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 Bonsai Tree Nursery

 By Erik A. Olsen

For people just starting out growing bonsai, one question is commonly asked, “Where do I start”? Many people will tell you that they spent hour after hour in the local library or purchased a stack of books about bonsai only to feel more confused than ever. If you are interested in creating a magnificent bonsai, we suggest you locate a bonsai tree nursery who can answer all your questions while also guiding you through the buying, growing, caring, and training phases. Bonsai does require some skill and a good deal of patience so why torture yourself, making it harder than it needs to be. Just like you, the professionals at a bonsai tree nursery have a passion for this art form and therefore, are not just willing but eager to help.

In this article, we wanted to provide you with some tips for choosing the best bonsai tree nursery, as well as go over some information that they would likely provide you. First, search your phone book for nurseries in your area. Keep in mind that a bonsai tree nursery may not be advertised as such. Instead, they could be listed as a standard type nursery that happens to work with bonsai. Therefore, you will probably have to make several phone calls and ask questions. Make sure there is someone there that understands bonsai, an expert so to speak. If you cannot locate a bonsai tree nursery via phone book, then turn to the internet or if you happen to see bonsai landscaping at a home or business, stop by and ask which nursery they used. Finally, a good bonsai tree nursery should provide excellent customer support, as well as warranties on all trees and plants sold.

When you do locate a bonsai tree nursery, remind yourself that every nursery will have many trees, which are what we call “pre-bonsai”. However, you should take time to educate yourself on the various species of trees considered best for bonsai since not all are. This way, you will know exactly what to look for and not walk away disappointed. Some of the best trees for bonsai include the Japanese Maple, Ficus, Azalea, Juniper, Pine, Chinese Elm, and Willow Leaf Fig. Although each of these makes great choices, they all have different needs. Again, knowing the best trees will help you know the best type of care so you end up with a healthy, strong bonsai tree.

Whether you learn from a bonsai tree nursery or through books, the way bonsai works is that a few cuts are made while you wait for the tree to grow and catch up. In addition, training wire is used to help the tree grow into the desired style, and again, you wait. As far as styles, remember that not all work on the same species of tree. In other words, you would need to determine your style options specific to the type of bonsai tree chosen. Many people think that the styling process is painful to the tree, causing significant damage. However, you can be sure that this does not hurt the tree but actually keeps it healthy.

Another important aspect of growing bonsai has to do with disease. The great thing about working with an actual bonsai tree nursery is that they know about the various problems bonsai trees face, thus providing you with a number of solutions to fix the problem. When a bonsai tree is sick or weak, it will slow down the growth process, making training and styling difficult, if not impossible. For this reason, rather than continue fighting a diseased tree, you need to get the tree healthy first and then proceed with the bonsai styling. Finally, you should try to find a bonsai tree nursery that can show you in-person how to make pruning cuts and how to wire properly. This is important since messy cuts, bad wire marks, and poor graft unions can damage the tree beyond repair. If you cannot find a nursery that specializes in bonsai, remember you want a tree with a good trunk, one with a healthy root system, also called Nebari, and one with the right amount of branches.
 
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