BONSAI RESOURCE LIST
In the Chicago Metropolitan Area


The most common question that I am asked is where you can buy bonsai in the Chicago-land area. Here is a list of resources that I’ve found. There are no dedicated bonsai stores in Chicago, and the best bonsai-specific shopping is still found at MBS’s shows in May and August at the Chicago Botanic Garden.

A few comments in advance:
• If you are a beginner, I do not recommend buying bonsai in the period from October 15 to April 15. It is very difficult to keep them alive during that period. This is due to watering problems, insect problems, fungus problems, and potential heat and light problems.

• Bonsai are usually trees that are kept small through training, trimming, and confined root systems. Bonsai are not just potted plants.

• Bonsai found at “big box stores” are typically glued into their pots with rocks on top. Please be aware of this, and if you choose to buy one take the rocks off immediately when you get home. The combination of glue and rocks is typically deadly to bonsai, and these trees will not live long.

• Bonsai trees may be classified as tropical, semi-tropical, or temperate zone (hardy). They should be treated accordingly. All bonsai should live outdoors from April 15 through late September. Temperate zone bonsai trees should live outdoors throughout the year. If that is not possible, you might consider looking for tropical or semi-tropical trees.

The following list has been arranged alphabetically:

B. C. BONSAI
Bonsai starters – hardy and tropical- $15 to $3000
Seedling to 40 year old trees. Large supply of tools, wire and pots
By appointment only
Linda Camp or Jim Beck
Call 630/690-0404

CHALET NURSERY
3132 Lake Av. Wilmette, IL
847/920-8200
Some trees, tools, soil. Quality of trees is weak. Price is high.
EXCELLENT NURSERY STOCK

GESTHEMANE GARDEN CENTER
5739 N. Clark St. Chicago, IL
773/878-5915
Trees from $40 to $350
Tools (as a sales person, they’re not on display), Soil, Pots

THE HIDDEN GARDENS
16W658 Frontage Rd. Hinsdale, IL
630/655-8283
Bonsai, Pots, soil, tools
CLOSED DEC.-APRIL

LURVEY’S GARDEN CENTER
2550 E. Dempster
Des Plaines, IL
847/824-7411 Jean Bragton
Starter Trees (I do not know more right now.)
EXCELLENT NURSERY STOCK

VERN GOERS GREEN HOUSE
5620 S. Oak St. Hinsdale, IL 60521
630/323-1085 (Dan Kosta)
Closed Sunday
Bonsai from $40 to $600 Some pots – no tools