my start at bonsai!

jarred197

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so i just got into bonsai, i know a fair amount about trees and shrubs due to landscaping. have been researching and reading on bonsai for a month or two now. i went to my local bonsai nursery and spent 3 hours looking and talking to them to see what i can do for wintering and other things. so i ended up getting a japanese maple, and then i started reading on these forums and people seem to be taking a faster route of planting in the ground to develope good trunk sizes before planting in a real bonsai pot and turning them into bonsai. so i went and picked up a rodie, and 2 azaleas one flowers white and the other red. so i guess my question is...should i wire my maple this winter? let it keep growing in the bonsai pot and not prune? or slowly prune to keep the trunk going? open to suggestions and what not. next thing in question is do you guys think i still should put the azaleas and rhodie in the ground for a year or two before repotting into a bonsai pot?


maple





wasnt anticipating such a sunny day the day i brought her home so the tips got a tiny bit burnt so i moved her to a place where shes behinde my porch railing so still gets part sun but not totally direct.

white flowering azalea





red flowering azalea





(thats the railing on my south facing porch i was referring to when talking about my maple)


and finally the rhodie


(will post the other two pics on a new post since can only do 12 per)

although im a bit worried the leaves and flowers are going to be to large for a bonsai on this rhodie. but hey i got them for 3 bucks a piece so cant beat it. also picked up some root powder just to see if i can get a jap maple cutting off of one of my landscaping trees this spring and see if that takes hold.

so throw at me whatcha think and suggestions and basically anything and everything. thanks guys in advanced
 

jarred197

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andd here are the other two pictures of the rhodie, quality isnt that good, i was shaking and there was a huge rain storm so was trying to do them rather quickly


 

sorce

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Hey Jarred,

It depends how big you want your trunk, and how fast you want to get it there.

Text states if you are going to put something in the ground you should be prepared to leave it 3+ years or it is basically a waste of effort.

If you will do this, consider placing it on a board to keep the roots lateral. You can also easily arrange them via screws/pegs in the board. (Next to roots not through them) Nebari/surface roots is your first mission. There are good posts about it here.

Roots/trunk/branching. Get your roots off to a good start. Get the trunk size you want. Then consider branching.

No pruning till then. Of course, as with anything with opposite leaves, you should prune, or better, remove buds, to keep it from reverse taper. I only do this on things that will remain in the design. Anything that will be cut later can be left for energy.

I would air layer your landscape JM. A better start for good radial roots IMO. And you can have a larger trunk, with taper, depending where you start it.

If thats a crick back there. I would water from it.

If you have any landscaping ties still, you can find great yardadori from there.

Welcome to crazy!

Sorce
 

jarred197

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thank you for your reply! im not totally sure its a good idea to water from that river, its actually the charles river. used to be polluted way way back but supposedly its clean now except for the gross stuff on the bottom. have to see if its good i guess. i definitely want to air layer or get a cutting off the jm i have but not sure if i can convince my neighbors to let me take a good sized branch haha.

now on the remove buds to stop reverse tapering, you mean if theres two buds opposite each other on the trunk im guessing? and that you were talking about the jm? im used to pruning but not to the whole bonsai type of pruning it is a tad different. I've done bud pinching and pruning of crosses branches, ones that are parallel, tipping and just normal stuff to thin out the inside to give it light.

and im still debating on just leaving the azaleas and rhodies in a decent size pot to grow trunk rather than the ground just because you have a bit more control over it, but even on these i guess pruning directly opposite branches needs to happen to reverse taper??

im going to have to look on how to get/build good nebari. i want the baby jm i have now to be bigger but it doesnt have to have a huge trunk as i got REALLY lucky yesterday. went to the local bonsai nursery to talk to some people and have some questions answered and they had a decent 50% off section. so i went around looking for something that had a decent trunk size to avoid huge amounts of time devoted to just this one thing, unfortunately i could not find any cheap conifers as i do want one. also not ready to start any indoor tropicals atm, well be venturing into that next year if these survive :p BUT what i did find was a 2 - 2 1/2ft JM with ~a 2in trunk maybe more i cant remember. it has some decent nebari already although not the best. and it was just about the same dimensions and the 400-800$ JMs they had...they had it priced at 160 due to it having previous training but not being trained in the recent years. i told them i wanted it and she gave it to me for 64 bucks! so i gave her 32 and plan to go back to pick her up and give her the other 32 really soon. i was talking to another costumer that was there and he said it was a STEAL and he would take it if i didn't. i also was looking at regular local nurseries for JM's and even just regular small ones were like 120$

also on a side note, if i put the azaleas and rhodie in the ground and dont do the board method....how difficult will it be to repot them when it comes time? ill have to prune the roots slowly im guessing and keep going into shallower and smaller pots over time? and it seems like id have to prune them while in ground to keep them in check? or should i totally not even worry about design and branching at all? thanks guys! gunna go look for a post on nebari for now :D
 

edprocoat

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You basically need growth to gain the girth you are looking for. Branches opposing each other take a long time to cause reverse taper on a trunk, leaves on a secondary or tertiary branch are no problem. I would leave everything grow fat and happy until you are at trunk girth then everything else will be best cut off and regrown for fine branches. Remember growing long shoot like branches untrimmed will not only thicken your trunk quickest but is healthy for tree and root system. Whenever you cut it back you set it back.

Rhododendrons have real big leaves and flowers and I have never seen one make a decent looking Bonsai, hopefully someone will post one to prove me wrong ....

ed
 
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Dav4

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I like the basic shape of the maple you have so I would leave it as is for now and focus on keeping it alive and healthy. This winter, you can continue reading up on everything bonsai. By the way, now is a great time of year to do nursery crawls...most of the mom and pop landscape nurseries discount material in the fall so they don't have to over winter them. Also, I assume you've been to New England Bonsai Gardens in Bellingham...great nursery and great people there.
By the way, your tree appears to be a twin trunk...I wonder what the nebari looks like under the soil.



PS I grew up in Westwood:).
 

jarred197

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ahh no shit! i live in medway which is about half hour from westwood, i actually got the JM and the one thats coming home soon from new england bonsai, great great people! i spent like almost 4 hours there my first visit. and i am going to repot the baby JM in spring and will take a look at the nebari....was currently trying to find some info on how to create better nebari on here and havent really gotten to far. if someone could post a link that would be great!

on the rhodie....yeah they do have rather big leaves and what not and ive seen a couple bonsai made from them. picked it up for 3 bucks so its whatever. i can use it as an experimental subject if need be.

what is a yardadori btw?

and for the twin trunk, i think in the future i would be much happier as getting them into one solid base and i want the crown to kinda dip down a bit from the biggest truck to the smallest if that makes sense. kinda hard to explain over text. but im definitely going to wait for the trunks on the azaleas to get bigger just to save time. ive been making my rounds at nurseries but around here i havent found any great junipers, pines, elms that are already started nice. looked at a couple boxwoods but when looking for a trunk theyre always just a bunch of small branches and im not bothering with that. so ive been keeping my eye out

and now that im into this hobby i will start bringing home plants from my company cause all our rich costumers throw stuff out when theyre still good.

im just trying to plan on what to do next with the baby JM. im kind of conflicted as ive never root pruned or made nebari. i do want it bigger but i feel like it would be more fun just to upgrade into a bigger bonsai pot and keep slowly training. hopefully i pick up my new JM next weekend and can post pictures. has TONS of potential
 

Dav4

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Kind of a busy day so all I can say right now is that repotting time for you is early April as the buds on the JM begin to push, so you've got tons of time to research the subject on developing nebari, whether it be here or elsewhere. Good luck
 
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My go at Bonsai

Started a Golden Cypress a couple of days ago, repotted with the bark at an angle for future styling and then realised it was too much, so back to repotting. Its looking a lot better now, but there's still a lot to do, do comment and let me now what you think. Also please feel free to add me.
 

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sorce

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what is a yardadori btw?



and now that im into this hobby i will start bringing home plants from my company cause all our rich costumers throw stuff out when theyre still good.

l
A rich mans junk!

Sorce
 
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