My little Oliver

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My little Oliver

Post  ronkira on Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:41 pm

Hi.

I am new to bonsai and as a treat on my birthday I bought a little tree from my local supermarket (Tesco). The problem is I'm not sure what kind of tree Ollie is. I think he is a ficus fig. Can you help I wonder?





I am planning on repotting as the plastic liner he came in is split.

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Re: My little Oliver

Post  Ryan on Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:52 pm

Looks like a Fukien Tea. Make sure you give it as much light as possible, and repot into some free draining soil when you do repot.

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Re: My little Oliver

Post  ronkira on Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:58 pm

I have a big bag of Kyoto Bonsai potting soil (contains Kyodama) the lady at my local garden centre recommended it when I bought a new pot. I have done a little research and I think you are right Ryan, Ollie is a Fukien Tea. The problem I have now is the book recommends repotting in Spring but I feel Ollie needs a new pot. Is it ok to repot now?


Last edited by ronkira on Thu Nov 29, 2012 8:22 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Additions to my last post.)

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Re: My little Oliver

Post  leatherback on Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:19 pm

repotting now is not a problem as long as you do not do any rootwork. So basically take it out of the one it is in, and place it in the new pot.

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Re: My little Oliver

Post  ronkira on Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:28 pm

Will i need to fan the roots out or just take from one pot and put it into another? Sorry about all the questions.

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Re: My little Oliver

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:24 pm

I would just knock off the loose soil, put it in the new pot and add soil, hopefully you can add new soil under the tree and around all sides. Make sure that you pack in the new soil, a chop stick works well, just keep poking, don't over water, use a chop stick or skewer to put in soil and test for moisture, wait for the soil to dry before watering, no misting use a house plant fert. according to package directions.

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Re: My little Oliver

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:27 pm

I am not sure of the climate in Bristol, but I think this tree will be indoors for winter, it will not tolerate temps. below 32 F, give as much light as possible. move outdoors when the night temps go above 50 F

You have the large leaf version of Fukien Tea, there are two others with smaller leaves.

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Re: My little Oliver

Post  fiona on Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:30 pm

Hi Ronkira. Welcome to the forum. What you should do is what's called slip potting - you just take the tree out of its current pot and drop it into its new one without any root teasing. Then you backfill with your new soil. When you say Kyoto soil do you mean that Kyoto Bonsai is the maker?

Now, a couple of questions for you - first, do you have a garden, and second do you have transport?

Reason I am asking the first question is because you have bought a tree which will be good for you to learn on but is very limited if you can only keep it indoors. Second question is because I don't know if you are aware that you are not far from one of the best bonsai clubs in the UK which meets in Failand Village Hall. Not only that, but come March of next year, there will be what should be one of THE British bonsai events at that same venue. Click HERE for more details. Do what you can to get there - it will blow your mind and it will also give you a far better idea of what bonsai is about than anything you will ever buy in Tesco. There will also be proper traders at that event so I wouldn't go buying much in the way of tools etc before then.

I will hopefully see you there.

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Re: My little Oliver

Post  ronkira on Fri Nov 30, 2012 11:35 am

Hi Billy.

I did exactly as you said and it went very well indeed. I made sure under the roots was packed with soil and used a chopstick to check. The Bonsai soil I used felt very soft. I havent watered although I did spray a little water on the soil before I packed it into the new pot (as per a video I watched on Youtube).

As for the comment about waiting for the soil to dry before I water, I am guessing that when I stick the chopstick into the soil, if soil sticks to the stick then it still has enough moisture ??? (A bit like checking cake mix in the oven) Is that the right way to check?

And Ps - Oliver will be staying indoors with me until the summer then I will put him in the garden for a few hours.


Last edited by ronkira on Fri Nov 30, 2012 11:36 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Just wanted to add about Oliver going into the garden.)

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Re: My little Oliver

Post  leatherback on Fri Nov 30, 2012 11:49 am

You can stick the chopstick in the soil, leave it there for 10 minutes and pull it out. If the tip is moist, you are still OK. If the tip is dry, you should water. With time you gain experience & will know what your plant needs, also, then you should be able to tell by the color of the soil whether you should water.

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Re: My little Oliver

Post  ronkira on Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:29 pm

ah-ha so best use a wooden chopstick and not a red plastic one. Thanks for that tip Leatherback.

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Re: My little Oliver

Post  ronkira on Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:37 pm

Hi Fiona,

Yes I have a fairly large garden though I dont really like flowers. And yep I do drive.

So Oliver. Should he be kept out doors during the summer. I was thinking maybe putting him outside when it's nice but bringing him in on a night time (otherwise I will only worry) Is it best to leave him outside when it is raining?

OMG! Failand is only a 20 min drive from me depending on traffic. Could you give me some information on the club? Maybe I could join?

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Re: My little Oliver

Post  fiona on Fri Nov 30, 2012 5:08 pm

Perhaps if you haven't already done so you could read THIS thread from our Top Threads, Tutorials and FAQs forum. It mentions the bonsai4me website which you would also benefit greatly from visiting.

Hope this all helps.

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Re: My little Oliver

Post  ronkira on Sat Dec 01, 2012 5:43 pm

Thanks Fiona.

The book I am currently reading is Bonsai Basics by Colin Lewis. At the moment I think getting to grips with the basics is best especially for me. Dont get me wrong I do look at some on the photos here on the forum and think, "Show me how to do that." But I prefer to take my time and work slowly. The annoying thing is, when I bought Oliver I was told he was a Ficus fig so I read everything I could on figs. If it hadnt have been for Ryan I would still have been studing Figs.

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Re: My little Oliver

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Sat Dec 01, 2012 5:49 pm

BTW, Ficus = fig. Ficus is the scientific name for all plants in the Fig family.

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Re: My little Oliver

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Sat Dec 01, 2012 5:52 pm

This is from Mary Miller's web site "common names. Fujian Tea, Fukien Tea, Philippine Tea and Bath Tree are all names for the plant once scientifically known as Carmona microphylla and renamed Ehretia buxifolia.

So the scientific name for your plant is Ehretia buxifolia, but you will see all the other names above still used.

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Re: My little Oliver

Post  fiona on Sat Dec 01, 2012 8:05 pm

ronkira wrote:Thanks Fiona.

The book I am currently reading is Bonsai Basics by Colin Lewis. At the moment I think getting to grips with the basics is best especially for me. Dont get me wrong I do look at some on the photos here on the forum and think, "Show me how to do that." But I prefer to take my time and work slowly. The annoying thing is, when I bought Oliver I was told he was a Ficus fig so I read everything I could on figs. If it hadnt have been for Ryan I would still have been studing Figs.

The thread I have linked to gives you even more basic basics than Colin's book. It's a good starting point and will let you see major points that you can then take into your next learning. Most notable why you don't need to worry about trees being out in the rain. Wink

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