Specialists in Bonsai Trees, Care and Information - Kaizen Bonsai
It looks like spring has finally arrived in the UK after some pretty cold and changeable weather. Now that re-potting season is largely behind us it’s time to think about our summer care regimen and that HAS to include the regular use of fertiliser.
As with all things bonsai the subject of fertiliser is awash with mis-information, old wives tales and not a little ignorance. Put simply, all a plant needs is a small amount of various essential nutrients, 17 in total. These are used in the production of energy from sunlight. Plant nutrients are NOT ‘Plant food’, plants do not eat food like we do, they make it by photosynthesis, a chemical process involving sunlight, carbon dioxide, water and some elemental compounds.
Fertilisers are compounds that contain the elements needed to support photosynthesis and aid in the production of carbohydrates and the building of plant tissues. A bonsai tree will quickly strip out any inherent nutriment within its growing media, usually within a couple of weeks for a tree that is growing strongly.
A fertiliser is any compound that contains some or all (called ‘complete) of the elements a plant needs to support growth. These take two basic common forms...
Chemical fertilisers are typically a synthetic, chemical-based substance containing one or more nutrient essential for enhancement of plant growth. These are blended to give specific ratios suitable for different horticultural requirements. Typically these are dissolved in water and are instantly available to a growing plant. The downside of a chemical is the relatively short-lived effect as they are quickly washed out of a bonsai pot after repeated watering, it’s also possible to cause problems if over-used, this reverse osmosis effect is commonly known as 'fertiliser burn’ and causes root and foliage damage. Used correctly this is not normally a problem but happens to the best of us at some point. Chemicals are also not good at promoting important soil-based micro fauna/flora.
These are typically from organic by-products of the food industry and can be plant based like RAPESEED MEAL from oil production. Animal sources give us traditional products like Bonemeal or fish emulsion like Green Dream Ex-Fish. Most organic products are a beneficial mix of many different nutrient sources blended to give a complete nutrient profile.
Organic fertilisers release their nutrients slowly and those nutrients are released by the action of fungi and bacteria in the presence of moisture. This is more suited to bonsai cultivation because a few days after application nutrient begins to pass into the root zone in a slow and controlled measure that is also temperature regulated. This means there is always a little nutrient available to the plant at all times, it avoids the risk of fertiliser burn and nutrient spikes. Not only that, a good organic product will release nutrients for up to several weeks and so it avoids the need to apply fertilisers every few days.
WHICH FERTILISER TO USE FOR BONSAI?
Contrary to popular belief a plant will only take what it needs from the soil. So, trying to force a plant to grow faster or produce more flowers by using a product with more of the appropriate nutrient is largely ineffective, especially with our slow-growing trees. Effecting the growth rate of annuals like tomatoes or 'recreational herbs’ might work but in bonsai, all we can do is provide sufficient nutrient to allow a tree to reach its peak performance given prevailing conditions. Excess availability of major nutrients like nitrogen will always have a detrimental effect upon a bonsai tree, its roots and the microbial soil activity that is SO important. Conversely, insufficient availability will hinder optimum performance leading to poor health and slow development.
The choice of fertiliser is a personal one, some folk like chemicals, some love solid fertilisers like RAPESEED PELLETS whilst others like granular or liquid forms. Used in an appropriate manner all balanced complete fertilisers will work. We would NEVER recommend the use of fertilisers designed for things like tomatoes, hanging baskets or gardens. There is an amazing array of tried and tested FERTILISERS FOR BONSAI. Use them with confidence.
Our own recommendation for outdoor trees is the GREEN DREAM range of products. Graham has been using GREEN DREAM ORIGINAL, a product developed by Colin Lewis 30 years ago, exclusively on our nursery now for nearly 20 years. It’s quick, easy, reliable and cheap in comparison with imported products like BIO-GOLD. Why make life more complicated than it already is! Whilst plant nutrition is a complex subject a lot of people have put a great deal of work into making it simple and it’s hard to argue with success and experience.
Living in modern Britain is not easy. We have always been a country that lurches from one crisis to the next but at this moment it does appear we are in a state of flux. That makes us feel uneasy and the more bone idle one is the worse the feeling will be. Many have become used to living the good life of rest and ease. It appears to me those days are over. Our country presents some fantastic opportunities..........
I am not the first to say, of late, that the world has gone insane. To be fair planet earth is just fine and carries on much as it always has done with it’s ups and downs, it’s the bit that we humans inhabit that’s gone nuts. Personally I no longer feel the construct we have created for ourselves is worthy of habitation. In fact it looks a lot like we will create our own..........
Seeing as I was having a good bitch and moan last week I thought it would be a good idea to redress the balance with a happy post. Sadly we are not able to trade trees like we have done in years past so the number in the garden is drastically reduced. However the quality, relatively speaking has improved seeing as a lot of the lesser materials have gone..........
This week I had several tons of Bonsai pots delivered. The experience got me thinking about where we find ourselves and what to expect going forwards. If strong language offends PLEASE do not read further. If you are a bone-idle tired hands please do NOT read further.........
There are many mysterious techniques used in the world of bonsai tree creation and maintenance. In my experience many of them are misunderstood and therefore incorrectly applied. In my own case it certainly took a long time to understand what defoliation of deciduous trees was all about........
What’s more stressful, having too much to do or not having enough? I always thought I was stressed out by being so busy, particularly over the last few years. Now, and I am thankful for this, I don’t really have enough to fill my days in the way I have for years past........
This week has been a good one. Having completed more than THREE THOUSAND orders and about TEN THOUSAND parcels since January this year we finally got it all under control and I came up for air, f***ing cold air mind but that’s another subject........
Summer in the bonsai garden means one thing above all else ….WATERING. Kaizen bonsai stock a full range of tried and tested products to make this task easy and pleasurable.
Sadly summertime in the bonsai garden will always bring a few problems with it. A whole array of pests and problems can pop up at any time. Keeping trees in top condition is the best approach, a healthy plant will have natural defences but these can be less than effective where a plant is 'under the weather'. When pest problems do strike it’s good to know most problems are fairly easy to fix with modern control products.
We recommend a once-monthly spray with an environmentally friendly product like our Bonsai Invigorator, Bug Killer and Fungicide. This will help to control most common pests and fungal issues whilst boosting a trees natural defences.
One particularly pernicious pest is the much feared Spider Mite. This virtually invisible pest can strike almost anywhere at any time. It particularly likes a dry atmosphere or the unique environment inside a greenhouse or conservatory. Thankfully this extremely damaging pest is easily controlled thanks to one of a new generation of organic products. Natural Spider-mite Control For Bonsai Trees should be in your back pocket just in case!
Summer is the time many folk like to work on styling their trees or refining their appearance for the show bench. This invariably means the use of wire to build shape and refine a tree's appearance. This season Kaizen Bonsai has introduced two new and very popular products.
Finally a good copper wire at a good price. Not everyone’s first choice but copper is THE only wire for use on trees headed for the show bench. Available in 500g coils this super soft copper means less outlay compared to buying more common 1Kilo items. Produced exclusively for Kaizen Bonsai our direct from the factory price will be hard to beat..
No Bonsai tree can be entirely complete without a bonsai pot. A bonsai pot completes the magical appearance of our little trees. There are almost as many bonsai pot designs as there are bonsai trees.
Kaizen Bonsai offer a massive selection of bonsai pots suitable for the cultivation and presentation of bonsai trees. From plastic nursery pots suitable for the development of raw material into bonsai right through to beautiful hand crafted pots and even the occasional antique pot too. All of our bonsai pots are available from stock but please be aware that some items have very limited availability. Our bonsai pot selection changes constantly with new items added almost every week.
When it comes to bonsai pots Kaizen Bonsai have a massive range, all from our own stock for fast safe delivery. You can trust us to get your pot delivered safely and quickly. REMEMBER MANY LINES HAVE LIMITED AVAILABILITY AND SELL FAST, DON’T WAIT UNTIL SPRING AND RISK LOSING WHAT YOU NEED!
Bonsai Tools - Best UK Prices from Kaizen Bonsai
Here at Kaizen Bonsai we do our absolute utmost to bring you the best value we can. Bonsai tools are a big expense for any hobbyist and there are a bewildering array of choices. Over the years there have been some significant changes in the manufacture and supply chain for these products and a great many so called ‘brands’ are just badge engineering with fancy packages. Graham bought his first branch cutter in 1992 and it cost £30.00 today that same tool will cost you £25.95. We have managed to do that because we have cut the importers, wholesalers and middlemen out of the equation and buy directly from the factory door. All of our Superior Stainless Steel and Superior Black Carbon Steel bonsai tools are hand made using traditional techniques and the very finest Japanese steels. We offer these directly to you at genuine wholesale prices + VAT. The price is low because we buy direct and not because the quality is inferior. Used correctly these bonsai tools are a fantastic investment and, with correct maintenance, will last for decades. And if there were not enough we offer even better prices for multiple buys with our Superior Quality Bonsai Tool Kits.
All our tool kits have no padding & no junk you don't need just great tools at a discounted price!
A Tool roll is included free of charge on kits shown below (colour may vary)
These amazing tools are in the hands of some of the worlds best wood carvers, wood turners, chainsaw carvers, restorers and re-creators of historic timber work and furniture not to mention some of the best known bonsai artists like Kevin Willson. Whether you have a die grinder, Dremel or hobby tool there is a Terrier to suit.If you need to carve wood of ANY description this is THE tool you need.
We manufacture this tool right here in the UK and only sell them directly to our customers. Graham has spent more than 20 years developing and refining these tools, they are THE most efficient easy to use effective and safe tools of their kind available anywhere on planet earth.
"Hi Kaizen Bonsai, I just wanted to drop you a message to say how happy I am with my Pyracantha bonsai material that I purchased from you. It's wonderful. If there's anywhere I can leave a review, let me know." L.H U.K
"Just a note to say all items got here. Well pleased with the Yamadori Juniper, and I wish all suppliers, packed their trees like you.!!. Many thanks." K.S U.K
"This week I've received two deliveries from Kaizen, both were a prompt response to my orders. Both were delivered on time, both were very well packaged. Of the two starter pines, one had the unexpected bonus of being twin trunked. As Graham described, the little juniper is a beauty. Thanks to all. As someone newish to bonsai l would like to thank Graham for being the sort of guy who is happy to share his knowledge and experience with all who come looking. (video tutorials, blogs etc.) He seems to me to be one of life’s natural teachers. Cheers to all at Kaizen." T.S U.K
"Received my bonsai from you today that I only ordered yesterday & I had to message you to say thanks. Absolutely stunned by what you’ve sent me. I paid £17.50 last time ordered a tree from ******** being new to bonsai and seeing this I didn’t think you could get something of this quality for the price!" S.H - UK
"Just a quick note to say order arrived today. Impressive packaging ensured all ok. Very pleased with the tree, etc. Many thanks." A.B - U.K
"Hi Graham, The Yamadori Portuguese Oak arrived today at lunchtime. Not a twig out of place! Absolutely magnificent!" B.J - U.K
"Hi Kaizen, Cork Bark Oak arrived safe and sound, a lovely tree professionally packed as always. Once again you’ve shown how you are the best, and for someone like me who has only been involved with Bonsai for three years or so, Kaizen has enabled me to avoid many of the pitfalls which catch out many beginners. Sincere thanks and best wishes to you all." N.B - U.K
"Hi, just wanted to say a big thank you for your fantastic service, I’ve bought a few quality pots recently and the service is excellent, will be shopping again in spring, thanks" D.M - U.K
"Hi Graham & Catherine, The tree arrived safely and really excellent packing don't how you do it. The tree looks fantastic but then so has every purchase from you guy's I really enjoy what you offer to us bonsai nut's. Big thanks to all the team." N.G - U.K
"Hi Kaizen. Received another tree today from you (in its bomb-proof packaging) I'm well pleased, it's brill! Thanks a lot." B.P - U.K
"Just a quick one to let you know that the pallet of my trees turned up safe and sound. Very well packed as always, and as I have come to expect the trees are even better than the photos." S.C - U.K