As a beginner in to the art of Bonsai, it
can be hard to avoid the eager for a fast result. Who doesnít
want a beautiful Bonsai to admire almost at once, when the
interest of these beautiful trees has first been evoked? So the
long time perspective of starting a Bonsai from scratch can be
a hard and frustrating blockade getting started.
To get started well as a newcomer to Bonsai,
the buying of a pre shaped bonsai can be a satisfying start.
Else the perspectives of getting a bonsai in to your life with
the almost endless time perspective can in the beginning be a
very long termed, and in many cases a not realistic way, true
the woods of trees.
After that, you slowly can move on to start
your trees from rough material, and even collected material
from the wild, after some years of experience.
In contradiction to this advice, I have to
say that I my self started all my bonsais from ground zero, and
therefore I really had to learn the lesson of being patient. In
the same breathing I must say then, that I truly benefits from
these lessons nowadays. But at the same time, I would have
preferred an easier and not so bumpy road.
Shohin for beginners
Select a specimen, that will be tolerant of
the stress of being cut, wired, and replanted. Specimens like
Cotoneasters, Lonicera and Juniperus, are advisable starters
for Shohin growing. They can be found on nurseries in sizes
suitable for beginners work.
In the case of Shohin, you have though to
pay attention very much to the daily care. Shohins has only a
very limited amount of soil that the spare some roots can
consume water from. So they dry out easily. In general, by
placing them in half shaded areas in the garden, in spring and
autumn, they will live well. In summertime on hot days, you
might better move your small trees into the shadow. Else they
will simply dry out to fast, and the risk of a dead Shohin will
So donít you hesitate to buy a small and
satisfying Bonsai that can be worked on. There are plenty of
dealers who offer ok material for at start. The best advice is
to get help from an experienced enthusiast, which will help you
buying a healthy, and tolerant plant to begin with. Better
started of with success, than with disappointments and
By the way, when you are enjoying and
working with your first Bonsai, you can start collecting trees
for future bonsais aside.
A bought Bonsai is not a bad Bonsai. Only
the quality of the tree determines what is a good and talented
plant. Not its origin.
But the experiences and story of a collected
tree will add mental and historical value to a Bonsai, that
makes it increase its value as a piece of art.
Like when a painting and its history melt
The newcomer to the art of Bonsai often
breaks their neck, on newly collected plants, when they are
dying between their hands.
Mostly because they (my self included in
early days) are too hasty in doing all at once. Or the
collected plants are not healthy enough. Specially when digging
up a tree the worst faults happen. It is absolutely essential
to get a healthy root cake back home, with enough intact fine
water consuming roots.
This is done by digging carefully around the
root ball, and then packing it firmly in a towel, or anything
else that is able to do the job.
Bind it tightly with a robe or tape, and
plant in a big wooden box at home. Prevent to damage the roots
at the time of planting, and do not do anything to the tree but
watering, for at least two or three years after.
It is a long time project, but you will win
a strong healthy tree by following this advice. A tree that
afterwards will be strong enough to be wired cut and formed.
In the mean time, you can work and enjoy
your bought specimen.
One thing at a time
It is particularly important not to stress
the tree by doing several operations at the same time. Let the
tree rest between for example wiring and replanting. A doctor
will not amputate the legs of a man, and then try to let him
Plants are living things, and they need full
recovery from one operation, before the next step is taken.
A thumb rule is to wait one too three months
after a transplanting before you start working on the tree. Or
until you see clear signs of vigorous growth.