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My other addiction, Bonsai Tree's.

abqjoe Jun 2, 2016

  1. medit8

    medit8 Brigade Member Knife Maker or Craftsman Brigade Member

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    I really admire what you've been doing. Over the years, I have killed 2 different real nice Ficus and feel guilty about it. The first casualty was from putting too much moss around it, which I was told prevented it from getting enough water. The second died in a matter of a month after it came to me. This makes me paranoid to try Bonsai again, but seeing the beautiful results you've gotten, I am going to look for the easiest to keep thriving plant I can find. Being in PA surrounded by many Amish farms that seem to be able to grow everything they try, maybe I can get some good growing advice from them
    Anyway, please pat yourself on your back for me. Good job!
    Medit8
     
  2. abqjoe

    abqjoe JDBA4L JDBA Official Member

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    Medit8, thank you for the kind words! I'm not out of the woods just yet because I am still new. But, I'm confident in the knowledge that I base my practices and I sincerely hope that it serves me well because I truly do love caring for these little tree's:) It's a stress reliever for me and I find it very mentally beneficial.. Here's a good article for you to read that has helped me and I hope it helps you too!
    http://www.kaizenbonsai.com/bonsai-tree-care-information/graham-s-guide-to-repotting-bonsai
     
  3. Veker

    Veker Average member

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    Very nice! I may have to give Bonsai a try. I am i to cacti. I'm mainly into San Pedro.
    I also recently got into Orchids.

    GZB, do you have any good tips on Orchids? I've had 1 for 2 years that finally bloomed last month. My other Orchid hasnt bloomed yet.
     
  4. abqjoe

    abqjoe JDBA4L JDBA Official Member

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    It just occurred to me that I haven't updated this thread with pics of my last couple of projects. Earlier in the week I carved a new pot out of a solid piece of quartz river rock for my Shefflera (Hawaiian Umbrella) tree to live in. Here's the results:)

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    After only 2 days new growth is already beginning to happen:manganr:

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    I also root trimmed and re-potted my Ficus too!

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    New growth on this one too just after 2 days:)

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    Here is another pot that I carved out a piece of lava rock that I found on a hike last Saturday. I made this pot for this cool little Juniper.

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    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 25, 2016
    Shike likes this.
  5. crogers

    crogers Magnus advocatus diaboli JDBA Official Member Brigade Member

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    I've often wanted to get into bonsai, butt* I've not had much luck with ANY plant in the past.

    Could you recommend some good introductory books and/or websites that would help me get started?
     
  6. abqjoe

    abqjoe JDBA4L JDBA Official Member

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    Most Bonsai die at the hands of beginners (I'm still a beginner too but doing fairly well so far) due to over-watering or under-watering or too much light or too little light. The biggest mistake I've found newbies making through my own research is that they'll take a piece of Bonsai information and apply it to all Bonsai and that is dangerous! Bonsai care is species specific which means you have to know exactly what kind of tree your Bonsai is and then research how to care for that specific type of tree. I recommend starting out with a Shefflera or a Ficus because they are pretty tolerant to common mistakes and are very hearty trees.

    This page has a lot of good info: http://www.kaizenbonsai.com/bonsai-tree-care-information/graham-s-guide-to-repotting-bonsai

    And also you can go to www.bonsaiempire.com too. They have a wealth of info on that site!
     
  7. crogers

    crogers Magnus advocatus diaboli JDBA Official Member Brigade Member

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    Thanks, I'll check 'em out when I have some spare time. :thumbsup:
     
  8. abqjoe

    abqjoe JDBA4L JDBA Official Member

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    Time for an update! I've actually been really busy since the last time I updated this thread:manganr:

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    corjzg likes this.
  9. corjzg

    corjzg Hittin' Switches

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    Sweet Chinese Elm! The crown jewel. My place is too dry in winter for orchids or bonsai unfort. Is that a black pine to the right?
     
  10. abqjoe

    abqjoe JDBA4L JDBA Official Member

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    The bigger pine on the left is an 80yr old Black Pine. The shorter Pine on the right is actually a 100yr old Ponderosa:) Chinese Elm's actually don't mind dry climate and neither do a lot of species of Bonsai. Out here in NM our climate is usually 3-10% humidity and my tree's are all pretty much thriving! Just have to mist them a few times a day in the summer and keep tubs of water beneath the pot which provides a little extra humidity. Also, shade is important in the summer time when temps go above 90 F.

    BTW, the Chinese Elm is a Cork Bark variety and started life as a personal tree of the infamous Nick Lenz:) It's somewhere between 40-50yrs old. Here's a couple of pics. 1 is from when I first received and the other is after I pruned it back hard a few days later. It's already starting to grow new buds everywhere after only 8 days of pruning it back.

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    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 30, 2016
  11. gzb

    gzb SUPER Moderator* Super Moderator

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    Don't believe that about orchids and dryness. Believe it or not, they'll adapt quite well. No misting required.

    I live in Colorado at 8100'. Dry as hell.
    Some of my orchids (Phalaenopsis, Dendrobiums, and Cattleyas) are over 9 years old. Pic of a few above in this post.
    They're still thriving/still blooming. Especially around Christmas due to the shorter light periods.

    The only plants I mist are some *Air Plants* I brought back from Hawaii and Florida. With out real roots, some help required.
    But even they will occasionally bloom. They all just mainly need diffused window light, watered sparingly every other day with Spring Water (no Clorine), and weekly feedings...
     
  12. kaufen

    kaufen Little member

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    Nice tree. Never seen before.
     
  13. Shike

    Shike knifemaker Knife Maker or Craftsman

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    Beautiful collection abqjoe:thumbsup:
     
    abqjoe likes this.
  14. Obijuan Kenobe

    Obijuan Kenobe Our only hope! Brigade Member

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    I have killed two in my years. One lasted nearly four years, nearly the entire time I lived in Amsterdam, to be precise. That one died while on vacation and over watered by the sitter (who was told not to water the tree). About two weeks before I moved to Norway.

    I have been meaning to get one again for a while now. I haven't killed anything in a long time.

    :unintroduced:

    Your collection is really to die for. There isn't a bonsai enthusiast out there that would not tip their hat to that collection.

    Do they become easier and more resilient when they get over 50 or so? Or are you are you really just a mistake away from losing any of those amazingly old ones? Those pines are nuts. I'd love a more detailed tree-by-tree description myself, if you're asking.

    Have you ever though about fruit bearing trees? I have seen wonderful examples of those.

    The Minnesota State Fair in the twin cities used to have a freakin' phenomenal contest/display every year that my dad and I loved.

    God damn wonderful trees, fucker.

    obi
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 9, 2016
  15. abqjoe

    abqjoe JDBA4L JDBA Official Member

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    I don't think that they become more resilient as they get over 50, but like people, their needs and their growth changes and you have to adjust. Older tree's are not quite as vigorous as younger tree's, that being said, their roots do no grow as much or as fast, which means you don't have to repot/root-trim (disturb) them as often. Luckily I have only had one tree die on me, a juniper, my first tree. I think I've been as lucky keeping them alive as I have because of my overall approach, which is to treat every tree according to it's individual species. You can't treat them all the same because they all come from different parts of the world, different USDA climate zones.
    I also try not to over-complicate things, I water my tree's when they need water and don't when they don't! In the summer when temps go beyond 90F I place all of my tree's in an area where they'll get morning sun, shade during the hottest time of day, and then late afternoon sun. I mist a couple of times a day and fertilize a couple of times per month during the growing season. All in all I have been successful so far but I'm still very much a student! For me, this hobby is something that I find incredibly soothing and beneficial to my mental health. With all of the kicks in the balls life likes to throw at me (and everyone for that matter) it's nice to start my day and end my day by taking care of these little tree's which completely depend on me for life:)

    As far as fruit trees go, the only one I have is a 65 year old Japanese Plum which flowers in December. It hasn't produced any fruit though! I may pick up another variety next season though to add to my collection.
     
    ded i likes this.
  16. Shike

    Shike knifemaker Knife Maker or Craftsman

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    You are not alone. When I first got into them I killed a 75 year old tree that had been pictured in books and Bonsai mags. Very expensive tree.............Damn that hurt:cry:
     
  17. Teerts

    Teerts Little member

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    I love Bonsai trees. They remind me of the Karate Kid movies
     
  18. Gravedigger

    Gravedigger JDBA4L JDBA Official Member

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    Awesome pics!!! I could never keep 'em alive ;(
     

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