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Prebonsai Almond Tree 2 years 11 months ago #66343

  • niko_kyushu
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Hi Senseis!

After going through a vast amount of information I decided to buy myself a young almond tree (image attached) to start getting my hands dirty and practicing, I have a few seeds of different species growing and I only have a few years to learn the basics to turn them into handsome bonsais!

Ok, my plan is the following. Please bare in mind this is a plan I have developed watching youtube videos and reading articles, all my concepts are a bit in a mess, all comments are more than welcome, that is exactly why I'm writting this post.

1.- Leave it alone for a few weeks so it will adapt to his new home, spoil it with a lot of love.
2.- After four or five weeks, remove it from its original pot. Cut the taproot and replant the tree in a small plastic strainer. That will allow the roots to receive more oxigen and grow much faster. Fertilize it and change the soil .
3.- Wait for a couple of months, let the tree adapt to the new situation. Hopefully it will be a happy tree
4- Cut most of the branches to develop all the strength on growing a nice fat trunk for a couple of years (between two and five years)
5.- Start getting my hands on some wiring
6.- Spoil it for a couple of decades with love, prunnning and caring

Did I get it right? Thanks!

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Prebonsai Almond Tree 2 years 11 months ago #66344

  • lucR
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... aaah, the enthousisasm of the beginning bonsai-ist :) :)
And there comes the just past beginner ( 7 years into the hobby) and destroys your carefull plan.
Ok, here goes:
1: keep it for a year at least, and just keep it alive and thriving. Learn horticulture
2: there are specific moments in a year to do specific techniques. Heavy rootwork is done in winter.
3:After heavy work ( be it pruning or wiring or repotting) wait for a year ::to let the tree recover.
4: A fat trunk is grown by letting all the branches and leaves on the tree. Lenght is width. Could be you have to let the tree grow 2-3-4 meters to get the desired trunk size.
5: Wiring is done when you start building the branch structure, which you are not doing now
6: See 1, 2 and 4

Bonsai is a marathon, not a sprint. Patience is a virtue

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Prebonsai Almond Tree 2 years 11 months ago #66351

  • Albas
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2. That's relative to your season and how the tree is responding, to expose the bare roots and cut the taproot, for most species, you do it late winter / early spring (if the plant is ok).

3. After the tree has adapted and begin thriving, you can already start fertilizing it (according to season), but use organic fertilizer or osmocote grains (slow releasing NPK), don't use simple granulate NPK, it is good, but it's extremelly dangerous, apply it the wrong way, or the wrong quantity once, and your tree will die.

4. You got it wrong, I also thought this was the way when I first started, I kept pruning back and waiting for trunks to thicken, and didn't happen... The only way to get a fat trunk is letting it grow, ramificate a bit so it can grow as many leaves/branches as it can, with that leaves high demanding your tree, the trunk will have to thicken in order to flow all that extra sap.

5. I don't know how long almond trees still flexible, but for the trunk movement, you should see the edge of it's flexibility, only on the trunk having in mind that at this point mostly just the base will mather, as maybe a few years from now you may want to add a more conical shape to the trunk (I don't know if that's your plan), having to prune it down an choose another leader to thick again, but little less, and so on.
Some people even add movement chopping the trunk and changing leader, it will let your tree with some large scars to heal over the years, so if you go for that someday, remember that different trees heals differently...

If a trunk get's too hard to add movement, you can always chop it back, and start all over... hahahah. For slightly bends tho, still there are some other techniques...

Trees are really different on this matter, a ficus is really flexible for example, but a Calliandras are already stiff when it reaches the thick of a pencil.
However when wiring young sapling trunks, you may always let it a bit loose, so it won't bite (at least too much) the trunk as it thicken.
A little bit is no problem, when the tree is young it's easier for it to recover from wire marks.
The following user(s) said Thank You: persimmon

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Last edit: Post by Albas.
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