Saturday, September 03, 2011


Last week, an old Asian man had a display of bonsai trees set up in an unused parking lot along Calumet Avenue in Manitowoc. He had three rows of various sizes on display for the passing cars to see, and a red sign with white letters that said, "Bonsai Trees" tied to the pole near the curb.

And as there was very little business, he sat in his van and waited for curious folks to come along and buy his baby trees.

The first day I saw him, I drove past, but took note. And the second day, I became one of those curious folks. Maybe the only one during the four days he was parked there.

I immediately found when I walked up to his display that bonsai trees are...expensive. He had several small three-year-old trees about the size of my fist for about $25 each, and the older and bigger they were, naturally the more expensive they were. Ten-year-old trees were between $70 and $80, and he had a few 25-year-old trees for about $250. All were untrimmed, unshaped...ready to be artistically developed.

I had my eye on a three-year-old tree, nothing older. With my barely green thumb, I wasn't going to chance an $80 purchase. I pictured the "Karate Kid" scene where Mr. Miagi is teaching Daniel how to trim and shape the trees (and how to pronounce the name: bone-sai, not bahhn-sai).

I walked away that day without a tree, pondering my possible purchase. For two days after, I'd announce to Jessica when I got home, "The bonsai tree dude is still there." And then...he wasn't.

I still want a bone-sai tree, though, someday.
And a tiny pair of scissors with which to trim it.

"The Japanese think of bonsai as representing
or evoking a larger tree."
—Tim Shea

1 comment:

  1. Tony (my hubby) has one in his office--it was $60 from Botanicals in FDL. He finds caring for it soothing. I find having a mate who wants to care for a tiny tree really sexy.

    So...maybe go find the elderly Asian man....just sayin'. :-)