There is a plethora of bonsai information spread across the internet, in local clubs, and in books.  However, a lot of the information is just down right wrong.  For example, anyone searching for juniper bonsai can find a high volume of sites encouraging constant pinching. The act of constant pinching may work for a year or two, but over time, it will kill the tree.  We don’t believe the too common saying that “killing trees is the cost of learning bonsai,” after all, how can someone learn bonsai with a dead tree?

We have compiled some links to videos, articles, and blogs from sources we find to have the best information for styling, pruning, and health.

Boon Manakitivipart

Boon is a highly recognized artist and teacher. Aside from his trees being featured in several publications over the last decade, his student have won on local, regional, and national levels. I highly recommend his DVDs as a starting point. They are the best value for the information you will receive.  Most of the DVDs are dedicated toward Japanese Black Pines but the information is transferable to all species. I believe the DVDs should be a starting point for all people entering bonsai.

When meeting Boon, you will find that his passion for bonsai is very apparent.  When working with Boon, you will find that he is very strict regarding the care for bonsai. His primary focus is to keep trees healthy above all else (which, surprisingly isn’t the main concern for most artists out there). He will refuse to do any styling work on a tree he deems to be weak and is very honest in his assessments. You will discover that trees that most will consider healthy are simply alive, they aren’t actually thriving.

Step 1 in bonsai is keeping healthy trees, and that is why I believe he should be the first stop for every bonsai practitioner.

Bjorn Bjorvala

“Up and coming artist” might be a term that is offensive to Bjorn’s ability and accomplishments.  Under the tutelage of Fujikawa-san, Bjorn gained world class knowledge and appreciation bonsai and all of its components.  He has performed demonstrations in bonsai’s biggest stages around the world, prepared trees for the Kokufu-ten show, and has a keen eye to developing world class bonsai.

He recently released an online video series geared towards beginners: Beginners Bonsai Course. This course is great for individuals who are curious in learning the various aspect and history of bonsai. The information here is broad and won’t cover details required for a high level of bonsai technique but will be more than enough information for most hobbyists out there.

In addition to his course, he posted a series on videos on youtube: Bjorvala Bonsai Studio. These videos take you through the various aspects of bonsai care and appreciation. They go into a fair amount of detail for deciduous and coniferous bonsai care.

Colin Lewis

Eccentric is a good way to describe Colin. He wears that term in his personality and through his trees. Colin is the place to turn for creative, outside the box design work. He is working hard to push innovative designs into the bonsai world through penjing and other various styles and forms of presentation.

Colin offers a beginners wiring course which honestly, everybody should watch at least once. Bonsai Wiring Essentials. He goes through the details of wire and wiring. Since without wire, a tree cannot become bonsai, I highly recommend this video as a primer into wiring techniques.

For individuals who are ready to take the next step, he also offers a video on advanced design where he walks through everything from deadwood to bending.