help with making my bonsai

ste9999June 24, 2007

hey, me and my dad have an alotment and i found a little oak with 7 leaves and about 4 inch tall. the leaves are about 3cm long. i thought it would be good to make it into a bonsai and i have been told i need to cut tap roots. i have a proper bonsai pot and soil for it to go into. any help on how i cut and make into bonsai i would b very gratefull. it would look nice with the bonsai my dad got me for my birthday.


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Hi Steve, nice to know you're into bonsai. Well, right now what you need to do is concentrate on keeping that tiny tree alive for as long as possible (at least a year), because it's too young and small to do much with, and good bonsai usually start out by focusing on the trunk - allowing the tree to grow in the ground (unless it's tropical.... but that's another story) for a few years to develop a strong trunk that tapers well to the apex (the top of the tree). Then depending on what kind of tree it is (important!) you might put it into a pot, and think about how you want to style the tree, often cutting it back down by a half or more, allowing the fat bottom of the trunk to grow new smaller branches above, which makes the whole thing look old and more interesting than just a skinny 6" seedling (which is sorta what you have). If you put yours right into a bonsai pot now, it won't grow much at all, and even if it stays small, it won't look old or interesting and will not be much of a bonsai ever. Can I suggest something for you to do? Google Harry Harrington plus the word 'bonsai' and you'll come up with ways to contact Harry, who's very much one of the leading bonsai experts in the UK, even though he's quite young and really friendly (he likes people to ask for advice!). I also suggest you do some reading at, but get hold of Harry, because he'll also be able to tell you where a local bonsai club might be, and apart from books (which sometimes can be confusing if you're not sure of terms yet), clubs are the best place to learn, and to share advice and news with other people like yourself. Good luck and let us know what happens!

    Bookmark   June 24, 2007 at 8:53PM
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Hey steve sometimes a good thing to do is grow the tree in a larger pot before you plant it in a bonsai pot. This gives the tree a chance to mature and grow a thicker trunk. During this time you can train the tree into the shape you want. Grow it for a few years in the large pot and then plant it into a shallower pot after pruning the roots. The tap roots are the thicker ones. When you do prune the roots it is also a good idea to prune the upper part of the tree as well. hope this helps.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2007 at 8:56PM
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