Bonsai Noob - Feedback welcome

CTHaynes

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I have just recently gotten into the amazing world of bonsai (not sure how I survived before this..) and have picked up a few different plants. I was looking for some feedback and possibly some great pointers that anyone may have. (And yes, I have looked around and have read plenty of the beginner bonsai threads already.)

Here are my two most recent additions to my collection, each of which were very healthy when I purchased them, and each of which are still doing very strong:

Dwarf Umbrella (Schefflera arboricola) - Created for Mother-In-Law.
IMG_3134.jpeg IMG_3136.jpeg
(Before) (After)


Ficus (Ficus microcarpa - I believe)
IMG_3132.jpeg IMG_3139.jpeg
(Before) (After)

Looking for feedback on my designs. And any good feedback or pointers.
 

Wires_Guy_wires

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Welcome to the club!
I'm still a noob too so I can't really comment on design. But I like your sliding doors!
 

Grovic

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I have just recently gotten into the amazing world of bonsai (not sure how I survived before this..) and have picked up a few different plants. I was looking for some feedback and possibly some great pointers that anyone may have. (And yes, I have looked around and have read plenty of the beginner bonsai threads already.)

Here are my two most recent additions to my collection, each of which were very healthy when I purchased them, and each of which are still doing very strong:

Dwarf Umbrella (Schefflera arboricola) - Created for Mother-In-Law.
View attachment 408686 View attachment 408687
(Before) (After)


Ficus (Ficus microcarpa - I believe)
View attachment 408688 View attachment 408704
(Before) (After)

Looking for feedback on my designs. And any good feedback or pointers.
Hi and welcome, I'm also a noob, but here's what I see:
  1. There are two branches coming out at the same height in the trunk, this is usually avoided because it can lead to reverse taper in the trunk.
  2. One of the branches in the back is crossing the first upright branch, this is not preferred.
1637259768101.png
 

Grovic

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I have just recently gotten into the amazing world of bonsai (not sure how I survived before this..) and have picked up a few different plants. I was looking for some feedback and possibly some great pointers that anyone may have. (And yes, I have looked around and have read plenty of the beginner bonsai threads already.)

Here are my two most recent additions to my collection, each of which were very healthy when I purchased them, and each of which are still doing very strong:

Dwarf Umbrella (Schefflera arboricola) - Created for Mother-In-Law.
View attachment 408686 View attachment 408687
(Before) (After)


Ficus (Ficus microcarpa - I believe)
View attachment 408688 View attachment 408704
(Before) (After)

Looking for feedback on my designs. And any good feedback or pointers.
Seems to me like you have the base for a sort of raft-looking bonsai, when I saw your tree, I thought of something like this:

1637261747183.png
 

ShadyStump

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Welcome to the nut house!
I'm and hour south of you! Maybe we'll get to see each other some time.

I like @Grovic's thoughts. Too often when we see a hard slant like that we think cascade if we want to take it in a new direction, but I like the way his raft-ish concept plays with negative space.
Continuing to develop the standard slant is still a valid option, though.
Don't be afraid to take out the larger, thicker branches. Smaller branches on a thicker trunk helps give the illusion of size and age.
Another way to convey age and weight while wiring branches is a lightly swooping downward curve, that heads back upward at the tip, especially in lower branches that, if in nature, would have to grown out from under higher branches to find sunlight.

Taking advantage of the areal roots on the schefflera was brilliant. These aren't generally thought of as good trees for bonsai, but I think you have great potential with the trunks there. You might have one too many vertical branches on that left side for my taste, but I'll let you decide.

Also, noob myself. (How is this a total noob thread?) Good grasp of the concepts, but not enough experience to execute them well.
Where the hell is someone who can give you more than basic critique?
 

CTHaynes

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Seems to me like you have the base for a sort of raft-looking bonsai, when I saw your tree, I thought of something like this:

View attachment 408716
That you very much for this feedback, @Grovic ! And great illustration to show your thoughts. I am very intrigued by this approach and may follow this. I like how the depicted foliage still follows the ascending triangle shape overall.

Welcome to the nut house!
I'm and hour south of you! Maybe we'll get to see each other some time.

I like @Grovic's thoughts. Too often when we see a hard slant like that we think cascade if we want to take it in a new direction, but I like the way his raft-ish concept plays with negative space.
Continuing to develop the standard slant is still a valid option, though.
Don't be afraid to take out the larger, thicker branches. Smaller branches on a thicker trunk helps give the illusion of size and age.
Another way to convey age and weight while wiring branches is a lightly swooping downward curve, that heads back upward at the tip, especially in lower branches that, if in nature, would have to grown out from under higher branches to find sunlight.

Taking advantage of the areal roots on the schefflera was brilliant. These aren't generally thought of as good trees for bonsai, but I think you have great potential with the trunks there. You might have one too many vertical branches on that left side for my taste, but I'll let you decide.

Also, noob myself. (How is this a total noob thread?) Good grasp of the concepts, but not enough experience to execute them well.
Where the hell is someone who can give you more than basic critique?
Thank you also, @ShadyStump . Some great points and feedback as well, which also follows the same ideals as Grovic's illustration. I am also glad to see someone else from Colorado here, although I am jealous that you are still enjoying a bit of warmth.
 

ShadyStump

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Thank you also, @ShadyStump . Some great points and feedback as well, which also follows the same ideals as Grovic's illustration. I am also glad to see someone else from Colorado here, although I am jealous that you are still enjoying a bit of warmth.
Not these last couple days. Down in the teens tonight they're saying. Need to get my outdoor trees bedded down for winter still.
 

CTHaynes

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Seems to me like you have the base for a sort of raft-looking bonsai, when I saw your tree, I thought of something like this:

View attachment 408716
I wanted to touch base as this tree is doing quite well for me. I followed the advise and image of @Grovic and have decided to create a raft bonsai. In late November I took all of the wire off of this tree and gave it a hefty trimming, getting rid of many limbs that did not fit into the above image. This instantly created a lot more growth.

C1FBCAAB-D519-4C49-A97E-70F808BBC50B.jpeg5EE3B9C2-09D6-4F2A-B959-CFBC873592DF.jpeg
I continued to water and provide nutrients on a consistent basis. Allowing the tree to continue to grow. About two weeks ago I did another cutting on it to get rid of many of the new buds and limbs that wouldn’t fit into the image. This has once again pushed some more new growth.
CE181D0D-8B3E-4235-8755-1E6160956E07.jpeg14B17990-3AF6-4D42-8F2F-FB0CF268655E.jpeg
I plan to continue to pursue this idea and am excited to see where it goes from here.
 
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