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
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.