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 Post subject: how do i make a Bonsai?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2007 3:41 am 
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Location: Germany - Bergstrasse
hi there,

i got a bunch of Cercidiphyllum japonicum seeds last month and started some in my room-green-house. two seeds already sprouted.

i'm planing on giving some trees to my MiL and her sister. and i wanted to try making some bonsai. i already searched the web for some sites. but i still have questions..

what kind of wire to i need and at what size do i start? the websites i found started of with "little trees" with "thick" stems..

can anyone help?

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 6:52 pm 
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Location: NH zone 4/5
Your best start is with landscape specimens from your local yard and garden center. Mugo Pine, mallsai er juniper, box woods aught to be readily avaiable. Starting from seed is-was a kick of Nobukana Kajiya. His ghost is still echoing in bonsai circles many years after his passing.

For all I know he may be right, that bonsai grown from seed are the only true ones. And I have wallowed in his beleif. However it is slow going, as you will be at it for ten or more year before having much to show foroyour labors.

Fer my two cents start some seeds and start with some speciment trees at the same time...

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 8:12 pm 
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Location: NH zone 4/5
Copper wire gets used in all thickness depending on the thickness of the limb you are changing the shape of.

Fer my two cents this is a salvage operation. Save wire in a box soemwhere where you can find it again. Strip the insulation off as you need it.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2007 9:12 am 
Bonsai isn't something you can just learn from scratch via a few questions on a gardening board. I suggest you visit your local library or bookstore & do some reading first.

Bonsai is as much - if not more - an art form than just a gardening method, & there's a LOT to it. It also requires a lot of discipline & patience. For instance, you won't need any copper wire for YEARS yet - just to give you an idea. And the plants require VERY specific growing conditions & care.

If I were you, I'd start by purchasing a bonsai that's already been trained & see how good you are at just keeping it alive & thriving before trying to start one yourself. That can be even more difficult than the training. Learn how to properly care for it, prune it, repot it, take it thru dormancy, etc., etc.

Like I said before, there's a LOT more to bonsai than just "a little tree with thick stems" & "copper wire". In fact, your question re: what size copper wire to buy leads me to can't help but feel you sort of whizzed thru the many bonsai websites out there, skipping a lot of pertinent info that either didn't interest you or sounded like too much trouble. There's no fast way to do bonsai, & much of it involves long periods of waiting & mundane care. But there's no way around that.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2007 9:01 pm 
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Location: USDA Zone 7 Okla.
Breezy has given some good advice. I can't really do you justice with a paragraph or two. It would be better for you to do some reading.

If you've attended a show or a visited a "quality" bonsai nursery, 99% of the high end beautiful trees were just that, trees. They were collected as trees with large trunks that might have been 15 to 20 feet tall and cut down or trunk chopped to style as bonsai. They started with a big trunk and then spent a few years developing a branch structure and canopy.

I don't want to discourage you from starting seed. I do it a lot knowing I won't have anything that would resemble bonsai for 20 years unless I field grow them. That might cut it down to 10 - 15 years. :wink:

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 9:18 am 
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Training a tree into a bonsai takes years and lots of patience. Growing one from seed takes years before you get to the stage where you can begin training. You need a tree with as thick a trunk as possible to create the illusion of great age, and to get that it needs to be planted out in open soil for at least 5 years.
Then dig it up and see what you got. If you start trainig when its a seedling you end up with a stick in a pot.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2007 2:50 pm 
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Breezy wrote:
If I were you, I'd start by purchasing a bonsai that's already been trained & see how good you are at just keeping it alive & thriving before trying to start one yourself. That can be even more difficult than the training. Learn how to properly care for it, prune it, repot it, take it thru dormancy, etc., etc.



uff... ok -- thank you all for the information. i didn't think it was that difficult !

thank's breezy for that advice, i'll keep my eyes open and first learn how to take care of them :) i really didn't think it was all that hard.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2007 4:35 pm 
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Growing bonsai isn't difficult. If it fails a new gardener in any detail it is that bonsai are not instantly gratifying.

IMO seedlings are lovely as a new baby, The tree I've fed and talked to and nutured for a decade, is still representative of my past enjoyment in the woods.

If it is burdensome to run out at first light to see your trees, bonsai may not be for you.

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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2010 12:19 pm 
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Location: NH zone 4/5
Quote:
uff... ok -- thank you all for the information. i didn't think it was that difficult !

thank's breezy for that advice, i'll keep my eyes open and first learn how to take care of them :) i really didn't think it was all that hard.


Anja,
If you are still agrowing woody plants as bonsai, by now you know it is not hard, its just not instantly a route to mature museum quality trees.

How has your woody adventre been going?

I had to move (they closed my old program down) and foster out several hundred trees. I held 50 back that were incomplete enough that I could not forgo their next stage.

I'm still on the prowl for some of Pedro Dots micro-mini rose. I expect they might tolerate a bonsai pot. They are a "yasubusa" (most dwarf cultivar). If'n I get lucky I will brag on it here never fear. :-)

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 Post subject: Re: how do i make a Bonsai?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 8:13 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 5:35 pm
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Location: NH zone 4/5
Anja, I did a google of 'cercidphyllum japonicum as bonsai' one of the photos I pulled up was of a tree Jack Hanna had in training. It looks pretty good, and by his say-so it was twenty-one years from seed, when the photo was taken.

I don't think loving a tree is hard, but its reward is for the patient.

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Tom C
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