FUKU-BONSAI ASSISTANCE
& RESOURCE FORUM

                THE OBJECTIVE:   To provide assistance and to directly teach True Indoor Bonsai to individuals throughout the United States!

                Traditional outdoor bonsai is the most difficult of all horticultural arts requiring a very high level of skill, a commitment to continuing exacting attention, and unrelenting discipline. In today's busy world, relatively few can master outdoor bonsai. In contrast, Fuku-Bonsai's True Indoor Bonsai offers an oasis of serenity for those who lead active lives.  In Keiki Bonsai and the Premium Keiki Bonsai Workshop Package, we've already addressed two criterias for success.

               RULE #1: "Choose plants that will grow well for you in your environment, or change your environment to fit the needs of your plant." Our Dwarf Schefflera is a proven durable houseplant with the ability to grow indoors for many years.   It branches well and develops into exciting exotic banyan shapes. 

                RULE #2:   "Start with plants that already have character and interest." Whether you start from a Dwarf Schefflera Lava Planting and a Conversion Kit, or Keiki Bonsai, or the Premium Keiki Bonsai Workshop Package,  the plants already have a lot of character!

                RULE #3:  For best growth, provide the optimum growing environment!" Fuku-Bonsai has already met the first two rules and now everything is up to you. If you put the plant in a dark corner, it may survive for a few months but growth will be weak. If you prune a weak tree, the branch may die or only a single growth point will replace the section cut off. If you don't water properly, the plant won't grow well. Plants don't lie. They will only grow well if you provide the proper care and environment.

FUKU-BONSAI STUDY GROUP MODERATED FORUM

               If the plant is not growing well, it's useless to complain and build a strong case that you're following directions. That tactic creates a "you vs. me" adversarial relationship in which either or both of us lose. It's more productive to try to work together in a "win-win" manner to figure how to obtain the best possible growth. If you'll do your part as a member of the study group, I'll help.  I'll post questions, comments, and answers in a "FAQ (frequently asked questions)" and invite the members of the study group to add their thoughts, solutions, etc.

               I invite you to be a part of an on-going research effort to fully understand all factors that will contribute to optimum growth of True Indoor Bonsai in all parts of the United States.   I want YOU to be successful, and in helping you, I'll learn more too to be able to help others. I invite you to share what you learn and to help me teach the next generation! But let's have fun too!

                Plants grow at different rates throughout the year. In Hawaii, the strongest growth is during late spring to early summer. During these times, a newly planted small size Dwarf Schefflera will have roots beginning to be established in the potting media in two to three months.  More vigorous growth will be very apparent in 3 to 4 months. Between December and February, growth is noticeably slower. The FAQ section will list results in various parts of the country to allow comparisons.

MEMBER CONFIDENTIALITY & MUTUAL ASSISTANCE

                All information including addresses, phone numbers, e-mail addresses will be kept confidential and no names will be used. From time to time, I'll post questions received and my responses in the FAQ. I invite you to send color photographs to be posted. In this manner, anyone can add recommendations and the entire body of recommendations will be available to assist newest members.

FUKU-BONSAI STUDY GROUP ETIQUETTE

                Membership shall be open to anyone having Fuku-Bonsai plants. This common gateway assures that our focus will be directed at our plants and known components.   It will eliminate discussion about other types of plants and other growing mediums. It will allow novices to participate in future "intermediate" or "advanced" projects, but only if we can be assured that they've already achieved a minimal level of competence. The objectives are focused around long-term education and fellowship. The format is therefore a moderated forum and no flaming or ego/empire building will be tolerated.

                Those with more experience or skills can help others, but from the very beginning, there will be no competitions!  Each of us are equal students and no one is a "sensei" or teacher whose comments are immune from questions. Bonsai competitions get in the way of sharing and the odds are stacked in favor of the person with the most experience or money. Who wins such competitions usually depends upon who's the judge and what standards that judge utilizes.

                True Indoor Bonsai has been developed around valid horticultural principles, basic bonsai training techniques, and universal aesthetic standards. Your horticultural proficiency is reflected in the health of your trees and you really don't need anyone to tell you whether your trees are healthy or not. Bonsai training techniques are well known and the more experienced members will be able to assist. The key factor is not technique, but what you want to create! Once you know, it's simple to explain two or three different training techniques that will help you to train towards that goal. 

THE OWNER-TRAINING IS RIGHT!

                Each of us is different and the result of our ethnic cultures, life experiences, and personal values. Each bonsai is different and each of us may see a different future shape.  If the owner-trainer requests our help, I hope each person will contribute and share their vision.

                But in bonsai, it's important not to do so until asked. Many gentle quiet people grow bonsai. But not being aggressive, they are shy and project that they are unsure of what to do. But many of these quiet people really have studied their tree, have an idea of what they like and what they don't like, and are really requesting "second opinions" to help evaluate their ideas.

                The owner-trainer is responsible for the tree in the same way that a parent is responsible for their child. Because of this, at Fuku-Bonsai, we have a strict rule that only the owner-trainer trains their tree. We can educate, make recommendations, and even physically assist once the owner-trainer decides on the styling objectives. Often the owner-trainer will take home several drawings and notes and do the actual training quietly at home.   That's very appropriate!

                It is important that each of us recognize, respect, and support the creation of a sacred bond between the owner-trainer and the tree. We should encourage novices to take responsibility and participate as much as possible.

CONCLUSION

                The goal of the Fuku-Bonsai Study Group is to directly and successfully assist individuals in learning True Indoor Bonsai throughout the United States in a manner tailored to the activity intensity and interest of each person.  It will be non-competitive support-oriented that will be comfortable for everyone and will be guided by the "Spirit and Philosophy of Fuku-Bonsai" dated May 2, 1995:

               " The hand of friendship is the key to the world as it opens hearts. The key to friendship is respect, courtesy, and justice! "

                You're cordially invited to join us!

                                David W. Fukumoto, founder & president
                                Fuku-Bonsai,   March 2001
 
Fuku-Bonsai     FUKUBONSAI.COM  
Phone (808) 982-9880   E-mail: sales@fukubonsai.com
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