Greetings from Colorado!

Messages
18
Likes
9
Location
Aurora, CO
USDA Zone
5b
#1
Good Morning Bonsai Nut peeps!

I caught the bonsai bug last summer after we moved in to our first home... with an actual yard... where I could actually grow stuff. I've always been interested in Bonsai but never really owned anything. well, there was a juniper i got as a gift in my 20's that I promptly killed in a north facing window. my bad little dude.

At any rate, I've been lurking on the site for a while and figured it was time to say hi!

I have a decent starter set of 8 tress, they are all very young (all smaller then 6"-8") so i have a long road ahead of me with these guys. My goal right now is to keep my outdoor trees alive through the winter. It's pretty arid here with wacky temperature fluctuations and violent winds which is notorious for killing trees here. I plan on mulching them against the house in a fairly sheltered spot and will move them to the garage if the temps drop to single digits. my non cold hardy trees are now living under a grow light in a south facing window for the winter.

Here are a few pics of what I have now. I would love to hear what folks think of them and maybe give some advice on direction I can take them in.... I may end up sticking them in large nursery pots in the spring so the trunks can develop.

Thanks everyone! i look forward to learning a ton here.

Serissa.
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Seiju Elm
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Japanese Juniper
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Shimpaku
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Messages
1,429
Likes
2,390
Location
AZ
USDA Zone
9
#2
Welcome! Glad you stopped lurking and joined in. Nice start with your trees. Looks like you already have learned a thing or two. Soil looks good and your trees look pretty healthy.
 
Messages
109
Likes
217
Location
Sacramento, CA
USDA Zone
9b
#3
Welcome to the site. There’s a lot of great info here if you search for it.

You have the perfect goal: Keep your trees alive. That’s the number one thing that some beginners don’t focus on enough.

Like you wrote, if you want the trunks to get thicker within your lifetime, repotting them in bigger/deeper nursery pots sounds like the way to go in your environment because since they’ll be portable, you can move them to protective areas as needed. At the same time, there’s nothing wrong with letting a tree have a narrow trunk if you like how it looks.

I’d suggest two things. Find a local bonsai nursery or bonsai club who can help you with advice specific for your climate. They can be a wealth of knowledge. Also, consider buying a few cheap $5 - $10 trees/shrubs at your local nursery to practice on as you read and learn. Make your “beginners mistakes” on them instead of on your nicer trees.
 
Messages
18
Likes
9
Location
Aurora, CO
USDA Zone
5b
#4
Welcome! Glad you stopped lurking and joined in. Nice start with your trees. Looks like you already have learned a thing or two. Soil looks good and your trees look pretty healthy.
TY Sir! I've found a lot of great information on this site and i think I've watched almost every YouTube video available on the topic!
 
Messages
18
Likes
9
Location
Aurora, CO
USDA Zone
5b
#5
Welcome to the site. There’s a lot of great info here if you search for it.

You have the perfect goal: Keep your trees alive. That’s the number one thing that some beginners don’t focus on enough.

Like you wrote, if you want the trunks to get thicker within your lifetime, repotting them in bigger/deeper nursery pots sounds like the way to go in your environment because since they’ll be portable, you can move them to protective areas as needed. At the same time, there’s nothing wrong with letting a tree have a narrow trunk if you like how it looks.

I’d suggest two things. Find a local bonsai nursery or bonsai club who can help you with advice specific for your climate. They can be a wealth of knowledge. Also, consider buying a few cheap $5 - $10 trees/shrubs at your local nursery to practice on as you read and learn. Make your “beginners mistakes” on them instead of on your nicer trees.
Funny that you should say that! There are a couple great nurseries close to me that always has something on clearance! i've picked up a few plants for super cheap over the summer that i went to town on. one is actually doing quite well and has pushed out lots of new buds (a mugo pine)! My buddy is landscaper, I asked him to bring me anything he rips out at jobs that may be worth playing with. I also have about a dozen overgrown shrubs on the property that I am practicing my pruning on.

There is a bonsai club in Denver but I keep missing their monthly meetings. I did manage to check out their exhibition last month which was really inspiring, everyone was super friendly and allowed me to pick their brains.

anyway, thanks for the comments and advice! much appreciated.
 
Messages
3,782
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5,890
Location
on the IL-WI border, a mile from ''da Lake''
USDA Zone
5b
#6
Rocky mountain Bonsai Society, meets Denver Botanic Garden - only found a facebook page
https://www.facebook.com/Rocky-Mountain-Bonsai-Society-262394869041/

look into native trees that live maybe 1000 feet to 3000 feet above you (for cold hardiness in a pot) and from similar sun exposure, for example if you yard faces south, then look for species native to south slopes of the mountains. North slopes then to have spruce and firs, south facing slopes tend to have pines, certain spruces and zero firs. Local species make wintering easier.
 
Messages
3,782
Likes
5,890
Location
on the IL-WI border, a mile from ''da Lake''
USDA Zone
5b
#7
From Bonsai Empire https://www.bonsaiempire.com/

COLORADO - Colorado Springs
Pikes Peak Bonsai Society. Meets at the Firehouse #14 Community Meeting Room, near the southeast corner of Dublin Blvd. and N. Academy Blvd., 80918, 10:00 am, second Saturday of each month.
Website: www.phoenixBonsai.com/PikesPeakBonsai.html
E-mail: rjb (at) phoenixBonsai.com.

COLORADO - Denver
Rocky Mountain Bonsai Society. Meets at the Denver Botanic Gardens on the first Tuesdays of each month at 7:30 PM except in December. For more information go to our website www.rockymtnBonsai.org

COLORADO - Fort Collins
The Bonsai Society of Northern Colorado has meetings on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 7:00pm, and workshops on the second Saturday of each month, 1:00 to 3:00pm. We have shows in the spring and fall. All meetings, workshops and shows are at Fort Collins Nursery, 2121 E. Mulberry in Fort Collins. Contact: Barbara Rich, 970-663-3046.

COLORADO - Grand Jct
The Western Colorado Bonsai Society of Grand Junction. is available through e-mail: trehaus (at) excite.com we are a fairly new club but we have many informative and knowledgeable members. We have two shows a year and they are always in our newly installed (by us) Japanese garden at the WCCA in Grand Jct.
 
Messages
18
Likes
9
Location
Aurora, CO
USDA Zone
5b
#8
@Leo in N E Illinois Thanks! I've been considering some native trees but never thought to compare the direction of my yard and what grows on the corresponding slope! I'm going hiking tomorrow, i'll be looking at the mountain in a totally different way now.
 

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