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Tom Lau

Hometown: Pomona, California

How long have you been interested in bonsai?

I have long been interested in bonsai as early as 1985. While channel surfing as a kid, a PBS special was on T.V. describing the methods and tools used in designing these trees really appealed to me. Through the years the re-runs of the movie "Karate Kid" has always reminded me the love that was still buried there. Approximately, in 2010 I came across a family owned nursery called, "Mt. Fuji Nursery" in Upland, California. There I saw several examples of bonsai and randomly asked if there was anybody that gave bonsai lessons. Lindsay Shiba responded back yes, but the class was full until the fall. I have been studying under Lindsay Shiba ever since.  

Do you have a specialty, resource or method that you would like to share?

I'm been specializing in flowering and fruiting bonsai for the past 3 years. I just enjoy the additional detail that flowers or fruit add to the overall appearance of the tree. I do have a fascination with quinces of all types. I also have been specimen collecting over the same period of time.

One resource that I have to share with everybody is to go shopping around and see what every vendor has. This way you know what is a fair price and what type of stock is out there. Along the way, you never know what friends you have made. 

Find a friend in the club and always do things with them. I can not say how much fun Big Joe and I get into. He has been my shopping buddy, traveling buddy, digging buddy, and watch my back buddy ever since we started bonsai with Lindsay in 2010.

What other hobbies do you have?

Rock collecting as Greg puts it Suiseki, Arts and Crafts Era Antiques and Art, anything science related, and traveling.

What are your favorite type(s) of trees?

Flowering Quince

Princess Persimmon

Japanese Maples

Trident Maples


What are your favorite bonsai style?

Hokidashi - Broom

Kabudashi - Multi-Trunk

Sekijoju - Root over rock

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