4 Reasons to Join a Bonsai Club Right Now!
I've tried many things in my life. From coaching youth athletics, to running a successful business to being a parent to 3 boys, I've challenged myself plenty. With that said, I can honestly say that bonsai ranks as one of the most challenging endeavors I've ever attempted. Maybe it was my black thumb or total non-understanding of any artistic concepts, but bonsai pushed (and still pushes) the limits of my problem solving skills. I have a feeling I'm not alone. Whenever I meet a new bonsai enthusiast, I’m bombarded with questions.
"How do I keep my tree alive?"
"When should I water?"
"Do I need to protect it from the sun? How about the cold?"
And on and on. And it's great! Bonsai is a fascinating hobby and I'm always excited to share what I know. But I, and many bonsai enthusiasts, only know so much and we only have so much time!
Enter the Bonsai Club. In this world of Facebook groups and Instagram stories and TikTok lip-syncing videos, it may surprise you that humans still gather on a regular basis. And in the instance of bonsai clubs, they gather to discuss trees in pots. These groups are a fantastic place to grow your bonsai knowledge and share in the joys of this art. Here's 4 reasons why you should join a bonsai club today!
Reason 1 - Find Resources
Whether it's magazines, or books, or advice, you'll never find a better resource (at least for the money) than your local bonsai club. For starters, many clubs have a library filled with bonsai books and how-to guides.
Generally, clubs will let you check out a book or magazine just about anytime. This can be a great way to peruse a resource with out purchasing it outright. Then there are the members themselves. Years of experience will be at any club. And this experience will offer you something you won’t often find on the internet. Bonsai advice tailored to your climate. No matter how many videos you watch or articles you read, you’ll never beat the advice of someone local who has grown trees in your environment for years.
Reason 2 - Free Trees!
They might be seedlings, or cuttings, or actual trees in pots, but I assure you, hang around a bonsai club for long enough and you'll get many chances for free (or inexpensive) trees. Many clubs offer raffles and giveaways to entice people to attend a meeting.
But, it‘s not just the club who provides quality material, it’s also the members. Death, taxes and having too many bonsai trees, those are 3 things you can always count on. For many members, finding a new bonsai enthusiast is the best place for the "extras". Also, as you progress in this art, you realize that less can be more. So giving (or selling) your trees is actually a win/win. You reduce your collection and give more focus to the trees you care about, and a new enthusiast gets a chance at working with some good material.
Reason 3 - Make Friends
Bonsai enthusiasts are a rare breed and sharing this crazy obsession with others is a great way to make friends and learn more about bonsai. I moved to Nashville over a year ago, in the middle of Covid, and I might not have met anyone if it wasn't for the local bonsai community. Bonsai people are the best people. We take care of each other and truly care about each other's success. Go to a meeting and you will make friends, I guarantee it, and if you don't, hit me up, I'll be your bonsai buddy.
Reason 4 - Support The Bonsai Community
Ok, so you know everything there is to know about bonsai. You have all the trees you need and you don't need any more friends, so why go to a club meeting? I'll tell you why, to support the bonsai community, that's why.
Our art (or hobby or obsession, whatever you want to call it) depends on the growth of its members. It depends on finding young people who want to learn how to place a tree inside their home or apartment. It depends on finding recent retirees looking for a new hobby. If you want the value of your collection to grow, then we must cultivate the next generation of buyers. This starts with you joining your local club.
Find a Bonsai Club!
If you need help finding a bonsai club near you, check out this resource from Bonsai Empire. Once you attend a meeting, come back and tell us all about it. Good luck!
So, do you belong to a bonsai club? If so, which one and what's the best part of your club? What advice would you give someone who is apprehensive about attending their first club meeting? Share your thoughts below and be sure to subscribe to the blog for more bonsai updates!