Articles

Bonsai as a Hobby
So you’re looking for a hobby and you’re wondering, is bonsai right for you? It may be, but you truly must consider a few very important things about bonsai and about yourself. 

First, do you have patience? This is not a necessity when making bonsai. This may be acquired while enjoying the art, but having just a little patience to begin with may help you stay involved with this hobby, (which may become a passion) for longer than a few weeks.

Second, do you have time and/or can you make time for your bonsai tree? Most bonsai require daily attention, even during winter months depending on where you live. There’s not just the WATERING of your bonsai tree, but the styling. This involves pruning, wiring, wiring, and pruning. Did I say wiring twice? Oh, and one must re-pot one’s bonsai every couple of years.

Third, do you travel often? If so, is there someone to care for your bonsai while you’re away? Keep in mind that many bonsai sitters kill them due to a lack of education about bonsai. EDUCATE YOUR BONSAI SITTER! Or a local nursery would be a good place for your bonsai while you’re away, but the most ideal place for your bonsai while you’re traveling is a Bonsai nursery. Keep in mind a nursery will charge.

Fourth, consider the expense of your tools. Do you want your bonsai to heal properly when pruned? There are concave cutters that when used correctly they help the wound heal properly. Don’t forget to seal that cut with cut paste or cut clay. There’s wire, wire cutters, root hook, pruning shears, pots, soil and several more items you’ll need to create a beautiful bonsai. Now I’m just rambling but you get the point. Having the right tools for Bonsai is imperative. 

Last but not least, there’s the Journey. The ups, the downs, the anticipation of the end result. Did you choose the right tree? Is this the right pot for your tree? Is there a new pot you can’t wait to get you tree into? Did you choose the right soil? Did you choose the right way to style our tree? Is there a branch you pruned you wish you didn’t? 

Are you ready for the Journey? If so, I promise the journey is
FANTASTIC.
Vision: It Will Just Come To You
You may have just bought a pre-bonsai or your bonsai may have spent several years suffering from a lack of attention. Either way your tree is in need of attention, styling, and guidance. Before you take action, spend some time observing your tree. Try to imagine the different styles and directions you can take your tree. This could take minutes, days, and even weeks. Then you have a vision of what path you will walk with your tree. Don’t force it. Your tree will let you know which direction you can take it, where you can cut, where you can wire, and what you can bend.

After time has passed and your tree is styled it’s time to work out the finer details. Did it grow where you cut? Where will you cut again? What will you wire or rewire? It may take months or even years, but you’ve finally reached a point that you feel your bonsai is truly a “Bonsai.” It’s all about the journey, and I promise you, the journey is Fantastic. Be patient. IT WILL JUST COME TO YOU.
Cheap Bonsai Trees
You think there are no cheap Bonsai to be had? Well you’re wrong. Cheap bonsai surrounds you, or should I say cheap pre-bonsai. If you want a bonsai tree that already looks like a finished or close to finished Bonsai you’re going to pay a somewhat hefty price. Bonsai artists put many hours, years, vision, and dare I say love into creating a bonsai and they charge for all this time and dedication. Then you have some who will put a tree or sapling in a bonsai pot and call it a bonsai. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, the bad part can be what they will charge for this so-called bonsai.

If you want a quality bonsai, look for a quality Bonsai dealer. There are all around you waiting to be found and when you find that quality bonsai dealer you’ll know it as soon as you see some of their trees. The selection will be overwhelming to say the least, with a variety of Bonsai that will surely fit your budget. 

One type of bonsai I have always found to be the cheapest is the one that you make yourself. You can start this process in a variety of ways such as collecting, growing one from seed, or grafting from another tree. Another fun way is to check out your local landscape dealer. There are some hidden treasures at these places and for a fraction of what you’ll pay for a bonsai tree most anywhere. It may be right out front of the store being sold as shrubbery or located way in the back of a nursery’s overgrown area where even the workers don’t venture often. If you are looking for cheap, look into the above methods and I’m sure you will be pleased with your results.

Enjoy.

Questions? Please contact me at bonsaioperations@yahoo.com