Recent Posts

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Evergreen Bonsai Discussion / Need Style suggestion on a Green Mountain Juniper
« Last post by lehua13 on November 23, 2017, 05:13 PM »
Her is what it looks like.  Should I jin one of the cascading branches and slightly trim the top?
General Bonsai Discussion / Re: wintering in Iowa zone 5A
« Last post by Jay on November 21, 2017, 06:18 AM »
Ask away, but, you should know a few things:
1- I have been into Bonsai for a long time, working on trees for over 20 years... A N D ... I'm still learning.
    At this point I think of myself as an advanced novice, take my information as such.
2- at times I visit this site less frequently, during the summer sometimes only 1or 2 times a week.
3- This site had an issue a while ago, and during the downtime lost a lot of traffic.

As for clubs... I did a Google search for Bonsai Clubs in Iowa and found a few. I know Iowa is a big state and possible you may be closer to a club in a neighboring state. Even if you only go once or twice, or to there annual show it will be worth it. They can let you know where to find a Bonsai Nursery, they may even have members who are looking to sell some trees.
In addition it is extremely helpful to be able to talk with likeminded individuals.
Keep us posted and best of luck.   Oh.... -15 or -20 occurs here to.
General Bonsai Discussion / Iowa Members
« Last post by ronzog51 on November 20, 2017, 04:47 PM »
I'm from western Iowa anyone else from this area on the forum?
General Bonsai Discussion / Re: wintering in Iowa zone 5A
« Last post by ronzog51 on November 20, 2017, 08:50 AM »
Hi Jay
    My tropicals do pretty well for me keep them outside in the summer and in east window with aux lighting 5000k LEDS. I dont really have a room in the house I can use for a cold room have a old wooden work shed and a garage I can put them in. It can get down to -15 -20 degrees round here in the winter thought about some kind of box with temp controlled heat tape, with mulch and set pots in that for winter. since conifers remain green in winter do they need light.
     Dont know of any clubs or other bonsai nuts round this area I can talk too. Every tree I've bought has been online which can be disappointing cause you dont know what your gonna end up with. Bought a Black Olive ( Bucinda Spinoza ) couple months ago and its not looking good  :'( . Thought I may post something on here to see if there is anyone close by me.
    Thanks for your help I may keep asking you ? if thats ok I read about this stuff all the time but it doesnt seem to stick or process in my mind. I'm more hands on and verbal kind of guy.
General Bonsai Discussion / Re: wintering in Iowa zone 5A
« Last post by Jay on November 20, 2017, 06:42 AM »
Hi, I'm from northern Vermont, zone 4. This is a good time of year to think about what trees will work for you. You do not want to obtain anything now, so there is no pressure. Question, have you looked into any Bonsai Clubs or groups near you? They would be best to help with your local needs.
For me overwintering takes two forms, a cold room and an attached unheated garage. Oh, I do not do Tropicals. The cold room is maintained at 36 to 38 degrees F. Most of my trees overwinter there. They never freeze but do go dormant. As to water it is minimal, perhaps once a month. My Larch live on a shelf in the garage. When the temps go,down below 10 or so I plug in a home made heating grid to keep the pots (roots) from going below the mid 20's. Everyone does fine, but that is what works for me.....
Just my 2 cents....
General Bonsai Discussion / wintering in Iowa zone 5A
« Last post by ronzog51 on November 19, 2017, 02:17 PM »
I've been into Bonsai for a couple years and have a few tropical bonsai but want to get into hardy bonsai like Maple or Pine but I'm having trouble understanding how to winter these where I'm from even with all the reading I've done. like the specifics where to put them, I've read mulching them, putting them in a shed, putting them back in the ground. Do the conifers still need light, how do you know if they need water if its below freezing. Can any of you northern Guys help me out :-\
Hi and welcome. Yes, there is a lot to learn with Bonsai. It is really two things in one. The one you see is the Artistic part. I have been 'doing' Bonsai for over 20 years and I'm still improving on this aspect.
The other is Horticultural. If you can't keep your Bonsai alive and healthy, growing well... You never can do the Artistry. By placing a plant in a pot you are obviously changing its growing ability. A Holly or an Eastern White Pine, in a pot are far from the same tree in the ground. Additionally where the trees lives is important. You are in Georgia... I am in Northern Vermont, we can grow different trees and we will do things differently to them.
I VERY STRONGLY, suggest that you do a little research and find a Bonsai Club near you or at least close enough that you can go from time to time. The members will be extremely happy to help you. They will probably be able to get you started with a few trees and most clubs have beginners workshops. If you are really going to make a go of it, this is the way to go.....
As for taking cuttings.....they will help you and tell you if the Holly is a good candidate. It will take a few YEARS to get a cutting going. And although you can try Bonsai with any plant that will have a wooded stem, some are better than others. Pinus Strobus, Eastern White Pine, do not get a nice bark and are not usually used for Bonsai.
That's my two cents
So guy's I am new, new like I am going to buy supplies tonight new :D lol. So this is something I have interested in for a long time, I am finally just going to pull the trigger on it. I have done quite a bit of reading but as well all know reading doesn't always mean you will be good at the application. So I have a few questions I hope some more experienced people will help answer them.

So my first question is I want to take some cuttings from my evergreen holly bush and attempt to bonsai them. So my question is I have seen people state to use a soilless growing medium for cuttings, so how do they get nutrients?

Should I really use a soilless medium with Bonsai in general?

Do I start a bonsai in a larger pot and gradually move it down to more of a tray type pot?

Do I need to put a bag over cuttings?

If I use soilless growing medium how often do they need fertilizer?

I am been watching Nigel Saunders on youtube he really seems to know his stuff, but sometimes I see him trim a root ball to almost nothing is that ok? Everything I read has stated to cut no more than 1/3 off at a time.

Sorry for all the questions at once I just really want to start off right.

Thank you for your time and answers I really do appreciate it.

Oh also I really wanted to try my hand at bonsai with an Easter White Pine, we have them EVERY where in Georgia I probably have 10-15 in my backyard ranging from 1 year- to 30+ years old. Can I just transplant a 2-3 year old specimen and start to train it?
General Bonsai Discussion / Re: Calgary Bonsai?
« Last post by Jay on November 04, 2017, 07:14 PM »
RedJen the idea you have sounds fine. You are not looking to do a Bonsai Sauna. You are just looking to raise the temp of the pot (roots) not the plant. Remember as you said you do not want to go....freeze thaw etc. just raise the temp a,bit to the mid 20f is perfect.
General Bonsai Discussion / Re: Calgary Bonsai?
« Last post by RedJen on November 04, 2017, 02:18 PM »
Jay, thanks for the idea. At first I was confused by what you meant by "heat tape" my first thought was the reflective tape used as a heat barrier, but because that didn't make any sense I quickly dropped that idea and thought that some kind of heating cable made more sense. I did some research and found that Heat Tape is a brand (I also discovered that heat tape is simply a term interchangeable with heating cable) but it doesn't appear to be sold in Canada. There are other heating cable brands I can get my hands on but I'm very inexperienced when it comes to using them outside their intended function. Because of this inexperience I'm hesitant to settle on a specific type, I was thinking the Wrap-On brand would work but the instructions say it has to be wrapped up with fiberglass insulation after it's installed. I'm not sure if that's absolutely essential or more or less a way to keep the heat from escaping into the air. I was also looking at the soil heating cables but the reviews aren't promising.

I did have an idea about using a small seed starting mat and placing that inside of a plastic tray/tub lined with heat tape (the kind that's reflective) so it can bounce back the heat and limit heat loss into the air and hook up the mat to a thermostat so I can regulate the heat to something more moderate, at least above -10C. It dipped to -20 last night without windchill, but as you and others have said, staying freezing is better than freeze, thaw, freeze, thaw. I can only try my best and learn from this.
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