Need Help (Newbie)

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Need Help (Newbie)

Post  Lord Thompson on Tue Jul 07, 2009 11:03 pm

Hi every one my name is Richard i'm 17 years old living in the U.K I just retrieved a small piece of branch from one of my dads conifers and put it in a shallow plastic dish with a hole at the bottom and filled it with fresh soil and a thin layer of stones. Is this ok for now until i get proper pots ect. I have ordered some pots and some Japanese Red Maple Seeds can you please give me as much information as possible for noobs to help grow both trees and learn the art of bonsai thanks.

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Re: Need Help (Newbie)

Post  kenduncan on Tue Jul 07, 2009 11:30 pm

Good to see young people that are interested in Bonsai.
Let me ask you, are You trying to grow roots on a cutting from a large tree?
Ken

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Re: Need Help (Newbie)

Post  Lord Thompson on Tue Jul 07, 2009 11:51 pm

Yes my mum seemed a little faithless when I told her. Was that the wrong thing to do?

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Re: Need Help (Newbie)

Post  fiona on Wed Jul 08, 2009 12:45 am

Lord Thompson wrote:I dont know why i put 16 im 17
Hey Richard, most of us old fogeys on here are jealous irrespective of whether you're 16 or 17! Sad Anyway, where to begin? You have several options: first there is a wealth of bonsai books out there that you can get (Amazon, Stone Lantern) and among those I used as a beginner are Harry Tomlinson's "Complete Book of Bonsai" and Dan Barton's The Bonsai Book. Second, you should join a bonsai club and I'm sure there'll be someone on here more local to you who can say which one(s) is/are best. Reading books is a good starting point but there's nothing to beat hands on experience especially if you can get someone to take you under their wing. The thing to remember is that bonsai takes time and patience so don't be expecting your maple seeds to be up and running in bonsai pots for a good number of years yet (at least you've got a good number of years, she says enviously), and your conifer cutting has a whole barrowload of horticultural processes to go through before it gets potted up. What most people do is buy themselves a couple of good starter trees to have "on show" as it were. You can use these to show off to your friends but more importantly to learn the maintenance side of the hobby - watering, feeding, routine pruning etc. (If you're going to do this, get them from a bonsai nursery rather than the garden centre or B&Q or whatever as they're much better quality, and take advice on what is suitable for your area/climate. If I were you I wouldn't buy a tree I hadn't seen as photos can be misleading). Then you can start to think about pieces of raw material to learn styling on. Again, a bonsai nursery is your best bet rather than the garden centre.

It all sounds a bit daunting when put like this, but dont be put off. You sound like you have youthful enthusiasm behind you which is a great advantage. The very best of luck and I hope some of the forum-ites who live nearer you come on the board to help you further.

Fiona

BTW I'm dying to know where the "Lord Thompson" comes in? Are we in the presence of royalty, m'lud?


Last edited by fionnghal on Wed Jul 08, 2009 12:51 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typo! typo! typo! I'm NOT 17 so it's WAAAY past my bedtime!)

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Re: Need Help (Newbie)

Post  fiona on Wed Jul 08, 2009 12:54 am

Lord Thompson wrote:Yes my mum seemed a little faithless when I told her. Was that the wrong thing to do?
Not necessarily wrong. It depends on the size of the cutting and how good you are at basic horticulture. There's a large amount of articles online on propagating from cuttings or you cuold try the RHS handbook on propagating.

BTW it's part of a Mum's job to seem faithless - don't worry about it.

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Re: Need Help (Newbie)

Post  kenduncan on Wed Jul 08, 2009 1:21 am

The way I root cuttings is to place them in pure perlite and spray them with water every day.I keep them outside where they will get morning sun and be out of the wind. The type of plant, size, time of year, etc makes a difference.
The way I grow Maples from seed is to collect them in the fall and sow them in some good potting in a tray and keep it outside all winter. Next spring they will come up. I cover the tray with hardware cloth to keep the squirrels and the birds out.
Hope this is some help.
Get some good books and try to find a club.
Good luck.
Ken

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Re: Need Help (Newbie)

Post  fiona on Wed Jul 08, 2009 9:20 am

Some additional stuff I've just thought of as it was past midnight when I replied last night - WAAAAAAYYYY past us oldies' bedtimes! Rolling Eyes

Ken mentions growing his cuttings on outside and this raises an issue that many beginners don't realise - namely that most bonsai spend their life outdoors. Garden centres and the like often give the impression that bonsai are "indoor" plants. They're not unless they are tropical/Mediterranean trees that can't take our cold weather. Be prepared to be begging your folks for a space in the garden for your collection.

Arising from this, I would recommend (and I'm sure a number of the Brits on here would agree) that you try British native species for your first tinkerings about in Bonsai. Japanese maples and Chinese junipers are lovely to look at of course but British native trees are native precisely because they survive well in our climate. I would look for Larch and Hawthorn in your early days as they're very easy to work with, throw out growth like there's no tomorrow and are very forgiving of clumsy beginner's fingers. Then you could graduate to things like Yew which are great to work with but can be a bit more expensive to get. Maybe, if you find a decent club, someone would be kind enough to give you a good piece of larch or hawthorn to start off with.

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Re: Need Help (Newbie)

Post  Lord Thompson on Wed Jul 08, 2009 9:50 am

Thanks for all your help people hopefully one day I will be an advance learner of Bonsai and have a couple of well grown Bonsai Trees thanks every one . All hints and tips would be usefull still i'm going to go look for Bonsai for beginners book lol.


P.S the Lord Thompson is a bit of my ego I s'pose it sounds good when i say it lol Wink

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Re: Need Help (Newbie)

Post  fiona on Wed Jul 08, 2009 10:22 am

Your Lordship,

Check your e.mail inbox for more information.

Regards

The Lady Wallace.
(Tony/Lee/Ian/Les/the Monkeys/etc - don't even think about commenting on the juxtapositioning of the word Lady against my name!!)

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Who Us???

Post  bonsai monkey on Wed Jul 08, 2009 10:37 am


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Re: Need Help (Newbie)

Post  Lord Thompson on Wed Jul 08, 2009 10:45 am

i feeled like a failed computer geek i carnt uplaod images aargh!!! lol

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Re: Need Help (Newbie)

Post  fiona on Wed Jul 08, 2009 10:50 am

Lord Thompson wrote:i feeled like a failed computer geek i carnt uplaod images aargh!!! lol
Go to Home then on to the Testing board and follow the instructions on Jim Lewis's sticky - Tutorial on Posting Pics.

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Re: Need Help (Newbie)

Post  fiona on Wed Jul 08, 2009 10:51 am

bonsai monkey wrote:
That even looks like you! Minus the banana of course.

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Re: Need Help (Newbie)

Post  bonsaistud on Wed Jul 15, 2009 8:23 pm

G’day M’Lord…

IMAAFMO (InMyAncientAndFeebleMindedOpinion)...

Try this...you may like it...you could do yourself a large favor by hooking up with a local bonsai club...there should be a number of clubs relatively close to you.

But…BEFORE YOU BUY YOUR FIRST TREE…

1. Search out a local bonsai club…join a local club, and find a “local” (someone well versed in bonsai care practices for your location). And try to establish a mentor/student relationship…IF POSSIBLE.
2. In the meanwhile, READ, READ, READ (see author suggestions below)…ask questions at the club, of the “local”, and here at IBC.
3. With help from the club…the “local”…IBC…decide what your next tree will be…something that flourishes in you area.
4. Learn the care requirements for the tree you plan to buy…BEFORE YOU BUY IT.
5. Try to get a club member to go to the nursery with you to select your purchase.
6. The next step is to learn to keep your container plant(s) alive.
7. Then, if you want help from IBC, post a picture before you start working on it.
8. If you start cutting/wiring/etc., before you post a picture, be prepared for what we hope will be constructive criticism.
9. Remember that it is usually better to ask for help with a procedure that you have not done before…BEFORE YOU DO IT.

BOOK AUTHOR SUGGESTIONS:
Harry Tomlinson, Dan Barton, Craig Coussins, David DeGroot, Herb Gustafson, Deborah Koreshoff, Colin Lewis, and John Naka...and, many more.

This advice should help you get off to a good start with your bonsai experience…it will help you to avoid many pitfalls, including that dreaded square wheel…you know, reinvent… I just wish that somebody had told me about the bonsai club and the "local"
thirtysomething years…or more…sooner. So, use this advice as you wish. Or not.

Remember, support your local club...and they will return the favor.

And always remember, and don't ever forget, that Bonsai is a trip that requires time and patience…welcome aboard and enjoy the journey.

Now, M’Lord, always remember, and don't ever forget, that bonsai is a trip that requires time and patience...welcome aboard and enjoy the journey...

Pat

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Re: Need Help (Newbie)

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