Bonsai for a Beginner

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Bonsai for a Beginner

Post  tahoepat on Fri Jun 10, 2011 12:25 am

I just bought a Juniperus Squamata (blue star juniper) to learn with and start a bonsai. Knowing I am a complete novice with Bonsai's, what is absolutely the very 1st thing I should do to get started? The juniper is growing nicely in a gallon pot and still in the dirt. I have a bonsai dish. What's next?
Thanks for any help.
tahoepat

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Re: Bonsai for a Beginner

Post  Russell Coker on Fri Jun 10, 2011 12:37 am

tahoepat wrote: What's next?

1 - Welcome!

2 - Read books, surf the internet and this site, and join a local club so someone can give you some real "hands on" advice and guidance.

R

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Re: Bonsai for a Beginner

Post  bonsaidude978 on Fri Jun 10, 2011 12:50 am

Hello fellow novice.

I started a little over a year ago and I still feel like there is so much to be learned. There are a lot of great books. Here are a few that I have that have helped me immensly:

The Bonsai Handbook
-David Prescott

The Living Art of Bonsai
-Amy Ling

Bonsai Survival Guide
-Colin Lewis

If you can get your hands on Bonsai Techniques 1 by John Naka, I've heard its the bible of bonsai.

Good luck, I would love to see some pics of the juniper!

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Re: Bonsai for a Beginner

Post  BrianG on Fri Jun 10, 2011 2:04 am

I highly recommend John Naka Bonsai Techniques 1 and 2 ... these will start you off in the right direction and like the others said Join a local Bonsai Club .. good luck and enjoy your new found addiction! cheers cheers

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Bonsai for a Beginner (Please correct spelling)

Post  bonsaisr on Fri Jun 10, 2011 2:56 am

You are in hog heaven. Is the Pacific Rim Collection open? If and when it is, be sure to go there. It is one of the finest bonsai collections in the Western Hemisphere. There are several distinguished bonsai clubs in the Pacific Northwest. Find the closest one. Your climate is also conducive to bonsai, being similar to Japan.
Iris

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Thanks all

Post  tahoepat on Fri Jun 10, 2011 3:05 am

Thanks for the input. I have tried to post some pics of the Blue Star, but can't get it to work. But I'm still looking at the pot of Juniper and wondering if there isn't something to do while I gather my learning materials?




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Bonsai

Post  Mitch Thomas on Fri Jun 10, 2011 3:00 pm

Nobody else said it so here goes.

Bonsai lesson # 1

It is kind of a unwriten tabo to EVER refer to BONSAI as Bonzai.

Good luck just wanted to warn you this obsession is very addictive.

Mitch

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Re: Bonsai for a Beginner

Post  Russell Coker on Fri Jun 10, 2011 4:35 pm

tahoepat wrote:But I'm still looking at the pot of Juniper and wondering if there isn't something to do while I gather my learning materials?

Um, you want someone here to tell you to do something before you have any clue as to what you're doing AND before we've even seen a picture????? Shocked

Patience, Grasshopper....

P.S. Posting pictures here is tedious at best, but if I can figure out how to do it anyone can.

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Re: Bonsai for a Beginner

Post  Randy_Davis on Fri Jun 10, 2011 6:52 pm

tahoepat wrote:Thanks for the input. But I'm still looking at the pot of Juniper and wondering if there isn't something to do while I gather my learning materials?

Tahoepat,

As Russell said "patients grasshopper"!!!!!! Your a beginner, you've seen bonsai that inspire you to take up the hobby, you went so far as to buy a plant and a pot but you have no point of reference to continue. Hmmmm we were all there once!. Put the pot in a box, wrap it with Christmas paper and put it in the closet until Christmas. Put that juniper out on the deck or patio in a nice location and take good care of it by watering it and feeding it. Go to the library, get some bonsai books, go back home and for the next 2 weeks sit out on the deckor patio with a cup of coffee or other beverage of your choice and page through those books, occasionally looking over at your Juniper, every now and then get up and go turn that juniper a 1/4 turn and then go back to your beverage and books. Write a list of materials (wire is the first order of business) and then find them. Once you have your materials in hand and you've looked at each book a dozen times and glanced over at that tree 100 times you'll probably have a vision in your mind. Now grasshopper, execute your vision! take your time, be brave with the trimmers, wire carefully and then put the juniper back in its place on the deck or patio and go back to book reading, watering and feeding and drinking that beverage. Do that everyday, evaluate your work, tweek your tree, and sit on your hands till it's time to work with the roots. You have until after Christmas to contemplate your vision before you go on. Wax-on, Wax off, Paint the fence, Paint the house All good exercises from Karate Kid. Oh, and change that title, we're not at war anymore.

Enjoy,
Randy

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Re: Bonsai for a Beginner

Post  gman on Fri Jun 10, 2011 7:13 pm

Tahoepat,
Here is some info on the clubs in your state. I'm above the 49th and can tell you that we have a lot of native species that make great bonsai material and once you've got your feet wet with a club you'll find out what I mean.
WASHINGTON - Olympia
Olympia Bonsai Club. Meets at 7:00 PM on the second Thursday of each month at the Lacey Community Center 6729 Pacific Avenue SE, Olympia, WA. Our mailing address is Box 2682, Olympia, WA., 98507-2682, Rep: Gene Tsuji (360)491-0593 www.easysite.com/olympiabonsaiclub

WASHINGTON - Seattle
Puget Sound Bonsai Association. Meets at Center for Urban Horticulture at Univ. of Wash., 3501 NE 41st St., fourth Monday, February, March, April, May Show, July "Summer" Potluck, September, October & November, 7:30 PM. Website

WASHINGTON - Sequim
Dungeness Bonsai Society. Meets at Pioneer Park, 387 E Washington Street in Sequim. First Tuesday in February, March, April, May, September, October, November, 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM. Contact President Robert Stack, Dungeness Bonsai Society, PO Box 1441, Sequim, WA 98382. E-mail.

WASHINGTON - Spokane
Inland Empire Bonsai Society - Meets at Manito Park meeting room (4W, 21st Ave) on the third Sunday of every month at 12:00 PM. Contact: Hal Allert (509)869-4583, E-mail: info@inlandbonsai.com Website: http://www.inlandbonsai.com/

WASHINGTON - Yakima
Yakima Valley Bonsai Society. Meetings are held at 7:30 PM the last Tuesday of each month from February through October at the Yakima Area Arboretum, 1401 Arboretum DR, Yakima WA Contact: Ernie Smith Racee@wolfenet.com

Also ......take the time to go visit Elandan Gardens, ltd. 3050 W State Hwy. 16, Bremerton,WA, 98312 360-373- 8260. Open: April - October, Tuesday - Sunday 10 - 5 pm. ... it will be worth the trip.
Cheers
Gman


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Re: Bonsai for a Beginner

Post  RKatzin on Sat Jun 11, 2011 5:47 am

Hi Tahoepat, after all the above info I'll give you a little heads up on the species you've chosen for a first subject. You'll notice the foliage grows on stems about two inches long and they do not like to be cut, browning out on the ends. They look good when they are large enough, but that takes many years of field growing to get them up to size. You don't see alot of Blue Star bonsai, mostly because there are many other Juniper that are much more suited to bonsai. There are also many trees that are much easier to learn with, deciduous trees like maples grow quickly and are very forgiving of newbial blunders. Read all you can, chat it up to the ceiling, but you can only learn bonsai with your hands in the dirt. Start with easy trees, freebies if you can get them, but cheapies for sure and work your way up as you build confidence. Welcome to the addiction!

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Re: Bonsai for a Beginner

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Sat Jun 11, 2011 11:15 pm

Try http://www.bonsai-bci.com/species/blue-juniper.html

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Bonzai for a Beginner

Post  tahoepat on Sun Jun 12, 2011 12:33 am

Oh my gosh!! You have all been so helpful! Especially Randy_Davis. I did want to tell you I have now removed it from the pot to look over the root system. It is totally pot bound, cannot even separate the roots! (I'll take a picture).
I will trudge on and still trying to get these pictures up. Thanks so much. I'll keep you posted!
tahoep!at

PS Hey, I think I've got it! Pics are here. However, now every pic I ever took finally shows up! Sorry for that, but I can't get rid of them now......lol!






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Bonzai for a Beginner

Post  tahoepat on Sun Jun 12, 2011 12:44 am

Thanks everyone, while I learn how to use your site and post pics and realized I don't know what I'm doing! Sorry about all the pics, just learning and will try to not flood your site!
tahoepat

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Re: Bonsai for a Beginner

Post  JimLewis on Sun Jun 12, 2011 3:07 pm

If you end up with pictures you don't want in any of your messages, click on "edit" at the top of your message, and simply delete them.

_________________
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

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Bonsai for a Beginner

Post  bonsaisr on Sun Jun 12, 2011 3:25 pm

Now plant the 'Blue Star' juniper in your foundation planting and get something more suitable. Try a cotoneaster. If you can find a Japanese maple or crabapple that isn't grafted, they are good choices. Contact the local bonsai society. They can advise you on suitable starter plants sold in your area.
Iris

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Re: Bonsai for a Beginner

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