Far more than is apparent on the Internet. The Internet community actually makes up a very small percentage of actual bonsaists, we are the minority. Every day I talk to people who practice bonsai and who never go on-line, even some of our greatest artists do not frequent the Internet.
Hi Will, I wasn't referring to the internet per se.....but to the entire Bonsai community worldwide. IMHO I think its flourishing everywhere (but I did read recently it isn’t in Japan) and it’s not just us baby boomers either, although I wouldn't be surprised if we make up a greater percentage of the total in the western world.
Some day all the Japanese will grow and style will be shohins and chuhins, they are about the only size that can be snuck in, wooo, I said a bad word, something you never hear being discussed in elite bonsai circles. You can buy anything you want under 15". Where do you think all these shohin trees are coming from, like the ones on ebay and certain dealers that deal in shohin trees only. I hope the government isn't listening in, if they are my name is Al Keppler.
Any links to some sellers who ship to the states?This small part from preparing plants for importation. Remember there are still some individual rules governing certain points of entry, like California. But for the most part seedlings under two years of age and rhododendrons, (givin an extra year due to slow growing) are exempt due to not having lived long enough to have bug like pathogens.
Quote from article;
Preparing Plant Material for Import
It is important that the person, agency, or business from which you will be receiving material follow certain guidelines in preparing plant material for export to the United States. Failure to comply with these rules may result in the refusal of entry to your plant material.
All plant material must be clean and free of sand, soil, or leafmold. Rooted material must be bareroot ; that is, in general there should be no residue of the medium in which the plant was grown left on the roots. This may be true even if the plants were grown in "sterile" media such as vermiculite or perlite. Certain exceptions are made to this rule and are detailed in the regulations booklet which accompanies your plant import permit. For example, epiphytic orchids established on tree fern slabs, coconut husks or coconut fiber may be imported on this media.
Plants must be packed in approved materials only. Some common approved materials include ground peat, sphagnum, pulp-free vegetable fibers such as coconut (NOTE: sugarcane and cotton are prohibited), osmunda fern, woodwool (excelsior), wood shavings, sawdust, cork, buckwheat hulls, and vermiculite.
Any wrapping or coating on the plant material that interferes with inspection or treatment may cause entry refusal.
Size-age limitations. In general, plants cannot be more than two years of age from propagation. Certain slow-growing genera ( Rhododendron , for example) are allowed a third year. Dwarf or miniature forms of woody plants less than 12 inches tall (measured from the soil line) and bonsai are exempt from this rule. Cactus cuttings may not be over 6 inches in diameter and 4 feet in length. Cacti, cycads, vuccas, agaves, dracaenas, and palms may not be taller than 18 inches measured from the soil line to the furthest terminal growing point. Cane cuttings without leaves, roots, or branches (for example, Dracaena fragrans massangeana ) cannot be over 4 inches in diameter and 6 feet long. Herbaceous perennials shipped in the form of root crowns or clumps cannot be more than 4 inches in diameter.
Certain species from tropical sources must be defoliated before or upon entry.
All material must be labelled to genus, species and variety (if applicable). If scientific names are not available, a well-known English common name may be sufficient.
Invoices . For cargo importations, APHIS requires that a copy of the invoice be filed when entry through Customs is made. Additionally, a packing list must be placed in each container or a copy of the invoice placed in container number one. These invoice copies are in addition to those required by other agencies or individuals (e.g, Customs, a broker, yourself). If the plants are being mailed, one copy of the invoice must be placed inside at least one of the packages. Mark the appropriate package "Invoice Enclosed" where it can be seen easily.
Phytosanitary Certificate . It is essential that imported plant material be certified by the proper plant inspection agency in the country of origin, and a phytosanitary certificate issued. For cargo importations, the original of the phytosanitary certificate must be attached to the Customs entry documentation. A copy of the certificate may also be affixed to each container. If importing by mail, the original certificate must be enclosed in one of the packages, and a copy attached to the outside of each.
Importing by mail . Plants may be sent to the United States by letter post, parcel post, air parcel post, and other classes of mail. Unlike some other means of shipment, a bonded carrier (broker) is not needed to deliver the material to an APHIS inspection center. Overall, mail shipment does provide for a less complicated movement of the material from its point of origin to its final destination, but it can be very costly for large shipments. Reliability and other characteristics of air parcel post may differ from country to country. For example, some types of air parcel post revert to surface transport as soon as the material arrives in the United States; other types maintain air movement of the material all the way to its final destination. It is best to consult your foreign exporter as to the best class of mail shipment to use. Letter rate airmail (air all the way from point of origin to destination) may be useful for small packages of valuable cuttings or seed. Even for larger shipments, the cost for letter rate airmail may be competitive with air express freight. Parcels sent letter-rate airmail should be marked: "This parcel may be open for inspection."
Happy Holidays, Al