"Complete Beginners Guide To Bonsai"

 

Maintaining and growing Bonsai trees requires more than patience and enthusiasm. 

A Complete Beginner's Guide to Bonsai Trees will teach you ...

 The key secrets and techniques that have been discovered in ancient times and passed down through generations.



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Indoor Bonsai Care Guide

As a rule, bonsai trees are grown outdoors. While they may seem small and fragile compared to their wild counterparts,

indoor bonsai tree they are just as capable to withstand the same growing conditions. (Image by iMaffo via Flickr)

However, there may be situations where you would like to grown the bonsai indoors. For example, when you have a tree specimen that is not native to the climate in your part of the world, growing it indoors will allow you to control the conditions better. Or when you are expecting a harsh winter, bringing your bonsai indoors will help it survive.

Indoor bonsai care instructions should be properly observed in these cases so that you overcome the challenges that are present in growing bonsai in a closed environment. Here are some tips to help you along:

Choose a spot for your bonsai tree where it can get sufficient sunlight. Depending on the needs of the specific bonsai specimen you are working with, choose a location that can give it full sun, or partial shade. When trees do not receive sufficient sunlight, it will not be able to produce enough food to support its pace of growth.

Make sure your bonsai receives sufficient amount of moisture. Water when the soil appears dry – this could mean watering every few hours. When the temperature is warm, spray the leaves generously with water for additional moisture. This will keep the humidity levels up.

Fertilize your bonsai. This will allow you to replenish the nutrients in the soil. When applying fertilizer, make sure you dilute it and use about half of the recommended strength. This is because the organic components of your bonsai soil are few, and your tree is small. Using too much fertilizer will cause leaf burn.

A good schedule is to fertilize once every month, except during winter months when the tree is hibernating.

Trim and pinch to keep your bonsai tree’s shape and form, but trim conservatively. You only want to remove enough to keep the tree’s shape, but not too much that the tree will not have sufficient leaves to support itself.

Training. Train your tree to the form that you desire. There are different methods that you can use when training your trees.

Re-pot your bonsai tree every 2 to 3 years. Once the root ball has become pot bound, it’s time to remove it from the pot to be repotted. Repotting encourages the growth of a more compact root system. The best time to do this is during early spring or mid summer depending on your tree specimen. Carefully remove the roots from its pot, gently dusting away soil that has clung to it. Trim the outer roots of the tree, making sure you remove not more that 1/4 of the root system. Then plant it back in a pot (could be the same pot) using fresh bonsai soil mix.

How you care for a bonsai tree often depends on the tree specimen that you are growing. And even then, you will need to pay a lot of attention to the signs and clues that your specific bonsai will give you to be able to respond to its needs best.

To learn more about how to care for popular specimens such as the maple bonsai or the juniper bonsai tree, click on the links here
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Maple Bonsia Care and Fertilizer

 

Trident Maple (Acer buergerianum)I thought this was an interesting discussion on a common problem. It also shows what can happen to some some bonsai ethusiasts, especially those less experienced. They treat one thing that then causes another problem, not their fault, but it shows the advantages of a little research prior to jumping in.. It proves the old adage:

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing

(Image by cliff1066™ via Flicker)

Japanese maple care and recovery……… covering my bases

Post  izzmogizz Today at 6:12 pm

 
 
Ok so I have a small collection of japanese maples I have been either growing from seed or from grafts over the last few years. All are in larger nursery pots or modified nursery pots adequate to the size of the tree for root/nabari development and growth for another few years at which time I hope to have some more grow out room and can plant them in the ground to develop further as bonsai or landscape trees. At this stage of growth I use a modified soil blend of organic potting soil, sand, perilite, vermiculite, decomposed granite to provide good drainage while still maintaining the moisture needed for growth in larger containers. Over the last 3 weeks, our neighborhood was stricken with a plague of aphids which quickly found my maples and did a number on the new growth. Through safe soap treatments and the addition of praying mantis and several thousand lady bugs to my garden I think I have gotten rid of or at least gotten the aphids under control, however all of my trees still seem to be barely hanging on, with new growth curling or turning black, brown spots on leaves. I stopped fertilizing a few weeks ago to help get rid of the aphids. I guess I am wondering when I should start to see some progress or if I should be concerned something else may be the problem as I seem to be loosing some leaves here and there on various trees?

1.What is the best fertilizer regime for japanese maples in containers? Have been using a j. maple balanced fertilizer at half strength for a few years, plus slow release blood and bone meal twice a year for the last few years with good results but everything you read seems to contradict itself so advice is welcome.

2. Could this be damage from over watering or aphid treating and not just the aphids?

3. Aside from not over watering, over feeding, under watering, letting them dry out, and providing some afternoon sun protection on hot days for the next few weeks is there anything else I can or should be doing to help in their recovery?

Post  JimLewis Today at 6:39 pm

 
 
If I had to guess, your leaf problems stem from using a soap treatment on the aphids — especially if it was a home-made soap spray, and even more especially if you gave them repetitive treatments. Many maples react badly to soap sprays. Commercial soap sprays like Safers are a bit better, but the sodium or potassium salts of fatty acids, with strong alkali component found in soaps can raise hell on maple leaves. Worst affected are trident maples, but Japanese maples (and others) are susceptible, too.

As for fertilizers, you trees will not care and there is NO SUCH THING as a maple fertilizer (except perhaps in the fertile imagination of fertilizer marketers). Anything with NPK and especially trace elements will work just fine….More at Re: Japanese maple care and recovery – Internet Bonsai Club

 

So remember if you have a problem or an issue with your tree do a little research to make sure that you are taking the right action. It would be a shame to loose another fine young or established bonsai tree. A little TLC can work wonders for bonsai.

Low Cost Stunning Bonsai!

It is possible to pick up small bonsai trees of all varieties, already in bonsai form from a garden centre reasonably cheaply. But if you have looked at any of the larger specimens, it can be hard not to need a sit down after checking out the price tag.

So most people settle for choosing a small bonsai specimen and growing it on, or buying some seeds or even using a cutting. These are all great techniques for getting into bonsai growing cheaply.

But what if you fancy some thing a bit more dramatic or larger as a feature piece?

Well there is an alternative approach. Make your own larger bonsai from scratch, and better yet from a discarded log or fallen branch or tree.

Below is a great video showing just this approach, on a yew log that consists of mostly rotten timber. Now although this may be the easier approach from the financial aspect. It will require a lot of time, patience and some skill.

But it does provide food for thought and might be a  technique worth considering for you to try out. After all what have you got to loose, if the bonsai tree doesn’t make it, there should be plenty more samples around.

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Help! What To Do With My Bonsai….

One of the questions that I find I get asked all the time is what am I supposed to do with my bonsai. People know they

Bonsai "Roter Fächerahorn", picture ...

Image via Wikipedia

can shape and trim them but don’t know what or when to do things without damaging the Bonsai tree.

Now without specific information I can not answer this directly. The information I would need include the variety of bonsai, the climate, the condition of the tree, what you want to do with it etc.

There are a couple of articles on this site that give a guide as to what to do on a monthly basis throughout the year. But in this article I want to give a very simple two point outline of how to take care of your bonsai tree. These pointers will cover all types Maple Bonsai, Juniper, Cyprus, Chinese Elm Bonsai , it doesn’t matter.

So here we go, rule one take a leaf (pun intended) out of natures book. What do I mean by that, well if the wild maple trees for instance are changing shade or dropping leaves or are bare and look dormant, a rule of thumb is that yours should too.

Bonsai are just small versions of the wild trees and plants found in nature so they should be going through the growth phase or the dormant stage or flowering etc at similar times to the wild plants and trees.

So if the tree is in a dormant phase it stands to reason it needs a rest and not lots of water and feed. If the bonsai tree is in full blume the same as the wild plant then it will need more water as the leaves will be evaporating more moister.

I hope this is clear, essentially Bonsai trees are miniature versions of the wild trees so they should reflect the stages of the natural plant, and be treated as necessary. This includes timing things such as pruning or repotting.

Now having said that point number two slightly contradicts point one. But Bonsai are smaller versions of the mature plants, bushes and trees so they require a bit more care and attention and a bit more looking after.

An analogy would be if you invited an adult round to stay at your house or a child. The adult could fend for themselves and make their needs explicit by asking for more food or drink or for a blanket. But if you had a child round you would be more proactive in taking care of their needs by asking if they needed a drink or something to eat, and ensuring they were warm by tucking them in.

Lets build on this with an example: Your bonsai has its branches thinned out and shaped, the roots are also trimmed and shaped to restrict the growth. Because of these types of actions the plant can’t absorb as much water or as quickly as a wild maple tree for instance. The root system is not as large and doesn’t spread as deeply into the soil to reach reserves of water.

For this reason we need to water a little and more often. Do you see how this translates from the point I made earlier. In the winter wild maple trees have roots that go deeper into the soil and also more of them so if a few at the surface get frozen, so what. But in our Bonsai that could spell disaster so we protect the roots from frost and ice.

This is just one example but should help make the point, treat your bonsai tree like a regular baby plant of the species it is.

So lets recap; Take a look at the fully developed species of your bonsai tree to ascertain what it should be doing, then let your tree do the same but give it a little more attention, this will give your bonsai growing experience a nudge in the right direction.

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Create A Bonsai Garden in a Planter!

Bonsai Japan Garden in planters

Image via Wikipedia

By Jennifer Akre

A bonsai garden is the picture of peace and tranquility. The time and dedication that goes into the trimming of each small piece of branch to allow the tree to blossom into a unique shape is a natural art form to behold.

The hobby of growing and shaping bonsai trees has gained in popularity in recent years. Some enjoy the relaxation it brings. Others like to watch the trees as they continue to grow into a new shape. Creating a center of peace, such as this, in your backyard is easier than you think.

In order to create your bonsai garden, you are going to need to start with bonsai trees, outdoor planters, and a plan. You don’t want all the trees side by side, you want to space the outdoor planters out, so you can walk to each tree and appreciate it, but not feel crowded by other trees.

You may want to walk around your garden space a few times to get a good feel for where the trees should sit. You want to make sure where they are allows for a natural view of the trees with no distractions.

When selecting the outdoor planters for your bonsai tree, you need to keep in mind the overall impact it is supposed to have, little to none. The outdoor planters are not what you are trying to show off. They are simply the vessels that are supporting the bonsai trees that you are raising. That means the outdoor planters you choose should not be showy or over the top. Instead they should be natural looking pieces that add to the overall effect of the tree in them.

In addition to the outdoor planters you may want to add other items to your bonsai garden to complete the image of serenity.

Water is a very calming force, and can also have that effect in your garden. You can bring this extra calming impact to your bonsai garden by putting a fountain in between your outdoor planters. There are many completely built fountains on the market that you can put in place, with little to no fuss, plug in and let them flow.

Want something a little bigger? What about a small Koi pond in the middle of your garden? If you are very creative and want a weekend project to really add some oomph to your bonsai garden, you could create your own babbling brook that runs through the garden space. This will involve all the elements of a pond building kit, plus some creative additions.

A final touch to your bonsai garden may be to add another style of garden to it. You can install a small Zen rock garden. The rakes and rocks are easy enough to buy and you can create a frame out of a few pieces of wood. Fill with very find white sand, place the rocks, and take your time creating an energetic design in the surface, as your days stresses melt away.

Jennifer Akre, owner of numerous online specialty shops, shares her insight on how to create more space outside your home by using decorative teak planters, charming planter boxes and sturdy teak garden planters.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jennifer_Akre

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Trident Maple Bonsai The Basics

A Trident Maple (Acer buergerianum) bonsai, No...

Image via Wikipedia

By Jessica Tanady

The art of Bonsai calls for a plant to get kept in the little container, and yet maintain the qualities that are viewed in nature. This indicates that the plants are smaller versions of what is discovered in a forest, plus a really effective Bonsai plant is one that has the distinctive characteristics of its larger form.

The Trident Maple Bonsai is one with the trees that make for a excellent Bonsai plant. This plant works extremely well, and has the ability to develop from the container and still seem incredible.

The art of Bonsai is practiced all over the world and also the techniques are shared by many who excel in this hobby. There’s a great deal of work connected with Bonsai, but the rewards definitely come to light when a plant thrives and is lovely.

When starting the process with growing a Trident Maple Bonsai a gardener first begins by picking a plant or they can develop a seed. It may well be simpler for beginners to choose a plant for an initial project as developing a seed may perhaps be unpredictable.

Selecting a Trident Maple Bonsai is often a step which could make certain a productive plant, as once again these are trees that function nicely with this procedure. Because a productive Bonsai tree requires to be extremely upright, the Trident Maple Bonsai is often a good option as it naturally grows in this direction. The Trident Maple Bonsai also has incredibly defined roots and bark giving it the seem which is desired in Bonsai.

The Trident Maple should be transplanted in early spring, appropriate just before they start to bud. This can be the perfect time to trim their roots as well, as this is when they’ve their biggest growth spurt. This is also the time to start pruning and shaping the tree, prior to it begins developing.

It wants for being planted with a great Bonsai potting soil and drainage demands for being produced for the plant using a combination of bark, fragmented granite along with other items that can be used to create a excellent drainage method.

The Trident Maple Bonsai requires plenty of sun light and water. It is a plant which is reputed to be drought tolerant, but they nevertheless will need a daily supply of water during the summer, and might be cut back from the winter months.

Bonsai strategies could be employed to develop the appealing look by pruning and nipping leaves. The Trident Maple Bonsai will have lots of foliage and is great for the method of Bonsai. A Trident Maple Bonsai is an great choice for your Bonsai enthusiasts or those just starting in the hobby.

Jessica Tanady loves to write articles since 4 years ago, both offline and online. Not only does this author love to write in the topic of beauty, fitness and weight loss. Visit her latest articles on tiffany lights which reviews and discuss about kitchen light fixtures.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jessica_Tanady
http://EzineArticles.com/?Some-Fundamentals-About-Trident-Maple-Bonsai&id=4846058

 

Trident Maple Bonsai Tree  (Acer Buergerianum) Trident Maple Bonsai Tree (Acer Buergerianum)

Well known for the superb colors of its foliage in autumn (fall). The bark is a dappled pale brown and exfoliates with age revealing a grey orange and brown color. The small leaves (which resist scorching during drought) have 3 short lobes close together – hence the name Tri-dent. The spring flowers are inconspicuous and the new growth is often bronze to purple. Deciduous – Keep outdoors. Available 12 months a year. Will have no foliage during winter months.






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Growing Your Own Maple Bonsai

Red Maple
Image by bruce… via Flickr

Bonsai trees need tender, loving care and may need extra effort from you to grow and thrive. But, they will reward you with their natural beauty.

The Maples are very vibrant and beautiful trees. They are very leafy and have a full appearance. In the fall, as the leaves are turning, they will turn to yellow and red, this makes a fantastic display.

This is why they are beautiful as Bonsai trees and they tend to thrive well if kept right. The ideal conditions they need combine partial sun and shade for healthy growth.

In the winter, pay particular attention to the roots as they may die if they get too cold. The do not need as much water in the winter, either.

Maples prefer moist soil, so make sure that they have an adequate amount of water daily. Also, make sure there is adequate drainage so that you do not over water it.

These trees do well as informal uprights because of their leafy nature. They may be trained as a cascade but be very careful as you can split the trunk if you do not handle the them delicately. Remember these trees are a long term project and so take your time if training or shaping them.

Some people prefer to wire the tree into a curve. However, this looks and is unnatural for the maple tree. It is recommended that you prune it and work towards a gentle curve. If you are determined to cascade it however, be careful because the tree could scar from any trauma.

Feed the tree approximately once a month. A fertilizer is needed to assist with the growing process, however, do not over do it.

These trees are hearty and must be pruned back fairly regularly. You can also trim the roots if you believe it is getting too large.

It is best to prune the branches in late Fall and Winter when most of the leaves have dropped off. You may want to use a paste to cover the wound once a branch has been cut off.

It may be difficult to determine at times, how much growth is necessary and what needs to be scaled back. The object is to have a miniature rendition of a real tree. Ideally, it should not look like an ordinary houseplant if this is the case it has over grown.

The tree needs to be re potted on a regular basis, typically, every one to two years. When repotting use a mixture of soil, sand and peat.

They can be a very challenging, yet rewarding to grow. Try to obtain as much information in advance so you know what to expect and will be on the alert if there are any problems. Most of all, have fun and enjoy the tree for years to come.

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An Eye For Shaping Bonsai Trees

A problem that some bonsai enthusiasts often face especially the less experienced is around the topic of shaping their bonsai tree.

For instance people have mentioned that they know the basics of pruning a bonsai and have experience of pruning other plants in the garden to remove dead growth or branches that are growing in the wrong direction.

The problem they have is a bit more fundamental around the artistry of the bonsai tree design. How do they know what shape the tree should be, they don’t have the eye! Whatever that means.

Well if any of you read the last article there is no need to let your bonsai tree grow for ten years before you get a feel for the shape it should be, however there are some guidelines you can follow that will help.

1) The variety of tree, the formal bonsai shapes such as formal upright, slanting and cascade are more suited to specific species of tree than others. So do some research decide on the style you want then choose a suitable bonsai tree variety.

2) Next, look at lots of pictures of bonsai trees and study bonsai you see, try to get a feel for the classic lines and structure that is used. You will find it doesn’t take that long to be able to spot typical shapes a tree could form. They may not end up winning competions but so what, it will bring you satisfaction.

3) Study nature and full size trees you see as you are out and about. This is my preferred method. A lot of bonsai experts and masters prefer to look at trees without any foliage for precisely this reason they can see the true form and structure of the tree. It is like an architect looking at the structure of a building, they can admire its true design the rest is just decoration.

A couple of examples for you to consider, first recently I have noticed a lot of Jin on trees as I pass them near where I live. Jin are dead branches or stumps that are devoid of bark and can be seen on bonsai and deliberately introduced if desired, to give the impresion of age. Well one in particular has caught my eye so I have taken a photo and will be adding it to a bonsai tree in the future that seems to have a branch in a similar position, or one I can grow.

In another instance I recently travelled to the coast and whilst driving noticed all the trees leaning inland away from the obviously regular coastal wind. This gave rise to some tremendous shapes similar to the photos shown. You bet I will be using these as inspiration in the future.

Lets remember Bonsai are supposed to represent full size trees growing wild so where best to take design tips and inspiration from than natural growing trees themselves.

Hope this helps give you a few ideas and inspire your creativity and ability to get the eye for growing and shaping bonsai trees.

Passionate About Bonsai

Well we have all heard no doubt that the secret to bonsai tree growing is patience and dedication. But it seems some people take things to the extreme, check out this article were one enthusiast sleeps with his bonsai trees.

OK not literally but in a shack next to his bonsai collection.

When we talk about patience and bonsai is this what you think of? Such as letting your chosen bonsai tree grow wild for twenty years before starting to shape it!

The point is, we might not all be quite this enthusiastic or dedicated to bonsai as this guy. Lets face it the majority of us will never win any awards for our trees, or even want to. There are always those who go that bit further, but there is no reason that Bonsai as a hobby can not be enjoyable and relaxing.

By slowing down and developing a small amount of patience when we attend to our bonsai it will hopefully give the average collector other benefits such as less stress.

This article certainly shows what can be achieved if you get carried away with things though, and some of the musings about shape will hopefully inspire at least a few people reading this.

Hope this helps your bonsai passion, just don’t get too carried away, and if you do good luck in your next competition and I hope you sleep comfortably :-)

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More on Bonsai Tree Pruning

Bonsai Tree Pruning

So we have covered what needs to pruned and why on your bonsai in a general sense. Lets have a look at what we are doing to the bonsai top when we prune it.

There are essentially two main reasons for pruning your Japanese bonsai, these are very closely related.

1) What you can call structural pruning
2) Also shaping and maintenance

By structural pruning we mean cutting the stock down, the trunk of the bonsai to make it shorter, and removing branches to give us the basic shape we desire for our little bonsai tree.

The other reason is general shaping and maintenance of the Japanese bonsai to give the required look that we are after.

The tools you use for this pruning can be normal garden tools and household scissors, especially for the beginner as this keeps the cost down. It is however more advisable to use dedicated bonsai tools as they are sized and shaped to perform any pruning by creating the least amount of damage and leaving the bonsai with the correct shape and minimal scaring.

For structural pruning if you are growing you own Bonsai you will need to select your bonsai plant and cut the trunk down to the required dimensions. The actual size depends on the variety, in the case of the Japanese maple bonsai you need a trunk about 4” diameter at the base. When you remove branches be sure to use a sealant to help the bonsai recover this serves two purposes.


  • Helps heal the bonsai and reduce scaring
  • Prevents disease entering the plant

Look out for new buds growing around any removed branches and just rub these off. Unless one is a new branch growing in a position you desire.

After pruning it best to feed your bonsai tree to make sure it recovers as quick as possible.

The shaping of your bonsai tree is usually related to the formal Japanese Bonsai style you are trying to achieve. But if you are not following a formal style you can shape your tree as you please. A good tip is to remove the growth from the inside of branches and trunk this helps achieve the defined shape of the classic Japanese bonsai tree.

Your bonsai will need pruning during the growing season to remove new growth and buds etc that detract from the profile you are trying to achieve.

The shaping of bonsai trees is not a quick process and can take years from start to finish, a bonsai tree can be left to grow for ten years without the shaping even beginning. When it is shaped it will still need maintenance, however the rewards of having the perfect natural looking bonsai tree can be very satisfying.

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