You start with your first tree, then you want another, probably a different species, most of us want to try all the species we see in a bonsai magazine or book. Then there are the topicals, if you live up north. if a tree dies, you have to replace it. For a lot of us, our bonsai collection grows exponentially every year till we either run out of space to keep them all, or if we have a lot of space available, we start to lose track of our trees. Maybe we forget a few in a corner that don’t get much water or some other care they needed.
They can be in all different stages, from seeds sprouting to cuttings and new finds at the nursery, to show ready specimens. A lot of us can’t turn down a free tree. If someone is giving one away, or we see a bargain at the garden center, even if it’s a tree we already have several of, we can’t let that bargain go. You can’t have just one seedling, or cutting, you might as well have 20, since they won’t all make it
If any of this sounds like you, I bet you won’t be content with one shelf outside with a couple bonsai on it. Have you ever seen the tv show “hoarders”? You might recognize yourself. Does your home look like this on the inside? Or maybe just the yard?
How many is enough? Does the whole yard have to be filled with trees? Is there a balance? Maybe we get to a point where we do have balance. One tree comes in, and one tree goes out…. Or you can always build another bench.