First Post- Hello

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Mexia, Texas US
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8b
#1
Hi everyone. I've been practicing horticulture for a couple of decades, but am always looking to add more knowledge and skills, so recently began researching and experimenting with bonsai.
So far I'm really enjoying the challenge, although I have some failed attempts with my first project (Mimosa). I finally got one dug up and transplanted without shocking the root system to death and have just been letting it adjust to the small pot and work on a branching root system. I plan to start feeding it soon to encourage some growth while I map out my end goal for it. Then yesterday I picked up a yaupon holly to play around with, as well. I'm in Central Texas so have a fairly long growing season to work with. I will try to get some pictures soon of the projects.
It seems bonsai is one of those addictive gardening hobbies since I've been digging through the greenhouse and making notes on what to air layer or take cuttings from for future projects.😂
I'm looking forward to reading through the threads and learning from everyone. 🙂 Hopefully I'll also be able to share some of my knowledge/experience to help others in the hobby.
-chase
 
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Connecticut
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6b
#5
welcome

First step in most bonsai is to grow a fat trunk
This is a common mistake for beginners. Growing out trees really has very little to do with bonsai. If you want to do bonsai start with material that you can begin to train now. If you start with something you will need to grow out for years you will lose interest before you even get to doing bonsai.
 

Cypress187

Masterpiece
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Netherlands
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#6
If you want to do bonsai start with material that you can begin to train now.
I hope he has some good material, but since it's his first tree it could be a thin stick in the ground. Ofcourse he can train it, but when he posts a thin stick in the ground, the first reaction of all of us is, grow it fat, chop it low. I bought a bunch of small bonsai-pots when I just started bonsai and they are still empty, because the big plastic training pots are much better/easy for growing them. (btw, I said "most" bonsai, if the trunk is good he can start right away).
 
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Location
Mexia, Texas US
USDA Zone
8b
#7
Thanks for the advice! I've always been focused on big trees in containers so I've wondered how one minimizes stunted growth in smaller pots. The mimosa is definitely a "stick in the ground" lol. In the last few months I've mainly been trimming and encouraging the trunk by angling it's position to sunlight. I didn't know if chopping the top would help fatten the trunk, or if it would just encourage new buds to take all of it's energy because I've read articles that said to prune hard and others that said to let branches grow out and thin out excess foliage.
The yaupon is pretty much untouched and still in a large pot. It's got a decent trunk, but is a little scarred; which I like due to added character, but have read is undesirable.

Unfortunately there are no local clubs, or anything social focused on bonsai; so the internet paired with trial and error is how I'm learning. Since both of these species are super common here (and fast growers) it will be pretty easy to start over if I totally mess up.
My avatar is the mimosa when I first moved it from the starter pot to it's current one,is and you can see in the first picture attached not much has changed. The second one is the yaupon, which I've only been working on getting the nasty nursery soil out of so I can replace with a better mix.
IMG_20180711_152515.jpg MVIMG_20180711_152752.jpg
welcome



This is a common mistake for beginners. Growing out trees really has very little to do with bonsai. If you want to do bonsai start with material that you can begin to train now. If you start with something you will need to grow out for years you will lose interest before you even get to doing bonsai.
 
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Costa Blanca, Spain, zone 10b
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#9
Welcome!

It's hard to tell on my phone by the pics but when you say 'Mimosa' do you know the actual species name like Acacia or Albizia or whatever it is people call Mimosa these days. This would help with any advice if you are after some.
 

grouper52

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#10
You may benefit from reading my tutorial in the "Resources" section of this site, entitled, "The Importance of Starting With a Good Trunk." Lots of other great and diverse input from many others there in the Resources section as well. Welcome to the addiction!
 

JudyB

Queen of the Nuts
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#11
Welcome to the site and the addiction! Please take a moment to put your location in your profile, so we all know where you live and can give you correct advice for your climate. Have fun, that's the most important part.
 
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Location
Mexia, Texas US
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#12
Welcome!

It's hard to tell on my phone by the pics but when you say 'Mimosa' do you know the actual species name like Acacia or Albizia or whatever it is people call Mimosa these days. This would help with any advice if you are after some.
It's an Albizia. They grow like crazy here in 8b. My farm and greenhouse is named "Mimosa Grove" because I got tired of fighting them (and losing) when I first started it, so I chose to make the best of dealing with them. :D
 

grouper52

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#13
It's an Albizia. They grow like crazy here in 8b. My farm and greenhouse is named "Mimosa Grove" because I got tired of fighting them (and losing) when I first started it, so I chose to make the best of dealing with them. :D
LOL! I'm over here, a recent retiree/transplant to the Philippines, my wife's homeland. I have a plant - one of the first I got here, and a great one - that looked like a mimosa or acacia or some such. It's a great tree, so I kept asking around as to its identity, and it turns out it's called an "Aroma" tree, and is some variation on an acacia, and like yours, it's a highly invasive nuisance tree ... BUT ... because it's found both on protected seashores AND invading every farm on the islands, it's now protected, and can no longer be collected anywhere ... go figure.
 

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