Are you new to Bonsai..Please read this.

Share your success stories about defoliation, bare rooting and anything else relating to maintaining healthy bonsai.
de_keizer
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Re: Are you new to Bonsai..Please read this.

Post by de_keizer »

i must say i find this discussion a little amusing having bought the majority of my bonsai form bunnings. i think a lot of you are missing that if the newbies dont see a future in the tree they buy it'll end up dead through boredom or frustration. having your creation critisized because it's plain and has no persinality quickly turns people off a new hobbie especially the younger people. the problem isnt just that newbies buy sickly stock (even though this is a problem) its that when they do the right thing and buy a healthy tree they are critisized for lack of imagination and so forth. its not only up to us to teach them what they should buy as a first tree but we should also instruct them in what to look for in potential bonsai.
thats my :2c:
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Re: Are you new to Bonsai..Please read this.

Post by bodhidharma »

its that when they do the right thing and buy a healthy tree they are critisized for lack of imagination and so forth. its not only up to us to teach them what they should buy as a first tree but we should also instruct them in what to look for in potential bonsai.
thats my :2c:[/quote]
Interesting point of view D.K. In my experience i have been nothing but encouraged in my choice of Bonsai and have encouraged any beginner in our club to get the best out of the tree that they purchase. It is also my experience that the people on this site that have contributed for a long time and share their Knowledge freely are, on the whole, very positive and constructive in their advice. I am sorry that, somewhere along the line, somebody has given you bad advice that has had a negative impact on your Bonsai experience. I reckon being on this site will give you a leg up the Bonsai ladder :tu:
Last edited by bodhidharma on January 27th, 2011, 8:36 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Are you new to Bonsai..Please read this.

Post by Greth »

Generally good advice, and thankyou for starting this thread.

It is very important for newcomers who have little gardening experience to buy healthy stock. Absolutely. And the next thing they should do is to try to boost their general gardening knowledge and experience. The more you know about how roots work, growth cycles, pests, diseases and plant illheath, the more capable you will be of keeping a Bonsai alive and thriving and setting it on a good path. Some other garden hobbies will also give you something to do for those many days when the bonsai need little or no attention, and some uses for the trees of little or no potential.

I can and do buy lots of 'distressed' plants from the tossout department of nurseries, for bonsai and almost any other purpose. But I have been doing this for years, know the difference between a plant discounted simply because it is out of season or a little pot bound, and one that has more serious issues and will probably cark it anyway. i am quite aware that a substandard plant will have setbacks of a year or two until it can get up to a healthy state, but I know what to pick and how to sort them out quickly.
If you are not killing plants, then you are not extending yourself as a gardener..
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Re: Are you new to Bonsai..Please read this.

Post by MattA »

de_keizer wrote:i must say i find this discussion a little amusing having bought the majority of my bonsai form bunnings. i think a lot of you are missing that if the newbies dont see a future in the tree they buy it'll end up dead through boredom or frustration. having your creation critisized because it's plain and has no persinality quickly turns people off a new hobbie especially the younger people. the problem isnt just that newbies buy sickly stock (even though this is a problem) its that when they do the right thing and buy a healthy tree they are critisized for lack of imagination and so forth. its not only up to us to teach them what they should buy as a first tree but we should also instruct them in what to look for in potential bonsai.
thats my :2c:
Hey Keizer,

I want to thank you for your post, you have hit the nail on the head.

If you can see something in your little tree then thats all that matters :worship: It took me a while to work that one out but it has helped me keep with my little ones regardless of the *%#%^ (take your pick of critical remarks). For many years tho it did put me off having anything to do with the community & my trees show that (some good some bad). Be proud of your trees & follow your own path. Sometimes tho another can provide an alternative view that you like even more.

Buying sick/weak trees is not a problem if you are prepared to do the hard yards of getting it healthy, pure horticulture. If the tree has no potential the time could be better spent working material that is healthy & HAS potential. Combining the art & horticulture.

I will put together some photos of trees that I feel have potential in a local nursery. All are heavily reduced in price because they are old stock that badly need repotting. A few will need some extra care to bring them back to full health & most (read all) will need major cutting back.

Matt
Last edited by MattA on January 27th, 2011, 9:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Are you new to Bonsai..Please read this.

Post by Chris »

I love my sticks, over the 3 years i have been involved with bonsai my sicks have tripled in size :tu: and in the end if it doesn't look like a good specimen i pass it on to ppl for there gardens and they then love the sticks.

When we have tools to cut back and calve give a stick a go it's all about time and patience as long as it's alive I'm happy :tounge:
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Re: Are you new to Bonsai..Please read this.

Post by MattA »

Potentials

Mixed Syzigium & Achmena species & hybrids all 300mm pots
R0014887.jpg
R0014894.jpg
R0014884.jpg
R0014889.jpg
R0014883.jpg
Dont like them how bout a fig 450mm pot
R0014888.jpg
Buxus anyone?
R0014925.jpg
R0014927.jpg
MINE
R0014892.jpg
R0014898.jpg
A few more later of the new aquisitions

Matt
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"Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards." ~ Vernon Sanders Law
"All the knowledge I possess everyone else can acquire, but my heart is all my own." ~ Johann Wolfgang Von Goeth
"Bonsai becomes great when growers start trees they know they will never see in a pot"
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Re: Are you new to Bonsai..Please read this.

Post by astroboy76 »

i agree. i had purchased quite a few unhealthy and cheap nursery stock. i cut them back, planted them in the garden, fed the and left them for a year why i focussed on my other trees. 18 months later most of this bad unhealthy stock has become great stock to work with.

the artform that we call bonsai teaches us all to exercise patience. We should take this patience and apply it to the newbies. there will always be newbies, and they will always make the same mistakes and each newbie will ask the same questions that those before them have asked. isnt one of the reason for this site to help the novice not just the advanced bonsia enthusist?

a newbie with a cheap half dead tree can easily be told to put it in the ground and get it healthy. in a years time the results can be surprising plus we have saved the life of a tree that otherwise would probably have died needlessly.

perhaps a solution here is to add a beginners catergory. one where newbies can head to and feel comfortable asking all these basics questions. a category where they can easily browse the questioned asked my newbies before them.

we have all had sticks in pots hehe. not many newbies are going to spend money on a nice big stock tree when they dont kwow what they are doing. we should treat our newbies like our trees: nurture and exercise pateience.

so steven, what do you think about adding a section just for beginners?
Last edited by astroboy76 on January 27th, 2011, 11:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Are you new to Bonsai..Please read this.

Post by Benji1980 »

An excellent idea AstroBoy, as a newbie who has just purchased a few seedlings, and a 9 year old Olive tree I am cetainly scared to post them up here, but I bit the bullet because a few people on here have been VERY friendly and helpful...

I have posted these seedlings today, so I have my fingers crossed that there will be people out there who will be helpful, but I know that at the very least I have a few people on here who are waiting to see these new stocks and assist me to develop them into Bonsai!!

In short, I would love a newbie place to post my new seedlings' development, and ask the really dumb questions that to me seem fundamental, but online advice seems to overlook the answers as 'prerequisite knowledge'. Such as what sort of pot should be used to grow initial stock (not a bonsai pot, obviously)... What sort of potting mix, etc.

Ben
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Re: Are you new to Bonsai..Please read this.

Post by Pup »

Again the BIGGEST problem is not reading the whole thread. As it was intended, not a debate, as to where to get this or that cheap. It was to point out that if YOU are NEW to BONSAI. It is better to start with healthy stock, rather than stock, you have to spend a lot of time, getting it back to health.
So that you lose interest because the TREE, is not doing what you want, or going to look like the nice Bonsai you saw in a book.

Most of the comments, about getting hold of cheap stock because it has potential is fine, but you have a quite a few years behind you, you are not NEWBIES.

There is a question posed by Steven here, about a section devoted to Newbies, to help with these newby questions. There is a post here that poses the same question as Steven has asked.

There are lots of opinions there also. The ones that pop up all the time, the fact is, that people do not read the whole thread, just the end. Then ask a question that has been answered, or put up an opinion. That is not in context of the original thread.

We know that threads get hi jacked, that is different to this problem.

Again just my :2c: :reading: :palm: Pup
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Re: Are you new to Bonsai..Please read this.

Post by mickaus »

Sorry to hi-jack this just slightly
MattA wrote:R0014883.jpg
What curves!
But with the stock that Matt has labeled with What curves!, would it be possible to add some taper to the trunk without drastic trunk chopping? and if so what methods would be used?
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Re: Are you new to Bonsai..Please read this.

Post by astroboy76 »

i did read the whole thread. and if someone is going to post something on this site it is expected that other members will have an opinion and comment, even if it has been added previously. forums are for discussion and shared opinions and knowledge after all. and all threads will evolve in some direction or differing directions as people pick up different points and comment on them. its the nature of forums.

i am not saying that there is anything wrong with the original post. not at all. but telling a newbie to only buy healthy stock may not always be fair as some people i know who bonsai dont have very much cash and cheap unhealthy stock is in their budget. and you can get bargains like this!

i havent seen the post by steven that you spoke about. simple as that. im sure not everyone see's every post that is added to this site.

it was just an idea that a section called "beginners" could be helpful. a place where beginners can post their messages and read each others and share knowledge as they learn. i hardly see the harm in suggesting this. if this has already been discussed and i have missed it, i dont see the harm is me suggesting it again :whistle:

and pup, ur right, im no longer a newbie. but i was and only two years ago, and some of my first stock has grown in the ground this whole time and is now quite impressive. the reason i put it in the ground was on advie from Antal on this site. considering that bonsai is a lifetime hobby for most of us, putting these trees in the ground when u first start out will give you soem great stock down the track. it wont necessarily deter newbies from enjoying this hobby. if they are advised positively that they could have some great future stock, put it in the ground, grow it but in the meantime go select something you can work on now, how will that discourage?
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Re: Are you new to Bonsai..Please read this.

Post by Pup »

Steven's Post on the subject is a sticky anytime you go to a page such as the Cafe, The menu, Deciduous.

I am sorry but I thought you had more that 2 years under your belt. :palm:

Edit for title of the post, Rookie needs some advice please.
Last edited by Pup on January 27th, 2011, 1:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Are you new to Bonsai..Please read this.

Post by MattA »

Cheap or full price a tree without potential is still a tree without potential, all you have done by buying a healthy tree is NOT learn how to make it so!

I may not be a 'newbie' now but I was once and I learnt more from just one of cheap sickly trees than from all other growers here.

I picked these trees up today, all will take a year to get back to full health & were dirt cheap.. I will get them healthy and have 3 great (to my eye) potensai.
R0014958rs.jpg
R0014959rs.jpg
R0014960rs.jpg
R0014962rs.jpg
R0014963rs.jpg
Matt
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Re: Are you new to Bonsai..Please read this.

Post by Pup »

MattA wrote:Cheap or full price a tree without potential is still a tree without potential, all you have done by buying a healthy tree is NOT learn how to make it so!

I may not be a 'newbie' now but I was once and I learnt more from just one of cheap sickly trees than from all other growers here.

I picked these trees up today, all will take a year to get back to full health & were dirt cheap.. I will get them healthy and have 3 great (to my eye) potensai.
R0014958rs.jpg
R0014959rs.jpg
R0014960rs.jpg
R0014962rs.jpg
R0014963rs.jpg
Matt
Matt a newbie would not know the difference, whether it has potential or not. A unhealthy tree in a newbies hands is not good whether it has potential or not.

Most of the Sticks in pots are healthy so they have potential handled the right way.
Half dead master pieces, in the hands of a newbie is doomed.
Unless they are good Garedeners like yourself. Which by the majority of questions here they are not. They will struggle to keep it alive therfore produce any thing that resembles a Bonsai, or Penjing.
However if you think teaching them to buy half dead stock, because it is cheap thats fine.
What would you do with this it was free, you cannot get cheaper as you have said.
P1070578.JPG
I will however always tell the newbie to buy healthy stock over cheap half dead .
Cheers Pup
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Last edited by Pup on January 27th, 2011, 1:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Are you new to Bonsai..Please read this.

Post by astroboy76 »

i noramlly just check out posts in the recent field or search on specific things. have never noticed that post. but now you have mentioned it it is easy to see! lol
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