new to bonsai

A forum dedicated to bonsai, the art of growing dwarfed, ornamentally shaped trees or shrubs in small shallow containers.

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new to bonsai

Postby danandem » Fri Dec 05, 2008 8:17 pm

Hi everyone,
Im new to bonsai and am about to purchase my first tree, im tied up between 2, a corky bark chine elm, and a juniper. Both are already established bonsai trees. I prefer the elm, but maybe the juniper is easier to look after. if anyone could give me some care instructions for the trees as well as hints as to wich would be better that would be great. i live up in MT Isa QLD so it gets hot days so im guessing i would have to keep them in the shade, they seem to be growing at the nursery ok tho. any help would be very much appreciated.
Kind regards Dan
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Re: new to bonsai

Postby taffyman » Fri Dec 05, 2008 9:55 pm

Hi Dan, welcome to the forum - and welcome to the great world of Bonsai.
With Mt Isa having temps way up in the 40's at times, I'd suggest the Juniper would be the better choice. Junipers can take more 'drying out' than Chinese Elms. The elms need to be constantly moist (not wet, just moist). In full sun, I'd suggest the leaves on the Chinese Elm may burn and curl up - they couldn't take 40+ degrees for too long.
When you say they are both established Bonsai, do you mean they've been in Mt Isa for some time (were they grown there)? A lot of nurseries will import material from the southern areas which will suffer greatly in your climate over a short time. Another thing you need to look at is where they are situated in the nursery. Things like: Are they under shade, do they get shade for part of the day, are they watered regularly (is the soil mix damp to the touch). Those sorts of things will determine the water requirements and where you will need to keep the one you ultimately buy.
Bonsai is not like growing general garden plants in pots. Bonsai pots are usually fairly shallow and will dry out a lot quicker than say a 10 inch black plastic pot. Whichever one you decide on, you may find during your hottest months that it will need watering twice a day - early morning and late afternoon.
Do you know of any other people in the Isa growing Bonsai? If you can find one or two, it might be a good idea to have a chat to them and see what will grow happily in your climate, and find out how they look after theirs - the nursery may be a source of contacts.
When you've bought your 'treasure', it'd be great if you could post a photo or two. That can aid with tips and help in maintaining it.
Hope this has been of some help to you and don't hesitate to ask any other questions you have.
Taffy
Have fun, life is way too short for anything else
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Re: new to bonsai

Postby alpinebonsart » Fri Jan 02, 2009 2:27 pm

danandem wrote:Hi everyone,
Im new to bonsai and am about to purchase my first tree, im tied up between 2, a corky bark chine elm, and a juniper. Both are already established bonsai trees. I prefer the elm, but maybe the juniper is easier to look after. if anyone could give me some care instructions for the trees as well as hints as to wich would be better that would be great. i live up in MT Isa QLD so it gets hot days so im guessing i would have to keep them in the shade, they seem to be growing at the nursery ok tho. any help would be very much appreciated.
Kind regards Dan

Hi Dan ,new to G.E not new to Bonsai i have lived in the N.E Victorian Alps for a decade or more and have experienced up to 45degree temps during the last few Summers.Our extremes are -5 to +45 degree . From snow to extreme heat and hail the only problem i have with any Bonsai is drying out in Summer. I Use 70% green shade cloth to reduce foliage burn and a piece of 90% to cover the pots ,trays and slabs to prevent them from overheating as this is the quickest way to loose a bonsai . Check out my Amateur Bonsai blog. http://alpinebonsart.blogspot.com/ . You can grow anything in Australia as long as you have water .Cheers Ian
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