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How many bonsai trees is “too many” bonsai trees?

How many bonsai trees is “too many” bonsai trees?

When first getting into the hobby of bonsai trees, you may start with just one or two trees.  That’s pretty standard, and how most of us got into this hobby.

If we managed to keep those trees alive and happy (which is surprisingly easy to master), it’s also when we got hooked.

So many, like me, started with a tree or two.  Let’s say it’s something traditional:  A juniper bonsai tree, and a pine bonsai tree.

Then we got another one or two, just to have more variety in our trees.  Something more regional, like in my case, a honeysuckle bonsai tree and a pear bonsai tree.

Then we realized we didn’t have any tropical trees….

That won’t stand.  Time to collect a baby jade bonsai tree, and a Hawaiian umbrella bonsai tree.

So now we’ve got a little collection going:  6 beautiful bonsai trees, happily on display.

Then you come across a masterpiece specimen tree.  A Japanese maple created by a true bonsai artisan… a real master.

Gotta have it.

Now you’re sitting on 7 trees, and you’re wondering:  “Did I go overboard here?  Is this too many bonsai trees?”

The answer may surprise you…

In reality, you only have too many bonsai trees once you can’t take care of them all.

And what do you need to do to take care of a bonsai tree?

In short order:

Prune it.

This is a task done once or twice per year depending on the tree, so that’s manageable to do with a ton of trees.  It’s not like it takes a ton of time…

Water it.

This isn’t terribly difficult to do once you’ve got it on a schedule.

It can even be automated!

Just remember to water your trees according to their needs, and they’ll be fine.

Sun it.

Trees have different lighting requirements, kind of.  In reality, most trees can be put in the same spot and if one is happy, they’ll all be happy.  Some may need more shade, some may need more sun, it’s all doable.

And it’s usually only done twice per year:  Once in the spring, once in the winter.

This is fine with a ton of trees.

Repot it.

Once a tree overgrows it’s pot, you’ve got to repot it.  Same pot, different pot, bigger pot, doesn’t matter - your bonsai just has to have the roots pruned.

This is where having too many bonsai trees becomes an issue.

It’s not a terribly time consuming process, but if you have 20 trees, it’s more than a days work.

Thankfully, this is done every 2-5 years depending on where you live and the type of tree, so as long as you don’t have 20 trees that need to be repotted in a single season, it’s probably OK to have a ton of trees.

In reality, the more bonsai trees you have, the less likely you are to kill them.

Did you catch that one?

I’ll say it again:  The more bonsai trees you have, the less likely you are to kill them.

The reasoning behind this is pretty straight forward:  You won’t fuss over a single tree too much.

And when you fuss over a tree too much, you just might kill it.

It’s a tree.  It needs the most basic of necessities from nature.

It’s also a bonsai tree.  It needs the most basic of care to keep it miniature.

Go overboard, and it might not be too happy.

Bonsai trees aren’t like fish in a tank.  You can have a ton of them, and they can be happy together.  There’s no competition, there’s no neglect if you get another one, and one tree certainly isn’t going to be mad at another tree.

With bonsai trees, the more the merrier!

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