Hello, new bonsai owner, just wanted to introduce myself and get input (pics)

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Welcome

Post  jake4bonsai on Fri Oct 21, 2011 3:47 am

Your very welcome! I am a beginner also but i have learned alot in 3/4 of a year, and am being tought by someone thats been in bonsai 40 years and horticulture even longer. He learn from Ben Okie and Richard Strauss wich whom were two of John Nakas students. Probably the biggest name is bonsai ever, or one of the biggest anyhow. Oh yes, and thats another thing. If you want to collect and grow bonsai learn everything you can about horticulture itself. I always tell people starting out it doesnt do any good to buy bonsai if you dont have the skills to keep them alive. Thats the most important aspect exspecially if you decide to creat bonsai from nursery stock or native plants, the plant has to be very very healthy before it can be cultivated as bonsai. It must be strong and mature and no issues as far as health goes. If you develope a good horticulture back ground you will produce good bonsai.

Always here to help if i can, sometimes im the one needing help! lol.
Jake

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Re: Hello, new bonsai owner, just wanted to introduce myself and get input (pics)

Post  drgonzo on Sun Oct 23, 2011 3:01 am

So Jake let me get this straight.

you've been doing Bonsai for 9 months and have 150 plants with 65-75 of those being bonsai or pre-bonsai?

even when I had "cloners madness" I never approached those numbers. How do you find the time to water? Bless you're plant loving heart Laughing
and welcome to the forum
-Jay

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Re: Hello, new bonsai owner, just wanted to introduce myself and get input (pics)

Post  coh on Sun Oct 23, 2011 3:41 am

Jay, you better get busy...some catching up to do!

Chris

P.S. To the original poster (parabellum), welcome to the forum!

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Re: Hello, new bonsai owner, just wanted to introduce myself and get input (pics)

Post  Tony on Sun Oct 23, 2011 8:33 am

Jake wrote: If you want to collect and grow bonsai learn everything you can about horticulture itself. I always tell people starting out it doesnt do any good to buy bonsai if you dont have the skills to keep them alive. Thats the most important aspect exspecially if you decide to create bonsai from nursery stock or native plants, the plant has to be very very healthy before it can be cultivated as bonsai. It must be strong and mature and no issues as far as health goes. If you develop a good horticulture back ground you will produce good bonsai.

Jake

This statement should be published every month here on IBC, this approach is fundamental to the creation of good bonsai... Jake... YOU are a HERO thumbs up

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Re: Hello, new bonsai owner, just wanted to introduce myself and get input (pics)

Post  jun on Sun Oct 23, 2011 8:50 am

jake4bonsai wrote:Your very welcome! I am a beginner also but i have learned alot in 3/4 of a year, and am being tought by someone thats been in bonsai 40 years and horticulture even longer. He learn from Ben Okie and Richard Strauss wich whom were two of John Nakas students. Probably the biggest name is bonsai ever, or one of the biggest anyhow. Oh yes, and thats another thing. If you want to collect and grow bonsai learn everything you can about horticulture itself. I always tell people starting out it doesnt do any good to buy bonsai if you dont have the skills to keep them alive. Thats the most important aspect exspecially if you decide to creat bonsai from nursery stock or native plants, the plant has to be very very healthy before it can be cultivated as bonsai. It must be strong and mature and no issues as far as health goes. If you develope a good horticulture back ground you will produce good bonsai.

Always here to help if i can, sometimes im the one needing help! lol.
Jake

WOW! Some heavy names you drop there.
Jake, You are from the direct lineage of Ben Okie and John Naka. You must be doing some heavy stuff man. Wink I hope to see some of the results of those teachings, Can you post some trees? I wonder how it feels to be carrying such big time names in ones badge...Me, I am just like a mushroom, I just popped up out of nowhere colonized a vacant lot that resembles a garden and tried to learn bonsai on my own. Sounds envious? Yes I am! Razz

regards,
jun Smile


Parabellum,
Do you have a name?
Simple tip. You are on the right track, Just keep those trees alive first, learn how those trees will behave. and don't think of the final deign for your trees. Even with broom style you still need to wire a tree, So must try to learn how to wire too in the future.
You got a very basic beginner book, try to get your hand also with more advanced books for inspirations, the one with lots of photos of nice trees.

regards,
jun Smile

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No Mistakes

Post  jake4bonsai on Mon Oct 24, 2011 12:29 am

Yes, some of the biggest names in bonsai but make no mistake i am a beginner also so please dont exspect thier quality of bonsai from me. Ive only been in bonsai since early this past february but im studing and reading and watching videos and learning from my teacher very heavily and absorbing everything i possibly can. Like i said before knowing how plants grow and what they need to be healthy is the most important aspect of bonsai! Alot of people see bonsai and they think its neat and they say "im gonna do that" and they start digging up plants at wrong times, in wrong ways and just start cutting and wiring on anything they see or they buy mass produced bonsai from the interent or somewhere like walmart and lowes and they die in less than 6 months, sometimes sooner and they say i dont understand what happened. They dont understand that places that sell those little plants like that dont care if they die. They want them to die so you keep buying them! there put in soils and use materials benifical to profit and not to the plant. You absolutely have to know what different species like and dont like and how to keep them alive otherwise youll be wasting time and money for a long time. All too often i see places selling juniper bonsai as indoor plants, They are NOT! Junipers are stricly outdoor plants and will be ok indoors for a short period but absolutly must be outside for fall and winter. I wish places would stop selling this way or tag them with the correct care instructions. I want to post pictures but for some reason this site wont allow me from my computer. It says new members cannot post e-mails or outside links for 7 days and im not trying to. I dont know whats going on there. I live in southern ohio where Ryan neil says the climate is perfect for growing bonsai. I know one guy thats a student of ryan and another friend of mine is going to apprentice this spring over there so ill learn alot there also. I talk to ryan a couple times a week and he invited me to come to his home but i own and run my own business so i cant go right now but im trying to make arrangments and change things in my life so that hopfully in the near future i can study with him some also. My advice is to learn material from as many sources as possible but everyone does things differently so figuring out what works for your climates takes a while and is also very important. Where i live gets cold but not too cold and gets hot but not overly hot and i think thats the reason bonsai does so well here. The only restrictions are tropicals having to go indoors for winter if a person sets up the right enviornment i think tropicals do better inside than outside here believe it or not. If anyone here ever has any questions for me i like helping people with bonsai and talking about bonsai just as much as i like doing it and ill answer questions as best i can and ill tell anyone anything they want to know and hopefully the favor will be returned. Jake

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to Jay

Post  jake4bonsai on Mon Oct 24, 2011 12:35 am

And too Jay, In the hottest part of summer i use something that alot of people thinks is a mistake or no good for bonsai but it works great for me and i quess its all in how you set up and run your system but thats a watering system on a timer. It kicks on twice a day in the 85 to 100 degree weather at 7:30 in the evening and again about midday. I use sprayers that cover a 10 inch area and two if the pot is bigger than that. It work fantastic! I can water and fertilize and everything and not even be home. Jake

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Re: Hello, new bonsai owner, just wanted to introduce myself and get input (pics)

Post  drgonzo on Mon Oct 24, 2011 1:32 am

The Bonsai nurseries up my way both have spray heads on timers, i think its a compromise where form MUST follow function if you have a lot of plants to care for. BTW I saw a few of your videos last night, I got a kick out of your "literati" mimosa aspirations. I'm growing one out now, from seed, and have been doing so for 3 seasons now, 5 feet tall and magic marker thick it will be a few more years before its workable but if you keep them in a good sized pot they thicken fast. if they are put in the ground they often fall prey to a wilt that invariably is fatal and is the main source for the death of Albizia in North america at the age of about 20-30 years, hopefully in bonsai culture we can hope to eliminate this fungus and keep them going a while longer. I also think I recognize your handle from Ebay.
-Jay

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Re: Hello, new bonsai owner, just wanted to introduce myself and get input (pics)

Post  parabellum_9x19 on Mon Oct 24, 2011 2:20 am

jun wrote:

Parabellum,
Do you have a name?
Simple tip. You are on the right track, Just keep those trees alive first, learn how those trees will behave. and don't think of the final deign for your trees. Even with broom style you still need to wire a tree, So must try to learn how to wire too in the future.
You got a very basic beginner book, try to get your hand also with more advanced books for inspirations, the one with lots of photos of nice trees.

regards,
jun Smile

Sure, my first name is Chris.

As for horticulture, I've got a decent amount of basic knowledge, probably more than the average joe. My family was way into outdoor gardening and landscaping, so I've been caring for plants all my life, but I'm always trying to learn more.

Also, Jake thanks for taking the time to share all that info, I'm trying to soak up as much as I can.

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Re: Hello, new bonsai owner, just wanted to introduce myself and get input (pics)

Post  Rob Kempinski on Mon Oct 24, 2011 12:32 pm

jake4bonsai wrote:And too Jay, In the hottest part of summer i use something that alot of people thinks is a mistake or no good for bonsai but it works great for me and i quess its all in how you set up and run your system but thats a watering system on a timer. It kicks on twice a day in the 85 to 100 degree weather at 7:30 in the evening and again about midday. I use sprayers that cover a 10 inch area and two if the pot is bigger than that. It work fantastic! I can water and fertilize and everything and not even be home. Jake

I have been using an automatic sprinkler system for my bonsai 18 years. It's not a mistake but a necessity.

Mine is two fault tolerant: uses two independent systems with two separate computer controllers, one on a pump and one on city water, backed up by a human.

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Re: Hello, new bonsai owner, just wanted to introduce myself and get input (pics)

Post  parabellum_9x19 on Wed Oct 26, 2011 5:12 pm

Tiny update, I think I'm homing in on watering the P. Afra.

I've been watering not to a schedule, but based on how dry my little dipstick (read: piece of chopstick) in the soil is. This last watering, I waited 10 days, and by the 10th day, the leaves were just barely starting to pucker a bit, a sure sign that the plant was starting to draw water from the leaves to supply its needs. I watered it thoroughly and in about 24-36 hours it had plumped right back up and looks great again. So at least for this time of year, under the current conditions I know that 10 days is pushing it.

With the ficus I have not tried to wait as long, I've been working off of a dipstick for the ficus as well, but it has been almost dry around the 6th day mark. Because this plant isn't like a succulent which stores lots of water in its leaves, I haven't tried to see just how far apart I could make the waterings.

I guess the good news is that I know that my soils are drying out completely, and I know that the plants are definitely not over-watered.

On the Ficus b., I have noticed a few roots peeking out from the bottom of the screens in the pot. A few root tendrils were hanging down out of the pot into the humidity tray and they died, turning brown and essentially falling off. I trimmed them back (from the bottom of the screen, I didn't remove the plant/soil from the pot) and there are bright white roots peeking out in the same spots, so I don't believe I'll have any root rot starting because of this.

I am, however, going to keep the humidity tray dry until I can fashion a few stands to get the pot up higher off of the gravel in the tray, I don't want any chance of the water in the tray getting back up into the pot.

It seems that this plant will definitely need a repotting and a mild root trim this spring...I hope its ok to wait that long to address the root issue.

Thoughts?


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Re: Hello, new bonsai owner, just wanted to introduce myself and get input (pics)

Post  Rob Kempinski on Wed Oct 26, 2011 6:39 pm

P. afra is a succulent and probably of all bonsai material, the last to die from lack of water.
In the summer I water mine every day but in the winter slow down to every third day.

Ficus are also very drought tolerant and as long as the air is humid water when the soil is dry.




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Re: Hello, new bonsai owner, just wanted to introduce myself and get input (pics)

Post  parabellum_9x19 on Wed Oct 26, 2011 6:59 pm

Rob Kempinski wrote:P. afra is a succulent and probably of all bonsai material, the last to die from lack of water.
In the summer I water mine every day but in the winter slow down to every third day.

Ficus are also very drought tolerant and as long as the air is humid water when the soil is dry.




Well, these are both full-time indoor bonsai right now, so the air is unfortunately very dry. I mist the Ficus a few times a day to try and compensate for the lack of humidity. These live in my office, so I don't really think that I could install a humidifier at this time.

I have been very determined not to over-water any of my little trees, so until I've got their watering down to a science, I'm trying to err on the side of under rather than over watering.




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Great!

Post  jake4bonsai on Thu Oct 27, 2011 1:02 am

Sounds like your doing good, but a little advice. You want to stay away from misting ficus'. They dont like it and with those species it gives bacteria, virus', and fungus a place to grow. You'll want to use a humidity tray with them. As long as you have enough gravel in the tray to keep the pot out of the water you wont have to worry. It wont matter if the roots grow a little into the tray, this wont cause root rot for the root in the pot. Just a little advice, Jake

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Shout out!

Post  jake4bonsai on Sun Oct 30, 2011 4:03 am

Hello IBC! I just wanted to take a minute to acknowledge someone that has also helped me alot on my bonsai journey and is a super guy and full of energy and information. He has been a member here on IBC for a while so some of you may know him or may have crossed paths with him. Im not going to drop names on here so if he wants to share that info ill leave that his choice. Known as cedarbog bonsai here on IBC, hes been in bonsai i believe 8 years now and is up and coming fast in the bonsai world. His knowledge of bonsai and his skills in carving deadwood not with power tools but by hand is something to be seen. Earning a place in the bonsai in the blue grass in kentucky with ryan neil this past year for his skills in the art of hand carving deawood he was highly recongnized. Im glad to be able to know him and if anyone has a chance he is worth talking to. He knows alot of people and alot of information and resources in bonsai and suiseki. His collecting of fine suiseki and hand carving of all the form fitting daizas makes him an all around resource himself for the art of bonsai and point displays with suiseki adding a finishing touch to any bonsai display. Not to mention very reasonable prices for such quality materials. Thanks for everything buddy! Jake cheers

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