New to the game and I have a few questions.. please help =)

seanrundle

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How is everybody doing! I just recently got my hands on some plants and i'm trying to make them bonsai. the first one is a pine tree, that's about 5 ft tall. What are the best steps if I can do it?
 

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my nellie

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Welcome to BNut!
You need to try and find raw material with law ramification.
If I was you I would plant this pine in the garden and go for a nursery... safari :)
 

0soyoung

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Like @my nellie said, you need to look for trees that have branches much lower down - within a few inches of the soil level.

But, we all have to start somewhere. So I suggest that you, @seanrundle, get some annealed copper wire (with a thickness about one-third that of the trunk), wrap it around the trunk, and bend it any which way (that you find interesting) so that the foliage ends up being a few inches above the pot. When you bend, also twist the trunk in the same direction as your wrapped the wire (so the wire tightens as you twist). Do something more complicated than just one big loop. Likewise, don't make it so predictable as a corkscrew shape - after one or tow turns change it up.

If you haven't done so already, buy a pond basket (big box stores have them) and some kind of substrate (e.g. Turface MVP, Napa Oil artDry 8822, pumice and/or lava rock between on-eighth and one quarter inch, etc.). I am not sure where you are, but the buds of this tree will start pushing in the next couple of months. When this happens, you should clean all the soil from one side of the tree - what we call Half Bare Rooting. Then secure it in the pond basket and fill with substrate. Water and put it in a sunny place that is sheltered from wind.

You will need to give it a little fertilizer. I like to use Osmocote Plus. I apply about 1/2 teaspoon for your size tree. You can use any 'balanced' garden fertilizer applying it about once every two weeks. Another option some people like spraying a liquid fert like Miracle Grow every couple of weeks. Of course you can use organic ferts, however, I suggest that you put the poo balls,/cakes in teabags to keep from 'coagulating' your nice inorganic substrate.

So, do that. Keep it alive, make it grow. You can think about styling and have a go at it next winter. Then in the spring of 2019, do the second HBR. That gets you a long way down the road.

In the end, this won't really take a lot of time, so get some more trees. Get a maple or some kind of deciduous tree, maybe. Get anything that interests you so that you don't feel compelled to fiddle it to death. You work some on a bonsai, then you leave it be (to recover). When choosing a plant, focus on the nebari and trunk within a few inches of the soil level - do you see a nice bonsai? If no, pass on it.
 
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seanrundle

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thanks for all the information. I live in orlando florida zone 9b. I'll definitely look for better trees to bonsai but this was a free try and was thinking why not try it out. Again guys thanks for all the information. You two seem to know your information. This is why I joined this forum. ;)
 

Bonsai Nut

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thanks for all the information. I live in orlando florida zone 9b. I'll definitely look for better trees to bonsai but this was a free try and was thinking why not try it out. Again guys thanks for all the information. You two seem to know your information. This is why I joined this forum. ;)
Welcome to the site!

Your first lesson is to keep that tree, which appears to be an Eastern white pine, alive for a year :) It is not as easy as it sounds :) Try to learn from the tree. I agree with 0soyoung's comment about trying to crunch it down to make it look interesting - see if you can do that and keep it alive. In the meantime you can hang out and learn more about what makes a bonsai, and start to think about how you might apply that to your pine.
 

JosephCooper

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I would wire the trunk and make some twists in the future, not right now though.

Right now you should experiment on cheap nursery plants or possibly hedges.

The more mistakes, the better.

It sounds weird, but it is true.
 

sorce

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Welcome to Crazy!

What are the other plants?

Sorce
 

bonsai-ben

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jeanluc83

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Welcome.

Pines can be a tough first tree, not impossible but they can be less than forgiving. I would take @bonsai-ben up on his offer. You will get farther spending a couple of hours with someone who knows bonsai than months on this forum. Everyone here is great but learning in person is much better.

Take some time and do some reading. I recommend all the articles over at Evergreen Garden Works. The Bonsai4Mewebsite is worth looking at. Also the info on Wikipedia is actually not too bad. That will get you started with the basics.

Good luck.

Also, add your location in your profile. Bonsai is very dependent on your regional climate. Knowing your location will get you better answers to your questions.
 

BigBen

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Welcome aboard enjoy your stay.

Any photos of the other trees that you have?
 

Rose Mary

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How is everybody doing! I just recently got my hands on some plants and i'm trying to make them bonsai. the first one is a pine tree, that's about 5 ft tall. What are the best steps if I can do it?
Read, study, research and read some more! Lots of info on this site and others.
 

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