hemlock (i'm new)

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hemlock (i'm new)

Post  zooloo10 on Sun May 30, 2010 10:11 pm

hi,
I'm Zac from northern Delaware. I am new to bonsai and have a few questions. in late november I went to longwood and saw their bonsai show. i was hooked so i bought a starter kit the kit came with hyssop seeds. so i did some research and it turned out its a perennial. so i tried planting the seeds and they sprouted and died. so i was angry. a week later i saw a baby pine tree in my back yard and checked it out. it is a Eastern Hemlock, so i dug it up and the root ball was minuscule so i put it in the tiny pot (mabey 2"x2") and it is growing fine. I have kept it indoors all winter and spring and it is on a south facing window with mourning sun. i know hemlock only like partial shade and it isn't dead or sick. it is acually growing and i have clipped off a few bunched up branches. my question is, is it too early to start shaping it, what soil mix should i use? (i have it in scotts water control soil) i have recently bough vermiculite because i cant find Turface, Diatomaceous Earth or fired clay cat litter locally. also i would like to make this tree either a semi cascade/cascade or a root over rock.
thanks, zac

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Re: hemlock (i'm new)

Post  zooloo10 on Sun May 30, 2010 10:13 pm

im in zone 7

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Re: hemlock (i'm new)

Post  fiona on Sun May 30, 2010 10:51 pm

Hi Zac. Nice to have you onboard and I hope this forum spurs your bonsai interest and ability.

What would be really good would be if you could post a picture of your tree. If you are not sure how to do this, click HERE

The only thing I'd say at the moment is that the pot you have put the tree in currently seems to me to be too small. When you dig up a tree what you need to do is let the roots grow as ungindered as possible and for that you should ideally have a fairly big container. The actual size will depend on the size of the tree and I notice you haven't told us how tall it is for example.

If you try to get the pic posted, I'm sure people will be more than delighted to pass on their thoughts and expertise.
And if there's one piece of bonsai wisdom that is indispensible to a bonsai novice it is simply this: have patience. Lots of patience. In terms of tree development I would always invoke a UK road safety slogan - Speed Kills. Very Happy

Good luck and good enjoyment

Fiona

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Re: hemlock (i'm new)

Post  zooloo10 on Sun May 30, 2010 10:54 pm

thanks fiona i dont have the time at the moment to post a picture but i will soon so... until next post

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Re: hemlock (i'm new)

Post  zooloo10 on Mon May 31, 2010 12:00 am

hi these are the pictures

front


left


back


so the tree is about ten inches hight including the pot without it it is about 1.5 inches

right


exact height

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Hemlock

Post  bonsaisr on Mon May 31, 2010 12:01 am

I always seem to rain on newbies. Crying or Very sad
Having tried eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) many times & read up on it, I can tell you is is rather difficult for beginners. Are you sure that's what you have?
Vermiculite is not particularly suitable for bonsai soil. You need perfect drainage, especially for a hemlock. Also, get it outdoors in the shade. It is a cool growing tree.
I suggest you start by learning how to style an informal upright. Cascade & root over rock come later.
Iris

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Hemlock

Post  bonsaisr on Mon May 31, 2010 12:05 am

PS. That's not a hemlock.
Iris

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Re: hemlock (i'm new)

Post  zooloo10 on Mon May 31, 2010 12:14 am

the problem is that i cant figure out what kind of tree it is i did the tree identification thing on 3 different sites and got the same results. But here is a detailed description. the needles are single on the branch 2 directly across from each other on the branch in an alternating fashion, they needles are about .5 inch long and have 2 white strips on the front, on the back it is shiny dark green. the bark is a red brown color.

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Hemlock

Post  Guest on Mon May 31, 2010 12:19 am

Welcome Zac. As Iris says, thats not a Hemlock. Looks like a needle Juniper to me.

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Re: hemlock (i'm new)

Post  zooloo10 on Mon May 31, 2010 12:32 am

thanks for the insight i looked at some baby needle juniper pictures and they look relatively close. so any advice for me like what size pot to put it in and what medium to use?

Zac

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Re: hemlock (i'm new)

Post  Todd Ellis on Mon May 31, 2010 1:57 am

Hi Zac, welcome to the wonderful world of bonsai! I think your tree is Juniperus virginiana; I'm not sure if I spelled it right though... It is commonly called "red cedar" or "cedar", but it is a juniper. They prefer to live outdoors; although kudos to you for keeping it alive indoors. Fiona is right about a larger pot for it to prosper in. Living outdoors, where it should, the roots don't have room to grow and the soil would dry up quickly in the small pot you are using. Since you have carefully wrapped wire around the trunk, you can probably bend the trunk to create your cascade style.

Remember, all bonsai growers have a collection of used pots. Smile If your tree should "pass on the the great beyond", please don't let this stop you from trying again. Salut, Todd

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Re: hemlock (i'm new)

Post  zooloo10 on Mon May 31, 2010 2:03 am

thanks for the advice Todd i will put it in a larger pot outside tomorrow. the wire was the simplest thing i could think of which was wrap it around a pencil stretch in out then twist it on.

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Re: hemlock (i'm new)

Post  JimLewis on Mon May 31, 2010 12:54 pm

Meanwhile, I suggest that you go to your local library and look for books on bonsai. Check them out and read them. You also might read the articles at http://www.evergreengardenworks.com/.

I'd suggest a pot for that little tree that is 3-4 times as wide, but not much deeper. ONLY water when the soil is almost dry. Fertilize with a normal houseplant fertilizer, like Miracle-Gro, following instructions on the label.

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Re: hemlock (i'm new)

Post  zooloo10 on Mon May 31, 2010 1:53 pm

Thanks Jim what kind of soil should i put it in, i know i should keep some of the old soil when i put it in the new pot. i have vermiculite and moister controlling soil at my disposal. im trying to get some clay cat litter fired so i can have a batch of that to use.

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Re: hemlock (i'm new)

Post  DreadyKGB on Mon May 31, 2010 5:48 pm

I'm sure in Delaware you could find a Napa Auto parts store. They carry a product called Supersorb. It it 100% diatomaceuos clay. Its about $8 for a 25 quart bag. It is a good base for soil mixtures. It is sold for cleaning up spillage in a garage. Good Luck.

Todd

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Re: hemlock (i'm new)

Post  DreadyKGB on Mon May 31, 2010 6:11 pm

Another thought would be to go out and buy yourself a jade or baby jade plant. Although they are not a true tree they have the ability to become bonsai and they are very forgiving. Through my journey of learning bonsai and horticultural lessons jade has been very helpful and I am still in the early stages of the journey. It can be frustrating to kill off nursery stock and yamadori for which you have high hopes, but it is very tough to kill jade plants. They grow fast and propogate easily so in a short time you will have something that is reasonably nice looking as well as many cuttings to experiment with. Just my thoughts, as I know that it has helped me through the learning process.

Todd

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Re: hemlock (i'm new)

Post  zooloo10 on Mon May 31, 2010 6:13 pm

hi Todd, i've called 4 napas in my area the only one that has the clay absorber in my area is a 40 minute drive Sad Sad Sad Sad Sad Sad Sad Sad Sad Sad
but thanks any way todd,
zac Dance

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Re: hemlock (i'm new)

Post  zooloo10 on Mon May 31, 2010 7:17 pm

i also have jade growing on a window sill. on was a branch from a tree then the branch fell apart and all of the "leaves" sproutes roots so i now have about 6 jades in 1 pot and one different type in another. farao

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Re: hemlock (i'm new)

Post  Fuzzy on Mon May 31, 2010 10:13 pm

Hi Zak,
Welcome to the forum. Everyone has beat me to the punch with regards to your questions so far, so all I’ll say is Learn all you can with regards to this fascinating hobby and enjoy the ride and if you stick with it your understanding of bonsai will blossom in no time at all. Stick with it mate and enjoy the ride! Smile

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Re: hemlock (i'm new)

Post  Storm on Mon May 31, 2010 10:31 pm

Hello and welcome!
Well, if you get some additional trees, 40 minutes isnt that far Wink Ive driven that several times to buy cat litter. Have bought about 60 litres or more at a time, and it doesnt add that much to the cost. Do it as a saturday drive Wink.

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Re: hemlock (i'm new)

Post  zooloo10 on Tue Jun 01, 2010 12:09 am

well i dont have a car my parents would have to drive me there. but i could try some time over the summer

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Re: hemlock (i'm new)

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