Bonsai Heresy: Errata

For those who have already bought Bonsai Heresy, thank you. The book is now in its second printing. In that reprint we corrected a few errors. 

Here are some corrections: 

  • on page 105 I inadvertently suggested that ponderosa is one of the single-flush pines you can pinch; I don’t advise that
  • on page 151 I suggest using muriatic acid for lowering pH; acetic acid is better, no chance of chlorine burn
  • on page 166 I tell a story about fish emulsion, which we’d used for a bit while seeking options to fertilizer cakes (a favorite snack of local critters); this suggested I prefer fish emulsion…in fact for bonsai I prefer a solid fertilizer due to the pinpoint levels possible for varying specimen needs, and for the leaching issues of watering and rainfall

If you have the first printing (2020), no worries, those are your main corrections. The rest were indignities to English.

When I got my advance copy of Bonsai Heresy in 2020, I also got a local stout and sat down to enjoy the fruits of my labor. I then wrote this on the inside, proof the stout was working. 

After the usual 2022 global delays—some of them comic, one of them (a geopolitical semantics thriller) I’m not released to tell yet—Stone Lantern now has the 2022 Bonsai Heresy reprint available for sale. While Heresy may be available at your local bonsai retail store (please encourage this!), online the only source is Stone Lantern

June 2022 Bulletin Board:

  • Interested in accents? Learn the accent plant styles (not just mine), how to design them, the many ways of creating them (including the “ikebana” method), and maintenance and display in our 3-hour online course, Saturday, July 16. And, it’s spy-themed: Wild For Accents This is the most popular Seasonal-lite we offer, sign up early! Send an email to


  1. mrmurt says:

    When you know more, do better. And you do..

  2. John Wiessinger says:

    Thanks for sharing your errata – I’ve noted in my book!! I regularly recommend your book to our club members – extremely helpful for both beginner and old-timers.

  3. Joe G says:

    Hi Michael,

    As a horticulturist and dedicated bonsai nut, I really loved reading the book, I found out a lot I do right! Many thanks and congrats on another job well done. Incidentally I’m also a “Joe Harris” who loves satsuki and white pines, although Harris is my middle name 😉

    All the best from Ontario, Canada.

  4. Gert says:

    Hi Michael,

    Any specific supplier of acetic acid you’d recommend? Or are all of the options available for sale pretty similar?

    Thank you!

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