Voyage Tampa: Meet Larry

Voyage Tampa: Meet Larry

Via Voyage Tampa

Today we’d like to introduce you to Larry Naeder.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
My bonsai journey started seven years ago when I first saw a small tree in person and was instantly mesmerized. From that point forward, I wanted to know everything and anything I could learn about the art. I’ve since turned my hobby into a full-time business and now own/operate the only bonsai nursery in St. Pete, where I cultivate and practice the art of bonsai on multiple species of tropical trees!

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Surprisingly, yes it has been pretty smooth. Although my biggest struggle would definitely be keeping up with the demand and constantly creating new trees for customers.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
First, I’d like to explain what bonsai is because there is a common misconception. Most people think bonsai is the small little Juniper tree that Mr. Miyagi made so popular through the Karate Kid franchise. While that is true, it does not end there. Bonsai is not a specific tree or species, it is the art and technique of creating the illusion of a small tree in a pot. With that being said, living here In Florida, I tend to use mostly tropical species that are native to our climate. Specifically, I prefer to use unwanted and or neglected local landscaping to create my trees. I seek out material through various ways and will go and dig stumps out of neighbor’s yards and work on them for a few years to turn them into living pieces of art!

We’d love to hear about how you think about risk taking?
The first thing that comes to mind is certainly when I decide to pull a tree out of the ground, chop it down to a stump and put it in a pot with the hope of keeping it alive in order to turn it into bonsai. It is definitely a risk every time I do this because there’s always a chance of the tree dying and the last thing I want is to lose that tree by not properly caring for it during its recovery process. There are many things I do to minimize shock and get the tree back to a healthy point but there is always a risk! You have to realize that you are taking on the care and responsibility from that point forward for the rest of the trees existence and no longer Mother Nature.


  • Trees range from 25$-7,000$

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Original article courtesy of Voyage Tampa: http://voyagetampa.com/interview/meet-larry-naeder-of-pinellas-park-st-pete/

A Little Bonsai History for Beginners

A Little Bonsai History for Beginners

Though bonsai is widely recognized as a Japanese art form, its roots can be traced to China as far back as the Han Dynasty in 210 B.C. In fact, their earliest documented proof of existence can be found in the tomb of Prince Zhuang Huai, who died in the year 706. Wall paintings in the prince’s tomb depict servants carrying a miniature landscape.

The solitary sample trees raised in China more than a thousand years ago were very basic. They displayed very little foliage and their gnarled roots and trunks resemble animals, most notably fiery dragons, arched serpents, and other imaginative creatures and landscapes. Today these ancient bonsai remain among the most highly prized.

Embraced by the Japanese

It wasn’t until the 12 th century that the Japanese began to adopt bonsai, as they did many other Chinese art forms. The art and technique of dwarfing trees became popular with Zen Buddhists, and for many years was restricted to the religious seclusion of monasteries. The art of bonsai eventually evolved outside the monastery walls, however, and became a symbol of prestige and honor among Japanese aristocrats.

By the 17th century, bonsai had become one of the most preferred of all the Japanese arts, and had far surpassed its development as an art form in China . Eventually, bonsai trees were brought indoors by the Japanese elite, at first to be displayed on special occasions. Eventually they would become integral to the tokonoma, a place in the Japanese home where valuable ornaments and prized possessions are displayed.

It wasn’t long before the art of bonsai permeated all of Japanese culture and became common even among the public. Now firmly established in the culture and traditions, bonsai began to take on diverse styles. Artists strived to introduce unique elements to their bonsai plants, including rocks, supplementary landscapes, and small buildings or bon-kei. With the bonsai’s cultural boom, the artistic possibilities were almost limitless.

The bonsai moves west

It wasn’t until the middle of the 19 th century that the art of bonsai opened up to the rest of the world, after centuries of isolation in Japan despite the cultural boom. Travelers who visited Japan raved about the miniature trees in ceramic containers that mimicked the age and weathered appearances of full-grown trees in nature. Exhibitions began to appear in London , Vienna , and France , including the Paris Word Exposition in 1900.

The world’s eyes were open, and The Japanese learned to capitalize very quickly.

Nurseries were dedicated to slowly grow, train, and export bonsai, and different species were being trained that were more suited for worldwide climates and artistic tastes. At the end of World War II, interested in bonsai was sparked in the U.S. when soldiers returned from Japan with the trees in tow. It became an invaluable opportunity for Japanese Americans, whose knowledge was important to Americans eager to learn the art.

The bonsai as “modern art”

Today, for better or for worse, bonsai trees can be found in department stores, garden centers, and nurseries, and are even sold over the Internet. It has grown to become a widely respected horticultural art form in the U.S. , South Africa , and Australia . But even as the popularity of bonsai reaches greater heights, one thing has not changed. As an art form, it represents the harmony between man, the soul, and nature. It is a philosophy with centuries-old roots that still defines this ancient yet somehow modern art form.

DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Thunderstruck Bonsai. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. Happy bonsai gardening.

Stay Calm, Cool and Collected with Your Bonsai Tree

Stay Calm, Cool and Collected with Your Bonsai Tree

Are you looking for a low-impact way to relax after a long day of work? Would you like to invest in an inexpensive hobby that doesn’t involve heavy activity, discussion, debate or weights?

Bonsai Trees Make Good Company

Training and tending a bonsai tree is stress-free, rewarding hobby that does not have to be done in a hurry. Growing bonsai is a chance to relax your grip, step back and enjoy the natural beauty of plant life from the comfort of your own home. Just like working with wood, letting a good wine age or learning a new language, there is no point in trying to rush. Similar to your spaghetti sauce recipe, the final product is better when you add a few ingredients at a time and let the sauce sit to stew in its own juices.

Bonsai Trees Produce Results with Minimal Effort

Bonsai gardening is a slow relaxing process that provides results over a longer period of time. The nice thing about it is that you don’t have to re-organize your schedule should your day become too full with last minute obligations. The bonsai will not suffer an adverse effect if you don’t have time to get to it on a particular day. It takes a few seasons to create a beautiful bonsai, and they can live for hundreds of years.

Indoor Bonsai Trees are Easier to Keep

Bonsai are generally classified as either outdoor bonsai tree or indoor bonsai trees. Plants that are naturally tropical or subtropical are used for indoor bonsai trees. This is because they can be treated to the same temperature and light patterns all year. Outdoor bonsai are hardy plants that need a winter rest period at a specific temperature each year in order to survive. They cannot be kept indoors continually because outdoor bonsai trees are typically accustomed to the variations produced by changes in weather – like their natural habitat.

Bonsai Trees Flourish with Simple Care

Regardless of its classification, all bonsai trees need a regular schedule of water, sunlight and a bit of food. They are adaptable and can be pruned, shaped and subjected to various manipulations and dwarfing methods. You don’t have to get tied up in studying the ancient art of bonsai in order to produce your own tiny tree.

All Trees from Bonsai Outlet are Nursery Grown

Gardening with bonsai trees is a great way to slow down and relax in today’s fast-paced world. If your interest in bonsai is simply to admire it, and you are not sure where to start, try a starter bonsai tree from Bonsai Outlet. All the trees featured at Bonsai Outlet are indoor starter trees which are the easiest bonsai trees to raise.

The Bonsai Outlet provides a bonsai survival booklet with every tree. This basic care information is specific to your tree and is designed to help you with watering and trimming your bonsai tree. With these booklets to give you guidance, every bonsai tree from the Bonsai Outlet is perfect for beginners!

DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Thunderstruck Bonsai. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. Happy bonsai gardening.