These bonsai nurseries sell you plants and teach you how to care for them – Orange County Register

If you’ve ever wanted to grow a bonsai tree, all you need to do is visit a nursery that specializes in these curvy miniature trees.

Bonsai, which arrived in Japan from China in the 12th century, is the art of growing a “tree in a tray”. From a few inches to 5 feet tall, these dwarf species – including maples, elms, junipers, black pines, gingkos, olives, boxwoods – are wired, pruned and staged in pots to mimic a full-sized adult tree in the wild.

  • Bonsai at the Kimura Bonsai Nursery in Northridge, California on May 3, 2019. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Bonsai at Kimura Bonsai Nursery in Northridge, CA May...

    Bonsai at the Kimura Bonsai Nursery in Northridge, California on May 3, 2019. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Bonsai at Kimura Bonsai Nursery in Northridge, CA May...

    Bonsai at the Kimura Bonsai Nursery in Northridge, California on May 3, 2019. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Bonsai at Kimura Bonsai Nursery in Northridge, CA May...

    Bonsai at the Kimura Bonsai Nursery in Northridge, California on May 3, 2019. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Bonsai at Kimura Bonsai Nursery in Northridge, CA May...

    Bonsai at the Kimura Bonsai Nursery in Northridge, California on May 3, 2019. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Bonsai at Kimura Bonsai Nursery in Northridge, CA May...

    Bonsai at the Kimura Bonsai Nursery in Northridge, California on May 3, 2019. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Bonsai at Kimura Bonsai Nursery in Northridge, CA May...

    Bonsai at the Kimura Bonsai Nursery in Northridge, California on May 3, 2019. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Bonsai at Kimura Bonsai Nursery in Northridge, CA May...

    Bonsai at the Kimura Bonsai Nursery in Northridge, California on May 3, 2019. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Bonsai at Kimura Bonsai Nursery in Northridge, CA May...

    Bonsai at the Kimura Bonsai Nursery in Northridge, California on May 3, 2019. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Bonsai at Kimura Bonsai Nursery in Northridge, CA May...

    Bonsai at the Kimura Bonsai Nursery in Northridge, California on May 3, 2019. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

“Part of the beauty of bonsai is that if you look at the tree, you’ll notice a lot of trees have movement in the trunk,” said Jason Chan, owner of Eastern Leaf in Chino.

Eastern Leaf is one of the few independent nurseries like Kim’s Bonsai Nursery in Phelan, California Bonsai Studio in Thousand Oaks, Kimura Bonsai Nursery in Northridge, Fuji Bonsai Nursery in Sylmar and House of Bonsai in Lakewood where new and experienced bonsai enthusiasts can purchase ornamental trees, soil, fertilizers and supplies such as pots, wire and tools used for pruning branches.

They are also experts in bonsai maintenance.

“Let’s say you have a black pine bonsai,” Chan said. “They like full sun. As long as you have the right type of soil and take good care of it, and prune it properly, it will do just fine even in a shallow pot. But people treat bonsai like a houseplant and think it doesn’t need a lot of water – it’s an outdoor tree in a small pot. It needs to be watered every day. »

Like its full size version, the bonsai prefers to grow outdoors.

“If kept indoors, they rot the roots because they stay wetter for longer periods of time,” said Audrey Sanchez, director and keeper of the Kimura Bonsai nursery.

She said placing it in a sunny garden or patio is ideal.

For those who want to dive deeper, Kimura Bonsai, like many of these family-run nurseries, offers hands-on classes and workshops with bonsai masters from around the world.

House of Bonsai is another.

“We take special care in caring for our trees since we’ve been growing them for many years, even decades,” said Katrina Jin, who runs Lakewood Nursery with her mother, owner Victoria Lee. “Anyone who picks up a bonsai with us will receive a free bonsai care sheet with all the basic instructions on how to care for it.

The nursery goes even further by offering a “Bonsai Hospital” where diseased trees are revived, a “Bonsai Hotel” where bonsai professionals care for trees while people are away from home, and a “Bonsai Salon ” where bonsai are repotted, wired and trimmed or pruned.

Bonsai lovers will not find this kind of care everywhere.

“You have to be careful when buying a bonsai from a place that doesn’t specialize in bonsai,” Sanchez said. “If you bring him home and he dies you think it’s because you did something wrong when he really wasn’t in the right pot and the right soil, then of course , he died. You were set up to fail.

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