To Start a Bonsai the first thing you need to make sure that your bonsai pot has proper drainage. First we prepare our pot by placing drainage mesh over the holes.
The Chinese Elm has a stable root system,we won't need to anchor it. We will be using premium lava rock bonsai soil. This gives excellent drainage and is porous enough to absorb a good amount of water.
We lay down a thin layer of our lava rock substrate just to cover the bottom of the pot. We remove the tree from its plastic bonsai pot. This tree had many new white feeder roots. It is important to keep these feeder roots intact when removing the old soil.
Properly Initially Styling a Pre Bonsai - Wiring Branches to Create Movement
When using wire to shape a branch you want to use a gauge of wire that is roughly 1/3rd the thickness of the branch.
Trimming The Shoots of New Growth Encouraging an Intricate Branch Structure
I trim back the shoots of new growth on Chinese Elm and Japanese Elm Bonsai to 2 or 3 sets of leafs. However I wait until they have developed thick hardwood on the section we are
cutting. If the growth is still soft and green allow the new growth to get longer. On this tree the shoots where about 10-12 sets of leaf
long. If the branch is hardwood it will ramify (split) at the cut point.
Watering Your New Bonsai Tree
It is very important to make sure this new dry lava rock soil absorbs enough water. Water fully until you see water drain from the bottom of the pot and repeat. Follow this link for our detailed guide on how to Watering Bonsai Trees
Japanese Arts such as Bonsai Trees, Zen Gardens, Calligraphy, and so much more. Are you an Artist who creates their own Japanese Art? I would love to help you offer your artwork to the world. Fill out the contact form below and I will get back to you immediately. Or you can contact me directly at the phone number or email address found on our Contact Us Page. I have been practicing living bonsai for 15 years and have now expanded to Zen Garden Design including creating rock gardens, sand gardens, and rock gardens. In addition the last year I began creating Metal bonsai sculptures. I hand make each of these pieces one by one.
Progression of styling one of our Chinese Elm Bonsai
Training Chinese Elm Bonsai Tree. During this initial Styling of our Elm Bonsai Tree. We Start by creating some movement on the branches of this Chinese Elm Bonsai Tree, Trimming back shoots of new growth to 2 or 3 leaves, and removing the unsightly stum at the base of the trunk. Just like we see in this Chinese Elm, which is a very basic initial styling. We always try to address all aspects of the tree. After removing the stump with our concave cutters the Trunk has a nice taper and is developing a thick trunk base. Next step is Shaping the branches and trimming the new growth so that it ramifies properly. We want to keep the internodes (length of branches) as short as possible so that they ramify (split) as close to the trunk as possible to create an intricate branch structure and dense foliage.
However Never trim back the shoots of new growth when they are still green softwood. I let them grow out a little longer so that when I trimmed them back to 2-3 sets of leaves the branch is thicker and has developed hardwood. This helps the branch ramify and creates thicker short internodes
Trim back shoots of new growth to 2 sets of leaves but let them grow long enough to develop a little thickness and hardwood at the base.
Unsightly stump is quickly fixed with a snip of my Concave cutters.
By removing the unsightly stump with our concave cutters we created a better looking trunk line better taper and accent the Nebari beginning to develop.
Step by step styling on this beautiful Chinese Elm Bonsai. This is 3 months later after wire is removed and Bonsai is established.
Fascinating time we live in. We have access to everything. Bonsai Trees, Techniques that we couldn't learn unless we somehow lucked out with an apprenticeship with one of the few masters in bonsai that could actually teach you the fundamentals. A lot of the Bonsai "artists/teachers" where just trying to make a quick buck and provided bad information. There is allot to understand about trees, managing to keep them thriving in a pot smaller than growing in the ground. To create a finished bonsai in a certain style there are techniques one can use.. Just by proper trimming the foliage will be kept tight and compact. By trimming it
gives the foliage it's miniature effect. Remember if your just starting out, a bonsai can be any miniature tree in a pot. That is the literal translation of the word. Now there are some trees where the leaves cannot be miniaturized or don't survive in a pot as easily as other trees. Right now I am developing my trees a collection of really special artwork. For instance this Poinciana Bonsai is on it's second year of growth. I only let the primary branches get 1"- 1 1/2" long keeping the internodes short will allow us to create a realistic mature looking Poinciana . This year the secondary branches are already splitting and I am sure by trimming the next set of branches back shorter reducing the internode length and causing the branches to ramify closer to the trunk and primary branches. the trees next flowering season we will get bloom and have a very mature foliage.
Progress in bonsai is like progress in life. We are no longer bound to strict rules which just limit the scope of our creativity. Working with different species and trying new styles makes the art progress. Bonsai is now world wide and I believe it's good to have a foundation in the fundamentals but not think of them as unbreakable rules. Follow your passion. Most Importantly enjoy yourself..
Important to Look For a Good Trunk Line - Taper and Nabarai
So you can get the experience of making a bonsai tree yourself Using Make a Bonsai Kit includes a pre-bonsai Ficus Juniper or Elm Tree. Includes all materials needed. Most importantly, 8" Ceramic Bonsai Pot, High Quality Specific Bonsai Soil, and fertilizer. Complete kit is $39.99. The Adventurer Kit does not include the tree, and allows you to use your own specimen. You Can make a bonsai tree with any tree that has a good look especially the trunk line. We want to develop bonsai artists. So for our local customers the kit is available with a 2 hour Bonsai Class, from beginner to advanced. $50
Making a mini Bonsai from a cutting that I rooted. Good bonsai takes time however. Our GoPro Camera is on the way so the Videos are going to be taken to another level.