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TOPIC: Moss and Roots

Moss and Roots 5 months 2 days ago #50436

Hello everyone!
I’m new to the bonsai world, but I got my first Chinese Elm (claimed to be 7 years old) in January and I love it!
I have been trimming and shaping with rubber bands as an alternative to wires.
I am now pondering what to do with the base of my tree. I was wondering peoples opinions of adding a moss layer to the soil? And also curious about how to start getting those raised roots to poke through the soil.

Thanks everybody!
-thetreeman47

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Last edit: by thetreeman47.

Moss and Roots 5 months 1 day ago #50437

This looks surprisingly much like my mallsai. Same ugly 45 degrees bend. I wonder who came up with this S-shape design and why it is copied so much. I guess people like it and think bonsai are supposed to look that way.

Are you keeping it indoors? Then forget about the moss.
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Moss and Roots 5 months 1 day ago #50444

Auk wrote: Are you keeping it indoors? Then forget about the moss.


... and the entire tree sooner or later...
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Moss and Roots 5 months 1 day ago #50446

hello, welcome!
Yes, a moss layer helps keep moisture in, but it gets mode difficult to water the plant.
Aesthetically the moss is very nice anyway.
As for exposed roots (Neagari Stile) it is not so good with this "S" shaped trunk, so I would skip it with this tree.
Congratulations for keeping it alive! But as said, if you have a place for it outdoors it will be happier.
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Moss and Roots 5 months 1 day ago #50456

Auk wrote: This looks surprisingly much like my mallsai. Same ugly 45 degrees bend. I wonder who came up with this S-shape design and why it is copied so much. I guess people like it and think bonsai are supposed to look that way.


I know, I know!
The real stuff what you chop down 3-4 times and let it grow between for few years, will show similar, but much more natural curves. Now that they try to replicate as fastest and cheapest as possible...
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Moss and Roots 5 months 1 day ago #50457

Auk wrote: Same ugly 45 degrees bend. I wonder who came up with this S-shape design and why it is copied so much. I guess people like it and think bonsai are supposed to look that way.


It is copied so much because it sells, which makes people think bonsai should look like that, so that increases sales............
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Moss and Roots 5 months 1 day ago #50464

Ivan Mann wrote: It is copied so much because it sells, which makes people think bonsai should look like that, so that increases sales............


Yeah, I remember walking back with the elm I got for free at a workshop at a festival in a park. It was a long road, busy with visitors. Many people looked in awe and whispered 'look, he has got a bonsai'. I found it embarrasing.
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Last edit: by Auk.

Moss and Roots 5 months 23 hours ago #50473

Hello everybody!
Thanks for the feedback, little bit of a bummer about the exposed roots because I really like that style!
It looks like I got myself into trouble with that picture though! My tree is now outside and it has been outside (in the Western Washington climate) for a good month or two, that picture just happened to be right after I gave it a nice trim while it was still living indoors!
I may try adding the moss and coming back to this thread to give y’all the update in a month or so to report back how it’s going!
Also very interesting about the massive bend in the trunk. I ordered this tree on amazon (no bonsai dealers in the area) and that is just the way it came! I was upset over it at first but then it started to grow on me (no pun intended)

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