Care of Our Bonsai Collection

Jerry and Rhona Meislik Bonsai Fund

Our stunning collection of over 60 bonsai and penjing trees requires time-intensive care, literally 365 days per year. Your donation helps maintain the health and beauty of this unique living collection.

Our collection consists of more than 70 specimens, including many cold-hardy and indoor tropical and sub-tropical trees. Some of these may be on display in the spring and summer in our outdoor Bonsai & Penjing Garden, which is open approximately May through Labor Day. The cold-hardy plants are placed in an over-wintering cold frame the first week in November. The pots are buried and the cold frames covered with a top that allows snow and rain yet no direct sun to the trees below. In the first week of April they are moved from the cold frame to an outdoor ground holding area at which time a flurry of root pruning and repotting occurs for designated specimens. By mid-April the trees are placed on benches in a shade house. During the growing season, these plants are refined through pruning and wiring and are regularly fertilized with organic and water soluble inorganic fertilizers. The trees and landscapes are maintained and refined throughout the year in one of our greenhouses. Maintenance and fertilizer are dependent on the amount of individual tree growth through the year.

We have a dedicated and talented group of volunteers, led by a staff member and a bonsai volunteer steward, who meet on a regular basis to maintain our collection and set up the outdoor garden and the conservatory displays. Our bonsai steward visits regularly through the week. Without their efforts this collection could not exist or be maintained at such a high standard. We are grateful to all the members of the Ann Arbor Bonsai Society for this volunteer resource and for their continuing support for the expansion of our collection

A black pine from donor Mel Goldstein

Matthaei-Nichols staff member Carmen Leskoviansky works on Japanese black pine bonsai (Pinus thunbergii) given by donor Melvyn Goldstein.

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