As I'm new and basically a beginner, I thought I'd just share where I'm at. I currently have 3 Chinese Elm (recently repotted) and a Ficus - all of these were purchased as bonsai. I've had a few dropped leaves with the Elm but, so far, so good.
My first beginners project involves firethorn. I believe you can't really go too wrong with this shrub and it's a reasonably safe bet for beginners. The idea is to shape and prune the firethorn into a bonsai. Although it's maybe not the best season to prune, I started today and trimmed off some unecessary branches. I also did a little bit of wiring and was quite pleased with the result. Not too bad.
Anyway, any of you who have successfully used firethorn as bonsai, please feel free to share some advice. Here are a few questions:
(1) How would I thicken the potential trunk of firethorn?
(2) How about leaf size? If I cut some of the leaves down to size a little, would the next set of leaves grow smaller? I figure I could use deser and smaller leaves.
(3) How about compost? Should I mix acadama with organic compost?