Hello from Northern Virginia

ForThemWhatCare

Yamadori
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I'm new to Bonsai and am looking for a community that might help a +50 year old guy looking for a creative hobby avoid pitfalls. I've already embarrassed myself with a couple early failures (when I picked thi sup in August but I've read books and watched youtube till I'm blue in the face and now need to just keep getting hands on materials to grow. I have a dozen pieces of different types of nursey stock (all conifers) in winter storage waiting for the spring. Anyway, just thought I'd introduce myself. Cheers!
 

HorseloverFat

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I care, friend. I.... care!

Greetings from the twiggy hollows! Hollers from the brambles! The Woody Dwarves drop a welcoming branch, guiding you deeper, ‘mongst the TinyForest.

This place is a Majestic Library, lined with Shared Experience and Knowledge.... Learn what you can, then start filling your “own shelves”... swap and fellowship..

I believe you have found the place you seek.

Any possibility we could see your “specimens”?

🤓

Pleasure to make your acquaintance.
 

ForThemWhatCare

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I care, friend. I.... care!

Greetings from the twiggy hollows! Hollers from the brambles! The Woody Dwarves drop a welcoming branch, guiding you deeper, ‘mongst the TinyForest.

This place is a Majestic Library, lined with Shared Experience and Knowledge.... Learn what you can, then start filling your “own shelves”... swap and fellowship..

I believe you have found the place you seek.

Any possibility we could see your “specimens”?

🤓

Pleasure to make your acquaintance.
I have more than a dozen pieces I haven't touched (pines, junipers, spruce, and cedar) that all have interesting shapes to play with. I also have a couple of burning bushes and a boxwood that I'm staring at for planning. I have NOTHING that I'm proud of and only a few that are kind of "wait and see". The below picture were for items developed in Aug-Sept before I had all the tools I got for Xmas :). Let me know if you wanted pictures of the untouched "stock" or if you were just curious on how far I have to go (pretty far).
 

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HorseloverFat

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I have more than a dozen pieces I haven't touched (pines, junipers, spruce, and cedar) that all have interesting shapes to play with. I also have a couple of burning bushes and a boxwood that I'm staring at for planning. I have NOTHING that I'm proud of and only a few that are kind of "wait and see". The below picture were for items developed in Aug-Sept before I had all the tools I got for Xmas :). Let me know if you wanted pictures of the untouched "stock" or if you were just curious on how far I have to go (pretty far).
Looking good! This is a good place to soak it all up...There is some specific coniferous advice That I will believe will help you with THESE trees, also. But STILL.. looking good, don’t forget it, don’t ever get down on yourself... ARM yourself with your experience.. failures as well as successes.

And YES.. pictures of untouched stock.. showing the base, and lower branches.. then a 180-degree turn (of the tree) and another shot.... Untouched trees allow the best “brainstorming” about design... we really like that. 🤣

The specific coniferous piece of advice i was going to give you was in relation to chasing foliage... but as I look more at your trees.. it seems if your aim is a larger style bonsai.. that spruce (?) from your display picture has neat, interesting AND unconventional form... just keep it happy for now.. let it get used to the last hair

The other conifer... what is that guy.. he’s ALSO got some “options” moving forward.. but again.. keep him “fat and sassy” through winter..

What is that other guy? A Cherry (prunus) of some sort?

🤓
 

ForThemWhatCare

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Looking good! This is a good place to soak it all up...There is some specific coniferous advice That I will believe will help you with THESE trees, also. But STILL.. looking good, don’t forget it, don’t ever get down on yourself... ARM yourself with your experience.. failures as well as successes.

And YES.. pictures of untouched stock.. showing the base, and lower branches.. then a 180-degree turn (of the tree) and another shot.... Untouched trees allow the best “brainstorming” about design... we really like that. 🤣

The specific coniferous piece of advice i was going to give you was in relation to chasing foliage... but as I look more at your trees.. it seems if your aim is a larger style bonsai.. that spruce (?) from your display picture has neat, interesting AND unconventional form... just keep it happy for now.. let it get used to the last hair

The other conifer... what is that guy.. he’s ALSO got some “options” moving forward.. but again.. keep him “fat and sassy” through winter..

What is that other guy? A Cherry (prunus) of some sort?

🤓
The "clump style" (3rd picture) is an Alberta Spruce that I cleaned up a bit and left alone as I don't know what to do with it yet. I was surprised what I found as I dug out the plant so handling that is beyond me now.

The 2nd picture is a burning bush that started life as a leggy mess (pictured below). It was my very first plant tried which is why the wiring is not good. It also started blooming again in early December so I probably set it back or am killing it. It's budding back heavy right now so I moved it from the patio to the sunroom (in the house). Likely also not good for it.

The first tree pictured I didn't retain the species in my log but it looked like a standard xmas tree (close up pic added). I wanted to practice jinning with that as well as basic wiring. I'm pretty sure it will completely redone in a year or so because I was at a total loss on what to do at the apex.

I'll post some stock items in a while but remember that it is all cheap nursey stock between 3-5 years old.
 

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HorseloverFat

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The "clump style" (3rd picture) is an Alberta Spruce that I cleaned up a bit and left alone as I don't know what to do with it yet. I was surprised what I found as I dug out the plant so handling that is beyond me now.

The 2nd picture is a burning bush that started life as a leggy mess (pictured below). It was my very first plant tried which is why the wiring is not good. It also started blooming again in early December so I probably set it back or am killing it. It's budding back heavy right now so I moved it from the patio to the sunroom (in the house). Likely also not good for it.

The first tree pictured I didn't retain the species in my log but it looked like a standard xmas tree (close up pic added). I wanted to practice jinning with that as well as basic wiring. I'm pretty sure it will completely redone in a year or so because I was at a total loss on what to do at the apex.

I'll post some stock items in a while but remember that it is all cheap nursey stock between 3-5 years old.
Nice I love Burning Bushes! I collected one this fall.


Don’t be nervous about showing your self-appointed under-performers...document them... I have a whole thread dedicated to NON-ideal bonsai species.. all tiny, stick-in-a-pot, “bad for bonsai species”..


...because YOU control the rules in YOUR garden.

🤓
 

ForThemWhatCare

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Nice I love Burning Bushes! I collected one this fall.


Don’t be nervous about showing your self-appointed under-performers...document them... I have a whole thread dedicated to NON-ideal bonsai species.. all tiny, stick-in-a-pot, “bad for bonsai species”..


...because YOU control the rules in YOUR garden.

🤓
I'm a fan of what a good Burning Bush can look like. I picked up a good starter to play with in the spring. Also attaching some others I'm looking forward to working. Though I understand that cypress can be particularly hard to do.
 

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HorseloverFat

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Nice! I’m unfamiliar with that Cypress, but looks to be quite interesting.

I’m excited to see what the trunk of those pines look like..

This is all really great material to work with...

What is your current route for obtaining information or learning? Books, videos, and interfacing are ALL useful and can help.

Are there any local bonsai clubs or study groups in your area?
 

ForThemWhatCare

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No bonsai stores or schools in or around the state or local clubs I've found yet. Joining this community is my first outreach to other humans. :)

I've got Peter Chan's book and enjoy his (Herons Bonsai) videos but I'm a bigger fan of the Mirai Bonsai lecture series. Bonsai Empire youtube channel is good too because it seems to pull from a larger pool of American bonsai enthusiasts. Once we are back to "normal" I hope to find a show or two that I can travel to in order to see more and learn more. Right now I have almost zero talent but lots of enthusiasm, tools, and eagerness to learn from others.
 

Bonsai Nut

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Welcome to the site and the world of bonsai!

Don't worry about making mistakes... I don't think you can make any that I have not already made :) I'll probably meet you at some point in person - assuming covid-19 eventually leaves us alone and we can start having conventions again!
 

HorseloverFat

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Peter Chan's book.... (Herons Bonsai) videos..... Mirai Bonsai lecture series. Bonsai Empire youtube channel... lots of enthusiasm....eagerness to learn from others.
Sounds like you are armed. :)
Books are the best, stable sources of information.
I’m a big fan of the lecture series as well...
If I’m feeling like watching a Demo.. I’ll see if Robert Steven has posted anything lately..

buuuuut...
this community
...is my FAVORITE resource... by far.

Glad you are here.
 

Bonsai Nut

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Not sure where you live in Northern Virginia, but if you can also figure out your USDA growing zone it helps...

hardy.jpg
 

vp999

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No bonsai stores or schools in or around the state or local clubs I've found yet. Joining this community is my first outreach to other humans. :)

I've got Peter Chan's book and enjoy his (Herons Bonsai) videos but I'm a bigger fan of the Mirai Bonsai lecture series. Bonsai Empire youtube channel is good too because it seems to pull from a larger pool of American bonsai enthusiasts. Once we are back to "normal" I hope to find a show or two that I can travel to in order to see more and learn more. Right now I have almost zero talent but lots of enthusiasm, tools, and eagerness to learn from others.
You should check out Meehan's miniatures if you haven't already yet, great place for pre-bonsai materials. Also join https://www.nvbsbonsai.org. I am a member also but I am in MD. When you're ready to acquire nice finished to almost finished materials I have some leads for you in the area.
 

JBP_85

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You should check out Meehan's miniatures if you haven't already yet, great place for pre-bonsai materials. Also join https://www.nvbsbonsai.org. I am a member also but I am in MD. When you're ready to acquire nice finished to almost finished materials I have some leads for you in the area.
I'll second this on Meehans. I'm also in NOVA so they're right up the road. I haven't been able to get up to the nursery but I just received several trees from there and they're in great condition. They shipped super quickly, I had them 2 days after ordering.
 

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