Copyright © 2004
by Erik A. Olsen
Whether you are a beginner or advanced bonsai gardener, sooner or later you will be looking to either add new bonsai plants to your collection, or buy some as gifts. Luckily, in today's world of bonsai, your options have been greatly improved. While buying from a local nursery is always recommended (as tactile feedback is always best), a number of online bonsai nurseries have made purchasing that special tree easier than ever. Here's a few things to consider before purchasing:
Buying starter trees from your local nursery has many advantages, particularly in being able to actually see and touch the trees available. Further, if you can find one that specializes in bonsai, more the better, as their selection is likely to be much more varied.
This can, however, be the most expensive option due to the high cost of overhead, inventory, etc., that comes with running a "bricks & mortar" business.
Online nurseries, however, have been growing by leaps and bounds (no pun intended), and have quickly become the shopping destination of choice for many a bonsai enthusiast (myself included!). The selection of older trees available is staggering, not to mention the convenience of having all the specializes bonsai tools and supplies located in one easy to remember place. Click Here for an example of a good online bonsai nursery.
As your knowledge of bonsai grows, keep in mind that buying older bonsai plants will actually detract from the overall "experience" that learning the art of bonsai from the ground up can bring. Teaching yourself (usually through trial and error) the techniques of pruning and maintaining bonsai from the ground up can be very rewarding indeed.