Help with new bonsai needed

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Help with new bonsai needed

Post  Matt Hounsome on Thu Jun 18, 2009 4:48 pm

Hi

I have recently bought my first 3 outdoor bonsai and I have a couple of questions I would like to ask! These plants are a Japanese Maple (~3 years), scots pine (1-2 years) & chinese yew (<year).

My first question is about the Scots Pine as there isn't too much information on the internet as far as I can tell.

1.) How often can I prune and whats effect will this have on growth elesewhere in the plant?
2.) How do I encourage growth at the base of the tree as most growth occurs at the top (apparantley a trait of this species)?


My next questions are about the young Japanese Maple

3.) How often and to what extent should I lightly prune during growing season?
4.) If I cut off the end of a stem, will not stem continue to extend in the same direction it previously was, as well as encouraging growth further back down the stem?


Lots of questions I know! I'm booked on a full day workshop at a nursery but I thats not for a few weeks!

Cheers

Matt

Matt Hounsome
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Re: Help with new bonsai needed

Post  Joe Hatfield on Thu Jun 18, 2009 6:31 pm

In regard to the maple.

http://www.bonsai4me.com/SpeciesGuide/AcerPalmatumAdvancedGuide.htm

Joe Hatfield
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help with my new bonsai needed

Post  Bob Brunt on Thu Jun 18, 2009 6:47 pm

Hi Matt
I would suggest you don't do any pruning until you have attended the work shop.There is a wealth of Knowledge available to you on various web sites.Help will always be available here..Have fun at your workshop...there's a lot to take in but you will enjoy it.

Bob Brunt
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Re: Help with new bonsai needed

Post  Norma on Thu Jun 18, 2009 6:53 pm

Hi Matt,

Welcome to the forum !! You are starting with some good bonsai choices. You have asked very good questions but they may be better answered in books. One such bonsai book for answering the questions about your scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) is The Art of Bonsai by Peter Evans. He has an excellent section on pines and time frames for work on needles. Two other books I've found indispensable are John Naka's Bonsai Techniques I and II. If I were you I would go to Amazon and search for good books that have the illustrations you need as a beginner.

Another thought is, that many of us give advice which differs at times but it helps to know where you are from. Growing something in one zone is quite different than another .... ! Your maple pruning question can be simple or complicated. Have the leaves hardened off after the first spring flush? If so,you can than prune the branch but leaf pruning is more complicated. Do you have a bonsai club in your area to get regional advice ?

Hope this helps....
Norma

Norma
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Re: Help with new bonsai needed

Post  Kev Bailey on Thu Jun 18, 2009 7:43 pm

Hi Matt,

If those ages are the age from seed you are looking at young material and it will probably not need much doing to it this year. We tend to let things grow as vigorously as possible until it has achieved the girth that we are aiming for. Then we cut back.

With pines this can be tricky as they don't tend to bud back on older wood with no needles. For this reason you need to preserve some branches low down on the trunk to form the basis of the tree after you've cut back the top. You will probably also use one of these branches to bend up and form the new apex. If you have few branches at the base you really need to make sure that they are not shaded out.

Maples, on the other hand, can be cut back as low as you like, provided you don't cut below where they are grafted! They will bud quite vigorously even from old wood. Grow the trunk and root flare that you want, then cut back hard and work on growing new branches with good shape and distribution.

For now, I agree with the others, just water, feed and weed, read and await your workshop.

Welcome to the addiction.

_________________
“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: Help with new bonsai needed

Post  Matt Hounsome on Fri Jun 19, 2009 3:48 pm

Thanks for all the advice! I think I will continue to ensure the survival of the Bonsai and then take aqctions after I have attended my workshop!

Matt

Matt Hounsome
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Re: Help with new bonsai needed

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