Making a job out of bonsai

(Lance) #1

Hi everyone,

First post on here after a lot of intrigued reading. I really enjoy the atmosphere and articles.

I have a question about bonsai as an occupation. How can someone make a job out of bonsai?

It seems that in order to make a living out of it, you would need to be producing a decent amount of trees in a nursery, and offering training/classes.

Would anyone be willing to share their journey into bonsai as a business if this something you have done successfully?

Thank you in advance,


(Jonas Dupuich) #2

There are lots of ways to enter the bonsai profession. I’d be curious to hear which ways come to mind when you started thinking about this.

I’d also look to the professionals, growers, or nursery-folk you might be familiar with and see what they focus on. What I’ve found is that there are about as many paths are there are people interested in walking those paths.

(Frank Corrigan) #3

Agreed, when i think of those people i know in the profession it is amazing to discover the variety of educational and professional backgrounds represented. The one constant is a passion for Bonsai.

(Lance) #4

My idea of entering the ‘Bonsai business’ (for me) would be to start with nursery stock, and turn them into trees that people would like to purchase. This would be part time until it demanded enough time to become a full time venture.

May I ask what your day job is Jonas, if it isn’t already bonsai?

(Lance) #5

I agree. You have people like Brent Walston who grow nursery stock for 15 years before selling to more advanced practitioners. Then on the other end of the spectrum, you have growers who sell starter trees from their nurseries that are only 2-3 years old.

(Jonas Dupuich) #6

My day job has been bonsai for two years now. Most of what I do is noted on the site: a mix of bonsai-related services and the online store.

The reason I mentioned looking to others is that I’ve found it interesting to see so many different approaches to working in bonsai, from growing trees to providing retail services to teaching to traveling and developing trees in enthusiast’s collections.

I grew up working in a retail nursery and was somewhat familiar with the industry when I got started - that helped a lot. Others have done well coming from completely different backgrounds.

Feel free to get in touch if you ever have specific questions or want feedback on bonsai business ideas - I’ll be happy to help!