My little trees

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My little trees

Post  michalis_d on Wed Dec 18, 2013 9:49 am

Hello people. I have acquired three young trees from different nurseries in hope that I will make them into bonsais. By looking at some of your posts in the "Nursery Stock" category, I realized that my trees might be very young to start with.

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Olive Tree

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Ficus Benjamina Natasja

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Pinus Picea


Do you guys think that these are good specimen for a beginner? If so, how would you advice me to proceed? Should I try to repot and start training them or is it too early for them?

michalis_d

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Re: My little trees

Post  stavros on Wed Dec 18, 2013 5:55 pm

Dear Michalis,

The trees you have presented are similar to the ones most of us bought, dreaming of making them into decent bonsai at some point.
I hate to break the news, but those trees will never become anything near a sad bonsai tree.

My suggestion would be to try and keep them healthy, do not do any work on them (no pruning, no wiring). Learn how to keep potted trees healthy because this skill is as important (in my opinion the most important) when you do bonsai. It is not as simple as one might think as potted trees have different needs from trees planted in the ground.

One of the first things to learn is to recognise good raw material with potential. I was lucky to learn the basics from Peter Chan. Savvas & Greg have enough experience to give you more than the basics on this.
Once you purchase or collect good material (the best material but the most difficult to work on is yamadori), you can building your trees.

It is a long journey but a beautiful one. You are lucky to have help by your side. Savvas & Greg are open to share their love for bonsai, their experiences and ideas without asking for anything in return. So, use this opportunity.

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Re: My little trees

Post  michalis_d on Thu Dec 19, 2013 8:12 am

Stavros, thank you very much for the reply. The news you gave me are not too much of a surprise to me. I knew it couldn't be this easy to start creating a bonsai tree  Smile 

I will take your advice and concentrate in keeping my potted trees alive for the time being. So i guess that my next step should be to find suitable soil for potting them. Would a mixture of general purpose compost and normal soil have enough drainage, or do I need to find some special soil for potted trees?

Thanks again,
Michalis

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Re: My little trees

Post  stavros on Thu Dec 19, 2013 6:47 pm

michalis_d wrote:Stavros, thank you very much for the reply. The news you gave me are not too much of a surprise to me. I knew it couldn't be this easy to start creating a bonsai tree  Smile 

I will take your advice and concentrate in keeping my potted trees alive for the time being. So i guess that my next step should be to find suitable soil for potting them. Would a mixture of general purpose compost and normal soil have enough drainage, or do I need to find some special soil for potted trees?

Thanks again,
Michalis

Forget all that you know about soil. There is no "special" bonsai soil. There are many materials that can be used. Since you are from Larnaca, i would suggest to call Savvas and see what he uses. He will tell you about his first experience with free draining substrates and how he sees it today.

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Re: My little trees

Post  Savvas P. on Thu Dec 19, 2013 7:25 pm

I was going through a post created by a new member in another forum,presenting very similar trees and i was wondering what was the best advice to give to a new guy just starting...well i think its better to be straight forward rather than giving false hopes....Michali if i show you my olive tree i bought 4 years ago when i was making my first steps,its just the same as your one....what its doing now?i put on the ground to get some bigger but still i am not getting anywhere with it....The figus you bought?i had one just the same,i through it away....anyway to cut a long story short,the decision is yours off course,but your trees as Stavros said will not take you anywhere....Olive as a species is super for starters because its very hardy but you should look for a tree that would take you somewhere and you will see your efforts pay you off....keep reading and have patience,dont be in a hurry because good result take time...

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Re: My little trees

Post  1gnatius on Mon Dec 30, 2013 5:12 pm

Hi Guys,
Joined today and have just been sitting here familiarising myself with the website. I read this post with interest and have noted your advice to Michalis but I thought it may be useful if you will please explain clearly for each of the three trees why they are so unsuitable. After all, every tree has to start somewhere.
Regards,
1gnatius (beginner eager to learn)

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Re: My little trees

Post  Savvas P. on Mon Dec 30, 2013 5:46 pm

1gnatius wrote:Hi Guys,
Joined today and have just been sitting here familiarising myself with the website. I read this post with interest and have noted your advice to Michalis but I thought it may be useful if you will please explain clearly for each of the three trees why they are so unsuitable. After all, every tree has to start somewhere.
Regards,
1gnatius  (beginner eager to learn)
Hello there,Merry Christmas to you and a happy new year....Absolutely right,nearly every bush or tree can become a bonsai,BUT as i said to Michalis the decision is his you can take his little olive and wait patiently 15 years to get a reasonable(???) bonsai out of it or use......[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
material like the above which if in the right hands can be a show piece maybe in 7 to 10 years...
Off course Michalis(even me)cannot yet handle such material.,it needs reading,practising,patience.We are not here to give false hopes and expectations that bonsai is easy,you just get a small tree put it in a pot and there you are....No things are not simple,trees are living organisms they need to be treated with respect,and as in nature you need many years to get a mature tree,similarly in our hobby things are the same,and even harder,but it worths every minute of it.
Off course you have to start from somewhere,but the choice of the right material is so important not to get dissapointed....As i said to Michalis i had the same trees as starters 2 of them are dead and one is one the ground,i am still making my mistakes and loosing trees but thank Good i am still going strong ...
The choice is yours.....it depends how you want to approach the subject. thumbs up 





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Re: My little trees

Post  Savvas P. on Mon Dec 30, 2013 6:54 pm

And if i may add to the above...material like the Picea(the third little tree)you very seldom find in Cyprus,i dont know if you can find a related species up the mountains,how do you expect it to survive down the coast...Thats another factor you must bare in mind...Look around you and choose trees that can survive the climate and conditions you live at.....

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Re: My little trees

Post  michalis_d on Wed Jan 01, 2014 10:53 am

Thank you Savvas for clearing it up. Sometimes the information you find on the internet about bonsais can be misleading, leading you to believe that every tree can easily become a bonsai.

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Re: My little trees

Post  Savvas P. on Thu Jan 02, 2014 5:42 pm

michalis_d wrote:Thank you Savvas for clearing it up. Sometimes the information you find on the internet about bonsais can be misleading, leading you to believe that every tree can easily become a bonsai.
Michali,books are written to be read globally,and in general terms they are correct,but let me give u a simple example to show you how things differ.... When a German Author writes in its book that the "so and so"species can survive under full sunshine...what does he mean....Does he know,what Larnacas summer full sunshine means,with 3 months draught and temperatures constantly over 35c.....which european species can survive that i wonder? Question Question 

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Re: My little trees

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