New to bonsai - identification & best resources

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Hi All,

I recently received my first bonsai tree as a gift - something I've been wanting to get into for a while so am pleased to have a starting point! I've been doing some initial reading online and youtube and then stumbled across this site and community. I'd very much appreciate if anyone is able to assist with identification of this bonsai. From looking online I believe it may either be a sageretia theezans (sweet plum) though I'm not 100%. I want to make sure so I am following the correct guides for proper care specific to this bonsai.

In addition, if anyone has any great sources for beginners that helped them get started that would be great - there's a lot out there which I've found, but just wondering if anyone has some favourites. Any advice appreciated!

bonsai 1.jpgbonsai 2.jpg
 

sorce

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Where you at...NZ?

Welcome to Crazy!

Sorce
 
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Welcome! This site will prove you be a great resource for you!

I like books for improving general knowledge. The Complete Book of Bonsai by Harry Tomlinson was the first book I purchased when I began with my journey. Very good read, lots of basic horticultural knowledge along with instruction on proper wiring and pruning techniques, names and uses of common tools used, practical methods of acquiring material, a compendium of commonly used species with instruction on repotting, propagating, and a general idea of how to properly fertilize them. A very good book for beginners.

I still reference this book often. It’s my favorite but the more you read the more you’ll know. Get a hold of as much material possible to learn from, both literature and other trees of your own to learn from.
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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This website, Bonsai Nut, is an excellent resource. Jump around, read different threads. You will pick up much.

My favorite blogs to learn from are

Bonsai Tonight by Jonas Dupuich

and Crataegus, by Michael Hagedorn.

Stone Lantern Publishing has a great selection of bonsai books, and also hosts a decent blog. The blog is not as "in depth" on any specific topic, but many of the photos in my "inspiration file" are from this blog. It will keep you informed on the latest in North American bonsai

https://stonelantern.com/blogs/bonsai-bark - this is the blog,

below is the link to their book selections. They do ship internationally.
 

ShadyStump

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So, random question since the species is on topic (and what newby to a forum doesn't like to see his first thread go a little longer ;) )

Are the fukien teas the sort you can make tea from, like the tea you drink? I could totally drag my wife into the bonsai cult if she could drink her trees.
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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Wikipedia doesn't say much beyond Fukien tea is used to make a medicinal tea in the Philippines. No clue as to how or for what. No reference to it being used for tea in Taiwan or China, its native range. So I really don't know.

The plant that the Tea of commerce comes from, is the tea camellia, Camellia sinensis. It used to be called Thea sinensis, but it has recently been decided it belongs with the Camellia and not as a separate genus of plant. Camellia, and Tea Camellia, C. sinensis, make pretty decent bonsai. They have small 1/2 to 1 inch white flowers in spring that are lovely on a bonsai. If you could give your tea plant winter protection from your cold Colorado winter, you should be able to grow Camellia sinensis. New, young leaves are picked and dried for tea. Dry in the shade, for green tea. Roast or wet ferment to make various types of black tea. Camellia sinensis is reliably hardy in zone 7, for those in warmer climates than Colorado.
 
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ShadyStump

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Wikipedia doesn't say much beyond Fukien tea is used to make a medicinal tea in the Philippines. No clue as to how or for what. No reference to it being used for tea in Taiwan or China, its native range. So I really don't know.

The plant that the Tea of commerce comes from, is the tea camellia, Camellia sinensis. It used to be called Thea sinensis, but it has recently been decided it belongs with the Camellia and not as a separate genus of plant. Camellia, and Tea Camellia, C. sinensis, make pretty decent bonsai. They have small 1/2 to 1 inch white flowers in spring that are lovely on a bonsai. If you could give your tea plant winter protection from your cold Colorado winter, you should be able to grow Camellia sinensis. New, young leaves are picked and dried for tea. Dry in the shade, for green tea. Roast or wet ferment to make various types of black tea. Camellia sinensis is reliably hardy in zone 7, for those in warmer climates than Colorado.

Thank you!
I finally found time to research some myself and discovered that. I do think I'll look into what it would take to build a small greenhouse, or maybe an indoor setup for the winters.
Odd thing about Colorado is these mountains do inexplicable things to weather and climate patterns. In my postal code alone we cover USDA zones 5b through 6b, and different areas of the county will push that range further. Heck, pic a year, and depending on how mild that winter is, you might try and call yourself zone 8! I little bit of ingenuity, and it's surprising the things I've seen people grow around here.
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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Thank you!
I finally found time to research some myself and discovered that. I do think I'll look into what it would take to build a small greenhouse, or maybe an indoor setup for the winters.
Odd thing about Colorado is these mountains do inexplicable things to weather and climate patterns. In my postal code alone we cover USDA zones 5b through 6b, and different areas of the county will push that range further. Heck, pic a year, and depending on how mild that winter is, you might try and call yourself zone 8! I little bit of ingenuity, and it's surprising the things I've seen people grow around here.

My cousin has retired, but used to be a meteorologist on the FOX and NBC local TV stations in the Denver area. Used to go under the name of "Nick Carter". A lot simpler than his real last name. Anyway, I know a little about Denver weather through visiting the area, and hanging out and listening to him babble, er, I mean discus. You do have wild swings in weather. It takes some careful observation to figure out what you can get away with. The high elevation allows those wild swings in weather. A challenge.
 
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As far as I know, the best resources for beginners would be:

1. Mirai videos on youtube.
2. Eise-en beginner videos on youtube.
3. Crataegus blog mentioned above.
4. Everything @Leo in N E Illinois writes.

*whispers* nigel saunders too
 

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