bit different where you are. All in all this would be a good start.

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BewilderedGreenyO.o
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I visited that site and read the beginners articles and for some reason or another I still feel a little lost. Can anyone touch on wiring for me? It looks so complicated in the articles on that website, I mean is melting the copper (Annealing) really necessary? It seems a bit drastic to have to even prep the wiring. Is wire something that we must use or can tape be used instead? Where do I buy the proper wire if wire is needed? I don't see that wire would do much over time but damage the tree. Maybe I am thinking to far ahead and should just go plunge in buy the first tree that looks decent to me and then take baby steps from then on :? :?: wow I'm already feeling discouraged and I haven't even gotten started yet -wall-
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cynthia_h
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too much too soon. start slowly in gardening as all else. small garden then success *then* more.

i daresay the same in bonsai? although i haven't made any bonsai.

start small then go further is a basic principle of learning any new skill; you're pushing to learn too much without the basic foundation.

cynthia w/o energy for capitals tonight

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Bewildered, I had a similar thought and I'm turning some of the Siberian Elm volunteers that keep popping up everywhere in my garden into my first test Bonsai subjects. I'm also eye'ing up other volunteers in my garden: Wild Black Cherry and Wild Cherry, Rose of Sharon, Sweet Gum, Red Maple or possibly Sugar Maple, Mulberry... 8) I also have a couple of Red Oak and Shagbark Hickory, but I'm not sure about them. :roll: I'm also finding tiny Juniper seedlings -- probably Eastern Red Juniper -- approximately 2" tall at the moment, and have been letting them grow. Oh, and I potted up a Japanese Maple seedling -- 4 true leaves so far -- that I'll try to keep alive. :wink:

"Weed" is in the eyes of the beholder. :lol:

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Bewildered,
Can anyone touch on wiring for me? It looks so complicated in the articles on that website, I mean is melting the copper (Annealing) really necessary? It seems a bit drastic to have to even prep the wiring. Is wire something that we must use or can tape be used instead? Where do I buy the proper wire if wire is needed? I don't see that wire would do much over time but damage the tree.
Wiring is only one aspect of bonsai, one that you need not worry too much about right now. As far as damaging the plant, wiring is only temporary and is used until the branches have set in their new position.

Wire will generally come already annealed, which is not melting but more like softening. Did you ever bend a piece of metal back and forth until it gets stiffer and stiffer until it eventually breaks? This is called work hardening and annealing reverses that hardening so that the wire can be applied easily.

Cynthia is correct, you should slow down a little. Know that first bonsai has to have a foundation in sound horticulture. If you can't keep a plant alive in a pot over the years wiring and the other finer points become moot.

Norm

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BewilderedGreenyO.o
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Thanks for the support everyone!! I am feeling much better after reading your replies. It is so nice to have a place to go with all my novice questions. Getting such informative answers from everyone is just what every beginner gardener should have and I truly thank you all for being so patient with me :wink:

Though alot of bonsai is still a mystery to me I've decided I just really need to take the first step and whatever happens after that will at least help me learn if nothing else. :wink:
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A good resource for learning the basics of bonsai is here on the Helpful Gardener site, but on the article side. It was written by our own HelpfulGardener, Scott. You may want to take a look his [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/bonsai/]bonsai articles[/url].

Good luck,

wm

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Try looking for bonsai books in the library, it doesn't cost nothing unless u return the books late =)
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BewilderedGreenyO.o
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I Did It! I finally got my first plant to start bonsai'ing!!! So I checked Home Depot and didn't find anything that caught my eye so I headed over to Lowes and found a few plants that I thought would be great to work with. I was tossing around the idea of buying a Schefflera but everything I looked at had so many trunks... I was feeling overwhelmed by it ... so I decided to start simple and cross that bridge later.

So I got a Japanese Boxwood! There was one that caught my eye early on in the search and I ended up coming back to it and buying it :D Now I much admit I felt a bit confused while out there looking.. still not completely sure what I was looking for but definitely gave it my best go. I was having trouble deciding what size plant to get but read somewhere that getting a one gallon plant would be good. And also on alot of the plants I wasn't even able to see the nebari even when digging for it. A few others that I was considering getting were called the heavenly bamboo ( but again with so many trunks ) pink breath of heaven but wasn't sure of it and it said they were fragile so decided against it, China Doll, and Euonymus Japonicus.

So Japanese Boxwood It was! Yay! I've already been on google researching the Japanese Boxwood and have been looking for inspiration :) I took some photos of it that will hopefully show you overall how it looks and would love to here what you all think. I took my first step by getting the plant lets hope it was a good one :wink:

[img]https://i618.photobucket.com/albums/tt261/NySnap/Plants/Bonsai/Boxwood/DSCN2623.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i618.photobucket.com/albums/tt261/NySnap/Plants/Bonsai/Boxwood/DSCN2624.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i618.photobucket.com/albums/tt261/NySnap/Plants/Bonsai/Boxwood/DSCN2625.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i618.photobucket.com/albums/tt261/NySnap/Plants/Bonsai/Boxwood/DSCN2627.jpg[/img]


So... Whats Next?

:lol:
Last edited by BewilderedGreenyO.o on Wed Jul 14, 2010 2:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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derkap10
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Hi Bewildered,

Nice looking little Boxy. Should be able to do well with it. Before you do anything at all to it spend a fair amount of time looking at it. Once you've looked at it a while you'll start to actually see where the tree wants to go. I've been working on a Boxwood for a couple of months now as a 'pre-bonsai'. Part of my 'Budget Bonsai" series. Here's some pics so you'll see how I've progressed with it since I got it.
Here's the tree right after buying it ($5.99) from, of all places, the grocery store...

[img]https://i920.photobucket.com/albums/ad43/derkap10_photo/Bonsai/Buxus002.jpg[/img]

Did some preliminary trimming to uncover the trunk and the inside of the foliage and get an idea of the shape...

[img]https://i920.photobucket.com/albums/ad43/derkap10_photo/Bonsai/Buxus005.jpg[/img]

After that I pulled it out of the nursery pot and worked on the roots. The whole bottom of the original pot was nothing but a really compacted mass of roots so I trimmed all of those off and trimmed some back on the larger roots. Then I moved it into a much larger plastic pot for the rest of this year (and maybe next, not sure yet, see how it goes) and ended up with this...

[img]https://i920.photobucket.com/albums/ad43/derkap10_photo/Bonsai/Buxus008.jpg[/img]

After that I put it up amongst some other plants on the back porch where it could get some well-filtered sun for a couple of weeks to recover. After that I trimmed off about 75% of the remaining foliage and wired some of the lower branches into a less vertical position giving a more 'tree-like' appearance...

[img]https://i920.photobucket.com/albums/ad43/derkap10_photo/Bonsai/ShrubBonsai001.jpg[/img]

About a week after that I started gradually moving it into a brighter position where it now gets about 5 hours of fairly good, direct, sunlight during the first part of the day and then the rest of the day it gets somewhat less direct, more diffuse sunlight. After about 2 months of working with it I've gotten to here...

[img]https://i920.photobucket.com/albums/ad43/derkap10_photo/Bonsai/MoBoxy002.jpg[/img]

If you look carefully you can see a good bit of back-budding from both the limbs and the main trunk. It appears to be going strong at this point. Will probably give a little more trimming here and there this year before winter. Also note that when I repotted I placed a couple of medium sized rocks directly below the trunk to encourage the roots to spread a little more radially in the hopes of developing a bit of nebari somewhere down the road. May go ahead and move into a 'bonsai pot' next year or may not. Gonna wait and see how it looks next Spring. Just wanted to show the progression that I, personally, used for a Boxwood. Hopefully helped ya get an idea of how you might want to proceed with your. Good luck and let us know how it goes. Thanks,

Allen
Happy little trees!

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Bewildered,

Allen is correct, take it slow. You can always cut something off later but once it's gone it's much more difficult to re-grow it. It's easy to cut something off only to regret it later.

A couple of thoughts come to mind as you consider your next moves. Boxwood are known to be relatively slow growers. This might seem to be a plus for bonsai but in reality it means that you are not going to have a thick trunk anytime soon. In fact by keeping it potted it will never really get thick. This does not mean you have done anything wrong in choosing this material just be aware that you will likely be designing a smaller tree.

Next, although Boxwood will back bud, be cautious about removing low growth. Since you will be designing a shorter tree (the trunk diameter kind of determines the height) the low branches will be important. Design the smallest bonsai you can with the material at hand. This keeps the trunk diameter and height of the tree in balance with each other.

Plan on spending some time just getting used to the plant. You must master the mechanics of growing trees/shrubs in pots before the artistic aspects become an issue. I killed so much material in the early years I literally cannot remember it all, with most of my failures be attributable to impatience. :oops:

https://www.bonsai4me.com/SpeciesGuide/Buxus.html
https://www.bonsai4me.com/SpeciesGuide/Buxus%20Indepth.htm

Norm

linlaoboo
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Derpak, That's some nice looking boxwood yo. I think you gave it justice. It definitely inspired me to try it. I tried it a few years ago on a boxy and it died after I punned and wired it. I think the cause was I did everything too soon before it acclimated to its new location. Curious, how soon did you start working on it after bringing it home?
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derkap10
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Hi Y'all,

To Linla: I actually worked on this tree the same day I got it. Mainly because it was bone dry. Since the store I bought it from is less than a mile from my house and it was in a shaded area very similar to the conditions on my back porch I figgered I'd take the oppurtunity to go ahead and hit it whilst it was so dry. But did wait for a couple of weeks before trying to wire. This was the first Boxy I've worked on. I got another Boxy a little over a month ago. RIP :( .

To Bewildered: Norm makes some good points. I just measured my tree and it's right at 10 inches from the soil to the top leaf. It may eventually get a little taller but certainly not by much. By putting it into a really large pot for a while I'm hoping to increase the trunk size a bit but have no expectations that it will ever get really thick. The lower branches are really, really, important. Almost every bit of the initial pruning that I did on this tree was to free up (and show off) those lower branches. That was my main consideration. Same when I wired. For me this tree is all about those lower branches. I feel that's one of the main thing that distinguishes a 'shrub' from a 'bonsai'.

Allen
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BewilderedGreenyO.o
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So far I have done very little to it... I went through today and made sure the soil underneath was fairly clean from fallen leaves... then took a couple tiny tid bits of branches off (tiny as in like one or two hahaha! ) ... I think I am a bit prune shy lol I am afraid of cutting something that I might regret cutting. I'm definitely not going to touch the bottom branches. They add such great design to the boxy already :) I literally sat down today with the pruners intending to make some cuts but couldn't seem to get myself to do it lol Beginners Boxy Block perhaps? :lol: How long is it suppose to take for a plant to "adjust" to its new home? I didn't think plants were effected by area change as much as they are from transplanting. Another thing I was wondering was if I need a special pair of pruners or if any regular pruner would work O.o ?
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Bewildered,

A sharp pruner is your friend. It will cut the branch instead of crushing it. [url=https://i956.photobucket.com/albums/ae50/marsman61/Bonsai/DSC01270.jpg]Bonsai tools[/url] are designed for the job, but a nice set of [url=https://www.maxiaids.com/ProdImages/31004.jpg]toenail clippers[/url] could work just as well for now.

Don't be afraid to experiment. As Gnome said, look at the tree and see where it wants to go. Or, as a teacher once told me, look at the specimen and cut away everything that isn't a tree.

Boxwoods are fun. [url=https://i956.photobucket.com/albums/ae50/marsman61/Bonsai/Boxwood/aa438e51.jpg]I have one[/url] and all I've done with is so far is trim the top, leggy parts off. I'm letting the tree back-bud and see where it goes. The limbs are already starting to spread out on their own.

As for books, you can find good deals at [url=https://www.stonelantern.com/]Stone Lantern[/url]. I've picked up quite a few over time and my library grows and grows. It's always good to have pictures to refer to and inspire you.

Are there any local clubs you can attend? Mine has been instrumental in providing hands-on guidance. Good luck and never stop asking questions.

linlaoboo
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derkap10,

Thanks for the info. Next time I won't wire it right away. I just noticed the brown texture on the trunk came out really good looking on picture.
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linlaoboo
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Bewildered,

From the picture you show here is what I see out of it. Either prune, grow and train toward the red triangle or toward having different clusters circled in blue. I'm sure there are other options looking from different angles too.

[img]https://i529.photobucket.com/albums/dd340/malagabee/DSCN2624.jpg[/img]
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BewilderedGreenyO.o
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Thanks Everyone1 for your advice, its truly great to have people who actually care and take the time to show that they do :) I'll definitely start looking around for a good pair of bonsai pruners, but haven't yet found a bonsai club or anything to join in my area. Even though that would be a lot of fun. :( I will keep that picture in mind while deciding how to go about pruning my tree Thanx again! <3
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Location: Coventry, CT

Try this link:
https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&safe=off&&sa=X&ei=iVE2TOD6B4O0lQfCqpzTBw&ved=0CCIQvwUoAQ&q=bonsai+san+bernardino&spell=1

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BewilderedGreenyO.o
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Location: San Bernardino Mountains, California

Marsman wrote:Bewildered,

A sharp pruner is your friend. It will cut the branch instead of crushing it. [url=https://i956.photobucket.com/albums/ae50/marsman61/Bonsai/DSC01270.jpg]Bonsai tools[/url] are designed for the job, but a nice set of [url=https://www.maxiaids.com/ProdImages/31004.jpg]toenail clippers[/url] could work just as well for now.
Hey was just wondering if anyone out there had any recommended places or websites to purchase bonsai tools from. I really like the set that you linked Marsman where did you get it and how much did it cost if you don't mind me asking? I'm not looking to spend a great deal of money on the tools just yet as I really don't know if I will be any good at "bonsai" (Knock on wood) :lol:
But I would like a decent pair of Concave Cutters and perhaps a pair of shears if nothing else to get me started.

All I have at home right now are old pairs of branch cutters and old regular bush pruners... :|
Confusion at its Finest :D
I'm rooting for you!

*USDA Zone 8b :: Sunset Zone ?*
https://bewilderedgreeny.weebly.com/

derkap10
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Posts: 88
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2010 6:15 am
Location: Mississippi

Hi again Bewildered,

Specialized Bonsai tools can be downright pricey. Google 'Bonsai Tools' and you should be able to find many hits. Almost anywhere that sells bonsai supplies will have a selection of tools. These can vary in cost depending on quality. Most concave cutters run between $20 and $60. A decent 'apprentice kit' will usually run around $100. Again, depending on quality. I will be the first to admit to lusting after a kit of super-high quality Japanese-made tools made of only the finest materials. But, like you, I'm not willing to invest just yet in that until I've got more experience and a good handful of nice trees going. But fear not! It is possible to do much more affordable workarounds until you decide to invest. Here is pretty much the whole of my bonsai tools...

[img]https://i920.photobucket.com/albums/ad43/derkap10_photo/Bonsai/BTools003.jpg[/img]

From left to right, a root rake (you're right, it's just a fork with the tines bent at a right angle, mostly just use my fingers anyway), a pair of very small scissors with slightly concave blades, pair of concave wire cutters (picked up at Wally World for about $5), a pair of small pruners (found in the bargain bin at a nursery along with the little trowel at the bottom for, I think, $3), a pair of 'super-shears' from my days as an EMT (use those for dirty jobs like root pruning), and of course chopsticks (asian section of the supermarket for a buck or two). Little toolbox cost about 4 or 5 bucks at Wally World. Probably less than $30 worth shown here.

[img]https://i920.photobucket.com/albums/ad43/derkap10_photo/Bonsai/BTools005.jpg[/img]

I'll probably invest in a nice set of Japanese-made bonsai tools in a year or so (just for the joy of handling such high quality gear) but for now these do quite well. Very basic but if on a budget will get you through. The wire cutters work well as concave cutters (I have a separate pair I use for actual wire cutting since I want to keep the blades on this pair nice and sharp). Just suggestions for basic kit.

Allen
Happy little trees!

linlaoboo
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Joined: Sat May 22, 2010 5:15 pm
Location: NJ

any one tried the tool kits found on Ebay or Amazon yet? They run around $60 some. If I have more trees and live in a warmer region, will definitely shell out the money.
ficus, maple, elm, juniper, pine

Marsman
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Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2009 1:19 pm
Location: Coventry, CT

You get what you pay for. I use [url=https://www.joshuaroth.com/]Joshua Roth[/url] tools and they run about $60+ a piece. I buy one at a time, when I can afford them and have accumulated some very nice, sharp tools. Any that I have bought on the cheap have turned out to be junk. My advice, don't waste your money.

[url=https://www.stonelantern.com/]Stone Lantern[/url] is always having sales on tools. I've bought quite a bit from them. They have nice stuff, and they have less-nice stuff. Just be careful what you buy.

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Gnome
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Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:17 am
Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

Bewildered,

Like Derek my kit has some everyday items that I have 're-purposed' but when it comes to actual pruning I agree with Marsman. My suggestion would be to start slow and get only a few mid-level tools at first. A decent pair of shears and a concave cutter will take you a long way.

https://www.dallasbonsai.com/store/concave_cutters.html

Norm

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BewilderedGreenyO.o
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Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2010 6:02 am
Location: San Bernardino Mountains, California

Thanks Everyone For the Tool Tips! :D I decided to grab my regular bush pruners, clean them up, and go at it!! (btw this was my first time "Ever" pruning "Anything" ) :lol: while out there I found myself needing something smaller to prune the smaller branches that the regular pruners couldn't reach well... so as suggested :wink: I grabbed the handy dandy toe nail clippers! :lol:

So, Excited as I am to have given my Boxwood its first haircut I want to inform you all that I brought home another project to work on as well. Its an Escallonia!! :-() And boy was it a wild one! I'll post pictures :wink: Whats Even better is that I gave them *Both* haircuts today! wewt! :flower:

Anyhow I'll post the Before and After pictures And would love some feedback on them :D

*JAPANESE BOXWOOD*

::BEFORE::

[img]https://i618.photobucket.com/albums/tt261/NySnap/Plants/Bonsai/Boxwood/DSCN2624.jpg[/img]

:: AFTER::

[img]https://i618.photobucket.com/albums/tt261/NySnap/Plants/Bonsai/Boxwood/P1010476.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i618.photobucket.com/albums/tt261/NySnap/Plants/Bonsai/Boxwood/DSCN2658.jpg[/img]

*ESCALLONIA*

:: BEFORE ::

[img]https://i618.photobucket.com/albums/tt261/NySnap/Plants/Bonsai/Escalliona/P1010483.jpg[/img]

:: AFTER ::

[img]https://i618.photobucket.com/albums/tt261/NySnap/Plants/Bonsai/Escalliona/P1010488.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i618.photobucket.com/albums/tt261/NySnap/Plants/Bonsai/Escalliona/P1010492.jpg[/img]
Last edited by BewilderedGreenyO.o on Wed Jul 14, 2010 3:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
Confusion at its Finest :D
I'm rooting for you!

*USDA Zone 8b :: Sunset Zone ?*
https://bewilderedgreeny.weebly.com/

linlaoboo
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Joined: Sat May 22, 2010 5:15 pm
Location: NJ

that's awesome yo, i think u did a great job
ficus, maple, elm, juniper, pine

linlaoboo
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Posts: 469
Joined: Sat May 22, 2010 5:15 pm
Location: NJ

Thanks Marsman,

Next time I'm in Japan, will definately look for some there.
Marsman wrote:You get what you pay for. I use [url=https://www.joshuaroth.com/]Joshua Roth[/url] tools and they run about $60+ a piece. I buy one at a time, when I can afford them and have accumulated some very nice, sharp tools. Any that I have bought on the cheap have turned out to be junk. My advice, don't waste your money.

[url=https://www.stonelantern.com/]Stone Lantern[/url] is always having sales on tools. I've bought quite a bit from them. They have nice stuff, and they have less-nice stuff. Just be careful what you buy.
ficus, maple, elm, juniper, pine

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BewilderedGreenyO.o
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Posts: 471
Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2010 6:02 am
Location: San Bernardino Mountains, California

I think that perhaps my boxwood and Escallonia are root bound or close to it but not completely sure. Should I repot them even though I just gave them a good prune? If so should I trim up the roots? Will this kill them? I'm not sure how to know if they are root bound or not. I know allen said that he trimmed his Boxwoods roots after he pruned it but it didn't state how long he waited between the pruning and the root trimming. Also I have a cluster of flowers on my Escallonia at the moment... should I cut it off? or would it make any difference if I left it on there?
Confusion at its Finest :D
I'm rooting for you!

*USDA Zone 8b :: Sunset Zone ?*
https://bewilderedgreeny.weebly.com/

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