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Bonsai Survival Manual: Tree-by-Tree Guide to Buying, Maintaining, and Problem Solving Paperback – January 10, 1996

62 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Survival is the key word here, for these delicate plants are difficult to care for. Lewis, founder of Bonsai magazine, has written a guide to buying and maintaining a bonsai. There are instructions on shaping, pruning, repotting, and pests and diseases. Lewis lists 50 popular species, with specific information on growing each tree--maple, bamboo, hornbeam, hackberry, quince, cypress, cotoneaster, cedar, beech, ficus, juniper, myrtle, pine, etc. Four-color photographs throughout, primarily for beginners. George Cohen

From the Back Cover

Grow attractive bonsai and keep them healthy with this "one-stop" source of vital information.

From advice on evaluating and selecting plants, to assessing plant health and troubleshooting, the Bonsai Survival Manual provides the comprehensive information every bonsai gardener needs for success.

-- Advice on selecting suitable species, feeding, watering, and providing the proper temperature

-- Step-by-step guidance on keeping your miniature tree in shape and avoiding common bonsai ailments

-- Detailed horticultural profiles of 50 popular commercial varieties, with at-a-glance information on their specific requirements.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC; Later Printing edition (January 10, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0882668536
  • ISBN-13: 978-0882668536
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 0.5 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,754 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

104 of 106 people found the following review helpful By Chuck on February 16, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a new convert, I have been frustrated by most books on bonsai. They are filled with wonderful information, but the author often takes for granted that you are an experience bonsai enthusiast. Mr. Lewis does not do that. With excellent pictures and color graphics, he explains in great detail what to look for (and look OUT for!) when buying a tree, as well as detailed advice on pruning and shaping techniques. I wish I had bought this sooner.
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52 of 53 people found the following review helpful By kloetzchen on April 19, 2000
Format: Paperback
I've found the advices the book gives for buying a bonsai very helpful. On the other hand it helped me and my friends understanding why we did not succeded in keeping our little trees alive. After reading the brief but thoroughly information about "trees necessities" I decided to try again and my ume(plum)-bonsai look now quite happy.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By h on December 19, 2006
Format: Paperback
Dear Mr. Lewis,

THANK YOU SIR for writing this fabulous little book. See, like many other unnamed persons in this world, I threw away over $300.00 on my first Bonsai attempt at peace and serenity in my home. After many long deep breaths and twinges of * I must be insane to try this again*, I did order two new bonsai-who were every bit as scared of me as I was of them. But see, now Mr. Lewis, I "get it". You have given the Holy Grail, if you will to keep these little buggers alive and flourishing! Never again will I keep my beloved trees too close to a window to burn, or to near a furnace to suffer. No sir, in fact, thanks to your book I know exactly when to water, when to fertilize, and when to remember to breathe and just enjoy the beauty of owning bonsai. I have read dozens of books that were nothing more than pretty pictures, but what I really needed was someone to tell me what NOT to do. There is no better book for a bonsai beginner. I didn't need a book to show me the fine details of repotting or bending delicate bonsai limbs - I simply needed a band-aid to help me get them started in the first place. The Bonsai Survival Manual is worth its weight in gold. Now my little trees won't be so scared of me when they see me pick up all my fancy tools and pretend to "prune". (I can at least pretend for now)
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By rkroll@aol.com on May 25, 1998
Format: Paperback
The Bonsai Survival Manual contains just about everything you need to know about growing and keeping Bonsai. It is well organized with sections on general care and techniques followed by sections on specific species. There is information in here that I have not seen in other books on Bonsai. The writing is terse, concise, and easy to read and understand. The Bonsai photographs show off the beauty of this art form.
All in all, I found this book to be the most useful and fun to read of any Bonsai book I have read.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Beth on October 23, 2001
Format: Paperback
I found this book to be extremely helpful. The care and design tips were concise and easy to follow. The trees in the guide were common in my area and easy to find. I was also able to use the guide to avoid some species that are more challenging in my area.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Evrine on September 25, 2002
Format: Paperback
Bought this book after my first tree died, thinking maybe another book may give me a better chance of sucess. This book is very inforfmationally and easy to follow. The information on individual tree is very helpful in picking trees to grow.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By ocodeo on September 14, 2005
Format: Paperback
I have been doing bonsai for over a year now and have read many books on the subject. I don't believe any one can give you all the information you need to be successful with these wonderful little trees, but this one is chock full of usefull information in a clean no nonsense format. From soil mixture to lighting and fertilization- this book outlines what is best for a lot of the most popular trees out there and gives useful general information as well! If you are new to the art or have been doing it a short while I highly recommend this little gem!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By DianeD on May 10, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent basics book and would rate it 5 stars if that is what you are looking for. I give it 4 stars because it gives one enough information to be dangerous but not enough to certain . Example: Using fungicides and pesticides. Certain trees Maples for instance, are very sensitive and be harmed using chemicals they recommend are safe for most trees. Define most!! An excellent starter basics book just not the only book one should use in my view.
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