Frequently Asked Questions for BonsaiBench.com

Why BonsaiBench.com?

This site is designed to allow contributors to post recommendations specific to a species (or group of species) in their local climate. A user who is looking for bonsai care information will either find one from a user in the same zone or similar enough that he/she can translate the recommendation into their climate.

How do I use BonsaiBench.com?

For a page that explains how to use the site both to find information and to enter your knowledge to share with others, click on the link Using This Site at the bottom of any page.

If there are several care recommendations for a species, how do I choose one?

See Using This Site at the bottom of this page.

My friend just entered a care recommendation but I can't find it

Newly-entered information on this site is reviewed by an administrator before it is made public. The review is only to screen for offensive material. The user who created the content can immediately see and edit what they have entered prior to it being published, but other users can not.

How long does it take before information is made public?

Usually 24-48 hours or less.

What if I can't find what I'm looking for?

If the species you are looking for is not in the species list, then you should click on the ‘Add Species’ button and add it. If you want to create a care recommendation for that species, you can select it and proceed to create a care recommendation for it. After you indicate that it's ready to be published, the information will be made public.

What are hardiness zones?

The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone map was created as a means of grouping geographical areas together by their average annual minimum temperature. The original goal was to allow plants to be identified by hardiness zone so consumers could choose plants appropriate to their climate (i.e. those that are hardy enough to survive in their area). Each zone is based on a 10 degree Fahrenheit difference in minimum temperature. Higher zone numbers are warmer.

When care recommendations are displayed on this site the zone of the user who wrote it is indicated so that you can roughly estimate of the difference between their climate and yours. If the author’s zone is one lower than yours, they encounter lower minimum temperatures in winter and usually (but not guaranteed) a later spring, earlier fall and cooler summers.

This method of identifying a user’s climate is a very coarse measure of equating climates. It is not the only method; just one of the more widely available in the US. But no matter what method is used everyone still needs to read and understand the recommendations and apply them with intelligence.

If you are a user outside of the USA, you will need to ‘translate’ to North American hardiness zones. There are some zone maps for Europe, Australia, and other countries on the web if you do a Google search. I would have liked to have created some sort of translation between zones used by different countries, but in this first version we had to concentrate on a single means of mapping climates. I am open to feedback.

Organization Links

BonsaiBench.com stores a list of bonsai clubs and organizations as part of the site because we share a common goal of education and knowledge-sharing. Local clubs are promoted by displaying information for the bonsai clubs that are nearest to the user that is logged in. If your bonsai club or organization is not already in our directory, please submit the clubs information so that it can be included.

How Is This Site Supported?

I designed and had this site created because I think it’s a very interesting idea and as an intermediate-level bonsai person I wish I had the kind of information that I hope the site will generate. I believe it will only be successful as a free resource. If it reaches a level of use to justify it, I will add sponsor links in the right column below the organization links so that the site is self-supporting.

Terms of Use

This site is run as a collaborative effort. Content is freely uploaded and assumed to be entered with good intent, but you should use this information at your own risk.

If you put information on this site, we do not restrict your rights regarding the material.

To protect both your rights and ours, material aggregated on this site cannot be republished without our permission. An individual may republish their own information, but use of the calendar summary and other images and formatting from this site requires our permission.

This is great. How can I help?

If you are interested in helping this site become an actively-used knowledge resource, the most important thing you can do is to enter information about species you grow as bonsai and encourage the most experienced people you know to do the same. Also, if you are aware of bonsai clubs that are not listed in our organization directory please provide us with that information so they can be listed in our organizational links.

We welcome any suggestions or help anyone wants to offer. If you are interested in helping manage this resource, please send us an email.

Organizations
In order for us to find organizations close to you based on your zip code, please sign in or create an account.
Ann Arbor Bonsai Society
Meets at Matthaei Botanical Garden, 4th Wednesday of each month at 7:30pm.