Hello new to bonsai

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Hello new to bonsai

Post  Arklady on Fri Nov 12, 2010 4:40 pm

I just joined the other day and I have read avidly all the post regarding bonsai for days. (I have not read them all Lol) Anyway, I decided the best thing for me to do is just jump in and so I will. I have collected from this springs seed drops several maple, I don't know the actual (breed, term confusion?) but I hope to figure that out later. I took this pot that had like 30 or so seedlings growing in it and I separated them into growing tubes. I watered them as they had need and right know I have about 6 strong seedlings. I have transplanted them into pots and will put them on the south side of the house today or tomorrow. Its pretty cold out there and I hope at least half of them survive the winter. Also how long do I keep them in the pot before working with them as a subject.

I have always had a love affair with trees and love them in my yard, (I always pruned them to look unique). I am not exactly a green thumb but I do seem to have success with bushes and trees. So, since I was in my 20's I wanted to try bonsai but I put it off till I had more free time. Now I am 58 and I am jumping in with both feet. I would love some beginner books to buy and would like to know what exactly to do with the seedlings this spring if perhaps any survive.

Also, I wanted to know what I should look for when buying trees from a local outlet be it a nursery or wally mart. Remembering that I am a total Noob with this I understand that I could have many failures and that I would want to start out cheap for starters. I love free and knowing I can collect is a great thing as it will get me out of the house. Information like that would help me a lot and perhaps I will succeed. I don't now how far this will go but I have the spare time now and I figured what the hey.

Feel free to email me if your list is lengthy.

I love the junipers and cypress with the Idaho cedar being my favorite, but I feel for me I should start simple with trees that I can either get for free or find nearby.

I love these posts and the trees are gorgeous. Keep up the good work!

Paula DeLisse Wichita, Kansas

PS. If I buy old plastic pots from a garage sale, how would I disinfect them.

Arklady
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Re: Hello new to bonsai

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Fri Nov 12, 2010 5:22 pm

Welcome to Bonsai. Most of your questions require more explanation than is practical, at least for me, on this forum, but one easy question is

If I buy old plastic pots from a garage sale, how would I disinfect them?

The best thing is a cup of household bleach in five gallons of water, soak the pots a few minutes and then rinse in clean water and air dry.

I will check on local clubs, they make the best resources.

Billy M. Rhodes
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Re: Hello new to bonsai

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Fri Nov 12, 2010 5:26 pm

One Kansas club I found is:

KANSAS CITY - Bonsai Society of Greater Kansas City
Contact: Brad Short
5337 W 101 Terrace, Overland Park, KS 66207
913-963-3092
E-mail: bshort@sprintmail.com
http://www.bonsaisociety-kc.org

I suspect this is some distance from you, I will keep looking.

Billy M. Rhodes
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Re: Hello new to bonsai

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Fri Nov 12, 2010 5:33 pm

Better

KANSAS - Wichita

Wichita Bonsai Club members meet the 2nd Monday of each month at 7pm at The Botanica, 701 Amidon, Wichita, KS. Contact: William Burrow (316) 267-8247 or by E-mail. The purpose of our club is to both create an interest and to help inspire participation in the growing of bonsai, to help advance the appreciation and enjoyment of bonsai through meetings and exhibits, to coordinate and to supply information about bonsai and to communicate with other bonsai clubs and organizations in order to share bonsai information, opportunities and experiences. Website

Please contact this local club. They can be a big help, since the climate and available plants can make a lot of difference in the Bonsai hobby.

Billy M. Rhodes
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Re: Hello new to bonsai

Post  Arklady on Fri Nov 12, 2010 5:47 pm

I will have to see about getting up there soon. I still need to know about my seedlings though. I want them to live through the winter. LOL it is probably the only hobby I would have that could be left out of the house instead of in my project room.

Arklady Smile

Arklady
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Re: Hello new to bonsai

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Fri Nov 12, 2010 5:55 pm

My problem is that I am in Florida near the Space Center and I really am not qualified to advise on care of seedlings in your winter.

My feeling is that they will need more protection than the south side of the house, especially at this young age and in pots. Larger trees will survive in the ground but one thing that happens in pots is that the roots freeze.

As I say I don't have this kind of experience, that is why I suggested the local club.

Hopefully someone from a harsher climate will respond.

Billy M. Rhodes
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Re: Hello new to bonsai

Post  Kev Bailey on Fri Nov 12, 2010 5:56 pm

Are the seedlings from seeds that you collected from a local tree? If so they are likely to be just fine outdoors through the winter. If they are seeds of a tropical tree that you bought, then they will need some winter protection. Knowing the species or seeing a photo would really help.

_________________
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” - Charles Darwin.

Kev Bailey
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Re: Hello new to bonsai

Post  Arklady on Fri Nov 12, 2010 6:08 pm

Yes I collected them from a tree outside my mothers house. Out of thirty or so 6 remain alive through this dry summer we had here. I also have access to Sweet gum seeds but I have only just released the seeds into a bag and haven't gotten to the point on the where, how and when to plant those. Elms are prolific around here but I don't want a scrub elm though I understand they can have the more unusual shapes being in the wild. I do plan on getting a book that can help me identify some of the local trees.

All reply's are greatly appreciated.

Arklady

Arklady
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Hello New to Bonsai

Post  bonsaisr on Fri Nov 12, 2010 6:12 pm

I suggest you bury the pots with the seedlings & leave them out for the winter. Most of them will probably survive. However, you need to find out which species of maple you have. Some will make good bonsai material & others are useless. It will take years before they can be made into bonsai. You need to start with inexpensive garden center material, like a juniper.
Iris

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Re: Hello new to bonsai

Post  Arklady on Fri Nov 12, 2010 6:51 pm

I believe these are just run of the mill fast growing Maples that will have shade in like 8 years. My mother would do that but they aren't a pretty tree per se; I would want something nicer. I actually thought they might not be good for bonsai but, my thought process was to succeed in keeping them alive while I study. I know there is always a learning curve to any endeavor. I plan on a trip to the nurseries hopefully before thanksgiving to see what is left and work on one that has a better root system and perhaps check out the pots available to me. In the mean time I will make a few calls to the local bonsai club.

Arklady
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Re: Hello new to bonsai

Post  JimLewis on Fri Nov 12, 2010 8:52 pm

Welcome to the Internet Bonsai Club -- and to bonsai.

There are several books that are better for beginners to the sport of bonsai.

One of the best beginner's books used to be published by Sunset Magazine, but they seem to have let it go out of print. You can still find it here -- http://www.amazon.com/Bonsai-Gardening-Landscaping-Sunset-Book/dp/0376030453 -- though.

Your local Barnes and Noble or Borders will likely have (and certainly can order) Herb Gustafson's "Bonsai Workshop." It too is designed for beginner bonsaiests.

Now to your maples, if they are this year's seedlings they're pretty small. After their leaves (they probably only have a couple) have fallen, they don't need to be outside and do not need light. An unheated garage would be fine. Just remember to keep the soil just damp -- NOT wet.

Unless you decide to make tiny under 5 inch bonsai out of them (called "mame -- mah-may -- in Japanese), it will be as many as 10 years before you can do any real "bonsai" work on them. I think we'd all suggest you visit a local nursery in early spring and select a tree or shrub or two to start work on. And I would suggest that it NOT be one of the box store nurseries, but a real nursery with larger (and more expensive, alas) plants. On average, even a little one-gallon plant will be twice as large as a one-gallon plant from Home Despot.

Assuming you want to grow your bonsai out doors, a juniper is always a good starter plant.

_________________
Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

JimLewis
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Re: Hello new to bonsai

Post  Kev Bailey on Fri Nov 12, 2010 8:54 pm

You have the right attitude. Learn to keep things alive, keep looking and reading and most importantly, if you want to learn really quickly, join your local club. That last step is usually the very most important thing you can do to advance.

Meanwhile, keep asking us questions.

_________________
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” - Charles Darwin.

Kev Bailey
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Re: Hello new to bonsai

Post  ogie on Fri Nov 12, 2010 8:58 pm

Kev Bailey wrote:You have the right attitude. Learn to keep things alive, keep looking and reading and most importantly, if you want to learn really quickly, join your local club. That last step is usually the very most important thing you can do to advance.

Meanwhile, keep asking us questions.

Welcome & totally agree with Kev...enjoy
Regards,
Alex Smile

ogie
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Hello New to Bonsai

Post  bonsaisr on Sun Nov 14, 2010 10:49 pm

Arklady wrote:
Also, I wanted to know what I should look for when buying trees from a local outlet be it a nursery or wally mart.
There is more on this subject than I could put in a short post. We have an article I can send you.

Arklady wrote:I love the junipers and cypress with the Idaho cedar being my favorite, but I feel for me I should start simple with trees that I can either get for free or find nearby.

Paula DeLisse Wichita, Kansas
Please get into the habit of using botanical names. Nobody in Europe or even another part of the US will know what you mean by Idaho cedar. If you call it by its proper name, Thuja plicata, then we can communicate. Yes, it is used for bonsai. We still don't know what species of maple you have seedlings of, so we can't give you any advice about them.

Arklady wrote:PS. If I buy old plastic pots from a garage sale, how would I disinfect them.
Fill a pail with one part household bleach to ten parts water & a bit of detergent. Wash off excess dirt and soak the pots for a few days. Rinse thoroughly. Use the same treatment for glazed bonsai pots. Unglazed terra cotta pots must be sterilized in the self-cleaning oven. Don't soak them in anything.
Iris

bonsaisr
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Re: Hello new to bonsai

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