One year doing bonsai; what I've learned so far.

Clicio

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1-) Junipers and pines do die inside.
2-) Watering is an art and a science. It takes months to learn how to do it correctly. Most trees from newbies die because of overwatering or lack of water.
3-) Good draining soils do work. BUT... If watered correctly, nursery soils can be kept until repotting time.
4-) One tree is as good as no tree; try to have as many trees as possible, in various stages of development.
5-) Growing bonsai from seeds is loooonnnggg process.
6-) Keeping trees that thrive in your region is much easier than trying extremely weather species. Japanese white pine will not feel happy in Florida, and Brazilian Rain Trees will not feel happy in Alaska.
7-) Study. Research. Read good books. Enroll in a local Bonsai Club. Don't ask stupid questions on Bonsai Forums.
:cool: NEVER EVER buy a "bonsai" (AKA mallsai) in IKEA or Home Depot and show it around. It is not a bonsai.
9-) Be patient. Don't prune, chop, bareroot, repot, and relocate a bonsai at the same time. It will die.
10-) LISTEN to what experienced people try to say in the forum. Sometimes they seem blunt, rude, in a horrible mood, too straight to the point, but they are trying to help.
Always.
And most of the time, they are right. Even if you don't get it, they are right.

Thank you guys! I've been learning a lot just by being here.
 

jriddell88

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I believe ole Stacey made a pretty nice image out of some Home Depot Mallsai, it can be done ,

I’m going to start grabbing all the Chinese elms from every store when they throw them out this season , put em in the ground
 

jriddell88

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Sure you could , never say never , get creative ? Not everyone can afford a three figure tree on the patience to wait by growing from seed!

I understand what your trying to say ,I would suggest beginners to start with less expensive material and learning about basic horticulture
 

Anthony

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@Clicio ,

it takes 3 to 5 years to learn how to water Bonsai ---------- to go Lush
Also suggest you use that Photographer's training for ----- Design.

Unfortunately, yes, you need many trees to experiment on - normally.
cuttings from the mother. Not the mother.

Local trees will respond faster to attempts at training.

Ground grow with a colander and seeds will not take that long.

Why not take part in the 6 year J.B.pine test ?

Soil -------- got silica based gravel [ concrete mix ] ?
Try with a little compost. Works wonders.

Hang in there, it's been done before.
Good Day
Anthony

*Read around this site ------- Garden Myths. [ do a google ]
 

jriddell88

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with no previous horticultural knowledge it might take 3 years but saying that it takes 3-5 years to learn how to water sounds like nonsense, if anyone has any sense they can figure it out after a full year or two of doing it, how to water properly the species their caring for.
 

Anthony

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Clicio,

isn't weird, I am closer geographically to you than the others and spring for us is in April, ha ha.
If we had winter and not just cooler weather.

I believe that the term - water - in Bonsai is an umbrella for all the situations one has
to experience in Bonsai for the learning.
So that is why they say ---------- 3 to 5 years to learn to water.

This how we simplified the soil bit-

The ball-bearing principle ---------- glass marbles of the same size in a clear tumbler.
How do they touch.
They will allow water to freely drain through, and allow O2 in for the roots.
Optimum shape for inorganic particles.

Inorganic - 5 mm particle size
Organic - ability to hold water and biological interaction Compost.
Compost holds 20 times it's weight in water [ and fertiliser,]
No more than 30 percent [ by volume ]

To increase water holding capacity, replace some of the non porous inorganic with a porous
inorganic.

For example - we used crushed red fired earthenware building block, as the water holding inorganic.
Also at 5 mm.

Our inorganics cannot be crushed by roots.

To test use cuttings and observe.
Good Day
Anthony
 

Clicio

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For example - we used crushed red fired earthenware building block, as the water holding inorganic.
Also at 5 mm

We use the same here in Brazil, it's very usual in a bonsai mix.
I've been using it in particles sizes from 3mm to 5mm, for small trees.
 

Anthony

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Is that 3 mm only for small trees
And 5 mm only for small trees ?

if you mix them together, you risk compaction.

Just to be clear, we use 5 mm only for trees 38 to 46 mm [ 15 to 18 inches tall or wide [,

we can use 3 mm for mame' [ around 15 cm - 6 inches ]
Good Day
Anthony
 

Clicio

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if you mix them together, you risk compaction.Just to be clear, we use 5 mm only for trees 38 to 46 mm
we can use 3 mm for mame'
Good Day
Anthony

@Anthony

People here have been using 3 to 5mm on every tree taller than 25cm. Mixed together with no issues.
They do repot every 2-3 years, "Akadama Style".
Picture attached.

CE7EAB03-4861-496F-9984-0EDCEB512E9D.jpeg
 

Anthony

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@Clicio,

Is this repotting barerooted or slicing off say 2.5 cm sides and underneath ?

We repot yearly for some trees, and every two years for others.
J.B.pines every are 3 to 5 years and anyone over 30 years - e.g Tamarinds.

Here is one for you. The Bonsai Society of Trinidad was formed back in 1993
or so. It was run by two elderly Chinese men.
Met them when they were around 50 ish. Both have died since,

Somehow it was taught that trees have no back branch. We called them,
ladder trees.
Now we have the more serious guys, 60's and 50's year old with efforts from
1993 or so, and no back branches.

Not possible to say chop down and start over.
New Bonsai Style -------- Trinidadian ladder trees.
Good Day
Anthony
 

miker

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@Clicio,

Is this repotting barerooted or slicing off say 2.5 cm sides and underneath ?

We repot yearly for some trees, and every two years for others.
J.B.pines every are 3 to 5 years and anyone over 30 years - e.g Tamarinds.

Here is one for you. The Bonsai Society of Trinidad was formed back in 1993
or so. It was run by two elderly Chinese men.
Met them when they were around 50 ish. Both have died since,

Somehow it was taught that trees have no back branch. We called them,
ladder trees.
Now we have the more serious guys, 60's and 50's year old with efforts from
1993 or so, and no back branches.

Not possible to say chop down and start over.
New Bonsai Style -------- Trinidadian ladder trees.
Good Day
Anthony

That is interesting about a trend for skilled bonsai artists to fail to include back branches, or at least develop a tree with too few back branches. Does anyone have photos of trees that are otherwise technically good to excellent trees with this problem?
 

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