New to bonsia, would like some feed back!

Mrep75

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Hi all,
As the title says I'm new to the art of bonsia, although have been fascinated by it for years it's only now I've started to take a really interest.
I received a bonsia for my birthday, I think it's a Chinese elm?? Which all I've done to it is feed/water and general tiding nothing more, after reading through several books and forums and watching many many videos I decide to just have ago.. I've planted speed of various varieties and all so bought a few nursery stock plants to see what I could make of them.
I'd really like your feedback good or bad, and any hints tips to aid in my progression...
Many thanks Mark....
 

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BrianBay9

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Hi Mark, a couple of quick suggestions. Put your general location in your profile. It will help people give you advice that is appropriate for your climate. Nothing I see in your pics looks like a Chinese elm to me, but a close up of foliage would help. Also, this activity is usually spelled bonsai, rather than bonsia.

Have fun and welcome!
Brian
 

Mrep75

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Hi Brian, just udated profile location, I live in the UK( Liverpool).. I'll add few more pics of the potted bonsai, the nursery plant is a conifer
 

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plant_dr

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Mark,

Your plant looks like Serrissa. The flower and leaf shape gave it away. Here is an article by Graham Potter of Kaizen Bonsai about them.

http://www.kaizenbonsai.com/bonsai-tree-care-information/serissa-bonsai-tree-care

He is in UK too, but the opposite side of the country. Anyway, check out his site and there are a bunch of videos on YouTube by him as well.
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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Your Podocarpus is really interesting, I had never seen one with leaves that short and so nicely variegated.

You have a nice start. I would do no further pruning of the Podocarpus. Let it grow for a year. (Patience) then we can revisit it.

The Serissa, with the white flowers, is quite lanky, because we are going into winter, I would put off pruning until late spring. Hopefully in early spring some buds will appear in the bare areas.

Welcome to a life long hobby.
 

plant_dr

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Mark,

Your plant looks like Serrissa. The flower and leaf shape gave it away. Here is an article by Graham Potter of Kaizen Bonsai about them.

http://www.kaizenbonsai.com/bonsai-tree-care-information/serissa-bonsai-tree-care

He is in UK too, but the opposite side of the country. Anyway, check out his site and there are a bunch of videos on YouTube by him as well.

I was thinking about my post a while after I wrote it and realized that it probably sounded like I thought the U.K. was a country. I know it's not.
 

sorce

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Podocarpus......

Variation Kilworth huh?

Fitting!

Welcome to Crazy!

Sorce
 

Mrep75

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Mark,

Your plant looks like Serrissa. The flower and leaf shape gave it away. Here is an article by Graham Potter of Kaizen Bonsai about them.

http://www.kaizenbonsai.com/bonsai-tree-care-information/serissa-bonsai-tree-care

He is in UK too, but the opposite side of the country. Anyway, check out his site and there are a bunch of videos on YouTube by him as well.


Great thanks for your reply
Your Podocarpus is really interesting, I had never seen one with leaves that short and so nicely variegated.

You have a nice start. I would do no further pruning of the Podocarpus. Let it grow for a year. (Patience) then we can revisit it.

The Serissa, with the white flowers, is quite lanky, because we are going into winter, I would put off pruning until late spring. Hopefully in early spring some buds will appear in the bare areas.

Welcome to a life long hobby.


Thanks for the advice Leo, and yes hoping it becomes a life long hobby..

Serissa was bought pretty much as is, I've only tidied it up a little and fed it, there has been a lot of new growth over the last 6 weeks or so.

I'm looking round now for new pots for both trees but in no rush to repot while there quite happy the way they are..

I've got a couple of Cotoneaster Horizontalis that I bought from the same nursery, not what to do with them at the minute, I'm sure I will come up with something in time.
Many thanks again for the advice
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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@Mrep75 - I did a little reading on your Podocarpus nivalis 'Kilworth Creme' also known as Alpine Plum Yew, or Alpine Totara.

It should be hardy through most of England, hardy to -20C which is -4F or equivalent to USDA zone 7 for the non-metric readers.

One thing I read that should be a caution for bonsai practitioners. It has a very slow growth rate. Height at 10 years is only 50cm, or roughly 18 inches. This is less than 5cm a year or less than 2 inches a year. Miniature cultivars of tree species are sometimes a problem as bonsai, because of their slow growth rate. The problem is that one needs growth in order to have something to style. The development of very slow growing miniatures can be many years longer than working with the normal form of the species. The plus side is that the miniaturized leaves and plant in general can make it easier to keep a plant in scale. Good example of this is the slower growing cultivars of Hinoki are quite popular for bonsai. And make wonderful bonsai.

So what to do different with slow growing miniature cultivars? When you prune or style the tree, choose a style where you use what you have. If when thinking about a style, you need the tree to grow a branch here, or fill out there, that would be a poor plan, as it will take a long time to sprout a branch or fill out a void.

If possible, remove only what isn't needed, reveal the ''tree'' that is already there. Then stop. Designs might be more boring, or more conventional, but you want to use what you have, and not count on the tree filling in voids. It is not a big change in approach, but it will save time.

IF you do need to fill in voids, don't worry, they do grow. But instead of filling out in a year or two it might take 5 years or more.

Also, with slow growth rates, repotting should never be every spring. You should double or tripple the interval between repotting and working roots. You only need to repot when the roots have fill the container to the point where the mix is no longer draining freely. Second reason to repot is to get it into a bonsai pot for display, but make sure you don't make the move too soon after the previous repotting. Roots of miniatures grow as slowly as the foliage.

So have fun with it, it is an interesting enough plant that I went through the trouble to look it up and ponder it a bit. Not quite cold hardy enough for me to run out and get one, but it did catch my eye. Nice.
 

Mrep75

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@leo. Thanks again Leo for your advise and the time and effort you've put into it.

It really gas given me a lot to think about with regards plant selection, there growth rates etc and how they may be turned/styled into bonsai.

Think being a total novice,I just I've just gone gungho to try and create something, suppose each step is a learning g curve and like you've said previously "patience".
I need to learn it..
I'll see how the Podocarpus develops over the the next year, I've plenty of boarders and rockery space to plant if and let nature take its course....
Appreciate all you help Leo thanks again....
 

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