Jerry Meislik has been a major influence in American bonsai since the 1980s. In additional to his international reputation for growing tropical and native North American species, Mr. Meislik is well known as a frequent demonstrator at clubs and conventions. He is the foremost experts on Figs (Ficus) and other tropical species. He is the author of over fifty magazine articles and his popular 2004 book Ficus: The Exotic Bonsai. Mr. Meislik has traveled extensively to study bonsai in Japan, Singapore, Malasia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Hong Kong. Most importantly he has a love of ficus for bonsai that began over 25 years ago. He still is an active teacher and has taught bonsai classes at the Flathead Valley Community College in Kalispell, Montana. His teaching approach has been compared to Socrates: he asked questions and solicited opinions, and then waited for answers. Wrong answers were gently corrected. Right answers were acknowledged, often with "Did you hear what he/she just said?" to the rest of those there. Jerry Meislik has been a director of the American Bonsai Society, Chair of the American Bonsai Society Editorial Board, and board member of the National Bonsai Foundation.
Growing tropical Bonsai is a challenging endeavor in the Midwest and Mr. Meislik has visited Milwaukee not only as a convention artist in 2006, but in 2016 to share his knowledge of about growing high-light tropical bonsai in cooler climates.