(New Bonsai'er) Need care advice for a trident Maple and Juniper Bonsai

Jhervi

Seedling
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Santa Rosa , California
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Hi yall,

I am brand new to the world of Bonsai. I have always been very fascinated with the art of bonsai and am excited to start learning and caring for these trees.

I was hoping to get some advice on care for two bonsai trees I recieved as a gift from my girlfriend. I live in zone 9b of somoma County, CA. They were bought at a local nursery that is known for having a good reputation.

The Bonsai:
1. Trident Maple [Acer Buergerianum] (1-2 years old)
2. Dwarf Japanese Garden Juniper [Procumbens Nana] (1-2 years old)

First off, do I put these bonsai in new soil or leave them in the soil that they currently are in? I don't know the current type of soil that they are currently planted in.

Second, how often do yall recommend for watering? The nursery guy said he watered them every other day, Monday, Wednesday, Friday. The tempature has been ranging from the mid 80's to high 90's some days.

Third, would be placement. They are currently in placed outside in place that gets partial shade and sunlight. Should they be in direct sunlight all day?

Lastly, Fertilization and feeding. What type should I get and how often should I be applying them.

Any advice or recommendations are appreciated. I want these trees to be healthy, grow and prosper :)
 

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Deep Sea Diver

Chumono
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Hi yall,

I am brand new to the world of Bonsai. I have always been very fascinated with the art of bonsai and am excited to start learning and caring for these trees.

I was hoping to get some advice on care for two bonsai trees I recieved as a gift from my girlfriend. I live in zone 9b of somoma County, CA. They were bought at a local nursery that is known for having a good reputation.

The Bonsai:
1. Trident Maple [Acer Buergerianum] (1-2 years old)
2. Dwarf Japanese Garden Juniper [Procumbens Nana] (1-2 years old)

First off, do I put these bonsai in new soil or leave them in the soil that they currently are in? I don't know the current type of soil that they are currently planted in.

Second, how often do yall recommend for watering? The nursery guy said he watered them every other day, Monday, Wednesday, Friday. The temperature has been ranging from the mid 80's to high 90's some days.

Third, would be placement. They are currently in placed outside in place that gets partial shade and sunlight. Should they be in direct sunlight all day?

Lastly, Fertilization and feeding. What type should I get and how often should I be applying them.

Any advice or recommendations are appreciated. I want these trees to be healthy, grow and prosper :)

Congratulations on your new purchase and welcome aboard to BonsaiNut!

I'll give you some of my thoughts and others closer by may add on and modify or change what I say, but this is a start?

Personally, I'd keep them in the same media they are in right now. Call the nursery and ask what type of soil are in. It should easily be good enough to last until spring if need be. (Actually you could plant each carefully in the ground if you wanted too until spring too.)

Since its getting really hot, and I know Santa Rosa well, putting these right in bonsai pots is really not the best practice.

Water exactly like the nursery did for now. When you repot in bonsai soil later you'll likely water at least once daily and maybe twice a day for the maple when it hot, likely once for the juniper. But that depends on the media you plant each in.

Sun: The juniper is really tough and forgiving and can take more sun then the trident. Tridents are pretty tough customers too, but not as tough as Junipers. So full to part sun for the juniper and part sun for the trident until you see how they take to their new home. Be conservative. Its better to be safe than sorry.

Fertilization. Likely both have slow release pellets in the soil. Check. Usually nurseries use green or tan colored round slow release pellets. If so, you add Alaskan Fish fertilizer every two weeks. Use the recommended strength. (This will change when you repot in bosai media, but you'll be wiser on the ways of bonsai soil then.

Study Up. There are plenty of online resources. Here's a couple beginner resources.
Reading resources Online Bonsai Empire
For Books: Bonsai Secrets - Peter Chan or
YourTube - Watch Peter Chan - Herron's Bonsai and Nigel Saunders The Bonsai Zone They have specific videos for specific tasks and species.
Online Courses: Bonsai Empire
Local Club - You have one of the really good ones right in Santa Rosa area. Redwood Empire Bonsai Society.

For the maple, I'd study a bit of about pruning now and practice on the Trident to see how it reacts. Then Repot in late winter/early spring when the buds swell on the maple and almost burst.

For the juniper, you may want to prune wire this fall when its cooler and repot in spring.

Hope this helps
DSD sends
 

sorce

Nonsense Rascal
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Welcome to Crazy!

It takes a slow couple months for signs of overwatering to show up, at which point, it is easily correctable.

Underwatering kills instantly.

Err to caution.

Sorce
 

Jhervi

Seedling
Messages
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Location
Santa Rosa , California
USDA Zone
9b
Congratulations on your new purchase and welcome aboard to BonsaiNut!

I'll give you some of my thoughts and others closer by may add on and modify or change what I say, but this is a start?

Personally, I'd keep them in the same media they are in right now. Call the nursery and ask what type of soil are in. It should easily be good enough to last until spring if need be. (Actually you could plant each carefully in the ground if you wanted too until spring too.)

Since its getting really hot, and I know Santa Rosa well, putting these right in bonsai pots is really not the best practice.

Water exactly like the nursery did for now. When you repot in bonsai soil later you'll likely water at least once daily and maybe twice a day for the maple when it hot, likely once for the juniper. But that depends on the media you plant each in.

Sun: The juniper is really tough and forgiving and can take more sun then the trident. Tridents are pretty tough customers too, but not as tough as Junipers. So full to part sun for the juniper and part sun for the trident until you see how they take to their new home. Be conservative. Its better to be safe than sorry.

Fertilization. Likely both have slow release pellets in the soil. Check. Usually nurseries use green or tan colored round slow release pellets. If so, you add Alaskan Fish fertilizer every two weeks. Use the recommended strength. (This will change when you repot in bosai media, but you'll be wiser on the ways of bonsai soil then.

Study Up. There are plenty of online resources. Here's a couple beginner resources.
Reading resources Online Bonsai Empire
For Books: Bonsai Secrets - Peter Chan or
YourTube - Watch Peter Chan - Herron's Bonsai and Nigel Saunders The Bonsai Zone They have specific videos for specific tasks and species.
Online Courses: Bonsai Empire
Local Club - You have one of the really good ones right in Santa Rosa area. Redwood Empire Bonsai Society.

For the maple, I'd study a bit of about pruning now and practice on the Trident to see how it reacts. Then Repot in late winter/early spring when the buds swell on the maple and almost burst.

For the juniper, you may want to prune wire this fall when its cooler and repot in spring.

Hope this helps
DSD sends
Congratulations on your new purchase and welcome aboard to BonsaiNut!

I'll give you some of my thoughts and others closer by may add on and modify or change what I say, but this is a start?

Personally, I'd keep them in the same media they are in right now. Call the nursery and ask what type of soil are in. It should easily be good enough to last until spring if need be. (Actually you could plant each carefully in the ground if you wanted too until spring too.)

Since its getting really hot, and I know Santa Rosa well, putting these right in bonsai pots is really not the best practice.

Water exactly like the nursery did for now. When you repot in bonsai soil later you'll likely water at least once daily and maybe twice a day for the maple when it hot, likely once for the juniper. But that depends on the media you plant each in.

Sun: The juniper is really tough and forgiving and can take more sun then the trident. Tridents are pretty tough customers too, but not as tough as Junipers. So full to part sun for the juniper and part sun for the trident until you see how they take to their new home. Be conservative. Its better to be safe than sorry.

Fertilization. Likely both have slow release pellets in the soil. Check. Usually nurseries use green or tan colored round slow release pellets. If so, you add Alaskan Fish fertilizer every two weeks. Use the recommended strength. (This will change when you repot in bosai media, but you'll be wiser on the ways of bonsai soil then.

Study Up. There are plenty of online resources. Here's a couple beginner resources.
Reading resources Online Bonsai Empire
For Books: Bonsai Secrets - Peter Chan or
YourTube - Watch Peter Chan - Herron's Bonsai and Nigel Saunders The Bonsai Zone They have specific videos for specific tasks and species.
Online Courses: Bonsai Empire
Local Club - You have one of the really good ones right in Santa Rosa area. Redwood Empire Bonsai Society.

For the maple, I'd study a bit of about pruning now and practice on the Trident to see how it reacts. Then Repot in late winter/early spring when the buds swell on the maple and almost burst.

For the juniper, you may want to prune wire this fall when its cooler and repot in spring.

Hope this helps
DSD sends




Hi Deep Sea Diver!

I really appreciate your insight and advice, especially since you are familiar with the Santa Rosa area. This does help tremendously and I feel a bit more at ease for caring for these trees, especially since I don't want to stress or harm them from the get go.


So far both bonsai still look healthy, granted I have only had them for a week now. I've stuck with the same watering schedule the nursery recommended and it seems to be working fine. On the hotter days I have been misting the two bonsai with a spray bottle just to give them a little extra water.

So you mentioned planting them into the ground untill spring. If I were to do this, what is the best method for achieving this? Do I dig a decent sized hole and fill it with bonsai soil and transplant the bonsai into this location? I was reading online that planting them in the ground can really benefit the bonsai in regards to devolving a vast root system. My goal with the trident maple is to develop a nice thick trunk and branches. The juniper I have not figured a goal set in mind yet.

As far as regards to fertilization. I am going to talk to the nursery today about what type of fertilizer the bonsai currently have and figure out what to buy going forward.

When it comes to studying, I have been doing research online everyday and have been watching YouTube videos from a few of the names mentioned above.

When it comes to pruning, do you just pinch off the leaves with your finger tips or use some sharp cutters? The guy at the nuersery told my girlfriend to use your fingers when doing so. Is there a benefit to pruning that way vrs using some cutters?

Again, I really appreciate you taking the time to help a novice of bonsai out. Its very kind of you to take the time to write such an in depth post :)
 

Jhervi

Seedling
Messages
21
Reaction score
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Location
Santa Rosa , California
USDA Zone
9b
Welcome to Crazy!

It takes a slow couple months for signs of overwatering to show up, at which point, it is easily correctable.

Underwatering kills instantly.

Err to caution.

Sorce

Hi Sorce,

I will definitely be keeping a close eye on watering these two bonsai. I understand that watering is one of the most crucial factors on whether a bonsai lives or dies. Caution will be taken. Thanks for the advice
 

Deep Sea Diver

Chumono
Messages
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Bothell, WA
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Hi Deep Sea Diver!

I really appreciate your insight and advice, especially since you are familiar with the Santa Rosa area. This does help tremendously and I feel a bit more at ease for caring for these trees, especially since I don't want to stress or harm them from the get go.


So far both bonsai still look healthy, granted I have only had them for a week now. I've stuck with the same watering schedule the nursery recommended and it seems to be working fine. On the hotter days I have been misting the two bonsai with a spray bottle just to give them a little extra water.

So you mentioned planting them into the ground untill spring. If I were to do this, what is the best method for achieving this? Do I dig a decent sized hole and fill it with bonsai soil and transplant the bonsai into this location? I was reading online that planting them in the ground can really benefit the bonsai in regards to devolving a vast root system. My goal with the trident maple is to develop a nice thick trunk and branches. The juniper I have not figured a goal set in mind yet.

As far as regards to fertilization. I am going to talk to the nursery today about what type of fertilizer the bonsai currently have and figure out what to buy going forward.

When it comes to studying, I have been doing research online everyday and have been watching YouTube videos from a few of the names mentioned above.

When it comes to pruning, do you just pinch off the leaves with your finger tips or use some sharp cutters? The guy at the nuersery told my girlfriend to use your fingers when doing so. Is there a benefit to pruning that way vrs using some cutters?

Again, I really appreciate you taking the time to help a novice of bonsai out. Its very kind of you to take the time to write such an in depth post :)
Hey,
If you wish to put either of these in the ground and grow trunk, that’ll be at least a couple years. The first year they’ll acclimate and start growing, after that, if they are planted and sited correctly, Katie bar the door!

I’d highly recommend discussing ground planting with your nursery. It looks like they may be planted in a Bonsai or cactus mix.

Personally Id use a 50% planting soil and fine bark amendment mixed into the soil for the Trident and the Juniper. B itthat’s me in the PacNW mode.

Most of all, be sure the soil drains really well before planting... otherwise you may wake up one day to find your trees barely alive doing backstroke in a bathtub of your own making!

Be sure there’s a 2-3” deep doughnut of mulch around each tree just at the outer edge of the root line and 1/2“ mulch in the middle. When it all settles water should funnel towards the roots.

But check, just in case.

Not a huge fan of punching, even jumpers, some other ‘Nuts may be. I don’t like the extra damage from pinching, I’d rather be surgical with my pruning. I sometimes pinch my redwoods, but that’s only when I can’t find my machete!

Even if you don’t plant, let both grow!

Come back in 6-8 weeks and lightly trim the Maples rough edges on top 1/4 to let more light in and help drive the growth down.

You can even use sharp garden shears to do this. Let both grow until you can think through a design. Better to be strong at this stage. Every time you cut lots of green think “losing energy” for now. Both trees are babies right now.

Here’s a photo of one rough basic style for a nana.

Cheers
DSD sends

image.jpg
 

Trenthany

Chumono
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Congratulations on your new purchase and welcome aboard to BonsaiNut!

I'll give you some of my thoughts and others closer by may add on and modify or change what I say, but this is a start?

Personally, I'd keep them in the same media they are in right now. Call the nursery and ask what type of soil are in. It should easily be good enough to last until spring if need be. (Actually you could plant each carefully in the ground if you wanted too until spring too.)

Since its getting really hot, and I know Santa Rosa well, putting these right in bonsai pots is really not the best practice.

Water exactly like the nursery did for now. When you repot in bonsai soil later you'll likely water at least once daily and maybe twice a day for the maple when it hot, likely once for the juniper. But that depends on the media you plant each in.

Sun: The juniper is really tough and forgiving and can take more sun then the trident. Tridents are pretty tough customers too, but not as tough as Junipers. So full to part sun for the juniper and part sun for the trident until you see how they take to their new home. Be conservative. Its better to be safe than sorry.

Fertilization. Likely both have slow release pellets in the soil. Check. Usually nurseries use green or tan colored round slow release pellets. If so, you add Alaskan Fish fertilizer every two weeks. Use the recommended strength. (This will change when you repot in bosai media, but you'll be wiser on the ways of bonsai soil then.

Study Up. There are plenty of online resources. Here's a couple beginner resources.
Reading resources Online Bonsai Empire
For Books: Bonsai Secrets - Peter Chan or
YourTube - Watch Peter Chan - Herron's Bonsai and Nigel Saunders The Bonsai Zone They have specific videos for specific tasks and species.
Online Courses: Bonsai Empire
Local Club - You have one of the really good ones right in Santa Rosa area. Redwood Empire Bonsai Society.

For the maple, I'd study a bit of about pruning now and practice on the Trident to see how it reacts. Then Repot in late winter/early spring when the buds swell on the maple and almost burst.

For the juniper, you may want to prune wire this fall when its cooler and repot in spring.

Hope this helps
DSD sends
Thank you for this full and helpful post! I was going to ask a similar question and this explains it perfectly. Being in FL and newer to bonsai this helps a ton because I’ve never had juniper except mom had a couple in the yard as landscape plants. Zero care just there lol. This means I have zero knowledge and am the proud new owner of exactly one juniper so far. lol

So I have been working on my yard and went to the nursery. I found a cool juniper in the clearance area!! I think it’s cool at least... It may be horrible material, but it’s interesting and for now I’m happy with that. I’ll start a thread when I get a couple photos to ask advice on styling because it looks like it could go a couple ways to me and I don’t know what is best.

But I digress. I’m happy to see I’m looking at the right places online already and plan on learning a LOT more about my juniper ASAP. I know a ton about my native trees and some ornamentals. I know nothing about junipers and your post gave me a list of sources I’m utilizing already and now I know I just need to focus on juniper for specific information! I gotta make sure it’s taken care of!

Thank you again and I can’t wait to see what everyone sees in my juniper. If it’s junk I’ll landscape it. If it’s got the potential I think it does I’ll embark on my first conifer wiring/pruning experiments!
 

leatherback

Imperial Masterpiece
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Keep in mind: The plants shown here are basically just young plants. Both need a serious amount of growth to become decent bonsai. As such, focus on growth and not on day-to-day looks. There are lots of roads for growth, including an annual cut back to within an inch of where it started in spring, as well as letting branches extent 10ft before cutting to 2 inches. All have their own reasons and merit.

For now, look around for posts on trunk development, "clip and grow" and "trunk chop" would be key things to look for.

When you plant in the ground, be carefull: The trident can take off without warning, and roots need to be worked reasonably frequently (maybe every 2-3 years) to keep the nebari decent.

As these are your first trees, I would grow these in large pots rather than the ground. It will give you more satisfaction for now. At some point you will pop them in the ground, probably. But only when you realize that once you do that, you have something to do and look at most every 6 months.
 

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