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TOPIC: Ideas and advice

Ideas and advice 11 months 3 weeks ago #36082

Hey all,

Another new person looking for advice.... so I'm here to learn from you guys with experience.

I developed a strong interest in the art of bonsai and am completely intrigued. I have been studying starting from the basics on this website/forum, and other random searches. My first question is: Do any of you have good resources you use/ helped learn from? Recommendations on practicing?

I fell victim to mallsai and bought an unhappy Chinese elm from a website. However, the positive side, it is what initially peaked my interested and got me wanting to learn more about it. Sparse with leaves, ugly standard "s" trunk, wire scars... it's pretty darn ugly. With that I'm just going to continue to focus on trying to turn the health of the tree around and promote ramification.

I also bought a juniper from a local nursery at a farmer's market. In passing I looked at it and thought I'd give it a shot. It's a pretty young plant. My main question is, what to do with a young plant such as this? I'm not going to style it yet however I'd like to train it still. Right now it has two long off-shoots, which is... well... ugly. The higher and shorter of the two is the "trunk". My thoughts were to bend it more vertical to create an informal upright trunk movement while using the lower of the two, at some point, as a semi-cascading branch with hopes that as it grows thicker hopefully it can be a nice tree. This is my brainstorming anyway. I wanted to see what your thoughts were? I don't see the things some of you see so the exposure is welcome. I thank you in advance for any of the help or criticism.

  • jdawson402
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Ideas and advice 11 months 3 weeks ago #36083

Best to do is to join a bonsai club (society) close to you you will learn a lot there
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  • 333Adriaan333
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Ideas and advice 11 months 3 weeks ago #36084

I always say buy a book join a club. I hop that you only had it inside for th pictures. It looks quite a nice piece of material, I would probably plant it in the ground fr a few years unless there is a better trunk than can be seen. It may be possible to bring one or both of the long branches up to make an apex. There are options but it does need some thought and someone to look closely at it for you. Have a search to see if there is a club near you, if you are serious about bonsai then you will not regret joining. Also see if there are any classes at a nursery near you
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Ideas and advice 11 months 3 weeks ago #36085

Thank you, Geoff. Yea I moved it to my porch just for the picture. I'll look for a club by me. Hopefully they're beginner friendly haha.
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Ideas and advice 11 months 3 weeks ago #36086

Tell us where you are. Most clube welcome beginners, we certainly do,
Geoff.
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Ideas and advice 11 months 3 weeks ago #36087

I'm in north Florida.
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Ideas and advice 11 months 3 weeks ago #36089

In addition to what others have said about seeking out a local club and buying a book, I'd also recommend that you take advantage of the wonderful bonsai how to videos that are on YouTube. You can learn a lot that way. I would also suggest that when buying your first bonsai book, read the reviews and choose carefully. There are, unfortunately, a lot of bonsai books out there that are maybe 10% extremely basic information (history of the art, names of the different styles, very basic tutorial on caring for a tree, and characteristics of a few species) and the other 90% of the book is just pretty pictures. Pictures are great and it's lovely to look at the fully developed bonsai in someone else's collection, but that's not what you're here for. What you want is a book tells you something about how to take the tree you picked up at your local lawn and garden center and train it to become bonsai. Because, as a beginner, I'm guessing you probably didn't go to a bonsai nursery and spend $1000 on a tree that already has great movement, trunk taper, well-developed nebari, etc.
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  • Lorax7
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Ideas and advice 11 months 3 weeks ago #36090

There are many good books, there are very few good videos on youtube.
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Ideas and advice 11 months 3 weeks ago #36092

Awesome. Thank you both
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