Newbie

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Is a term to describe someone that is new to the Art / hobby. It is not a derogatory term at all, but just a descriptive name for someone that has little or no experience and skill in the art of Bonsai

The aim of this WIKI is to help you become skilful and confident in your ability to care for and create good Bonsai, and to give you a place to find out (hopefully) all the information you need to know about Bonsai.

Many times we are asked the same questions repeatedly and nowhere is there any easy guide to answer them. This article is an attempt to rectify that

  • What is Bonsai?  :- Bonsai is a Styled tree in a pot. It is grown over many years and styled to resemble an aged tree in nature
  • What is NOT a Bonsai?  :- a Stick in a pot, is Not a Bonsai, Nor is an old tree that has not been styled. Mallsai are generally NOT true Bonsai either though they are passed off to be one. Usually a newbie will have a tree Tree in a pot and think it is wonderful, but it usually is not a Bonsai, They usually have any or oll of the following styling faults which make them just a Stick in a pot. No taper, tall and skinny, No (or very little) shape, bar branches, non existent or poor Nebari, no definition to foliage, No branch ramification

Starting Out

Andrew Legg has written an excellent article on starting out with Bonsai, and it is highly recommended that you spend a while to read this and note the tips below:

  • Find a local Bonsai nursery if possible, and have a look at what is on offer there. You will get some good ideas as to what is a Bonsai and what species are good for you in your area, and you will meet some others that have similar interest as you.
  • Find a local Bonsai club and go along to meet them. They will have members that know the local area, and what works and does not. They may have workshops and demos where you will learn much faster than working alone.
  • pick some trees that are easy to care for. here is a list of trees Highly recommended as Starter_Bonsai.
  • check out this page on How do I grow a Bonsai?

My First Tree

For your first tree, do not buy a "Stick in a pot" or $10 starter. You will possibly only get disappointed when you (in all excitement), post on a bonsai forum and are told to "Go and stick it in the ground for a few years!" Quite a let down that puts some people off before they even really get started.

Also be warned that growing from seed may seem like great fun now, but will take many years before you have anything that looks even remotely like a bonsai! Don't be afraid to start the seed, but think about getting another tree or two to keep you busy while your seedlings grow.

Save up for a few weeks while doing some research, and then go to a reputable Bonsai nursery, and have a look around at the trees for $25-$30 or so. You should be able to find heaps of trees with low branches and bends in the trunk that will make a great starter tree. You will be able to practice branch selection and wiring, branch pruning and, depending on the time of year, repotting techniques as well.

If you choose some stock that has all of the above qualities, then you can possible even have a tree to put in your first Bonsai Pot. Instant gratification and something that will in a short time be called a Bonsai.

It is a great idea, to purchase 2 trees. Style and pot one to satisfy the initial urge, but put the other one in the ground or large grow box and learn to develop larger stock as well. In just a few years it could become a really good pre-bonsai and give you great pleasure as well.

Check out this listing of species that are Highly recommended as Starter_Bonsai. These are generally easy to grow and look after and quite forgiving as far as trees go

Useful Links