New and confused

Thornhill

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Hi all! New to the forum and also to the exciting and befuddling world of bonsai. I have had an interest in the hobby for many years and have killed my fair share of trees due to many rookie mistakes (poor soil quality, trying to keep junipers indoors etc.). I recently purchased a juniper that had already been trained a bit and thought it would make a great reintroduction to bonsai . . . but now I am at a complete loss for what to do.

I repotted a few days ago using E.B. Stone organic soil. I found that I didn't have to prune the roots much as the root ball fit easily into the pot I had. Now that I have the thing potted . . . I have no idea what to do with it!! Initially I liked the movement of the trunk, and that it was thicker than the pencil thin trunks I usually find on nursery stock. But now I am worried that the tree veers only in one direction and doesn't balance out. I also liked the potential for a full canopy, but am not quite sure how to deal with the top branches that point toward the viewer. I'm kinda scared to do anything as I don't want to make too big of a mistake!

Any opinions, suggestions or insights would be greatly welcomed! Thanks!!

P.S. This is also my first time on any sort of forum so appologies if I am clunky with the communication!

IMG_2621.JPG Here's a view of the front of the tree. I know that I have to back a lot of the growth along the trunk, especially at the base of the first branch . . . but after that I am at a loss.

IMG_2623.JPG
The right side of the tree. Gives a clear view of how the canopy branches jut out towards the viewer.

IMG_2624.JPG The Back side of the tree.

IMG_2625.JPG From the left side

IMG_2626.JPG From the top down and a lil peek at my toes for your viewing pleasure.
 

sorce

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Hope that's a toe!:eek:

Welcome to Crazy!

You don't have to do anything with now!

I'd leave all that top run rampant to thicken the lower trunk whilst building the whole tree from that first branch.

Then lop the top in sections over years...
Or all in one go...

My worry...
That soil in a glazed pot May be too retentive.

Sorce
 

Thornhill

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Hope that's a toe!:eek:

Welcome to Crazy!

You don't have to do anything with now!

I'd leave all that top run rampant to thicken the lower trunk whilst building the whole tree from that first branch.

Then lop the top in sections over years...
Or all in one go...

My worry...
That soil in a glazed pot May be too retentive.

Sorce
Thanks for the reply and thoughts! Maybe I will do just that and let it get a whole lot bushier/fatter before any drastic changes are made.

Also, thanks for the insight on the soil. I will keep an eye on it over the next few days. If it's staying too wet maybe I can mix in some clay pellets?

Thanks!
 

GrimLore

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I repotted a few days ago using E.B. Stone organic soil.
I am guessing you used their Bonsai Mix. If so it has lava rock, sand, and volcanic pumice in it - that along with the other ingredients should give you proper drainage. I prefer Junipers to be in unglazed pots but honest I use unglazed for everything, others do not.
I would also just let it grow in full sun and water it daily and see how it responds to the repot even though it sounds like it went ok. This season you should be seeing a lot of new undergrowth on those branches and it will be weak for lack of sun - trim those as they show themselves. Next Spring thin the heavy growth allowing light in and again get rid of weak undergrowth and inner growth including nubs that will show up in the branch crotches.
At that point we should be able to see through the tree better and have a better idea of where and how many branches are really in there. Then the topic of design would be realistic as we can see the plant better, it will be established, and above all healthy enough to work on.

Welcome back to the journey and welcome to B-Nut!

Grimmy
 

Bonsai Nut

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Welcome to the site!

Here's a suggestion I often try when I am stuck on design for a tree. Instead of making one up, I go online and look at photos of trees in nature. I try to find one that I find inspiring, as well as realistic for my starting material. Then I print out a copy on cheap laser printer paper, and keep it by my side when I wire and prune.
 
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Welcome. It is repotted recently so i would also let it grow this year. Search for pictures of juniper bonsai you like. Compare the thickness of the trunk with the size of the trees. When it comes to styling in fall you will have something to work toward.
 

Thornhill

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I am guessing you used their Bonsai Mix. If so it has lava rock, sand, and volcanic pumice in it - that along with the other ingredients should give you proper drainage. I prefer Junipers to be in unglazed pots but honest I use unglazed for everything, others do not.
I would also just let it grow in full sun and water it daily and see how it responds to the repot even though it sounds like it went ok. This season you should be seeing a lot of new undergrowth on those branches and it will be weak for lack of sun - trim those as they show themselves. Next Spring thin the heavy growth allowing light in and again get rid of weak undergrowth and inner growth including nubs that will show up in the branch crotches.
At that point we should be able to see through the tree better and have a better idea of where and how many branches are really in there. Then the topic of design would be realistic as we can see the plant better, it will be established, and above all healthy enough to work on.

Welcome back to the journey and welcome to B-Nut!

Grimmy
Yes I am using the bonsai mix. I hope it gives me enough drainage, I suppose I will just have to keep an eye on it. I was honestly using the only pot I had available at the time, though it is not necessarily my favorite. I suppose I could have waited till I had one that was more appropriate . .. I have a feeling patience is one of the biggest lessons I have to learn from bonsai.

Will keep an eye on undergrowth and will see what I end up with next spring. Thanks for the pointers and the warm welcome!!!
 

GrimLore

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have a feeling patience is one of the biggest lessons I have to learn from bonsai.
It takes time, I normally recommend if you think you like any plant buy 4- 5 el cheapos and experiment while taking notes. If you like 3 -4 then you have40 to play with and understand each one - some will die but nothing beats understanding why ;)

Grimmy
 

erb.75

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Hope that's a toe!:eek:

Welcome to Crazy!

You don't have to do anything with now!

I'd leave all that top run rampant to thicken the lower trunk whilst building the whole tree from that first branch.

Then lop the top in sections over years...
Or all in one go...

My worry...
That soil in a glazed pot May be too retentive.

Sorce
sorce, you have to be the friendliest person on bonsai nut....always the first to greet people. Are you going to MABA 2017? It would be fun to say hi while I'm there!
 

sorce

Nonsense Rascal
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sorce, you have to be the friendliest person on bonsai nut....always the first to greet people. Are you going to MABA 2017? It would be fun to say hi while I'm there!
No..but I will be in Ohio for a Baseball tournament July16-21.

I have to find out where.

Sorce
 

Thornhill

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Welcome to the site!

Here's a suggestion I often try when I am stuck on design for a tree. Instead of making one up, I go online and look at photos of trees in nature. I try to find one that I find inspiring, as well as realistic for my starting material. Then I print out a copy on cheap laser printer paper, and keep it by my side when I wire and prune.

Hey! Thanks for the warm welcome and the advice!
 

flyinmanatee

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Befuddling World of Bonsai? Pretty sure Disney took that out the same time as 20,000 Leagues.

What neck of the woods are you in Thornhill?
 

Thornhill

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Befuddling World of Bonsai? Pretty sure Disney took that out the same time as 20,000 Leagues.

What neck of the woods are you in Thornhill?
Ha! What a ride that would make!

I'm smack dab in the middle of Los Angeles.
 

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