First Time Bonsai questions

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First Time Bonsai questions

Post  Dalton Duffett on Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:16 am

I am currently trying to grow my first bonsai tree. I decided to purchase 6 Blue Spruces for a forest arrangement about a month ago from directgardening.com. After 3 weeks, I got the trees in the mail. They came in two bags of three, with one bag having very healthy looking trees and the other with okay looking trees. I planted them in a 50\50 mix of loose potting soil and perlite. Now, a week later, I think the second bag of okay looking trees is dying. Their needles fall off of the branches at the touch and they are a brown-green color, not the blue-green they are supposed to be. My questions are are they dying or is it just shock, did they come dead, and can they be fixed?
Here are some pcs.

This is a picture of two of the bad ones next two one of the healthy ones. Even the healthy one doesn't look like a blue Spruce.

This is a close up of a bad one.

This picture shows a close up of the needles falling off.

Dalton Duffett
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First Time Bonsai Questions

Post  bonsaisr on Mon Sep 23, 2013 2:47 am

Sorry, they are dead. They were probably dead when you got them. Hope you can get a refund. Where are you keeping the rest? They should be outdoors.
Colorado blue spruce, Picea pungens, are used for bonsai but not recommended for beginners. Suggest you try growing a few individual bonsai before you tackle a forest group. Juniper, Chinese elm, or trident maple are the most suitable. For an indoor tree, get a Ficus at the box store, but not F. benjamina. Join the nearest bonsai club.
Iris

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Re: First Time Bonsai questions

Post  Dalton Duffett on Mon Sep 23, 2013 4:16 am

Thanks for the reply. They offer replacements but I might just try two individual bonsais from the living and throw out the dead. They were only like $2 a piece anyway. Im keeping them next to my garage so that they receive sun until about 1 p.m. and I only bring them inside before a storm. I did a lot of research before ordering and I think I have their care down. I should have gotten a maple, but I thought a Spruce would be good for our cold winters in Northern Missouri. I planned on getting a maple this spring.

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Re: First Time Bonsai questions

Post  Neli on Mon Sep 23, 2013 6:03 am

Job well done young man on starting this wonderful hobby. There are young men like you around the world that can be example to many of Us. Some are even doing demonstrations even. Very serious with the hobby and have wonderful collected material. Just try and learn as much as you can.

Neli
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Re: First Time Bonsai questions

Post  Guest on Mon Sep 23, 2013 9:07 am

Hi Dalton

I dont know how the weather is in your country....but many other people in the USA does...hope they tune in with other options than maples, wicth can be fragile for a new bonsaiist...there are many hard plants, that are very nice for bonsai...maybe also one will give you the name of a good shop in USA who will sell you something usefull and give some help too.

Good luck, Kind regards Yvonne

Guest
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Spruce Bonsai

Post  Potawatomi13 on Tue Sep 24, 2013 4:53 am

Spruce are able to take cold winter conditions so don't worry too much about that. However if there are severe cold spells under 18 degrees or so for several days you should protect the roots by burying in sawdust or leafmold. That being said don't bury the pots in the ground if it's somewhere the roots will stay WET. Wetness AND freezing of roots together is a very bad thing. Just so they don't dry out they'll be OK. When establishing any new plant after repotting they should have partial shade to protect from too much transpiration of their moisture or drying of the foliage for a month or so with gradual exposure to full or 3/4 sun after that depending on the species. Best of fortune.

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Re: First Time Bonsai questions

Post  Twisted Trees on Wed Sep 25, 2013 7:18 pm

Dalton Duffett wrote:They were only like $2 a piece anyway.
Owen Reich was at our club meeting last night.  He said that many people say that will keep a less than good tree because "They got it cheap."  They may have paid $2 for it and now, after 15 years of dedicated work, they have an $80 tree.  His point was to put effort into a tree that has better potential at the beginning.
Dalton Duffett wrote:I thought a Spruce would be good for our cold winters in Northern Missouri. I planned on getting a maple this spring.
Try Larch.  They are good beginner trees.

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Re: First Time Bonsai questions

Post  Dalton Duffett on Wed Sep 25, 2013 8:30 pm

Twisted Trees wrote:
Dalton Duffett wrote:They were only like $2 a piece anyway.
Owen Reich was at our club meeting last night.  He said that many people say that will keep a less than good tree because "They got it cheap."  They may have paid $2 for it and now, after 15 years of dedicated work, they have an $80 tree.  His point was to put effort into a tree that has better potential at the beginning.
Dalton Duffett wrote:I thought a Spruce would be good for our cold winters in Northern Missouri. I planned on getting a maple this spring.
Try Larch.  They are good beginner trees.
I think they have some pretty good potential, and I thought that at $2 a piece it wouldn't matter about if they survive or not since this is my first actual bonsai venture. Plus the experience and sentimental value is worth more than anything.

Dalton Duffett
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Re: First Time Bonsai questions

Post  ironhorse on Wed Sep 25, 2013 10:59 pm

You're right - start and gain hands-on experience on inexpensive material

Dave

ironhorse
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Update

Post  Dalton Duffett on Sun Oct 06, 2013 5:56 pm

I have a really weird update. The trees look worse now and they look dead, but the roots are taking hold. When I first planted them, they were wobbly in their pots, but now they are strong enough to be picked up by the tree, not the pot. (I don't do that, I'm just saying)

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Re: First Time Bonsai questions

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