BondaiNate

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Hello there fellow Bonsai enthusiasts!

My name is Nathan and I'm new to the community. I've posted once already but figured I would give my background on bonsai and ask for some oponions/advice.

I've been interested and studying Bonsai off and on now for about 15 years so I already understand and know that some of my approaches are incorrect such as time of wiring, pruning and repotting. Keep in mind this is mostly for practice.

My first bonsai was when I was about 14, it was a 20 y/o juniper that I neglected after 3 years. My next bonsai was another younger juniper that was given to me as a gift about 2 years ago but has since been lost.

Just the past few months I've taken bonsai more seriously and I have been experimenting on my first few nursery stock trees that I've come across and wanted some opinions on them.

The first with the pink flowers is a Rhododendron hybrid. Styling it was very difficult because all the branches including the small ones were very stiff. I accidentally broke a prominent branch and a few smaller ones with flower buds on it. Its branches were originally all pointing straight up. It was also in a 5g pot that I significantly reduced down and put into a shallow pot (draining plate) lol. I used bonsai soil mixed with a promix draining soil. After completion is seems to be doing fine.

The second one is Dwarf Alberta Spruce. It originally looked like all DAS's look like, a mini Christmas tree. I took quite a bit of branches away, maybe too much. I had changed the branches from a straight position to a downward position due to other criticisms. It was in a 8g pot and reduced a lot and cut away large roots that did not have much nutritional roots on them. I was able to bring the soil level down about an inch and a half from it's original. I'm using a bonsai mix soil. I am currently not sure what to do with the top. Whether to cut it off and make a new apex or let it grow to do something else.

Also if it helps, I'm located in Central Ohio, the weather currently is 50s-70s. Anyways sorry for the lengthy post but any feedback would be very helpful even criticism.

Thanks!
 

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JudyB

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Welcome to the site, another Ohioan, yay. If you have a club near you that would be a good place to find stock as lots of times they do auctions or sale days, also the members sometimes will give newer people trees. They will also know places to get more trees locally. There are lots of online places to get anything from sticks to specimen trees too. There are a couple auction forums on Facebook weekly. If you go to your profile you can put your location and zone in so it shows up under your name, so people can give you good advice for your climate. Azaleas are brittle and break easily, so don't feel too bad about that. As far as the Spruce I'd leave it be for now to see if it recovers from your work. Ultimately you will probably was to start a new apex, to get rid of the too long open area between the branching and your current apex. Good luck and have fun!
 

sorce

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Monday huh....? Long ass post!

No worries!

Azalea sure is brittle...then the other end of the spectrum is that DAS!

I repot spruce after growth, in the summer.

Kill azalea.

The are both potted a bit high for health.

Sorce
 

BondaiNate

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Update on these 2 Bonsais. Both have been slightly worked on more but giving them a chance mostly to grow this season. They are doing great. Both took much pruning of the foliage and of the roots and repotted (what most people dont recommend doing because it will most likely kill the tree) however they ate both now growing like crazy.

I believe if you take the right steps and care for a tree you can cut, shape, prune and repot without it dieing.
 

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