What bonsai should I start now as a beginner and be a amazing bonsai later ?

Njyamadori

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I’m a year ish into bonsai and I was wondering if I should start a kind of bonsai that will be an amazing peace of bonsai down the road that will be crazy awesome! Please give me any suggestions!
 

leatherback

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larch are great for bonsai, fairly easy to keep and over time get better and better.
 

Paradox

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I wouldnt recommend larch for a beginner in NJ. That might be a tad too warm/far south

You need to learn to walk before you can run.
You need to learn:
How to keep a tree alive
How to water (yes Im serious)
How to feed
How to pick a good tree from raw stock (this takes time), but basically you look for a good sized trunk with some movement.
How to repot and have a tree survive that
How to prune
How to wire
How to take a tree from the raw stock to a refined bonsai
How to maintain a refined bonsai

Most likely your first tree wont be an amazing tree unless you buy an expensive pre bonsai or bonsai and you may very well kill it as many of us did.
Start with a basic procumbens juniper and start learning. Dont worry about having an amazing tree yet, just start learning things
 
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Njyamadori

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I wouldnt recommend larch for a beginner in NJ. That might be a tad too warm/far south

You need to learn to walk before you can run.
You need to learn:
How to keep a tree alive
How to water (yes Im serious)
How to feed
How to pick a good tree from raw stock (this takes time)
How to repot and have a tree survive that
How to prune
How to wire
How to take a tree from the raw stock to a refined bonsai
How to maintain a refined bonsai

Most likely your first tree wont be an amazing tree unless you buy an expensive pre bonsai or bonsai and you may very well kill it as many of us did.
Start with a basic procumbens juniper and start learning. Dont worry about having an amazing tree yet, just start learning things
I’ve went through the face of wanting to do bonsai but killing trees but lately I haven’t been killing any and I know hey I did kill them.
 

Forsoothe!

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Start cheap. Juniper outdoors and Fig indoors.
 

Paradox

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Looks pretty similar climate to mine?
Larch are like weed here?
I think Germany has colder and longer winters than NJ
New Jersey is right next to my state and just south of me. My climate is very very similar but NJ is slightly hotter.
Larch do fine in Northern NY but they can be tricky here in southern NY. They dont grow naturally here.
I have what I think is a Japanese Larch which can tolerate warmer weather than North American Larch.
Ive managed to keep alive. A friend of mine has had trouble with them.
 

penumbra

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The reference to being too far south for larch was probably intended as a comment on our native larch. European or Japanese larch would do fine.
A lot of tree will make great bonsai but it really depends on you. When you look at master class bonsai what do you see. Is it conifer, deciduous, flowering?
If I was young enough to enjoy the development of a tree over decades, it would be deciduous for sure and probably an oak.
 

PA_Penjing

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I’d plant trident maple, crab apple and dawn redwood. They grow like absolute weeds. More importantly they can be chopped/severely pruned and will bud back. Everyone wishes they’d started JWP or shimpaku cuttings in year one, but as a beginner you need to have a well thought out plan to keep the foliage from escaping the trunk or you’ll be left with useless material in a few years. Since they won’t sprout when cut back past a bud. Just my take on it. I’m a few years in and still not 100% certain how one grows out a show quality juniper or larch.
 

Shibui

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I’m a year ish into bonsai and I was wondering if I should start a kind of bonsai that will be an amazing peace of bonsai down the road that will be crazy awesome! Please give me any suggestions!
Realistically almost anything could become an amazing bonsai given enough time and attention. Much will depend on how your skills develop as you go along because it is also possible to develop real crap with no taper and horrible scarring from huge chops.
For me, trident maple is one of the most forgiving species. If something does not develop as expected just cut and regrow.
Chinese elm is also good but I hear they may not tolerate real cold?
Junipers are great for bonsai but pretty slow growing so now is a good time to start growing future trunks.
Pines make great long term bonsai but you need to understand how they grow and develop or you will end up with a fat trunk with long branches instead of good bonsai. With pines you have a couple of years to learn how to manage while they start to grow. If not managed after that it could become very difficult to recover to good bonsai.

Look for species that grow well in your area. Clubs and other growers are the best source of local knowledge.
 

Njyamadori

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Realistically almost anything could become an amazing bonsai given enough time and attention. Much will depend on how your skills develop as you go along because it is also possible to develop real crap with no taper and horrible scarring from huge chops.
For me, trident maple is one of the most forgiving species. If something does not develop as expected just cut and regrow.
Chinese elm is also good but I hear they may not tolerate real cold?
Junipers are great for bonsai but pretty slow growing so now is a good time to start growing future trunks.
Pines make great long term bonsai but you need to understand how they grow and develop or you will end up with a fat trunk with long branches instead of good bonsai. With pines you have a couple of years to learn how to manage while they start to grow. If not managed after that it could become very difficult to recover to good bonsai.

Look for species that grow well in your area. Clubs and other growers are the best source of local knowledge.
Thanks for the recommendation!
 

Njyamadori

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You want amazing trees in the future? You journey should start by investing in education, not a bunch of beginner trees.
Thanks . All day I watch bonsai videos when I’m not in school and I’ve been learning a lot . I’m seeing that a multiple seed bonsai is amazing later down the road from Bjorn on YouTube and he said he started it when he was 16 and I’m 13 now so I’m thinking I should make one
 

Adair M

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You have a great advantage over me! I started when I was 16. No internet, no cell phones, no DVDs, or even no Video tape! I tried to learn from books.

Choose those you learn from carefully. On the internet, there is a lot of misinformation! Bjorn is good.

A good way to learn is to join a local bonsai club. Find an experienced member or two who will mentor you. Offer to help others with their trees. And when you do, just do what they tell you to do. Older member will appreciate help with repotting, or wiring, unwiring or pulling needles. Those rather tedious tasks are hard for old people to do, but young people can do them easily. By taking direaction from someone who knows what they are doing, you can learn fast,

Bjorn learned from his Dad, and helped others when he was young. Soon, he was able to learn to wire and style. And started teaching others by the time he was 14!
 

Njyamadori

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You have a great advantage over me! I started when I was 16. No internet, no cell phones, no DVDs, or even no Video tape! I tried to learn from books.

Choose those you learn from carefully. On the internet, there is a lot of misinformation! Bjorn is good.

A good way to learn is to join a local bonsai club. Find an experienced member or two who will mentor you. Offer to help others with their trees. And when you do, just do what they tell you to do. Older member will appreciate help with repotting, or wiring, unwiring or pulling needles. Those rather tedious tasks are hard for old people to do, but young people can do them easily. By taking direaction from someone who knows what they are doing, you can learn fast,

Bjorn learned from his Dad, and helped others when he was young. Soon, he was able to learn to wire and style. And started teaching others by the time he was 14!
Bjorn is just like me cause I’m 13 and I think my dad might join me because he is planting seeds for bonsai now and he buys me supplies which is very nice and this spring I will make him join me lol 😂 you had very good advice about helping older people so I can get experience
 

BobbyLane

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Do you love trees in general or are you drawing most of your inspiration from books and online images? you might find that as you go on you may start to see trees in the landscape that you love and want to mimic. native trees. it's hard not to have a love of wild trees once you get serious about bonsai. seems everyone is tryin to push junis down your throat atm :D
 

Njyamadori

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Do you love trees in general or are you drawing most of your inspiration from books and online images? you might find that as you go on you may start to see trees in the landscape that you love and want to mimic. it's hard not to have a love of wild trees once you get serious about bonsai.
I love trees in general I don’t look at many bonsais online online like videos for education on bonsai . In San Diego I saw very cool bonsai
 

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BobbyLane

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I love trees in general I don’t look at many bonsais online online like videos for education on bonsai . In San Diego I saw very cool bonsai
ah i see, well you could end up a 'juni' guy then from the look of those :D
 

MrWunderful

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You want amazing trees in the future? You journey should start by investing in education, not a bunch of beginner trees.

this is the real advice you should take.

Growing a tree for 10 years is not the same as training a tree for 10 years.
 

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