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TOPIC: Am I overwatering/underwatering my bonsai?

Am I overwatering/underwatering my bonsai? 11 months 3 weeks ago #33492

Fighting over wether or not it's a bonsai isn't going to help new ppl out. If they bought it and were told it was a bonsai then that's one thing but they come here for help. I came here to learn and better my knowledge about bonsai from those with experience. Lead them in the right direction, if bonsai isn't for them then so be it but it is becoming more and more popular every day and you all that have been doing it for 20+ years are bassicly there mentors and mine. We may not like what you have to say but we take it and use it to better our selves and our trees. Thank you
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Am I overwatering/underwatering my bonsai? 11 months 3 weeks ago #33502

The trouble is.. Schefflera do not make for good bonsai, unless perhaps grown in the tropics where they develop trunks. The large compound leaves require a big trunk. What the lat picture shows is something that resembles a tree, but is actually a shrub on top of a rock, with the roots draped of the rock to simulate a trunk. So even in Hawai it seems they do not manage to grow trunks fast enough?

In Michigan (That's where the OP is?) schefflera will not within the next few decades grow a trunk to speak of. And in the dry air, air roots will hardly develop. So it is much better to look at another species, and just grow this as a houseplant.

Junipers, pines, maples, oak, beech are all species that respond well to bonsai training, and are native to the michigan area. As such, they will do best there. There is something called zone envy: People wanting to grow species that are not suited for their climatic zone. In the end it almost always results in disappointment, small underdeveloped trees without a trunk and open canopies. Grow species that do well in your climate. I might soon be given an cork oak by a friend who lives another 400km noth of where I am. The growing season at his place is too short for the oak. As I have a greenhouse, I can give it 2 months more, and it may do well. He spent a lot of time and effort picking this tree up in southern spain. But realized: It is too cold, dark and wet where he lives. on the long run, the most painfull decisions results in the best trees. So unless you do not want to get the best tree you are capable of growing.. Start off with the right species.
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Am I overwatering/underwatering my bonsai? 11 months 3 weeks ago #33508

BadNewsBond wrote: Like I said, I've been there and seen there operation. Every tree there is grown from seedling and they have thousand of trees growing from seedlings that they train for several years


You don't seem to get the point. The plant we are talking about has not been trained as a bonsai for several years.
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Am I overwatering/underwatering my bonsai? 11 months 3 weeks ago #33529

BadNewsBond wrote: Like I said, I've been there and seen there operation. Every tree there is grown from seedling and they have thousand of trees growing from seedlings that they train for several years. They have what seemed to be a couple dozen open greenhouses with just trees growing. The class there allows you pick the tree from a large group of pre-bonsai to either turn them into a normal bonsai or plant in a lava rock as you see in the original picture. Yes they do have several that were already placed in rocks, which come from them using that as their demo when doing classes.


BadNewsBond. What Auk and Leatherback are telling you is true. This is not a Bonsai, and has not been trained for years at all. This was a young plant that was chopped, and then let grown, and sold (probably overpriced) to make some money. You might be in denial, and not understand that now, but if you keep at Bonsai, in a few months you'll get it. Auk and Leatherback might seem a bit straightforward, but they are only trying to help. They are quite experienced with Bonsai and offer a lot of help on this forum.

I am glad you have found interest in Bonsai. Go get some new material and practice :)
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Am I overwatering/underwatering my bonsai? 11 months 3 weeks ago #33585

I'm not trying to argue with the vets. I'm trying to inform people that are quick to say this tree is merely a chopped back schefflera like you'd find at Home Depot. It appears no one responding has actually been to or visited this bonsai shop and I have. The trees in their youngest offerings are trained as pre-bonsai for 3-5 years and actually offer larger sizes that have been trained 15yrs and up. I saw the pre-bonsai stock available to create this yourself, or purchase one already completed. Check out their site and descriptions, as this is what I saw and the lava rock and planting from the original post is from this place. I assure you this is not just another cut back tree and called a bonsai. I'll leave it at that and continue to learn about traditional bonsai, which is why I joined here in the first place.

www.fukubonsai.com/3a2017a.html
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Am I overwatering/underwatering my bonsai? 11 months 3 weeks ago #33590

BadNewsBond wrote: I'm not trying to argue with the vets. I'm trying to inform people that are quick to say this tree is merely a chopped back schefflera like you'd find at Home Depot.

Check out their site and descriptions


We were discussing the plant that was posted, not the collection of the vendor. I already wrote they do have better trees.
The plant we are discussing is a chopped back Schefflera, not much different from what you'd find at Home Depot, that has not had years of bonsai training.
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Am I overwatering/underwatering my bonsai? 11 months 3 weeks ago #33592

Robe82991 wrote: If it's not technically a bonsai then where can I find one?


That depends on where you live in Michigan. I live in Grand Rapids MI, there is a store called Growco that has already made bonsai and pre-bonsai. There are quite a few bonsai clubs in MI as well. If you're interested in getting better at bonsai or getting help on trees, this is the way to go.
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Am I overwatering/underwatering my bonsai? 11 months 3 weeks ago #33593

BadNewsBond wrote: I'm not trying to argue with the vets. I'm trying to inform people that are quick to say this tree is merely a chopped back schefflera like you'd find at Home Depot. It appears no one responding has actually been to or visited this bonsai shop and I have. The trees in their youngest offerings are trained as pre-bonsai for 3-5 years and actually offer larger sizes that have been trained 15yrs and up. I saw the pre-bonsai stock available to create this yourself, or purchase one already completed. Check out their site and descriptions, as this is what I saw and the lava rock and planting from the original post is from this place. I assure you this is not just another cut back tree and called a bonsai. I'll leave it at that and continue to learn about traditional bonsai, which is why I joined here in the first place.

www.fukubonsai.com/3a2017a.html


That's ok. You are just starting, it is great you have an interest for Bonsai. The plant on the picture is a chopped back young Schefflera. And it is easy to tell it hasn't been trained; the plant has it written all over it. There are real bonsai nurseries that sell plants like this, because they have a business and are trying to make money and not everyone is willing to spend hundreds or thousands on a plant... They can argue "this plant has been trained for 3 years!" and that could mean that they planted it from a cutting, drop a wire on it, let it grow for 2-5 years, chopped it and call it "training". Some people seem happy with these plants, so they provide them. It is not about traditional Bonsai or not. It either looks like a beautiful tree or not.

That doesn't matter. learn to take care of the plant (this part is harder than what people usually think), read some books, and go get some better practice material. Good luck!
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