acepre1
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Starting a new Bonsai

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A friend gave me this evergreen. Not sure of the type. Any suggestions for shaping this to start a bonsai.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Starting a new Bonsai

No, but if you just received this tree, my suggestion would be do nothing. Let the tree settle in to its new home (which must be OUTDOORS, 24/7/365) while you learn how to care for it and keep it alive and study the art and technique of bonsai. If the tree is still alive and thriving in the spring, that would be the time to start working on it.

Learn the different styles of bonsai and consider which one would work best for your tree. Look for inspiration pictures:

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Starting a new Bonsai

Anyone that knows more about bonsai than I do want to weigh in? :)
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tomc
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Re: Starting a new Bonsai

I don't do evergreens any more. But like RBG, I would counsel that, this late in the season I would not do much beyond learn how to use a chop-stick to test when watering.

I would also urge your tree live out of doors.

Late in your winter you should have completed purchace of appropriate soil for trees in pots. Um, and maybe dug out a pair of toe-nail clippers for your first nipper.

In general, bonsai are built from the stump up. Preserving your base, and determining which branch(s) to conserve as your new apex. Draw-draw-draw do pencil scetches of your tree as it is, and what you will keep after your first chop. And how you intend to wire that new leader, to its new position.

In order to make this tree come into proper proportion you will need to read what those proportions are, and how to bend your tree to its new stature.

First stylings profit from measure twice-cut once.

Styling "pads" as RBG shows in his examples are ten or more years away before doing them.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Starting a new Bonsai

Remember, bonsai is the art of patience. If you are an impulsive, I want to do it this minute, I'm going to just chop this off and see what happens type, bonsai is probably not the art for you. Take your time and learn your tree and something about your new hobby!

There's lots of good bonsai info on this site, eg: https://www.helpfulgardener.com/bonsai/ https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... =36&t=1479
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... =36&t=3422
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

tomc
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Re: Starting a new Bonsai

Spruce and pine bonsai can easily outlive a human. The only hurry is in the human mind. Bonsai as they are being trained grow slower than they would if planted to field.

This fall and winter I would strongly encourage you to read about bonsai from every source you can. It is easy to read twenty years of training projects in your first winter. You must only do one of those a year. As you read your going to encounter a phrase of: "one insult per year", Work out what that means for your tree.
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tomc
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Re: Starting a new Bonsai

A post-script thought.

Your tree-baby does not look to me like a Norfolk Island Pine, it will be up to you to find out if it is.
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tomc
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Re: Starting a new Bonsai

How sad, "another one and done". His last visit was 24 hours after his first (and only) post.
Think like a tree
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Starting a new Bonsai

He would have seen my first post then. Maybe "do nothing" was not the message he wanted to hear. :)
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

imafan26
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Re: Starting a new Bonsai

People are often enthusiastic to start things, but they buy things impulsively not knowing how to care for the plants. Bonsai is not just any tree in a pot. A potted tree is still a potted tree. It is not bonsai until it has been shaped. Bonsai can be started from nursery stock, but you have to have the patience to select a plant that has the right shape. Anyone who wants to get into bonsai or any hobby for that matter should do their research first. Any endeaver worth doing is worth taking the time to learn about it.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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