• Page:
  • 1
  • 2

TOPIC: Where to Start

Where to Start 1 year 8 months ago #29926

Hey, everyone.

I’m brand new to the art of bonsai and, like most, I am eager to start practicing. However, I also want to ensure I’m maintaining a reasonable pace and not getting ahead of myself. I will be receiving a three-year-old Golden Gate Ficus when the weather permits (due to shipping concerns), but I would like to explore other avenues while I await its arrival. I’ve been reading a lot about propagating bonsai from cuttings, but I am curious where to start. Can a cutting be acquired from ANY tree (i.e. a full-grown coniferous in my neighborhood, local park, woods, etc.), or would I be better off trimming from preexisting bonsai? I live in the Pacific Northwest, so if anyone has any suggestions as to what commonplace tree I might be able to utilize for cuttings, that would be fantastic. Please let me know if this is too advanced a practice for me to be taking on this early. Thanks in advance!
  • EdwardDaggerhands
  • EdwardDaggerhands's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • New Member
  • New Member
  • Posts: 10
  • Thanks received: 0

Where to Start 1 year 8 months ago #29927

EdwardDaggerhands wrote: I will be receiving a three-year-old Golden Gate Ficus


If it's only 3 years old, it will take years of growth and training before it can become a bonsai.

I’ve been reading a lot about propagating bonsai from cuttings


You don't propagate bonsai from cuttings, you propagate plants or trees. These then can be trained to become bonsai. This, again, requires many years of growth and training.

Can a cutting be acquired from ANY tree


Any tree or shrub that is suitable for bonsai and that can be propagated by cuttings.

I be better off trimming from preexisting bonsai?


This will make no difference. A cutting from a bonsai (if left untouched) will grow out to a normal tree. Taking a cutting of bonsai probably takes even longer, as the cutting will be small.

Please let me know if this is too advanced a practice for me to be taking on this early. Thanks in advance!


Cuttings you can get for free, so why not. Just don't expect you'll be able to grow them into bonsai any time soon.
Try to get more mature material to save a couple of years.

Seems you are really new, so I suggest you start studying - there's a lot of information on this site.
The following user(s) said Thank You: EdwardDaggerhands
  • Auk
  • Auk's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Platinum Member
  • Platinum Member
  • Posts: 4730
  • Thanks received: 1229

Where to Start 1 year 8 months ago #29928

That helps a ton, thank you! I don't know why I typed three, but the Golden Gate Ficus I'm receiving is six years old. It's a gift from my parents, so I'm literally brand new to the whole thing. I can tell there is a vault of information on this site - just trying to get a feel for where to start. Thanks again for your help, that cleared up a lot of confusion for me!
  • EdwardDaggerhands
  • EdwardDaggerhands's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • New Member
  • New Member
  • Posts: 10
  • Thanks received: 0

Where to Start 1 year 8 months ago #29929

You can not get it any better from Auk, and hello Edward. Can not recall how Golden Gate Ficus looks like but you can start from reading out everything about this species. You will also find guides about most common trees good for Bonsai on this website ( www.bonsaiempire.com/tree-species ) and specific guide about Ficus as well. Nowadays youtube is full of guides and tutorials as well lots of other Bonsai sources all across internet. Its now best time to read, learn and discover , and be well prepared for your new tree. Dont hesitate to post your questions here, to me there are no stupid questions. You better ask rather do something stupid due to lack of knowledge. Growing tree into Bonsai requires loads of patience and knowledge, so start gathering both. And by the way, its nice to see a friend here from Pacific Northwest, really cool part of USA. Good luck ; )
  • spacewood
  • spacewood's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Platinum Member
  • Platinum Member
  • Posts: 494
  • Thanks received: 111

Where to Start 1 year 8 months ago #29946

To make a short list for you there are 4 starting lines to Bonsai.
  • Seed
  • Propagation (cuttings or air layering)
  • Buying developed bonsai
  • Nursery Stock or Prebonsai Material
Some people don't like the word Prebonsai but all that it means is that the material has had some training but it is not yet bonsai.

There is no Fast way to create a bonsai. It all takes time. Nursery stock and prebonsai might be the faster route that will allow you to have an artistic hand in it's development.
The following user(s) said Thank You: EdwardDaggerhands
  • Bonsai Bender
  • Bonsai Bender's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Elite Member
  • Elite Member
  • Posts: 271
  • Thanks received: 70

Where to Start 1 year 8 months ago #29947

Bonsai Bender wrote: To make a short list for you there are 4 starting lines to Bonsai.

  • Seed
  • Propagation (cuttings or air layering)
  • Buying developed bonsai
  • Nursery Stock or Prebonsai Material
Some people don't like the word Prebonsai but all that it means is that the material has had some training but it is not yet bonsai.

There is no Fast way to create a bonsai. It all takes time. Nursery stock and prebonsai might be the faster route that will allow you to have an artistic hand in it's development.


Isn't growing from seed also propagation?
And what about digging up plants in the wild, or from gardens?
:)
  • leatherback
  • leatherback's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Platinum Member
  • Platinum Member
  • Posts: 4748
  • Thanks received: 1628

Where to Start 1 year 8 months ago #29950

leatherback wrote: Isn't growing from seed also propagation?
And what about digging up plants in the wild, or from gardens?
:)


We could make that a FAQ, with time frames, difficulty levels, pro's and cons :)

Seed
Cuttings or air layering
Nursery Stock
Digging up plants in the wild, or from gardens
Prebonsai Material
Buying developed bonsai
The following user(s) said Thank You: Wroy
  • Auk
  • Auk's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Platinum Member
  • Platinum Member
  • Posts: 4730
  • Thanks received: 1229

Where to Start 1 year 8 months ago #29954

leatherback wrote: Isn't growing from seed also propagation?
And what about digging up plants in the wild, or from gardens?
:)

Leatherback... jeez. Thank you for correcting my oversight. Cheers.
  • Bonsai Bender
  • Bonsai Bender's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Elite Member
  • Elite Member
  • Posts: 271
  • Thanks received: 70

Where to Start 1 year 8 months ago #29982

Thanks to all for the input! I'm spending much more of my free time reading up and getting familiar. Auk, that's a super rad idea; I think breaking down each of those starting lines would be really beneficial for a lot of people finding themselves overwhelmed.

Spacewood, that's awesome we're from the same area! Beautiful place, ain't it?
  • EdwardDaggerhands
  • EdwardDaggerhands's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • New Member
  • New Member
  • Posts: 10
  • Thanks received: 0

Where to Start 1 year 8 months ago #30151

Auk wrote:
We could make that a FAQ, with time frames, difficulty levels, pro's and cons :)

Seed
Cuttings or air layering
Nursery Stock
Digging up plants in the wild, or from gardens
Prebonsai Material
Buying developed bonsai

As someone who has spent some time lurking on this forum and other websites trying to learn above this hobby I think a FAQ on the different starting methods would be nice. As I look at getting started I am trying to learn as much as I can.
  • coltranem
  • coltranem's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Junior Member
  • Junior Member
  • Posts: 37
  • Thanks received: 4
  • Page:
  • 1
  • 2
Log in Register