Here, you can find answers to the questions that are frequently overheard and asked.
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General FAQ

1. Now that I've taken the Novice Class, what's next?
2. I've taken Bonsai Basics for a couple of years now and I think I want to learn even more advanced topics, what can I do?
3. Where can I find bonsai material?
4. What is the best bonsai for a beginner?
5. I think my tree is dead... what do I do?

Novice Workshop FAQ

1. I would like to take a workshop, where can I get started?
2. Even if I am not registered, could I come to the workshop location and take a workshop that day?
3. I'm confirmed for a class, would I be able to bring my husband/wife/son/daughter/pet/etc?
4. I'm confirmed for a class, what should I bring?
5. Can I bring my own tools or trees for critique?

Master Workshop FAQ

1. What is a master workshop and how can I take one?
2. What kinds of trees and tools should I bring to a master workshop.
3. How long are master workshops and what can I expect?
4. Where are master workshops held?

 

General FAQ

1. Now that I've taken the Novice Class, what's next?

Welcome to the world of Bonsai. We encourage you to come to general meetings, which are free to the public, and see presentations and participate in them as well as joining MBS and going to Bonsai Basics where you can learn about bonsai all year round.


2. I've taken Bonsai Basics for a couple of years now and I think I want to learn even more advanced topics, what can I do?

You can start coming to the MBS Bonsai Intermediates class. Each class is taught by a member of the intermediates class after they have done research and learned about their topic. Come in February to pitch your ideas about what you would like to learn and pick a topic to research and teach to the class. Keep an eye on the newsletter to see where the location of the first intermediates class will be as they are not always at the normal Bonsai Intermediate class location. The first class for 2015 will be February 10 at the Perkins in Fridley, 7520 University Avenue Northeast, at 7 PM.


3. Where can I find bonsai material?

The best places to find material are at our club auctions. Free to the general public, auctions are a great place to find great trees being auctioned or pre-bonsai and other bonsai related items. Our auctions consist of a silent and live auction.

You can sometimes also find bonsai at your local garden center. A lot of bonsai start as garden center material. In the spring of every year, the Bonsai Basics class has a nursery tour in which you can meet up at the local garden centers and learn how to pick material for use as bonsai. Keep an eye at the club calendar for when the nursery tour will occur.


4. What is the best bonsai for a beginner?

That is a loaded question.

If you live in an apartment or townhome which restricts the potted plants you can have outside, tropicals may be best for you. While all trees will do best if they are outside most of the year, tropicals will be able to handle your situation best. Tropical bonsai such as ficus are great starter bonsai even for people who do not live in an apartment or townhome with restrictions.

If you live in a house, have access to outdoor space or feel extra ambitious, you will have more options. Elm tree bonsai such as Chinese Elm or Siberian Elm are vigorous trees and Japanese garden junipers can make for hardy iconic bonsai. All of these bonsai will need access to outdoor conditions for most of the year, spending winter in a protected location such as an attached garage that can stay between 37 and 45 degrees all winter.


5. I think my tree is dead... what do I do?

If it looks like your tree is dead or you think your tree is dead-- don't give up yet! Some trees are especially picky about their environment and if you recently changed the environment by bringing the tree inside, putting the tree outside or repotting the tree, then give it some time to rest. If the tree has lost or dropped all of it's foliage, continue to water it but reducing the amount you water since there are no longer any leaves to take up the normal amount of water you would have used. While the tree is stressed, do not feed it and do not keep it in direct sunlight. After some time, the tree may surprised you with a new set of leaves or growth.

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Novice Workshop FAQ

1. I would like to take a workshop, where can I get started?

During the year, we have three workshop weekends for people who would like to take a Novice Class. So, at most, there are 6 total novice workshops per year and they are held in May, July and September. Please visit the Novice Workshop page for more information or to see if there are any classes available.


2. Even if I am not registered, could I come to the workshop location and take a workshop that day?

While we would like to accommodate anyone and everyone who would like to take a workshop, if you are not registered and confirmed for a class but decide to come straight to the location, you may not be able to get into the class as there are often student waitlists or insufficient space available should the class be very full.


3. I'm confirmed for a class, would I be able to bring my husband/wife/son/daughter/pet/etc?

Unfortunately, the classes are usually very full and the space for the workshop is relatively small so we can only accommodate confirmed and paid students. However, if you have some circumstance in which you need an assistant to come along with you or any other extenuating circumstance, please let us know and we will do our best to accommodate you.


4. I'm confirmed for a class, what should I bring?

The tools, care sheets and trees are all provided. Just bring yourself, lunch (lunch can also be purchase in the restaurant) a bottle of water and a pen/notepad and enjoy the workshop!


5. Can I bring my own tools or trees for critique?

We discourage bringing your own tools because we provide all of the tools and yours may be accidentally lost or taken amidst all of the shuffle. If you would like help or guidance on your own trees, we recommend bringing it to Bonsai Basics once you become a member as instructors and advanced members can offer assistance and answer questions.

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Master Workshop FAQ

1. What is a master workshop and how can I take one?

Master workshops are workshops for intermediate to advanced members who would like to work with a visiting bonsai professional or instructor. These professionals are people that MBS bring in twice a year. Many of them have worked directly with bonsai professionals in Japan and the U.S. and have knowledge that MBS members may not otherwise be able to partake of easily. The classes we offer are great for intermediate and advanced members who want to work with the visiting master on their tree or on a tree that they may be able to buy at the workshops.

Keep an eye on our website as we will post on visiting masters and master workshops in the year.

Not yet feeling confident enough to work with a professional? There are plenty of silent observer spots available at all of the master workshop sessions and at $15 per session, these are a great value! Silent observer spots are great for members who may not have material, may not have the experience or even those who simply just want to observe the master working with paid workshop individuals. As a silent observer, you have the ability to walk around the room with the master and listen to conversations and discussions he will have with working members but we ask that you keep your questions and conversation to a minimum so that you are respectful of members who have paid to have the master work with them.


2. What kinds of trees and tools should I bring to a master workshop.

To prepare for a master workshop, please prepare the trees you would like to bring, if you are not taking a material supplied session. Bring several healthy trees that you would like assistance with. Clean up the trees you are bringing by removing dead or dying foliage and reduce merry stems. The time you spend with a master is valuable and it is better to spend it gaining useful knowledge rather than expensive tree cleanup assistance.

Also remember to bring all the tools, wire, soil and pots you will need to work on your trees as no tools are provided. It is expected that if you are working with a master, you will have all of these things to guarantee yourself a successful workshop.


3. How long are master workshops and what can I expect?

Master workshop sessions are 3 hours long. You can sign up for more than one session and signing up for more than one is recommended if you are taking a material-supplied workshop as we see that 3 hours is too short of a time span to do all of the work that participants will want to do on the material supplied trees. Remember that it is a learning workshop. While the master is assisting other participants, you can work on your tree with the suggestions that the master has given you so that when he returns to you, you are ready for more.


4. Where are master workshops held?

The location of the master workshops for 2017 will be at:

Location TBD

 

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