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WANTED: help a newbie to create his first bonsai

Posted by redghost 7 (My Page) on
Wed, Nov 22, 06 at 4:01

Greetings,
I am new to this forum and subject of bonsai in general. i have tried before to find how to go about creating my own bonsai, however i did not have much success. I want to learn how to make bonsi -- and everything about it. Please help me :). I like willows -- and was wondering if for my first project I can start with a willow bonsai. if you think that is tough/not-suitable -- i am open for suggestions. All i need to know is HOW. give me links, documentations, best practices --- and I will do the homework.


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RE: WANTED: help a newbie to create his first bonsai

Greetings,
I am new to this forum and subject of bonsai in general. i have tried before to find how to go about creating my own bonsai, however i did not have much success. I want to learn how to make bonsi -- and everything about it. Please help me :). I like willows -- and was wondering if for my first project I can start with a willow bonsai. if you think that is tough/not-suitable -- i am open for suggestions. All i need to know is HOW. give me links, documentations, best practices --- and I will do the homework.


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RE: WANTED: help a newbie to create his first bonsai

Hi red,

Welcome to the world of bonsai! A willow is considered an outdoor bonsai. As such, you shouldn't keep it indoors so make sure you plan on keeping it outside. Next, to get you started checkout the Outdoor bonsai tree care section of this site.

If you want to start your bonsai from scratch check out this Outdoor pre-bonsai link link where you will find pre-bonsai willow trees. A pre-bonsai is the tree that hasn't been styled yet or put in a "bonsai pot" so you are free to use your creativity to the fullest.

Proper watering and lighting is very important to learn when you are starting out. Once you have met its needs you can start to style it and prune it the way you want. I hope this gets you started.


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RE: WANTED: help a newbie to create his first bonsai

I really liked this site http://www.bonsai4me.com/. It gives you all sorts of directions. Go ahead and take a look.
Willows root really easily. I have yet to creat a bonsai, but I am however, making an attempt at rooting willows in my room right now.
If you see a willow, preferably in a park that you would like to try, go ahead and take a bit of a good branch off, and try rooting a few cuttings. Although it won't look like much for a few months, it is free, and the "trunk" already has a bit of a head start.

A willow is a perfect specimen to tinker around with- they are hard to kill. Patience may be required as with any bonsai however....


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RE: WANTED: help a newbie to create his first bonsai

Making Bonsais is easier than most people think. After your Willow Roots, Plant it either in the ground or in a large pot. If you plant it in the ground, it will grow faster and the trunk thicker. It is a process that, if done right, will take you a few years to get something that looks like a bonsai. Don't expect a show specimen in 6 months.
Keep your bonsai in the ground and let it get as tall as you'd like your bonsai. Then cut off the top and allow it to "back branch". This is the sending out of new branches from the older buds, preferably from those near the top for your tree. Then let those branches grow only as long as you'd like them... usually just short of the ground. Get yourself some Copper Bonsai wire. It can be ordered online. You'll need some thin wire for the thin branches of the willow. You'll need to check some sites on "wiring" to see how to do it correctly. You dont' want to cut into the branches soft bark. Wrap it around in a spiral fasion from the trunk to the tip. Bend the branches the way you'd like them to fall... As close to a natural looking Old tree. Check them every few months make sure the branches are not being cut by the wires. Remove and rewire if they are.
Every 3-6 months I would take a shovel/spade and cut a ring around the tree about the diameter of a bonsai pot you'd like to see your tree in, then slide the spade a few inches (about 4-6 inches) under the tree. This is to cut and trim the roots to the length needed for a pot in the future. Do not lift the tree! Just leave it there. It will recover much faster this way. After a few years of training like this, (and you can show people your tree in it's spot!) You can eventually move it to a bonsai pot of your liking. By this time, your tree should have a nice sized trunk and a good shape, if you kept up on your wiring and branch pruning.
If you'd like a short cut to a good bonsai.. .a great place to find good material is a long the edge of a field visited by deer or that keeps sheep, goats, cows etc. They'll have kept the trees short by grazing and they'll already have thick trunks.


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