Johnys9
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Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2010 12:38 pm

New to Bonsai

Hello, I'm a recently acquired owner of a Ficus Microcarpa Gingseng "mallsai", which I've grown to adore. I'm also looking for a new tree as well. I have acquired 5 Cherry seeds, but I'm at a loss as to how long I'm looking untill this tree is "bonsai" ready. Am I just better off dishing out an extra buck or two to get an already grown cherry bonsai from a nursery and making it as I please?

I live in the UK with most windows being East>West direction, and no south facing ones... However I do have access to a nice porch that can give me the required "outdoor" status cherry trees require. So basically, whats the growth rate for this type of tree? My main idea is for it to have a big trunk with a hollow, roots overground and a child's design of a cannopy (that is, a big oval shapped cannopy/foliage).

Also, my current ficus is still in recovery from mall treatment. The pot did have drain holes, but not proper soil. Should I risk a repot? (its in one of the brown plastic pots at the moment). I have the tools and soil for it, just not sure, since most guides suggest waiting untill spring/summer for a repot.

JTred
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Posts: 380
Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2008 7:05 am
Location: Elizabeth, PA

Re: New to Bonsai

Johnys9 wrote: Am I just better off dishing out an extra buck or two to get an already grown cherry bonsai from a nursery and making it as I please?
IMO, yes. You will save a lot of time and get a lot more enjoyment out of it. It takes a long time to grow from seed.


Johnys9 wrote:Also, my current ficus is still in recovery from mall treatment. The pot did have drain holes, but not proper soil. Should I risk a repot? (its in one of the brown plastic pots at the moment). I have the tools and soil for it, just not sure, since most guides suggest waiting untill spring/summer for a repot.
I would leave it alone, unless it is really growing strongly. Just be very diligent about watering. Allow the soil to go dry between waterings, you can check this by inserting a chopstick into the soil, if it comes out dry, its time to water.

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

It takes time for a bonsai to develop to represent old trees in nature let along growing from seed. You can develop more ficuses quickly by taking cuttings from the mother plant and rooting them. However I would leave it alone until Spring. Normally ficus's are not picky with the potting medium but there's nothing wrong with optimizing it with better mix of soil.
ficus, maple, elm, juniper, pine

Johnys9
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Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2010 12:38 pm

Well the thing is, I want it to grow (in trunk and general size) as much as it can, before I start making reductions. At the moment it stands at 8" (20cm) from soil level to top leaves. It has been pruned (apparent marks) and its trunk has been cut quite a bit although that must have been some time ago.

At the top of its roots it starts creating a 2 cm trunk, that has obvious cut marks and then a pensil-sized trunk appears. Also, there's been some pruning going on (the leader got chopped off, and some other branches too)

What would be the best solution to keep it growing fast? I'd like to grow a bit taller and grow larger trunk and foliage (although smalle leaves..)

On the good size of news, my ficus is not dead :) it sprouted a 1.5cm new branch that is light green and growing, although I'm worried about the UK winters. What lamp would you guys reckomend ? I don't need something huge, just something that can light up 2 trees and provide enough light to gain as much growth as possible.

On the crab apple matter, I've bought a sappling of 50cm's long and just gonna go with that. Hopefully in a year or two I'll have enough trunk size to start working a bit on more bonsai-related matters, and less "growing the plant" matters :P

In the long distance kind of view, I'd like to have my ficus (this will only happen in atleast a year or two) become a ROR with the Apple Bonsai remaining as a usual one :)

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manofthetrees
Senior Member
Posts: 236
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2010 11:14 pm
Location: west seneca ny

nursey stock is a great place to start.u can get nice starters there.
bonsai takes alot of time . i have a ficus at least 50 years old that is full of huge scares and the canopy spreads 24" and still need about 5 years of work to get it closer to what i want. it is a work of art that i'll test your patience. do reaserch, read books ive leanrd a ton of stuff that way

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