What to look for...

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What to look for...

Post  srqstyle on Sun Apr 03, 2011 1:06 am

I am very new to the art of Bonsai, and I am finding out that the more I read about it, the more obsessed I am becoming! I have the 2 Fukien's as my first trees, and I recently planted 16 Chinese elm seeds. Hopefully a few will be viable as future bonsai's. But it will be a few more weeks until I have anything else to post about them. So I am getting experience with bonsai started from seed, but I would like to try my hand at starting bonsai from nursery stock or wild specimens. Any suggestions for a good beginners choice of plant? I like the look of trees like Fukiens, Elm's, Maples, ficus, etc. I also like pines and other types of coniferous evergreens, but the length of time it takes for a black pine or juniper to acquire the weathered "story-telling" appearance of a gorgeous old bonsai might be too much for me this early in my Bonsai experience. I would love to hear any suggestions of a tree that matures nicely at a younger age and will need regular attention to detail (this will help me hone my skills Smile) Pictures of other users specimens would be nice to see as well. Thanks for your input!!!

srqstyle
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Re: What to look for...

Post  luc tran on Sun Apr 03, 2011 1:16 am

Hello there and welcome to the art. I think the plant choices that you have picked out are excellent choices. Take good care of them and learn.

Luc

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Re: What to look for...

Post  srqstyle on Sun Apr 03, 2011 1:17 am

Thanks Luc!!! Smile

srqstyle
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Re: What to look for...

Post  Guest on Sun Apr 03, 2011 2:06 am

Hi.

Your choice of starter trees specially elms, fukien tea, and ficus are perfect for starting up. If you are looking for a long term relationship with your starter trees, and planning to buy ficus for example, always look for trees even the small ones with lower branch growths, good root spread no matter how small will be beneficial in the future and healthy looking leaves is also a good sign.
"Mallsai" Chinese elms are good for practicing too.
Good luck with your new hobby and welcome! take it slowlyat first. and read more...and drop by at IBC very often, it will help you a lot.

regards,
jun

Smile

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Re: What to look for...

Post  srqstyle on Sun Apr 03, 2011 2:46 am

Thanks for the advice Jun. I will take my time, and learn as much as I can about growing techniques. So far, everyone on IBC has been super helpful. Thanks everyone!

srqstyle
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Re: What to look for...

Post  Mr. Moody on Sun Apr 03, 2011 3:24 am

Srqstyle,
There is also stuff you might be able to find at your local big box type graden center or local nursery. Not sure what they have down in Florida, but here in N. Carolina there are always Boxwoods, Hollies, and Junipers (sargents, parsons etc, not the preferred bonsai varieties but Junipers none the less). There are also sometimes plants like Cotoneasters, various fruit trees (although usually with high ugly grafts) etc. They might never make a show stopping display piece but you got to get your fingers dirty somehow, and like you said in one of your other threads, "beauty is in the eye of the beholder.".

I'm starting my second season this year. After losing some of my trees this past winter to rookie mistakes I am collecting trees from my yard this year, except for a couple trees that arent 'native', and saving my money. I live on a mostly uncleared almost acre of land and overlooked the vast number of 'yamadori' literally at my backdoor for more traditional starter trees.

It did take a year for this to finaly become clear to me, but bonsai really is an evolution of sorts and doesnt just happen overnight.
Good luck in your bonsai journey and dont get discouraged when, not if, you kill a couple of trees.

Mr. Moody
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Re: What to look for...

Post  srqstyle on Sun Apr 03, 2011 3:58 am

Thanks for the info, Mr. Woody. I think I will take a trip to the nursery tomorrow and pick up a few plants. I totally forgot about hollies. I really love the way some of them look as bonsai. I also forgot to mention that i planted an oak (not sure the variety) that I dug out of my backyard about 2 months ago. It has a really interesting trunk shape in a natural twisty gnarled look. It is a sapling in the truest sense. I actually brought the trunk about 3 inches above where it would have been in the ground, so the bottom portion of the trunk was actually the first part of the tree's root structure. It only has 2 leaves on it, and it seems my attempt at replanting it stunted it's growth. After 2 months, it has not grown any new leaves. The 2 leaves are still dark green, so I know I didn't kill it. Maybe time will help it recover, but for now, it is alive but certainly not thriving. Thanks again for the ideas! Very Happy

srqstyle
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Re: What to look for...

Post  Sam Ogranaja on Sun Apr 03, 2011 5:08 am

If you live in Sarasota you have got to drive to North Fort Myers to Erik Wigert's nursery. Wigertsbonsai.com. Erik is an amazing artist and you'll learn a lot of stuff just hanging for 10 minutes with that guy. Never mind the fact that he has plants in all price ranges and levels. You should check out his flat top raintree. Awe inspiring. You're only 1 hour drive from him and totally worth it. I think Erik knows someone in Venice that does incredible work with plant that require dormancy like maples. I'm not sure how he's doing that in FL but Erik does.

Tell him Sam from NC sent you. Smile
Good luck with your bonsai journey. It is super rewarding.

Sam Ogranaja
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Re: What to look for...

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Sun Apr 03, 2011 11:31 am

Please check into your local club, I think I sent you the link and the Florida State Convention is in June. See my note in announcements. I am doing a workshop with Erick at the convention on Campeche.

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