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My first bonsai: scared and worried

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     This is my first bonsai. It is a maple mame. I found it in one of the planters in my front yard. My dad gets too close to them with the weed eater. I believe that is why the top is cut off. I potted it today because I did not want to chance its only two branches being cut off. Furthermore I kept it in the original soil. I know I need to get bonsai soil, but I haven't found any yet. I was wondering if anybody had any suggestions on what I should do next.

It is a bit late in the season to transplant trees, but now that it is done...............

I presume the top above the two little twigs is dead. Than you can cut it above the twigs in a sloping cut along the blue line or if the bud on the opposite side is alive you can cut a V cut between the bud and twigs. Cover the cut with some vaseline to prevent dieback.

In spring plant it in free draining medium. For now keep the soil damp not wet. Give it some winter protection against frost and strong winds.

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A couple of things I'd recommend:

Keep this tree outdoors in sunlight (possibly w/ a transition period depending on the light where it'd been growing).
Make sure there are drainage holes in the container.

I like the movement in the lower part of the trunk!  Good eye.

Thank you for the advice. I hope it lives.

Don't be scared, or worried. BwayneF is right. good eye!  Now, if your thumb is not too green, and this tree dies, don't stick your thumb in that good eye and give up. You did the right thing saving that tree, couldn't help the timing. Since the timing is off, and the soil is not the greatest, here's my .02 on keeping it alive.

Be observant and attentive rather than scared and worried. It can be ok till spring repot and better soil. Just learn its water usage. Don't listen to anyone (except folks here) about when to water, listen to your tree, and the soil.  This will be a battle, but you can win.

Winter is going to be the challenge. Find the most controlled place to overwinter it. Refrigerator, garage, somewhere YOU control watering.
Definitely provide some kind of bottom protection.

Then go get about 5 more, and experiment! Practice practice practice!
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