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Bonsai Conversations with a Master: (Kindle Edition)

Interview with Fred Meyer where Brandon Steed asks him 372 questions covering everything there is to know about bonsai. From beginner to advanced.
Transcripts of the interview are 137 pages of valuable information you can use for general or specific reference throughout your journey.
The invaluable nuggets of knowledge found within this content will help you along for years to come as you pursue bonsai learning.
The guidebook has 67 pages of greatness that covers the highlights of Fred’s interview.
The transcript and guidebook have been combined so you can enjoy this on every device.  Phone, tablet or desktop.
For a LIMITED time, it’s on sale for only $8.75.  Get your copy now and begin enjoying the advise and techniques Fred reveals from his 60+ years of experience.

3 Specimen Trees From Fred Meyer’s Personal Collection

One of a Kind Specimen Bonsai Trees For Sale

 

Provenance of these beloved maple by, Fred Meyer:

 

During the 60’s and 70’s we would travel to California twice yearly to purchase more mature Bonsai for sale to our customers. It was in 1968 that we came across Harvey Suzuki and his wife Grace. They lived on Grove Street in Berkeley, California. As my wife was Asian, we had easy access to the Japanese families there. Grace Suzuki had a few of her father’s maples still in her collection. He was an Ikebana Master. These three maples were started from cuttings prior to WWII. We have had them ever since. We can testify that in our hands they have been in existence 51 years. So we add 28 years from 1940 to 1968 to the 51 years and we now have an approximate age ….79 years.

 

Specimen Japanese Maple Bonsai (FM03)

Specimen Trident Maple Bonsai (FM02)

Specimen Japanese Maple Bonsai (FM01)

8 BEST BONSAI TREE FOR BEGINNERS (2019)

When you’re first getting into the art of bonsai, the amount of information can be overwhelming – what kind of plant to choose, what kind of container, how much to water it, and most importantly – how to trim and train it into the zen tree of your dreams!

It all starts with choosing the best tree for your particular needs and desires. Here are some great choices, most very suitable for beginners:

  1. Green Mound Juniper
    Green Mound Juniper

    Juniper – one of the most typical, the evergreen juniper is a good beginning tree and can be formed into almost any bonsai shape except upright formal and broom. Chinensis is a good choice of sub-species, both for its availability as well as its beauty and ease of shaping. Check the current price of the Green Mound Juniper on Amazon.

  2. Trident Maple
    Trident Maple

    Maple – popular due to its stunning appearance both in winter and when in leaf, the deciduous maple is a hardy tree, easily trainable and can be rooted from cuttings. The leaves, while fairly large, take well to leaf trimming (the practice of cutting the leaf bunches off, tricking the tree into producing new, tinier leaves). Check the current price of the Trident Maple on Amazon.

  3. Buddhist Pine
    Buddhist Pine

    Pine – the evergreen pine makes for good bonsai of all types except broom. You should have a little experience under your belt first as pines do require some fussing to get exactly right. Check the current price of the Buddhist Pine on Amazon.

  4. Chinese Elm
    Chinese Elm

    Elm – elms are fantastic bonsai. They are forgiving, easily grown from seed or cuttings, and are native virtually all over the United States. Chinese and Zelcova are the most common cultivars. Check the current price of the Chinese Elm on Amazon.

  5. Dawn Redwood
    Dawn Redwood

    Redwood – ironically known as the record-holding giants for height, actually make good bonsai. Two sub-species, Coast Redwood and Dawn Redwood, have flat-needled foliage, making for beautiful shaping. Check the current price of the Dawn Redwood on Amazon.

  6. Satsuki Azalea
    Satsuki Azalea

    Azalea (Rhododendron) – known for their gorgeous, bright flowers, rhododendrons make a surprisingly suitable miniature “tree”. They do have a delicate system of roots that must be kept moist, either by frequent watering or a shield like moss. Check the current price of the Satsuki Azalea on Amazon.

  7. Golden Gate Ficus
    Golden Gate Ficus

    Ficus – this traditional bonsai favorite is excellent for two reasons: it’s forgiving of mistakes often made by new growers, and it’s one of the few species that can be grown indoors. Check the current price of the Golden Gate Ficus on Amazon.

  8. Dwarf Umbrella
    Dwarf Umbrella

    Dwarf Umbrella – or Schefflera arboricola, great for beginners and considered a true indoor bonsai. While this plant doesn’t take well to typical bonsai shapes, it is easy to keep alive and possesses its own unique beauty. Check the current price of the Dwarf Umbrella on Amazon.

A Holly Jolly Christmas Bonsai

If you’ve ever been at a loss for the perfect Christmas gift that won’t just get used up or tossed out after a few weeks, a bonsai tree is a great choice. They require just enough attention to make them more than another knick knack, but not so much care that a beginner couldn’t easily keep one alive and beautiful. And, they make great mini Christmas trees for a desk or window sill! Here are some of our favorite reasons to give a bonsai tree for Christmas, and how to dress yours up with some holiday cheer.

Bonsai Trees Work in Any Home

Bonsai trees come in both indoor and outdoor varieties, but most often, indoor varieties are given in the winter. An outdoor bonsai is typically dormant in the winter and not all that fun to look at. Indoor bonsai trees are small enough to fit on a desk, in a large windowsill, or as a centerpiece on a table without getting in the way. They don’t drop leaves or make messes in any way, and the only thing a person needs is one of the simple care kits that we offer with every bonsai purchase.

Windswept Bonsai Kit

Informal Upright Bonsai Kit

Consider the joy that many express upon receiving a living creature for a gift, such as the classic puppy with a bow sleeping under the Christmas tree. But the problem with these sorts of gifts is that they require a total lifestyle change to accommodate their care and comfort. A bonsai tree is every bit as alive, and can bring just as much peace and joy into someone’s life, without the need to change their whole life.

Bonsai Trees Can Be Decorated

Want to wow your family member or friend with a holiday-themed gift that lasts far beyond the winter season? Decorate their bonsai tree for them! It’s easy to give a small indoor bonsai a holly jolly makeover, as long as you are considerate with your decorating choices. Fake snow is safe to sprinkle onto a bonsai, but you may prefer to put a few cotton balls around the pot to simulate snow instead, just to alleviate the mess.

Use small doll-house sized ornaments from a craft store to spruce up the tree itself, or drape some very tiny tinsel around the tree branches. If the bonsai is sitting in a humidity tray or on a bamboo mat, add some holiday color with red and green stones or gems, or swapping out the mat for a piece of festive felt that echoes a Christmas tree skirt.

Bonsai Trees Are Personal

Giving plants is always a great way to share beauty and life with anyone on your holiday list, but so often it can be hard to choose plants for someone. Would they like brightly colored flowers, or are they more of an aloe plant person? Bonsai trees are easy to give because they can be personalized to anyone’s tastes. The elegant, minimal look of a bonsai works with any sort of décor scheme, and the owner can choose to shape the tree into aesthetically pleasing shapes if they wish with some creative pruning. Because bonsai trees respond very quickly to the care they are given, no two bonsai trees will ever look alike. Every bonsai is a direct reflection of its owner’s personality.

Let Us Help You Spoil Your Friends and Family

If you’re ready to give a bonsai tree gift or two, we can help. Our trees are packaged securely to ensure that they arrive safely and in great health. You won’t have to do a thing – simply give the gift right away, or remove the tree from the box and make sure it has plenty of water and sunlight until the big day.

Top 5 Flowering Species of Bonsai

The only thing more stunning than a large flowering bush or tree in your outdoor garden is a miniature potted tree that surprises and delights with colorful blooms that overtake the tiny specimen, resulting in a conversation piece that brings years of joy.

If you got into the art of bonsai because you wanted to cultivate trees with a rewarding color show, these five gorgeous species will not disappoint.

Azalea

azalea
The Azalea genus, which also includes Rhododendron, encompasses hundreds of flowering cultivars. One of the favorites of enthusiasts is Satsuki, or Rhododendron indicum. It’s easy to see why when you explore the multitude of different colors and patterns produced in the form of blossoms that can range from 1-5” across. Whether you want purples, pinks, or reds, there’s something for everyone. Not only that but the flowers may display flakes, stripes, or variegated margins of colors, which may even vary from year to year on the same plant. Adding to its appeal, Satsuki can be grown indoors or out.

Bougainvillea

bougan
Though this plant is actually a vine, it still makes a very suitable and beautiful bonsai. With a bevy of varieties to choose from, like the rosy pink Bougainvillea glabra ‘Magnifica’ or yellowish-apricot Bougainvillea buttiana ‘Golden Glow’, there’s no shortage of stunning choices. With a gnarling, woody stem, a drought-tolerant nature, and the ability to grow either horizontally or vertically, Bougainvillea is a real bonsai crowd-pleaser. Watch out for the thorns when trimming as they can be a bit of a pain.

Dwarf Cherry

cherry
Eugenia myrtifolia is a native of Australia and comes in several natural dwarf cultivars that are beloved bonsai subjects. Australian Dwarf Brush Cherry and Teenie Genie are two good choices. The small, dark green, glossy leaves are perfect for shaping and flowering varieties are marked by little cream-colored spheres that turn into charming starbursts of white. It is a versatile tree and will tolerate being an indoor or outdoor plant, as it doesn’t require all-day full sun.

Snow Rose

snowrose
The appeal of Snow Rose as a bonsai is evident in its nickname, Tree of a Thousand Stars. When in bloom, it wears a coat of lovely star-shaped white blossoms, accented by tiny little dark green leaves making up the foliage. The trunk of Serissa foetida displays flaky textured gnarling bark, and best of all the tree can bloom at any time of year (though the heaviest bloom activity is usually between spring and fall).

Gardenia

gardenia
With Gardenia you not only get lovely glossy, green foliage, but this species is also accented by sweet-smelling waxy flowers that start out white and transition to a creamy yellow color. Native to Asia, South Africa, and Australasia, this subtropical responds well to defoliation, which will only encourage more vigorous flowering activity. It can also live inside or out, making it perfect as a showpiece for entertaining.

These gorgeous flowering trees prove that bonsai isn’t all about the green. With a bit of care and effort, you can bring the bright, bold colors of your garden right into your own home.

Edible Bonsai Trees – Good Eats!

Bonsai – Good Eats!
There are a number of species appropriate for bonsai that will actually produce edible fruits or other parts, given the proper conditions. As exciting as this sounds, there are a couple of things to remember when developing a tree for the purpose of causing it to fruit:

  • Because a bonsai is a tree in miniature, you will not get the yield you would get out of a full-size specimen. The production of edible parts is more for novelty than to feed your family.
  • Too much flower or fruit production will stress a small tree, so you don’t want to overdo it.
  • You will want to grow your edible bonsai in a larger pot than you normally would. A bin or other large receptacle should be placed outside in a location where it doesn’t have to be moved.

That said, here are a few species that may produce edible parts if cultivated properly:

Pomegranate: one of the more common fruiting bonsai, pomegranate is a surprisingly hardy plant for a subtropical. It should be kept outdoors as long as possible, and brought inside when the weather starts hitting around 40°. Once inside, give it a sunny window. Pomegranates are monoecious, which means they can self-pollinate, but fruiting is generally more successful with two plants.

Cherry Laurel: Prunus caroliniana ‘Monus’, or Bright ‘N Tight, is a monoecious flowering cherry that is suitable for bonsai. The sweet, white blossoms turn to black edible fruit. This evergreen plant is fairly adaptable, but should be kept outside when it’s warm, in full sun to partial shade.

Fig (Ficus): Fig trees are great beginner bonsai, and sometimes fruit in both spring and late summer. The fruit is technically an inverted flower, but still, edible. Figs love heat and should ideally be kept in a warmer climate so they can be outside in the sun most of the year. If you live in a temperate climate, you might consider grow lights. Some cultivars are monoecious and some dioecious so you’ll want to find out if you need one plant or two for pollination.

Rosemary: this is a fantastically hardy plant and can tolerate temperatures to 30°. Rosemary does need a lot of sunshine, when indoors make sure to provide it with artificial lights or a south-facing window. The best part about this bonsai is that the leaves can be used to season your cooking, and you can harvest them when you’re performing regular trimming of the tree.

Most bonsai are simply ornamental, however there’s nothing wrong with experimenting to see if you can get an edible variety to fruit. Just make sure that if it does flower and fruit, that you remove some of the flowers so that you don’t overstress the tree with too much fruit production.

Edible bonsai can be a fun step in the world of this fascinating art-form. The key is knowing exactly what kind of plant you have so that you know whether you need one or two. Keep your plant outdoors when possible, and offer plenty of light. Happy bonsai!

Top 5 Reasons New Bonsai Artists Fail

You’ve seen these fascinating little trees either online or perhaps in a friend’s home and you’ve decided that bonsai seems like a great new hobby. Before you jump in with both feet, however, you should realize that many new enthusiasts give up long before reaping the rewards of their hard work because they simply don’t have all the necessary information to succeed. Here are some common pitfalls to avoid:

1. Choosing the wrong tree: this often happens when people see an eye-catching display marked “bonsai”, down at the local big-box hardware store. Given the tongue-in-cheek term “mallsai” by the enthusiast community, not all of these trees make bad bonsai, it’s just that they may not be in the best health and the prominent display inspires impulse purchasing – which means you might take one home before you even know what to do with it. Your best bet is to order a quality tree from an experienced grower and use the delivery time to research care.

2. Lack of understanding the commitment: some enthusiasts like to say it’s easier to have a pet than a bonsai, because the pet will be very vocal when it needs something. While there are many easy care trees, like ficus and juniper, you will still need to commit to checking on your plant regularly, repotting it when needed (generally every 1-3 years), and arranging for its care if you’re away for extended periods of time. The enjoyment and visual rewards you get out of your bonsai will be commensurate with the effort you put into it.

3. Over-enthusiastic trimming: the minute that exciting little botanical beauty arrives, it’s very tempting to go full-on Edward Scissorhands so that you can get a head start on turning it into the shapely bonsai of your dreams. Because the art-form is one that requires years of training, pruning, and pampering, you should resist the urge to try for the “instant bonsai”. If you think you might be a little too gung-ho about trimming, try a fast-growing plant like juniper or jade; that way your leafy little friend will regenerate more quickly if you accidentally go too far.

4. Getting discouraged too quickly: just as with any type of gardening, you’re probably going to kill a tree or two. No one is perfect at any hobby right away – we fall when we’re learning to ice skate, and we end up with plenty of ugly cakes no one would pay for when we try our hand at bakery-level decorating. Identify your mistakes and try again. You will get it right!

5. Lack of patience: few factors defeat more new bonsai artists than simple lack of patience. Don’t expect miracles overnight – this art-form is not end-goal oriented, rather it’s a years-long process of waiting, and learning, and trimming, and waiting some more. In reality just a few minutes a day can give you a relaxing, visually rewarding hobby that becomes an ever-evolving gift lasting years and years.

Start out right with a healthy plant and reasonable expectations, and these tips will help you bypass common mistakes, giving you an even more satisfying bonsai experience!

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