Author Topic: New to this  (Read 2268 times)

sjrose77

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New to this
« on: April 21, 2012, 03:34 AM »
Hi,

I am new to bonsai.  I have a Japanese Juniper that I purchased already trained (I realize that bonsai is an ongoing process however) and I purchased some pre bonsai trees that will be here any day.  Chinese banyan, powder puff, and weeping birch trees to be exact.  I just found out that the bonsai club locally no longer exists.  I am panicked, I have no idea how to train these trees and I don't want to mess up.  I have read information on line and in books but I just do not feel comfortable doing this by myself.  Do any of you know of anyone in Peoria, Illinois that could help me with my bonsai?  Thanks so much.
 

FrankP999

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Re: New to this
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2012, 07:00 AM »
http://mababonsai.org/pages/illinois.html

http://absbonsai.org/bonsai-club-directory/usa#IL

http://www.bonsaisbs.com/about.htm

Look at these and see if any are close to you. I drive 80 miles to attend the Atlanta Club's functions.

Good luck
 

leila

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Re: New to this
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2012, 09:08 AM »
Don't panic.  The trees can smell your fear.
 

Jim Doiron

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Re: New to this
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2012, 12:42 PM »
The other thing to keep in mind is that they don't have to be trained immediately. In fact it might be better to leave them alone, let them grow, become familiar with their needs and growth patterns to make sure they are healthy and then some time down the road start syling them after you have stared at them a bit and come up with a good design. I don't recommend doing this for too long (I think I took way to long thinking about/letting things grow out to become "better" trees)  but there is one thing this interest has going for it and that is time. Good luck.
 

sjrose77

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Re: New to this
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2012, 12:13 AM »
Thank you everyone!  I found that the closest club to me is in Springfield, IL and I hope to visit that club sometime.  Also my trees came today!  They are about 12 inches tall.  I am a little concerned about letting them grow through the season without doing something to them.  I read that on powder puffs they have to be wired in spring while the trunk is flexible.  I guess it isn't like they cost a lot but still I don't want to mess them up.  I am also going to call the hort lab at ICC and look around more here for help.  Out of curiosity, have any of you trained bonsai just from what you learned from books and online?
 

cbobgo

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Re: New to this
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2012, 02:38 PM »
post some pics of your trees and we would be happy to give you more specific advice.

- bob
 

rockm

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Re: New to this
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2012, 10:23 AM »
"I am a little concerned about letting them grow through the season without doing something to them.  I read that on powder puffs they have to be wired in spring while the trunk is flexible.  I guess it isn't like they cost a lot but still I don't want to mess them up.  I am also going to call the hort lab at ICC and look around more here for help.  Out of curiosity, have any of you trained bonsai just from what you learned from books and online?"

What if what you're doing to them screws them up. This is the most likely outcome if you jump in with no idea what you're doing.

You CANNOT learn bonsai techniques from the Internet, You Tube videos or via books. It requires hands-on learning. That learning can be done by yourself on your own, but that is a very tall order and you will kill maim and screw up everything you touch for a few years.

Not trying to discourage you from learning. Far from it. I'm just trying to point you in a focused direction to learn.

A club would be the very best way to jump start you efforts
 

Jay

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Re: New to this
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2012, 10:32 AM »
Basically what Rockm just said!

If you want to learn, find a club and go. If you just want to 'play' with trees in pots it really doesn't matter.
You can learn by looking at others but you will not learn the 'how to' part by just looking.

my two cents
Jay
 

Larry Gockley

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Re: New to this
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2012, 12:20 PM »
Even if a club is to far away to visit regularly, you may be able to join one anyway. I know of some clubs that have reduced rates for people who live more than 100 miles away. As a member I am forwarded the minutes of the clubs monthly meeting, and three other clubs minutes that I don't belong to.The minutes have attached to them pointers for the month about things to be done in general to your trees, that month. You may also get the E-mail from various members to correspond about questions about your trees.

That said, there are things you can do to the pre-bonsai trees, without deciding how to style them. First make sure they are healthy, determine their water and sun/shade likes and dislikes, and fertilize according to package instructions. Then I usually cut away the top of the nursery pot down to soil level, and gently remove some of the top soil. Look for a spreadding surface root structure, nebari. The size and shape of a nebari, or lack of one,  should have a say in any style you might decide on later on.   Hope this helps. Larry


     BTW, I hope someone told you the juniper is an outdoor tree.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2012, 12:23 PM by Larry Gockley »