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Author Topic: New Member, New tree  (Read 1276 times)
Krmikeb
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« on: April 13, 2013, 04:35 AM »

Hey, I am an American living in South korea.  I am new here, and i just picked up my first pine tree bonsai.  I have been doing lots of reading and watching of videos prior to buying the tree.  It is very different once the tree is in hand though!

Since i am new to this, i just want to get some opinions on the tree, and maybe some ideas of what i should, or should not do.  I know this tree isnt a show piece, but i figured it would be a good beginner tree for me.  It has some weak spots where there is not much growth.  Also, appears to have been wired once before (maybe last season).  

Since i got it, all i have done is give it good light and good water.  I picked up bonsai wire and fertilizer from the old korean woman who runs the bonsai shop, today.  

Am i too late to wire? Should i wire? If so, any hints? (i am not very artistic yet, and im scared to do the wrong thing).  There seem to be some branches, or clusters of needles growing into eachother/other branches.  I know i need to clean up the branches a bit so you can see the trunk line.  

As you can see, there are 4 pics, i have labeled them as front, left, right and back simply for ease here.  Any comments, hints, or advice would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks!

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Herman
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« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2013, 06:54 PM »

Seems all the experienced guys are on vacation lol

Hello Mike

Welcome to the forum

Is this your first bonsai ? Or have you practiced bonsai before ?

This looks like good starter material Smiley really like the flow of the trunk...generally wiring is done in mid to late autumn and left on until the wire starts to bite in, then removed.  I must warn you though, pine bonsai gets very technical, so much so that even the experts argue and debate over the finer points. I've heard a lot of good things about Boons dvd set on black pines, and a lot of guys on here study with Boon, so if you are looking for step by step how to's, try and get a hold of his dvds.

Also a thing to remember is that you have to reduce whorls of branches to a fork of just two, and on the trunk you have to nuke bar branches and bicycle spoke branches, they cause a knob which looks ugly. This is maybe where you can start off, by taking of any unnecesary branches, then you go at it with the wire, make interesting bends in the branches, keeping in mind the movement of the bends and turns branches make on very old trees in nature. Remember to have all branch ends facing up after wiring, this keeps those branches vigorous...

Hope this helps mike, I can sketch out a few ideas for your tree if you like?
The more experienced guys will surely chime in sometime and give you some advice

Herman
« Last Edit: April 20, 2013, 06:57 PM by Herman » Logged

Adair M
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USDA Hardiness: 7B

« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2013, 10:16 PM »

Herman is right, before you wire, you need to select your branches.  That's nice material for your first Bonsai.

Personally, the side you labeled "Back" might be a better front.  Here's why: there are several branches sticking straight out in front of the trunk.  Directly at the viewer.  Usually, we want to see the trunk, and have "back branches" to provide depth.  By using the third image (the one you labeled "back" as the front, we see the trunk, and those offending branches will be in the back.  One more thing... we usually like to have the apex (the top of tree) set so that it leans towards the viewer.  Almost as if the tree is bowing.

There are also a number of branches that appear to be on the inside of curve of the trunk.  The general rule is branches should be on the outside of the curve.  You might want to consider removing some of those inside curve branches.

Did I see some stubs of branches down low on the trunk?  Leaving what appears to be a lump?  If so, you might want to prune those so that they will be less obtrusive.  Take out a little scoop of trunk.  When they heal, the callous will fill the scoop you took.  It will probably take a couple years to heal, however.

Now, please don't be offended with all these suggestions.  You picked excellent material to work with.  Fall is generally the best time to prune, wire, and style.  For now, fertilize and get it strong.
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MatsuBonsai
John Callaway
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« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2013, 08:34 AM »

Welcome aboard.  Definitely nice material to start and learn from and good advice from others so far. 

I would probably just feed the crap out of it for now, and repot into good soil and begin sorting out the roots.  Lots of good info on repotting on the forum already, but feel free to ask more when the time comes.
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Krmikeb
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« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2013, 11:04 PM »

ahhh thank you thank you for the comments!

Right now, i am mostly focusing on feeding.  Debating on if i should do any candle pruning, or let it just go wild this season and work on it next season when it is more filled out.  I think i need to let it go wild this season.

Also, i agree that the "back" picture makes the best front.  Pretty clear line of the trunk, minus the second set of branches up.  Second branch from the bottom on the right needs to go i think, as well as the one that comes straight towards you at the same location.  I think that will clean it up a lot. 

I have read that i should not do branch cutting until the tree is dormant so to minimize sap loss.  So, just let it go wild til it cools down?


Herman, if it isnt trouble, i would love to see what ideas you have for the tree.  Being my first real bonsai, i dont have a great eye yet.  I look at tons of pics online, read lots, and look at the trees growing natively around me for ideas. 

Based on the trees around me, i have a general idea of how i want the tree to start looking.  (Again, on the photo labled "back") the first branch on the left i like. a lot. i want to bend it down to add motion.  Then remove the extra branches in the second tier on the right.  But the apex, no ideas yet.

Thanks again for the replies. I have some candles going pretty well now! so exciting
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Adair M
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« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2013, 06:15 AM »

Read through the old threads on this forum about JBP.  John Kirby recently posted a great synopsis of the "annual cycle" for decandling.  Maybe two, three weeks ago.  Let those candles extend, and let the needles grow until June, then decandle.

While most of us would agree that fall is the best time to do major styling, pruning a limb off at other times of the year won't cause the tree to "bleed out".  Using some cut paste can also help.  On pines, I use the grey cut paste.  Not so much to stop the tree from bleeding sap, it just helps the cut look less obvious.

Removing the needles that are pointed down would help to "tidy up" the appearance of the tree now.

One more thing... whereas it can be inspiring to look at trees designed by nature, you should do some research to learn the basic "rules" of bonsai styling.  And look at pictures of great bonsai, and try to determine for yourself what makes them so beautiful.

This is the  growing season for JBP.  The trees are extending spring candles.  We don't have to do anything but fertilize.  In June, it will be time to decandle.
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Krmikeb
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« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2013, 07:10 AM »

Thank you Adair!
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Krmikeb
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« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2013, 08:30 AM »

Just thought i would show the other tree i got at the same time as my first tree.  Again, dunno why i picked this one, but i just liked it. Smiley
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bwaynef
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USDA Hardiness: 8a



« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2013, 08:02 AM »

These are exemplary STARTER trees.  There are a few issues with both, but MUCH better than most beginners' first trees.  This last one needs wiring if you're comfortable with that.  Does the soil they are in drain well?
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Krmikeb
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« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2013, 08:42 AM »

Thanks!
Yes the "soil" drains very well. it is more of a gravel than soil i think.  It is what the majority of bonsai trees in korea i see use. 

I played around a bit with the smaller tree, but have no idea what im doing :p

Any suggestions would be wonderful.
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