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An Extensive Library of Information

 All About Bonsai – All In One Convenient Place!

Information Curated by SABS

What is a Bonsai? The Japanese translation of the word Bonsai means 'tree in pot' and is pronounced as BONES-EYE. Bonsai is not a tree species, just a miniaturized shrub, tree, or bush, achieved by applying the techniques of maintaining such a species in smaller containers, trimming the foliage once a desired shape/height is obtained, and the trimming of roots periodically. 

Below are various topics concerning Bonsai and many website links with bonsai information that SABS has found useful. All websites listed are recommendations and not sponsored or endorsed by SABS. As you review all the information presented below, first be sure the species of trees will grow within your hardiness zone(s). San Antonio’s hardiness zones are 8 and 8a. SABS recommends researching your species of bonsai before attempting any work. SABS shall not be held responsible if your tree/bonsai's health declines or perishes based on any information presented below.

Species of Trees that Make Good Bonsai
22 Best Trees for Bonsai

Foundations of Bonsai 
Starting Out in Bonsai  
Glossary of Japanese Bonsai Terms
Bonsai: An Introduction, Starting Out with your First Bonsai
How to Start with Bonsai - A Beginners Guide
How to Make Bonsai on the Cheap
Bonsai: Styling Your First Bonsai Tree
Species Guide
Intermediate Bonsai - A Course Syllabus

How to Make a Bonsai

How to Repot a Bonsai Tree
Repotting and Root Pruning Bonsai – Part I
Repotting and Root Pruning Bonsai – Part II
Repotting and Root Pruning Bonsai – Part III

Bonsai Tree Lighting
How Much Light Does a Bonsai Tree Need?

Bonsai Soil Basics 
How to Bonsai - Making Soil
Requirements of Bonsai Soils
Bonsai Beginner Series - Soil

How to Fertilize Bonsai
A Practical Guide to Fertilizing your Bonsai
Bonsai How-to Fertilizers for Bonsai
Fertilizing Bonsai
The Effect of Fertilizer on Water pH   
When to Begin Fertilizing in Spring?

Pruning Deciduous Bonsai Trees
Ficus Bonsai Care and Pruning
Ramification. The Next Step 
Decandling Black Pine - An In-depth Guide
Directional Pruning - A Tip from Andrew Robson
Pruning Bonsai - Decision Making Process
Clip and Grow Techniques for Bonsai
Maintenance Pruning Part I
Maintenance Pruning Part II
Maintenance Pruning Part III
Advanced Pruning Techniques for Fagus sylvatica/European Beech Bonsai
Creating Ramification on a Bonsai

Training/Styling (wiring)             
Bonsai Beginner Series - Structural Wiring
Bending and Placing Branches for Maximum Aesthetic Effect, or, Branches 
How to Wire a Bonsai Tree Branch
Wiring and Making a Big Bend on a Pine Bonsai
How to Create a Bonsai with Trunk Movement
Bonsai Detail Wiring
Bending Larger Bonsai Branches with Raffia
Bending “Thick” or Brittle Bonsai Branches
How to Bonsai - Guywire for Large Branches
Wiring Tip: How to Prevent Branches from Splitting away from the Trunk

How to Propagate and Make Cuttings
Propagation: Creating New Plants for Bonsai
Chopping an Auction Ficus for Fun and Profit
How to Grow Bonsai from Seed or Cutting

Watering and Feeding Bonsai Trees
Hard Water, pH and its Effects on Bonsai
Bonsai Beginner Series - Watering
pH of Water and Soil for Bonsai
Watering Conifers  
Water Deciduous Bonsai Part 1
Watering Deciduous Bonsai Part 2  
How to Lower the pH of your Water to Keep Bonsai Healthy 

How to Bonsai Fertilizers - Systemic Pesticides, Herbicides, Fungicides
Pests and Diseases
A Basic Guide to Pests and Diseases that Affect Bonsai
Common Bonsai Tree Insects and Pests
How to Recognize, Prevent, and Treat Bonsai Tree Diseases, Infections, and Illnesses  
Types of Bonsai Tree Pest and How to Protect your Trees from them

Weather, Winter/Summer 
Bonsai Care - Summer
Winter Care for Bonsai
What to Expect from Indoor Bonsai in Winter

How to Care for Bonsai during Heat Waves

Vacation Care 
Watering Bonsai While on Holiday or Vacation

Bonsai Tools - All you Need to Know
Bonsai Tools for Beginners - The Sharpening Guide
Bonsai Tools for Beginners - Care and Cleaning 
How to Use Common Bonsai Tools
Cleaning Bonsai Tools
How to Bonsai - What's in my Tool Bag?

Bonsai from Nursery Stock      
Bonsai and Nursery Stock. Everything you Need to Know
A Trip to the Nursery or Bonsai Material Pt 1
A Trip to the Nursery for Bonsai Material Trident Pt2
How to Bonsai - Focus on the Roots
Making Deciduous Bonsai from Nursery Stock

All you Need to Know about Bonsai Pots
Bonsai Pots - Selection Guide 
Choosing a Bonsai Pot 
Epic Pine Bonsai Rock Planting
Maple Forest Bonsai 
Maple Flat Stone Repotting

Bonsai Natural Growth Patterns     
Features and Characteristics of a Bonsai
Perceptions and Perspectives in Bonsai Design
Serious about Cultivation of Bonsai

Grow Your Bonsai - The Ultimate Bonsai Style Chart
Styling: The Basic Forms of Bonsai

Random Tips 
Bonsai Tips and Tricks with Ben!
Compilation of Tips and Tricks for Bonsai
Scott's Branch Tips
Top 10 Bonsai Tips that Actually Work
Tips and Techniques

Advanced Bonsai Techniques

Styling Bonsais  
Bending and Placing Branches for Maximum Aesthetic Effect
Styling a Juniper Bonsai Tree
Deciduous Design and Deadwood
Carving Deciduous Bonsai  
A Guide to Bonsai Critique
Deciduous Bonsai Design
Transformation of a Japanese Larch Bonsai Tree
Deciduous vs. Coniferous Bonsai Styling
Bonsai Development Series #6: Sacrifice Branch Basics 
Bonsai Developing the Trunk with Multiple Sacrifice Branches
Deciduous Early Development
How to Think When Making Bonsai
Beginners Guide to Bonsai Shaping 
Ramification. The Next Step
Developing Field Grown Trident Maple - Taking the Next Step
Avoid Growing Trunks with Straight Sections
Initial Work on a Cork Oak Bonsai
Developing a Young Cork Oak Bonsai
Reducing the Trunk to Improve a Cork Oak Bonsai

Trunk Chops     
Trunk Chopping my Ebihara Trident Maple Bonsai to Create Taper
Correcting Reverse Taper in a Trident Maple Pre Bonsai
Creating a Flowing Trunk Line
Bonsai Trunk Chop: How to Develop Trunk Movement
Chopping an Auction Ficus for Fun and Profit
The Return of the Ficus Chop Tree
How to Create Taper

Back Budding 
How to Pinch/Prune Maple Bonsai in Spring
Maintenance Pruning Part 2
Advanced Pruning Techniques for Fagus sylvatica/European Beech Bonsai
Stimulating New Buds on Cork Oak

Creating Ramification on a Bonsai
Ramification. The Next Step
A Perfect Example of Great Bonsai Ramification
Developing Fine Branching on Deciduous Bonsai 

Clip and Grow 
How to Bonsai - Clip and Grow Pruning
Clip and Grow Technique for Bonsai
Chinese Elm Bonsai Tree Pruning - Basic Clip and Grow
Bonsai Pruning Maintenance - Pyracantha Bonsai Tree

Creating Ramification on a Bonsai
Defoliation and Branch Selection on Deciduous Bonsai
Defoliating Deciduous Trees
Let's Talk about Leaf Reduction, Defoliation, and Ramification!
Defoliating a Shohin Japanese Maple    

Developing Trunk Structure 
10 Ways to Increase the Size of your Bonsai Trunks 
Thickening the Trunk of your Bonsai 
Developing Informal Upright Trunks for Deciduous Bonsai
How to Create Taper

Developing/Choosing Branch Structure 
Defoliation and Branch Selection on Deciduous Bonsai
Branch Selection
Developing Deciduous Bonsai Branch Structures Four Parts
Crazy Twisted Pomegranate Progress
Branch Selection Process on a Twisted Pomegranate Prebonsai
How to Create a Bonsai from Nursery Stock
Developing Branches and Ramification in Deciduous Trees
Enhancing Nebari 
Wound Healing and Root Work Nursery Stock Bonsai Field Maple
Creating New Nebari for Bonsai by Ground Layering
Approach Grafting Roots for Better Bonsai Nebari
Intro to the Ebihara Method of Enhancing Nebari
Fagus Sylvatica Bonsai 7
Focus on the Roots
The Importance of Nebari in Bonsai  
Trident Maple Prebonsai: Root Graft Tutorial and First Root Work
Thread Graft/Root Graft Tutorial Part 2

Trident Maple Nebari Improvement Technique

Trident Maple Thread Graft
Thread Graft Branch
Approach Grafting for Bonsai
Thread Grafting New Roots onto Bonsai
Trident Maple Prebonsai: Root Graft Tutorial and First Root Work
Thread Graft / Root Graft Tutorial Part 2
Informal Upright Hornbeam
Fagus Sylvatica
Grafting Bonsai Introduced

Air Layering 
What Species can be Air Layered Explained
Air Layering Bonsai Tutorial Easy! 
Air Layering
Air Layering Part II
Successful Air Layering - What Next?
Air Layering a Japanese Maple   

Repairing Snapped Branches and Other Tree Problems  
Reviving an Almost Dead Tree
Rescuing a Half Dead Juniper
Repairing Snapped Branches
Is my Bonsai Dying or is it Alive?
Why your Bonsai has Yellow Leaves in Winter
Technique: Fixing Almost Broken Branches
Chinese Elm Disaster Recovery

Bonsai Quick Fix Demo
Carving Deciduous Bonsai
Bonsai - Getting Something from Nothing!
Travis Goldstein on Creating Jin and Shari with Power Tools
Bonsai Deadwood: Carving a Jin and Hollow
Bonsai Deadwood Carving
Another Way of Carving Bonsai
Larch Bonsai Carving and Styling
Olive Semi-Cascade Bonsai Carving and Styling Video
Carving a Hawthorn Bonsai with Harry Harrington Video
Creating and Using “Uro” with Bonsai
Fagus Sylvatica Bonsai 7 Carving

Lime Sulfur and Wood Hardener for Bonsai  
Preserving Deadwood in your Bonsai Tree
Bonsai and Lime Sulfur
Lime Sulfur Application Safety on Driftwood
Preserving Deadwood on Bonsai

Preserving Bonsai Deadwood

What are Jin and Shari
Travis Goldstein on Creating Jin and Shari with Power Tools
Bonsai Deadwood Carving
Creating a Jin on a Bonsai Tree
Creating Deadwood for Bonsai by Hand Part 2
Creating Ori Deadwood
Creating Shari Deadwood
Deadwood on a Bonsai

Root over Rock  
Acer Campestre Rock Planting 1
Acer Campestre Rock Planting 2
Acer Campestre Rock Planting 3
Acer Campestre Rock Planting 4a
Acer Campestre Rock Planting 4b
How to Create Root Over Rock Bonsai - Maple
How to Create Root-Over-Rock Bonsai, Step by Step Process, Trident Maple Root-Over-Rock
Acer Campestre/Field Maple Root-Over-Rock Bonsai Photo Series
Development of Root Over Rock Bonsai
Repotting a Large Root-Over-Rock Trident Maple Very Old Tree. Step by Step How to Repot

Group/Forest Plantings            
Bonsai Forest Tutorial - Maple and Juniper
A Guide to Creating Group Planting for Bonsai
Bonsai Forests and Groups
Forest Bonsai Inspiration 
DIY Bonsai Forests
The Ultimate Maple Group Planting Guide

Shohin Bonsai
Shohin Bonsai Introduced
Shohin Bonsai Collection Tour with Peter Macasieb
First Steps Towards Shohin Bonsai
Developing a Juniper Shohin/Juniper Bonsai Progression Series
European Hornbeam Carpinus betulus Shohin Bonsai Progression Series
Nursery Stock Bonsai: Shohin Taxus Selection and Preparation
Mame and Shohin Bonsai with Jessica Jonker

Indoor Bonsai 
Indoor Bonsai "All you Need to Know"
Secrets to Success with Indoor Bonsai: Part 1
Indoor Bonsai
Building a Indoor Bonsai Growing System
Indoor Bonsai Care
What to Expect from Indoor Bonsai in Winter

Harvesting Wild Trees  
Collecting Yamadori Hawthorn for Bonsai
The Hill: Collecting Hawthorn Yamadori for Bonsai Part Two. Potting up the New Bonsai

Bonsai: Collecting Trees from the Wild Part One
Collecting Trees from the Wild Part Two
Collecting Deciduous Trees in Autumn/Fall
Yamadori Collecting Bonsai Trees
Collecting for Bonsai #1
Collecting Bonsai: Dogwood #2

Collecting for Bonsai – Hawthorn! #3

Field Growing Bonsai 
Field Grown Bonsai Trees  
Bonsai from Field Grown Material   
Bonsai Development Series #3: Evaluating Field Grown Material
Field Growing Bonsai Trees
Field Growing Trees for Bonsai
How to Field Grow a Good Bonsai
Bonsai from Field Grown Material  

Tree Development Progressions
Fagus sylvatica/European Beech Bonsai Progression Series  
Developing a Juniper Shohin/ Juniper Bonsai Progression Series  
Hawthorn/Crataegus monogyna Bonsai Progression Series  
European Hornbeam/Carpinus betulus Shohin Bonsai Progression Series
Collected Beech Bonsai Progression Series and Why You Should Not Chop a Trunk Too Early  
Cotoneaster franchetti Bonsai Progression Series
Pinus parviflora/Japanese White Pine Bonsai Progression Series by T. Riley  
Large Privet Bonsai Progression 
Euonymous alatus Bonsai Progression Series 
Cherry Mame Bonsai Progression Series 
Privet/Ligustrum ovalfolium Progression Series 
Hawthorn 'Informal Broom' Bonsai Progression Series 
Hawthorn/ Crataegus monogyna Bonsai Progression Series  
Hawthorn Bonsai Progression Series  
Cotoneaster horizontalis/Cotoneaster Bonsai Progression Series
Elm Raft Bonsai Progression Series

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