Helpful Tips: Equipment Guide

You don’t need a lot of equipment to start your bonsai hobby, but over time you will want to accumulate equipment to enhance your abilities and try new techniques.  A beginner kit focuses on basic technique and developing raw material quickly to build your collection.  As your trees develop and you transplant into bonsai pots, it is nice to add tools for repotting and refinement.  Finally, as your collection gets larger and you are willing to take more risks, specialized tools for techniques like grafting and carving can be added.  The following suggestions give you an ideal of what you may want to purchase at each stage of your hobby.

Beginner Kit – to develop raw material

Medium Sheers

Wire Cutters

Cut Sealing Paste

3 Sizes of Wire – S, M, L

Chop Sticks

Grow Boxes

Homemade Bonsai Soil


Rooting Hormone

Gentle Spray Hose Attachment or Watering Can

Intermediate Kit – to create compositions & refinement

Toolbox or Bucket

Bonsai Pots for the Trees You Own

Medium Branch Cutters

Large Sheers

Small Sheers


Whisk Broom



Root Hook

Brass Wire Brush




Spray Bottles

Advanced Kit – specialized technique & rare use items

Jin Pliers

Knob Cutter

Grafting Knife

Large Branch Cutters

Small Saw

Carving Tools

Branch Bender

Bending Tools

Super Thrive

Lime Sulphur

Stones for Rock Planting

More Pots

Display Tables

Flowering/Deciduous Study Group – Spring Session

The flowering and deciduous study group held their first meeting on April 3rd, 2012. As one would suspect from the group’s name there was quite a variety of trees and shrubs  brought to this initial meeting. A total of 8 club members were able to attend the inaugural meeting. The primary focus at this meeting was styling of members trees led by Tak. There were so many different varieties present Tak had his work cut out for the evening. We had everything from azaleas to Japanese maples to Korean lilacs to a black hawthorn. The ages, sizes and species varied and everyone was able to see variations in styling across a broad spectrum of bonsai material.

    Most of the trees were quite young so a large focus was on assessment of the best features of the trees and initial styling. Under Tak’s tutelage we were all able to decide upon the best direction to proceed with each tree. Finding the bonsai that lay within an untrained tree proves to be a challenge for most people and I find a study group such as this beneficial in improving my skills. The small group format allows club members to easily interact and discuss ideas and find solutions for their bonsai. I find a study group the best way to improve my own skills due to the pure workshop environment and the open exchange of ideas.

    The next meeting is scheduled for June 14, 2012 and if any club members are interested in attending please contact Pam or Peter.

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