Starting with small steps

Boognish

Seedling
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As a noob to bonsai I have been doing a lot of reading in the forums. I have also been purchasing and reading books that are often recommended. One of the things that attracts me to bonsai is the "take it slow" aspect. It is good to have something in your life that slows you down and causes you to pause and contemplate.

For the past couple months, on each payday, I have started to accumulate some cutting, pruning and repotting tools. I have a couple garden centers nearby that sell bonsai trees that I can go and look at after reading about them or I'll see one I like and head back home to research.

The first tree I have purchased is a Juniper I bought from a Japanese woman who was selling some of her trees. I was able to ask her a lot of questions about how to maintain the tree that she has taken care of for that past several years. It was extremely helpful to see her demonstrate how to prune the tree as well as the instructions for sunlight, water and fertilizing needs.

I have picked up a variety of starter trees now with the goal of keeping them alive and getting them through the winter. I also wanted a visual reference while reading about how to care for the different tree types. I have a Japanese black pine, Japanese red maple, shimpaku juniper, crabapple 'Noga' and a wisteria. So far I have learned where to place them outside and the watering seems to be going well since they have not died and have new growth. I haven't done anything else to them so far and I think maybe that's fine until after the winter. When spring comes I'm not sure what I should do with them. Most information on the forums and books seems to be geared towards trees that are already somewhat established. Is there any information out there or a suggested timeline of when to start training trees or what should be done between the time it is a seedling to when it should be trained? Seems like you would want to focus on the trunk while keeping the interior open maybe? When should a whip be topped?

Thanks,

Paul



In the meantime, I was at Home Depot and saw some broken Juniperus squamata 'Blue Star' on a pallet that they were selling for $9 so I picked one out and brought it home to practice on.




Removed all of the dead stuff.


Halved the roots.


Removed and potted the section that seemed the most interesting.


Finding the tree within.


This is what I came up with.
 
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GerhardG

Mame
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Hi Paul

Is there any information out there or a suggested timeline of when to start training trees or what should be done between the time it is a seedling to when it should be trained? Seems like you would want to focus on the trunk while keeping the interior open maybe? When should a whip be topped?

Your question is perhaps a bit general considering all the species out there, but as far as seedlings are concerned my opinion is very simple - If your taking the long road to get a bonsai (from seed) you can to a certain extent get a good start on managable roots, and then......

.....Let it grow, feed it and get it to put on size, because without size or seeming age you won't have a bonsai.

Except for wiring movement into a seedling there's not much to do. If you plant a seed with a certain style in mind, I think Murphy's Law will intervene somewhere during the many years this will take to chuck your plan out the window.:) Weather, bugs, pests etc etc etc will do their worst.

Regarding your Juniper.....

I don't know whether it'll like loosing so many roots.....X'ing fingers for you:rolleyes:

Your wiring and your eye seems good, but read some more, especially the few "golden" rules......you've wired in bar branches which is a big no-no.

Cheers
 

alonsou

Mame
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I know nobody ask but I think your tree could benefit from some major movement all around. Its just too straight everywhere you see it. Branches should never go on the inside of a bend, always on the outside and like GerhardG said, never bar branches.

I spent some time and made a virtual of how it could look in a future time but that its just up to you, don't take my virtual as final word. Get it out of the pot and put it on the ground. It needs to fatten up, and you won't get it by leaving it on the pot. Just some bends and that makes the tree look a lot better I think.

Good luck! :)

 

Boognish

Seedling
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Thanks for the replies and suggestions. I did some searching to find out what I was looking for. It's difficult sometimes to ask for information when you don't know what you are asking for. I wanted to know how to grow out seedlings and what the process was for getting a tree ready for training. I found info on planting in the ground, pond baskets and how to grow a trunk. I'm starting to put together my plan for wintering my trees. Today I picked up an autographed copy of John Naka's Bonsai Techniques vol. 1. I have a couple trees that I'm going to plant in the ground this weekend.

http://www.evergreengardenworks.com/trunks.htm

http://ofbonsai.org/techniques/propagation/grow-boxes-and-training-pots
 

jose

Sapling
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One of the things that attracts me to bonsai is the "take it slow" aspect. It is good to have something in your life that slows you down and causes you to pause and contemplate.

I feel the same way.
I am a noob also But all I can say its very good wiring, but you need to fix the curves, do not place a branch inside a curve and I think what you did with the second branch it can not be done, I think that is a "KARAMI-EDA" (branch that go around the trunk) if that second branch its that you need to cut it from base or think another solution.
 

Boognish

Seedling
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O.K. I removed a couple branches and made some adjustments.


 
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