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In its simplest translation, bonsai simply means 'tree in tray' or 'tree in pot'. And that is indeed the primary aspect of bonsai.
Most people's perception of bonsai is either a kind of tree or an evergreen tree. Both of those have their roots in the truth. But bonsai is a method of growing whereby the tree in the pot looks as though it is a miniature of that tree in nature.
There are forms of bonsai that have a specific set of rules and are very definitive as to how those rules are to be carried out. There are also forms of bonsai that are very loose and have very few hard and fast rules. Evergreen trees are a very common plant that is used for bonsai. Here in the Midwest, special conditions must be observed to keep evergreens healthy - most notably that a dormant winter should be observed with 30-50 degree F. temperatures during most of that time. So evergreens may not be the best (even though the most recognizable) trees to use for bonsai. Many tropical plants make excellent bonsai, with results that are pleasing in a short amount of time. At Casey's we carry many different kinds of bonsai 'starters'. We have a knowledgeable staff and are able to help you as you either pick out plants to bonsai, pick out an already potted starter, or have questions along the way.
Casey's stocks bonsai tools either for the first timer or the experienced bonsai enthusiast. We carry a full line of containers, ceramic, plastic and mica. We have bonsai wire, fertilizer and soil. We have books to guide you and just give you information.