13 year old bonsai beginner here needs advice

Carol 83

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Welcome! You have come to the right place. There is a lot of great information here, use the search function about specific areas you are interested in. Feel free to ask questions, there is a wealth of knowledge and experienced people here willing to help.
 

Njyamadori

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Welcome! You have come to the right place. There is a lot of great information here, use the search function about specific areas you are interested in. Feel free to ask questions, there is a wealth of knowledge and experienced people here willing to help.
I see your in IL I’m in NJ . Do you collect your trees from the wild and how do they survive ?
 

rollwithak

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I see your in IL I’m in NJ . Do you collect your trees from the wild and how do they survive ?
There is also plethora of information online, youtube is your friend. You’ll have more luck here if you have specific questions and not so much a general and broad question. Yes, many people collect trees from the wild, but there are specific and select trees you should collect. You don’t want to just go start digging up any tree you can find just because. Trees collected from the “wild” is called yamadori. There are also specific steps to follow before, during and after. My advice, if you’re new, start with trees that you can get at a nursery. Join a local club and see if your members can guide you. Save the yamadori for a another time when you’ve gained some experience.

Just my friendly two cents! Goodluck!

😎👍🏼
 

Carol 83

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I see your in IL I’m in NJ . Do you collect your trees from the wild and how do they survive ?
Lol no, I'm not one that goes into the woods with a shovel. I have mostly tropical/sub-tropicals. Add your location to our profile, so everyone knows your climate when giving advice.
 

Joe Dupre'

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No magic bullets. You don't NEED the latest expensive soil or the super duper best organic fertilizer. Pine bark , some decent aggragate and good Ole Miracle Gro will get you very good growth and health. Disturbing roots at the wrong time will give you more dead trees than just about anything else.
 

ShadyStump

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Hi, @Njyamadori and welcome to BNut!

Let's start with basics. What types of trees do you like? If you had to pick a favorite tree you've seen around your area, which one? Maybe get us a picture of it.
Do you have house plants you take care of or maybe a garden? That's a good place to start learning how to take care of trees. Tell us about it!
 

kale

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Starting this hobby at such a young age is a HUGE advantage! I def agree w/ sorce that you could really benefit from seeds. Also you may need lots of help from your parents when you move out to an apartment or college at some point because the trees will need to be outside year round and watered daily most of the year. I’m a novice still, but my recommendation would be to gather as many small trees and plants as possible!
 

Shibui

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Hi I’m 13 years old and for 2 years I’ve been into bonsai and more seriously for the past 2 months. Does anyone have any advice for me ?
You have been at it for a couple of years so should already have learned how to keep trees alive. Don't waste time and money on crap now. Instead of buying 10 cheap trees with minimal potential save up and put the same money to one or 2 with better potential.
Look for a club or nursery nearby and spend time with them. You can learn far more in person than online or from books.
 

Rivian

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I was around the same age when I started. Killed a bunch of trees around where I live, eventually dropped the hobby. Now picked it up again. My advice for you is dont mess with plants youd regret killing. If youre anything like me, learning effects will be huge in the beginning, and trees will die for it. But its necessary. The bleeding edge is where its at.
 

Woocash

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Welcome @Njyamadori . It’s a great age to start a hobby such as this. I wish I had because I could have had some world class trees by now and possibly making a decent career out of it.

Anyway, I would advise studying the trees around you. All of them. Find the ones you like, that stir something within you and just look at them. Study the form of the trunk and how many large or primary branches there are and which direction they leave the trunk. Do they stand up, fan out or droop? Stand underneath the canopy and look up at how the branches fan out or fill their own space. Is the movement angled, or sinuous? Then do the same with another tree and notice the differences, or similarities.

I think the horticultural side of things is relatively easy (at least keeping things alive), the techniques used for bonsai are all easily studied and applied with practice, but the thing that I notice that a lot of people (and not just beginners) struggle with is creating a convincing image. Keep studying what makes an oak an oak or a maple a maple, for example, and you’ll probably find it much easier to apply it to your own trees.

I love bonsai because I love trees. I think the hobby is much easier if you know trees well.
 

Pitoon

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Hi I’m 13 years old and for 2 years I’ve been into bonsai and more seriously for the past 2 months. Does anyone have any advice for me ?
Get some books and read them
Join a local club
Take some face to face classes (if possible)
Go to shows take lots of pictures to study later on at home (if possible)
AND the most important........take advice online with a grain of salt. A majority of the people that respond either don't know what they are talking about or never practiced it. There is a difference between reading something or watching a video online verse actually doing it hands on.

Good luck
 

James W.

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Get your parent(s) on board with your hobby! Ideally get one of them to join you.
Get all the training you can afford. Subscribe to Mirai Live (ask for a Christmas gift?)
 

Njyamadori

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Hi, @Njyamadori and welcome to BNut!

Let's start with basics. What types of trees do you like? If you had to pick a favorite tree you've seen around your area, which one? Maybe get us a picture of it.
Do you have house plants you take care of or maybe a garden? That's a good place to start learning how to take care of trees. Tell us about it!
I love pines , maples , and more. Ever since I was like 6 I feel in love with trees and when I was 12 I started bonsai because when I was 10 I started to look at them on Instagram. Also I have pines and maples near me because where I live is known for our Virginia pines and eastern white pines and also we have red maples and sugar maples so it’s so nice to have the bonsai trees around me that I love . I’m good at making plants survive . Also I made a maple forest today ! Making pine trees are very hard for me because there is just so many ways to do them
 

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