Real life bonsai advice
Read bonsai books and you’ll get all sorts of exotic and esoteric advice. I’ve been growing bonsai for over 35 years and can offer some practical, if not traditional, advice. I’ll describe how I do the things that work for me. Feel free to pick and choose. Have you ever de-foliated a maple bonsai by strapping it to the roof of your pickup and barrelling down the Interstate at an excessive speed? I haven’t either, but, I know someone who did, truly an example of non-traditional advice.
You have three resources - books, internet, and local clubs. My first book was the Sunset Publications book “Bonsai”. It’s still available at any good garden center for about $20. The internet has two very authoritative sites, google American Bonsai Society at ABSBonsai.org or Bonsai Clubs International at Bonsai-BCI.com. Both offer good advice, but, BCI also lists local clubs. You can also google specific questions, but, be aware you’ll get lots of conflicting information. Local clubs are the best resource of all. Most will offer help to non-members and even allow you to attend some meetings.
I’ve tried much of the traditional advice and found that often there were simpler ways of doing things. Having been accused of being simple minded that seemed the way to go. Anyhow, apply common sense to any advice you get and go from there.
Check out these subjects, but, remember while these ideas work for me I don't guarantee they’ll work for you.
I've been doing bonsai since the late 70's. I'm passing on what I've learned in those 35+ years. These are real life techniques and tips that worked for me, but, may not for you. Remember, this is free advice and worth every cent of it.