I've purchased many trees over the years and most have been online. Unfortunately, in America today, there is not a bonsai nursery on every block (at least not yet :) Finding good sources of material online can be difficult. Here's a list of 5 great sources for bonsai material.
- Wigert's is my go-to online source for anything tropical. Nestled away in the Tampa Bay area of Florida, the folks over at Wigert's might be the hardest working crew in America. A great place to visit, if you are in the area.
PROS - Quality and affordable tropicals
CONS - Given their location, not a lot of non-tropical options
- Brussel Martin has been a mainstay of the Bonsai scene in America for years and he runs the largest bonsai operation in the country. Although this article is about online ordering, if you ever get a chance to visit Brussel's, which is located south of Memphis, I highly recommend it.
PROS - Great selection of starter material and reasonable prices.
CONS - Specimen material can be very expensive
- Andrew Smith runs the best website for collected material, in my opinion. What makes his site great is affordable prices and a constant updating of his selection. There are other sites that offer collected material, BackCounty Bonsai and Todd Schlefer come to mind, but none work harder to keep their site stocked with available material like Andrew.
PROS - The site is updated with new inventory often
CONS - Species selection is somewhat limited with inventory existing of mostly common junipers and ponderosa pines.
- Brent at Evergreen is a great Bonsai resource. His nursery is stocked with great cultivars that are well suited for practicing bonsai. Evergreen specializes in providing a great selection of starter material. With an eye towards bonsai. (Bonus: Great growing information on a variety of species).
PROS - Great selection and great service
CONS - Not a ton of specimen material available online
- The auctions sites on Facebook continue to be one of the best places to source not only trees, but just about anything else you might want Bonsai related. The .99 site offers a slew of starter material, cheap pots, and tools to get the job done. The "Bonsai Auctions" sites (of which there are two) offers material of a higher quality. (See the photo above for a before/after of a recent juniper purchase from the auction sites.)
PROS - The selection is great. Just about anything and everything bonsai related can be found on these sites. And good deals are possible.
CONS - Not all sellers are created equal. Most of my Facebook experiences have been positive, but there are exceptions. I find those exceptions are more likely due to inexperience sellers than dishonesty, but always be careful.
Those are 5 sites I've used. What about you? What sites do you use? Did I miss one? Leave a comment below.
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