Which Tools?

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Which Tools?

Post  thefourthlady on Wed Dec 26, 2012 7:36 pm

Hi, everyone...newbie here!
I've been researching Bonsai because it was something I've been interested in for years, but never got around to actually buying one. The main reason is, I live in the woods, have a very low house with large overhangs, so therefore, not a lot of natural sunlight gets into my house. Also, I live in south western PA and the winters are brutal, so when I go to work I turn my heat down to 54 degrees...see where I'm going with this? So, I didn't want to actually purchase a bonsai plant until I spoke with someone in the know to tell me which would be best with low light and could take cold temperatures. Well, my best friend knew I've been wanting a bonsai, so she bought me a plant for Christmas (gave it to me a few weeks early). It was actually a "money tree" which, from reading a little more about it, isn't acutally a bonsai, but it doesn't matter because within two weeks, it was almost dead - I'm thinking it was way too cold in my house for it. I took it back and exchanged it for a Juniper, which I was told isn't bothered by cold.

After all that....my question. I'm looking to buy the tools now and have no idea what I need and what are the best quality tools. I keep reading to stay away from the cheap ones, but I don't know what is good quality and what is priced high that I'm getting ripped off. Also, should I go with the beginners kit or buy individual tools? Do you need all the tools for all the plants or do you use certain tools for certain plants, but not for others? I eventually want to get more plants, but I want to make sure I don't kill this one first!

Any help would be appreciated!

Thanks,

Pam in PA

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sorry - egg on my face!

Post  thefourthlady on Wed Dec 26, 2012 8:02 pm

Ok, I'm going to answer my own question here...I searched tools and got a ton of info...sorry to jump the gun without researching first.
Pam

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Re: Which Tools?

Post  fiona on Wed Dec 26, 2012 8:25 pm

Just a quick question as you mentioned being worried about a. not a lot of natural sunlight getting into your house, and b. the cold because you turn your temperature down to 54F when you go to work. Where are you currently siting your juniper?

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Re: Which Tools?

Post  thefourthlady on Wed Dec 26, 2012 8:43 pm

I have it sitting in front of a window (about 1 foot away) with western exposure in my living room, which is the warmest room in the house, but that's where the thermostat is and so it goes down to 54, but only on really cold days. Usually it's in the 60's. My heat is forced air, so it's very dry also. I keep the plant well watered. I could put it in another room which gets more light, but it's really cold in there when the heat goes down.

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Re: Which Tools?

Post  Jkd2572 on Wed Dec 26, 2012 9:36 pm

I would think it would suffer all winter until your able to get back outside in the spring time. Junipers are outdoor plants. Most people keep them in protective cold storage during the winter. In my climate that rarely dips below 25 degrees I keep them out side year round. Your winters are quite harsh so I hope somebody from your area chimes in.

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Re: Which Tools?

Post  thefourthlady on Wed Dec 26, 2012 9:58 pm

So, if I'm hearing you right, my cold house shouldn't be a problem for this plant? Should I perhaps put it in my laundry room, which is very cold with much less light, so perhaps it would go into a more "dormant" state there? And for my next plant purchase, would a boxwood be ok? I've been reading about them and they seem to grow in low/filtered light and are hardy when it comes to temperature extremes.

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Re: Which Tools?

Post  fiona on Wed Dec 26, 2012 10:10 pm

Your house is among the worst places you could keep this plant. As has been said junipers, like most bonsai, are outdoor plants. If you haven't already done so can I suggest you read our beginners' tutorial which you can find HERE, especially the bit on "indoor" bonsai which goes part way to explaining why houses are poor growing locations for most bonsai. There are a couple of links to other websites that will give you plenty more information. The bonsai4me website will also give you lots of great info on junipers.

Just for comparison (although my winters are probably not as severe as yours) my junipers are kept outside all year round and are regularly exposed to temperatures of around -6C (23F). I keep my shohin (small) ones over winter in an unheated glasshouse (more for protection against the wind) but unless it is very cold for a prolonged period, the larger trees remain outside in the shelter of a south facing wall. Again, the shelter is mostly from cold winds.



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Re: Which Tools?

Post  thefourthlady on Wed Dec 26, 2012 10:22 pm

Thanks, I have been reading and learning a lot in a very short time, but from site to site I get different info. You said you put your pots outside even below freezing. Don't the pots crack? There are weeks here when the temperature doesn't get above freezing and days at a time that are close to 0 degrees F. I do have an unheated garage, but it really does get cold and stays cold for a while here.

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Re: Which Tools?

Post  fiona on Wed Dec 26, 2012 10:35 pm

Good bonsai pots are frost proof.

WHy not go to the Home page and type "juniper winter protection" into the google search box? You will get a couple of ads at the top of a list of responses but skip through these and you will get eight pages of previous threads on this topic. If you have time, read through the ones that are appropriate to your temperature zone. You're bound to find some good info there.



Last edited by fiona on Wed Dec 26, 2012 11:30 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Which Tools?

Post  thefourthlady on Wed Dec 26, 2012 11:25 pm

Thanks so much for your patience, Fiona!

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Re: Which Tools?

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