Bonsai Magazines


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I was thinking of getting a subscription to a bonsai magazine and was wondering what was out there for the US and which ones would the community recommend. Also, if you know where some of the subscriptions can be obtained, that would be helpful as well. I've heard Bonsai Today is a great magazine but do they still publish current issues on a annual basis? Thanks in advance

Bonsai Today is gone, a couple of choices are Bonsai Focus, which is a combitnation of Bonsai Today, and Bonsai Europe, it's not bad. The other choice I throw out there is International Bonsai, by Bill Valvanis, after my script runs out w/ Bonsai Focus I am going to switch to I. B..

The American Bonsai Societies is pretty good as well.
In my opinion, International Bonsai is a very good journal- I dont' consider it a magazine though there is advertising in it.

I've subscribed to International Bonsai for many years now. The American Bonsai Society's Bonsai Journal is also excellent. I haven't seen the Bonsai Club's International magazine "Bonsai" for several years now, but it used to be too full of the group's internal affairs and had too little bonsai in it (also too much Suiseki for my taste).

You can subscribe to International Bonsai here:

You can Join ABS (and get the Journal) here:
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Thanks for the replies. I am just looking for a magazine with overall good material. Such as good articles, pictures, as well as some helpful hints or techniques. Later this after noon I will do a little more research on some of the suggestions that you guys have given me. Thanks again

I currently subscribe to International Bonsai, Bonsai Focus and the ABS magazine. My favorite is International Bonsai, which for me has the right level of information articles (species by species, etc.) and pictures of trees on exhibit. I've been very happy with this magazine. ABS is like International Bonsai in this regard, just a smaller magazine. For me, it's a bit less informative than IB.

Bonsai Focus to me seems to be less of a "how to" magazine, and more as a venue to showcase Europeans working on collected European conifers. So you get lots of pictures of the work in progress, which generally for me are not very helpful when it comes to close-up pictures of what they are doing (hard to get the context). The quality of the pictures is really good, but generally, this is more a magazine that gives information on artists (vast majority being European), European material (lots of articles are on collected mugos, sabina junipers and olives), and goings on in Europe than a more nuts and bolts of how to do bonsai magazine. Every now and then they surprise you with a good how to article, for example, last month I think they had one on JBP candle cutting, but otherwise, I'm debating whether to continue my subscription.
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I.B. has a great index too, so if you missed your type of tree, you can find and get the older back issues.
Sounds like International bonsai mag. should be good on a single 'target' species per issue magazine. Anyone know where I might be able to find some previous back issues? I tried eBay and Amazon but found nothing.

Sounds like International bonsai mag. should be good on a single 'target' species per issue magazine. Anyone know where I might be able to find some previous back issues? I tried eBay and Amazon but found nothing.


Why not email Bill V. and ask?

Actually this page from his site includes a link to order back copies.
Go to the address I gave earlier. You can get back issues there, too. Also, they're offered in every issue of the magazine.
International BONSAI features excellent educational articles and information on all aspects of Bonsai.
One of my favorite features are the Shohin articles with John Romano but there are many other treasures in each issue as well.The quality of the photography,the colors and even the paper its printed on are better than any other Bonsai magazine in my opinion.
While some other magazines seem to focus on close-up photo's of Bonsai people, at International Bonsai the attention is on the Bonsai.
Because of the Style specific or Species specfic editions, they become a constant resource that make them the most helpful feature of a personal Bonsai Library.

Thanks to all for your kind comments on International BONSAI. It takes a tremendous amount of work to produce each issue to the quality I demand. Articles must be researched, checked, translated, checked again, proofread five times and more. Then the photos must be adjusted to the right color balance and more. The 2011/NO. 1 issue was printed last week which required me to visit the printer eight times during one day to ensure the exact color reproduction needed to highlight the fine-quality bonsai featured in each issue. This is my 33rd year of publication and the current issue is the 129th issue.

Back copies are like a reference library. There is a current list of available issues on a pdf file in the web site. Most of the issue earlier than 1991 are no longer available because they are sold out or destroyed in our home fire last year.

Let me know if you have any questions.



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