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Thread: Starting Bonsai Help

  1. #25
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taliesin-DS View Post
    I grow some seedlings in pondbaskets, the ones that dry out often get really interesting roots.
    Ooooh, I love netpots. I'll have to try that.
    ~Joe
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
    I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
    Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

  2. #26
    Copper's Avatar
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    Sadly in Japan the natural growing Bonsai type trees (trees that are rooted in rock or naturally stunted by other means) are going the way of the carnivorous plants, but oh so worse. Those that are looking to make a quick buck, or a quick Bonsai, are destroying the rocky out croppings of the country side as they remove the stunted tree from their stoney perch. It is know illegal to gather the naturally occurring Bonsai in Japan. Not only is their beauty removed from the rock, but to remove the tree the poachers break up the rock faces to get the root of the trees out. This is causing numerous rock slides.

    We have these stunted trees in America as well. You can not miss them while riding through the canyons of Colorado and other mountainous ranges. If these trees were removed the cliffs would tumble in places. Not a wise idea. They also remove the stunted trees from the sand banks near the ocean waters. The salt and wind has stunted, twisted and partially stripped these trees. They are remarkable and a Bonsaist (new word) dream tree. Removing these trees causes serious erosion issue, but make for a quick bonsai. Sad. This hobby is meant to take yeeeaarrss, sometimes a life time. The quick fix kills nature, but isn't that way with everything.
    I am just like a Super Hero, but without the power or motivation.................and the funky suit.

  3. #27
    Taliesin-DS's Avatar
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    Luckily no such trees here, all we have is fertile black soil with no rock at all.
    The only way to get material from the wild here is in hedges and old gardens.
    my growlist: http://terraforums.com/forums/showth...306#post976306
    My pics: http://www.flickr.com/photos/taliesin-ds/

    <Exo> @Talie......You are the lord of all things blah....

  4. #28
    Copper's Avatar
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    Sorry, missed the question in the earlier post. The roots are cut the way that they are to supply the tree with enough nutrients and water. Topping the tree causes it to bush. This topping is not only important to cause the tree to tapper like a full size tree, but the tree no longer has a real top to continue upward growth so the tree grows more branches. You will need to deal with these as they come in.

    Ok, so you decided to go with a tree from the area, a wise choice. Do not go for one that has too much height unless you are going to trunk it. Trunking is a short cut to a thick tree trunk look, but you have to hide the cut. One way is to let the tree bush around the cut or, my preferred method, design the cut into something else. You do this with a sharp knife meant for cutting bonsai or whittling. I usually make a large knot or make it look like half of the tree has broken away. You will need a dremel tool to clean up the look. I have an extra one I would be willing to trade, muhahaha. Over all I do not care for the look of trunking as much as not trunking.

    Now for getting the tree. At this time, if you have not pulled it already, dig under the tree and cut the tap root. Leave all other roots intact and leave the tree where it is. Top the tree off. If you plan on a formal upright take one of the remaining branches, bend it up and tie it to the trunk of the tree. You will then have you new top. Let the tree remain where it is through the following growth season. At the end of the growth season you will cut around the side root and move the tree to a trench. The reason on the wait is that removing the tree and cutting all the roots is too much stress for the tree. If you buy a tree from a store (not a bonsai, but a real tree in a pot) you can go ahead and trim all the roots, top it and trench it right away. Make sure that the soil stays moist until the tree goes into dormancy or winter is upon you.

    ---------- Post added at 01:50 AM ---------- Previous post was at 01:43 AM ----------

    Oh, if you do a formal upright on the tree check your tie often as the tree will grow around it and spoil the Bonsai.
    I am just like a Super Hero, but without the power or motivation.................and the funky suit.

  5. #29
    Hear the Call of Nepenthes carnivoure12's Avatar
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    Thanks for the response copper, it covered all my concerns! Oh, by tying the brach to the trunk, does that mean that the main trunk has been cut off, and this method is employed to create the new top?

    I'm assuming that after choosing the tree, and following the preparation steps, I could go ahead and follow instructions for other styles, which there seems to be a lot more info. Although I really like the formal upright form.
    -Carnivoure12
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  6. #30
    Copper's Avatar
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    Yes, actually cutting off the top is what is meant by 'prepared for Bonsai' at the nurseries. Once the tree loses its top it stops its upward progression unless and upper branch takes over and then it will atill never make the height that the main trunk would make. In nature most trees that loose the tops die. I witnessed many sad land scapes when I staked logging roads in the black hills. There one company paid the feds to allow them to cut off the tops of the TALL trees. I know that sounds ridiculous because of the tree farms, but the farms do not grow the king size trees that cities and towns use. They are the tops of much larger trees. The supplying trees shortly die. Then the feds sell of the rest of what is left of the trees to the loggers. This is on federal property so new trees are planted and cared for, But for a while you have a large chunk of forest that is shelled. It is horrible to see.

    Back on subject, following the directions will get you a formal or informal up right. Formals are tough, but oh so wonderful. They take more patience as you must keep them level. You will find that you will need to anchor it well and will still have to adjust it every once and a while to keep it "formal". When putting a formal in a trench insure that you have it straight up and down with a level, bury the roots and then anchor the tree. make sure to have the trunk of the tree wrapped where the anchoring lines and pads will be. Tying the branch to the trunk makes the branch straight and the new top of the tree. You are going to leave it tied, loosening as the trunk thickens, for approximately a year. After that time untie the branch and see if it remains in place. If it bends back a little retie it. If it stays congratulate yourself on a good start to a formal upright. Whether the branch stays completely upright or not depends on the tree type and how fast its wood hardens. There is that unsightly main trunk that the branch is tied to, but we take care of that later with a little artistic carving.

    ---------- Post added at 06:16 AM ---------- Previous post was at 06:08 AM ----------

    Oh, Chinese Elms and Sumaks are like weeds here. Both are great for Bonsai. The Chinese Elm thickens quickly and has very small leaves. The sumak is incredible flexible or grows into a natural "Formal" upright. I could collect a few good samples for you of varying size, They are wonderful practice trees as they are hard to kill.
    I am just like a Super Hero, but without the power or motivation.................and the funky suit.

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