Respect the Bonsai

David M. Martin

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Need some help please on Bonsai literature. Cruising through all the threads is great but I need a baseline knowledge so can someone recommend a Bonsai starter book for Dummies? I got a Juniper as a gift because my friends know how much I love Bonsais. Did a bit of research to make sure I didn't kill it right away, and it seems to be flourishing in spite of what I don't know. I must have the watering down because it's done well over the winter and I even pruned it a little last summer to get a basic shape I'm looking for. I really need info on fertilization, soil, and repotting, and root trimming????? When, where and how? Any helpful suggestions on books?
 

rockm

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This used to be an easy question. Now, with all the Kindle books, ebooks and other assorted electronic stuff, it's become a little difficult. Some of those sources have very bad information. Don't get me started on the "Youtube" video crapshoot. Some of the "experts" there have no clue as to what they're doing, but some do. As a beginning, you probably can't tell the difference, which is why a good, old fashioned book would be best....

If you're looking for a basic, rock solid book try this one:
http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Book-Bonsai-Harry-Tomlinson/dp/1558591184

It's a bit dated, but the basics are there. Also try anything by Colin Lewis...

Also try Brent at Evergreengardenworks. His electronic library of bonsai articles predates ALL the other kindle/Youbtube stuff and is extremely accurate, informed and helpful:
http://www.evergreengardenworks.com/bonsaip.htm
 

milehigh_7

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jk_lewis

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It's nice to know where you live.

If you live in the UK I'd recommend Harry Tomlinson's "The Complete Book of Bonsai."

If you live in the USA, I'd recommend Hrb Gustafson's "Bonsai Workshop."

Both books are OK wherever you live, but the terminology, and the slight differences of English usage, as well as the timetables for doing things get broader the father you go from the author's home.

I do not believe that you can "learn" bonsai well from the Internet alone. It can be a help, but you need something you can have with you at all times -- in the dirt and elsewhere -- and a book fits that bill.

Of course, finding a more-or-less local mentor (and/or a local bonsai club) is the absolute best way to learn.
 

milehigh_7

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Yes do put your location in your profile, that way people can give you better advice.
 

David M. Martin

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I added Muncie, Indiana to my profile. I have ordered the "Complete Bonsai" and it is being shipped. I plan on checking "Colin" out as well. Should have it in the next week to 10 days. As I go through the book I'll be back asking more questions. Thanks so much for the help so far. After I finish this one, I plan to go through the other books you guys have recommended. I've already found out by checking other sites out that one guy recommends a bunch of bright sunlight, and another says medium light. Hang with me guys, (and ladies), I'll try not to be too much of a bother.
 

rockm

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In Indiana, you should give as much light as possible. A juniper should NOT be indoors for any length of time ideally. If kept inside for long, they die.

Outside, it should be in full sun with possibly a bit of afternoon filtered shade. The darker the location, the lankier and ganglier the foilage will become...
 

bonsaiTOM

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David, You didn't mention in your original post nor in the follow-ups but rockm makes a very important point about where your tree is. Junipers are hardy outdoor plants/trees and must be left out in the cold for the dormancy that they require.

If, however, you have kept it inside you will need to acclimate it back to the outdoors. But not overnight. The shock could kill it. :(

Tom Martin
 
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