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Gr8tfuldad

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Hello all! First, thanks for the add. I have been gardening for over 20 years. Mostly veggies and medicinals. A few years ago I started getting into permaculture style. I have a dozen fruit trees I’m espaliering. Recently been feeling bonsai speaking to me. Although, I am fairly new to Bonsai.

Would this be an ok place to ask for some guidance on some stock I began to accumulate? Many thanks and blessings Gr8tfuldad
 
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Gr8tfuldad

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So this is a cotton Easter I picked up 2 years ago. I was drawn to the nebari and overall flow of the plant. As I am sure you can tell I took a few branches off, unfortunately I didn’t seal them. Although, they seem to be healing slowly. My plan is to repot next spring (with a proper substrate) and start picking a style. My initial gut is saying cascade style, although I am not sure if more seasoned artist would have a different opinion? I value any input and suggestions. Many thanks and blessings.
 

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penumbra

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Good starter plant and a nice one at that. Cotoneaster (koh-toh-nee-ASS-ter) is a genus of plants of which there are several varieties. Most or very vigorous plants that can be worked almost anytime of the year. They are usually fairly pest free but they are susceptible to some insect infestations, occasional fungus problems and fire blight. I have had little problem cutting them hard and root pruning even in summer but occasionally I have had a plant throw a limb, probably due to water stress. This has happened a few time to me but its a whole lot better than losing a plant.
 

Gr8tfuldad

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This C.M was gifted to me from my Dad. He started styling it and working on the Flare. No style has come to mind since I just got it. I’m keeping it in a sunny spot to get it to bloom, but watering daily is needed. It got a bit too dry once or twice 🤪
 

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Gr8tfuldad

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This is a maple that was gifted to me by my dad again. There is some dead wood going on from when he chopped it. I am letting it naturally decay. I need to get this in a better pot before chopping again. Style still unknown.
 

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Shibui

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Cotoneaster is a great bonsai species but don't listen to your gut. Cascade may look exciting and relatively easy but getting it right turns out to be really hard and even harder to maintain long term as most plants are apical dominant so the lowest part of a cascade is always weak. Good pruning and care is even more essential with cascade style.
You could continue to develop the long, leaning trunk it has now and just position branches to compliment that.
You could also work towards an informal upright style with it. Just chop the trunk above the strong, upright branch just inside the pot rim to change the trunk line to a more upright style. Repositioning the trunk at the next repot to change the current trunk angle is also possible.

Crepe myrtle is exceedingly good at budding from older, bare wood. I would probably chop all the trunks way, way back and start developing the branching where it will be useful. CM chop can be done almost any time of year but if you want to see flowers then wait till after flowering.

The maple is a large leaf type so not really desirable for bonsai. You could use it to practice pruning and repotting but I don't really see a high quality bonsai future for that one.

Please update your profile to include a location because many things in bonsai are tied to weather and climate. You'll get much better advice for your circumstances if we know where you are.
 

Gr8tfuldad

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Thank you for all the great information. I really like this one, awesome score for $7 😂 Hopefully it comes out the way I am seeing it.
 

Gr8tfuldad

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Now should I wait to repot the cotton Easter until spring? August seems like a thought time to perform such a task, or are they that resilient?
 

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