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What's the best way to find Bonsai trees and learn to care for them?

Join a Bonsai Club

Bonsai-Surinam-Cherry-PetangaToday I’d like to talk about the very best way to learn about Bonsai, while at the same time begin to acquire some great trees and plant material.

The best way to acquire unique, Bonsai trees and learn to care for them is to join a Bonsai Club. 

When I first started out in Bonsai, I attempted to learn on my own.  I read books, searched online and asked around nurseries a so forth.  I attempted to create my own Bonsai trees without understanding the very basics of Bonsai, with all attempts ending in dead trees.

It wasn’t until I saw a display at the County fair in our town that I learned there was a local Bonsai club where I lived. I inquired about joining the club and was told I would first have to take the beginner’s Bonsai class which they offered.  I immediately signed up and for a very small fee, I attended the beginner’s Bonsai  course.  Over the course of the four two hour course I learned the basics of Bonsai.  The course included a small Juniper tree and all the materials required to create my first Bonsai.  More importantly, I was armed with the knowledge on how to care for my Bonsai tree.

After successfully completing the course I joined the Bonsai club and attended meetings on a regular basis.  What I found after a while was many of the more experienced members would bring in Bonsai trees they no longer wanted.  Many times this was because they acquired too many trees and lacked the space for many trees.  These trees would be raffled off during the meeting or simply left for whom ever wanted them. 

Bonsai Club members are more open to give away an unwanted Bonsai trees to other club members because they know the experienced club member will give proper care for the Bonsai for years to come.  More times than not, a Bonsai club member would rather give a tree away to someone they know will care for it properly than sell it to stranger.

In addition to learning about Bonsai trees and occasionally being able to pick up a great tree or tree cutting, Bonsai clubs also offer comradely and friendships that can last a long time. So if you want to learn about Bonsai and have some of the best opportunities to find great plant material, find a local Bonsai club, join, and attend the meetings.

Click here for a extensive list of Bonsai Clubs in the United States.

Photo Above: Surinam Cherry Petanga Bonsai, bearing a red fruit which was won at a Club meeting raffle.  This Bonsai donated for the raffel by a very generous Bonsai Club President.

Article by: Mark Givensel, Bonsai enthusiast and member of the Valley Isle Bonsai Club in Maui, HI.



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