Bonsai 101: Jerry Zimmerman

Post date: Dec 11, 2010 12:56:07 AM

Here is a Presentation and supporting bullet point list of the basics of bonsai that was created by Jerry Zimmerman. Jerry was one of the founding members of the Quad City Bonsai Club. He passed away in 2009 at the age of 77. Jerry, you will be greatly missed.


a. China 11th Century

b. Japan 15th Century

c. World Expo 1903

d. West Coast 1945

e. Southeast US 1970

f. Midwest

Just what is Bonsai

a. By word definition -> BON (to plant) SAI (shallow tray)

b. Pronounced “Bone”-“sigh”

c. Combination of horticultural skills & artistic abilities to some degree

d. Not a special type of tree, not a unique evergreen nor a secret species but any woody stalked/trunk tree, shrub, vine or herb.


a. Formal

b. Informal

c. Slanting

d. Cascade

e. Semi-Cascade

Size Classifications

a. Mam’e – palm sized

b. Chumono – medium sized (2 hands)

c. Omono – Large sized (4hands)

Climatic Classifications

a. Hardy

b. Non-Hardy

c. Sub-tropical

d. Tropical

e. Temperate

Type Classifications

a. Evergreen

b. Deciduous

c. Broad Leave Evergreens

Why doesn’t my tree look like a Bonsai?

a. Proportion

b. Asymmetric

c. Balance

d. Depth

e. Container size (height-width-depth)

f. Rootage

g. 1/3 principle

Where do Bonsai trees come from? Propagation

a. Seeds / Seedlings

b. Cuttings

c. Layering

d. Nursery Stock

e. Bonsai Nurseries

f. Shows

g. Collected from the wild

How to get started

a. Talk one on one

b. Visit local Bonsai club

c. Books

d. Buy a tree

e. Visit club again

f. Join a club

General Maintenance

a. Soil

b. Watering

c. Fertilizer

d. Light

e. Environment (temperature)

f. Insect and disease

g. Trimming (styling) etc.


a. Pass out club brochures

b. Specifics