Thanks to everyone who responded to our 2018 Bonsai South survey. The response was very good, and we learned a lot. Here are the results.
Q1: Do you plan to get more trees, end up with fewer trees, edit what you have, or upgrade your collection?
It looks like a quarter of you plan to edit your collection in 2018, which I take to mean you want to thin the herd. For everyone else, it’s either more trees or better quality trees. I don’t think this was a surprising result.
Q2: What is your number one goal in 2018 to improve your technique?
Most of you plan to get better at bonsai in 2018 by leaning online. I personally think this is a great way to see what others are doing and how they’re doing it.
Q3: What specialized bonsai technique would you like to learn in 2018?
I wasn’t surprised by this response. Why? Well, when you think about the trees you end up working on, how many come with perfect nebari? Not that many. But as I always say, you can make roots a lot easier than you can make an old trunk with great character. So this technique is sure to improve your trees.
Q4: What is your biggest weakness in bonsai?
I was not surprised to see so many answer artistic design. This is one of the biggest challenges in bonsai, and even experienced artists have their struggles from time to time. Can artistic design be learned? I firmly believe the answer is yes, and that the key lies in learning certain rules and techniques and practicing them over and over.
I was surprised to see how many folks find pinching and pruning to be a challenge. This is an area I’ll work hard to blog more on this year.
Q5: Where do you get your trees?
This mainly falls in the category “a little of this and a little of that.” No surprise here.
Q6: How do you like your raw material?
Once again most of you like a combination of starts, from really raw material to semi-trained trees.
Q7: When you buy, what are you looking for from your bonsai nursery?
Highly quality material at fair prices wins out!
Q8: What would you like Bonsai South to do better in 2018?
Bigger selection and videos! All I can tell you is, I’ll work really hard to make sure both of these things happen in 2018. The videography will be the bigger challenge, but it’s been on my mind for quite a while now. So we’ll see what we can do for you.