Bonsai common sense.... or maybe not...


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Waynesburg, Pa
Okay, so I am very new to Bonsai.... only in it a few months now, but I have been trying to read up on different forums, sites, blogs, ebooks, you name it. I've also been fortunate enough to talk to several folks who have been doing this for a long time. I thought i'd start this thread for the experienced and the newbies alike... Like I said, i'm very new, but have already come across a few things that maybe i did wrong, or didn't pick up right away from the readings i found, but would be good for a newcomer to know. I'm sure you all have some basic things that you think anyone starting in Bonsai should know... If you care to share, please do... it may not be as common knowledge as you thought.

Here is my example... I read all over about pruning your tree, and the importance of it, watering, feeding, exposing to sunlight, potting, root pruning etc... but what was something that i didn't read anywhere? LET IT GROW.... lol. maybe it is a rookie mistake, but i guess i over-obsessed a little with my first tree. i trimmed it to the shape i wanted, and had been continuing to prune/trim it to keep that shape and never grow out. I've since learned that it's okay to let a young tree grow for a season to allow trunk and branch development.

So, does anyone have any knowledge to share?


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N. Alabama
500, the critical part is having a plan for your tree. What size and shape and knowing what each species is capable of. Whatever your plan is, think of the growing priorities to build the tree, one step at a time. It takes a long time to develop a tree from the start so it's important not to waste time and growth potential by doing the "wrong" things. You're doing the right thing in reading and studying but the experience only comes from growing and cutting and taking note of the responses. Have Fun


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Hello Forbes.. The very first thing that is learned or should be learned in bonsai are the 5 styles of bonsai. Without this knowledge, one cannot do bonsai. There are 5 styles Upright, Informal Upright, Cascade, Semi Cascade and Slant. There are also some variations..Twin Trunk, Literati, Raft..Eventually with some time, you will put your own twist to these styles and do them how you see them.

Beginning bonsai means becoming aquainted with these styles. Then, when you are getting ready to style a tree, you will designate which style best fits the tree.. and then you train it in that style.. Knowing the styles is also important if you chose to purchase an already styled tree that you just want to take care of and learn some light pruning.

Also, every tree is different, different species... juniper, pine, maple, cypress all have to be pruned in certain ways. Failure to do so will result in injuring the tree or worse.

For now, have fun, become aquainted with the styles, know what species you have and read up on it's care.


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