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Since 1989, the nursery's extensive Bonsai collection (including several award-winning specimens) was maintained by bonsai master Richard Ota and his assistants. Mr. Ota met bonsai master John Naka in 1957 and learned bonsai techniques from him. He also co-authored "Bonsai Techniques for Satsuki" (Out of print) with John Naka in 1979.

Mr. Ota operated his own Ota Bonsai Nursery in the city of Orange for many years before coming to work at our nursery. After 29 years at San Gabriel Nursery & Florist, Mr. Ota retired this summer and we are fortunate to have added many of his unique bonsai to our selection.

For centuries the Japanese have cultivated the dwarf potted tree called bonsai. The literal translation of bonsai is "tray culture", but the word more broadly refers to bringing a desired part of nature into the home. Your participation and involvement in its ever changing nature may bring you a sense of pleasure and relaxation.

Bonsai Care & Culture
Location - Outdoors in partial shade.

Watering - Varies according to location, time of year. Keep moist but not constantly wet.

Feeding - Feed sparingly. Use bonsai food or liquid fertilizer at half strength during the growing season. Properly applied fertilizer restores good color and vigor and maintains growth.

Training - Needs a good artistic eye and horticultural knowledge. Not recommended for beginners.

Trimming - Occasional trimming by pinching new growth. The difference between training and trimming is that training alters the shape and growth of the plant. Trimming maintains shape as is.

Transplanting - About 3-5 years depending on the plant or when the plant outgrows the planter. Best done when the plant is dormant (winter to early spring).

Never keep bonsai in the house for more than two days.

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