The Japanese word "bonsai" means "tree in a pot," but don't let this simple descriptor fool you. To truly understand the many forms this ancient practice can take, get thee to Grove Way Bonsai Nursery. The Hayward nursery, which was started by bonsai master Johnny Uchida in 1971, is known for its large selection of hard-to-find species, many of which are decades, if not centuries, old. There's an eight hundred-year-old bonsai tree on the grounds, as well as a Japanese black pine that Master Uchida brought over on a plane from Japan in the late Sixties. The prices can range from a couple hundred to a thousand dollars, but at Grove Way, you're paying for quality: All of Grove Way's trees are cultivated and pruned for years by Master Uchida, who also teaches bonsai classes at the Castro Valley Adult School. His knowledge and helpful tips are other reasons why bonsai enthusiasts of all skill levels visit the store.
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