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Illinois
calliopemcgraw
Dec 25, 2019 11:49 AM CST
i just got a bonsai tree today, and i have a few questions to help get me started. one, what kind of tree is it?
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two, is it supposed to be sagging like this? the trunk goes vertical but curves down like a rainbow...

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that's all. please respond asap!! thank you so much!!
Name: Big Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
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BigBill
Dec 25, 2019 1:17 PM CST
Bonsai is an Art Form.
The flowing form of your plant is intended to create that art form. In Bonsai, their creators basically have a vision in their mind of what they are trying to create. They prune their subject plant over prolonged periods of time striving to achieve their vision. Their goal.
Bonsai is not instantaneous! It happens slowing over time. In some cases, 30, 40 even 50 years!!
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Yours looks like some type of cedar.
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[Last edited by BigBill - Dec 25, 2019 1:19 PM (+)]
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Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
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WillC
Dec 26, 2019 1:50 PM CST
Your bonsai may be a type of Juniper. Some others may have a better ID for you.

More importantly, it is not a tropical species and that means it requires cold winter temps to survive. Unless you have a cold (below 45 degrees F) sunny location to keep it in winter, then it will surely develop dry needles that will fall of and the plant is unlikely to make it through the winter.

This is an expensive plant that should never be sold without telling the buyer that it requires cold winter temperatures. You may want to consider returning it before it falls apart in warm, dry winter air.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
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Contact me directly at [email protected]
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Name: one-eye-luke US.Vet.
Texas (Zone 8a)
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oneeyeluke
Dec 26, 2019 2:29 PM CST
BigBill that is the prettiest Japanese White Pine – Pinus parviflora I have ever seen. Are you growing that WOW?
NOT A EXPERT! Just a grow worm! I never met a plant I didn’t love.✌
Name: Big Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
Orchids, peace and beauty
Region: United States of America Critters Allowed Growing under artificial light Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan
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BigBill
Dec 26, 2019 2:45 PM CST
No Luke, I sure wish it was mine!!
I have never mustered the courage to try bonsai.

That plant is part of a bonsai display at the Matthaei Botanical Gardens. Our judging center meets there. They have this pretty little walled in area right off of their Japanese Garden and some 35-40 bonsai are on display outdoors when the weather warms. I was so impressed that I had to take a few images.
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This was another special plant in the display.
Rodney Wilcox Jones, my idol!
Businessman, Orchid grower, hybridizer, lived to 107!

Brandon090
Dec 26, 2019 3:01 PM CST
I also received a bonsai tree for Christmas. Yours looks very smiliar to mine. Mine is a Juniper. I would say that sagging is fine. Its just how it grew.

I am also looking for help. I've done a little research, but i have very specific questions. I will just piggyback of your thread if thats okay.

My main question right now is that i read to repot late winter. Im of course anxious to do something to it and make it healthier. Right now its potted in organic soil and I know that's bad. So my question is should I wait until the proper time of year to repot my tree, or can i repot it now with better inorganic soil. I could perhaps just change soils for now and wait until the proper time to trim the roots. I see one root popping out so that's indicating it could use a trim.

Thank you all in advance!
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[Last edited by Brandon090 - Dec 26, 2019 3:11 PM (+)]
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Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
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WillC
Dec 26, 2019 3:13 PM CST
@Brandon090 - Bonsai should not be repotted. Their roots and stem have been carefully pruned by professionals to miniaturize your Juniper to a tree-like shape. Repotting it will cause the roots and the stems to grow out and lose their bonsai shape. Bonsais should not be treated like other non-bonsai potted plants.

I don't know your source of information, but the distinction between organic and non-organic soil escapes me. In any case, your bonsai does not need soil replacement or repotting.

Post a photo so we can see just where the wayward root is located.

I don't know where you are located or where you will keep your Juniper. But I suggest you read my previous post so you understand and can meet its winter temperature requirements.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: one-eye-luke US.Vet.
Texas (Zone 8a)
Quitter's never Win
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oneeyeluke
Dec 26, 2019 3:26 PM CST
Brandon you need to allow your Bonsai to go dormant for the Winter in cooler temps to prevent leaf drop. It looks like its already started dropping some.
NOT A EXPERT! Just a grow worm! I never met a plant I didn’t love.✌
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Dec 26, 2019 8:15 PM CST
Bonsai is a pruning and shaping style, not a particular plant. When you choose a bonsai already grown, you look for a shape and size that appeals to you and then you work to maintain the shape and size. Bonsai is a very fluid art form as live plants are not stagnant (they are constantly growing and changing). Pruning is a constant to keep the shape but repotting and root pruning are done every 3 or 4 or 5 years, depending upon the plant and its health.

The problem with both calliopemcgraw's and Brandon's plants is they are junipers. Rampant growers that don't like inside the house conditions. The reason the trees are losing leaves is they are too warm. Find cool but sunny locations. Water when the soil starts to dry. Warning: In the summertime, that might be 3 times a day. Smiling

Bonsai purchased from the store that don't cost an arm and a leg are what I call "instant bonsai" - they have been mass produced and don't have all the attributes real bonsai have - it's a losing battle but not a lost cause. You will both have to do some research to learn the proper care for your new plants.

All my bonsai were started from seed or small plants and have been trained for years to achieve the desired look. I don't grow small bonsai because I don't have the patience for the constant care they need - the smaller the pot, the harder to maintain. New bonsai will stay in 'training' pots for at least 5 years before I even think about putting them into bonsai pots - that's kind of the end of the project, not the beginning.

If those junipers were mine, I would back up and repot them into larger pots (1 gallon) for a few years while I trained and maintained and learned what I was doing. But, junipers are not houseplants. If you really want to get into bonsai and keep them inside, find a Ficus, caudiciform begonia, Money Tree or Schefflera. The slower growing the plant, the easier it is to bonsai.
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