Good advice from Juan Andrade

As a new bonsai practitioner, I sometimes find myself looking at a lot of different videos on YouTube, reading lots of material and basically itching to do bonsai work even when the winter season limits my ability to do so. I have collected enough trees (some more ideal than others), that should keep me very busy come spring and summer. My son also bought a Willow Leaf Ficus dead winter and asked me to take care of it for him, which I did gladly. I’ve made some bad choices in the beginning with some of my first trees, wanting to establish style when the trees just wanted to rest during the winter. I started with Mirai in November, and I’ve learned so much since then and realize I have a long way to go, indeed a lifetime of learning. After my son bought the ficus, I watched the Juan Andrade video and heard one thing that slowed my pace down, and it may save some trees. This is good advice to any newcomer to bonsai and may help you filter what you see as bonsai art in the future, Mr. Andrade says “Just because we can get away with that kind of treatment on a tree, doesn’t mean we should. Taking the slow sensible approach will always maximize growth and recovery time when we perform major surgery on a bonsai.” So my thought is: Why make a tree have to forgive you.


I can honestly say that I’ve killed more material by being hasty and impatient, than anything else. Doing too much or going too far with a tree has been the most difficult thing to learn. Being patient, slow and sensible is the best advice anyone interested in bonsai should take to heart.