A Growing Trend: Bonsai Trees
The planting and caring for Bonsai Trees has become a popular artistic trend for many gardeners. The Bonsai is a Japanese art of growing miniature trees in small containers. The art of creating bonsai trees is a form of contemplation for those who view it, as well as a challenging and exciting exercise for the gardener. The purpose of bonsai plants is to create a long term plant that involves constant shaping and cultivation, as opposed to growing for food or medicinal purposes.
When creating a bonsai plant, there is a lot of care and cultivation that goes into it. This article covers many of the tools and techniques that foster the care and growth of these plants over time. Once the bonsai skill is understood, keeping these plants alive is actually a fun and exciting hobby!
The cultivation of a bonsai plant begins with choosing the plant. The source material will not come from the growth of a seed, but from a mature plant. Gathering these materials often come from these ways:
- Propagation from a source through layering or cuttings
- Stock available from a nursery
- From commercial bonsai growers
- Collecting the material from the original wild location, moving it, and successfully transplanting it.
There are many techniques that are used when it comes to bonsai cultivation. Leaf trimming involves removing leafs or needles from the stem of the plant. Pruning the trunk removes all branches and roots from the candidate tree. Wiring branches and trunks will help to create the shape and form of the tree. Clamping devices are important for shaping the trunk. These techniques are all useful for creating the shape and style of the bonsai, as well as helping to foster the maintenance of the plant.
Bonsai trees grow in small containers, and need specialized care. Trees, in the wild, have roots that grow deep and spread widely. However, a bonsai version of that tree cannot have roots which spread like wild trees do. Therefore there are some important techniques that need to be maintained to keep the plant alive and healthy. Here are some helpful hints:
- Water the plant regularly, based upon the requirements of the plant.
- Re-potting is a necessity based upon the age and vigor of each plant
- There are tools that have been developed to properly maintain a bonsai
- Soil composition and fertilization must be specialized to the needs of the plant. Most bonsai soils are loose and fast draining.
- The location and the wintering of the plant are important; few bonsai varieties can survive inside a typical house.
The aesthetic of the bonsai art is a growing trend among many countries, and although there is some variation, most of the techniques stay true to the Japanese practice. The traditional practices allow a gardener to have a plan, to help ensure a successful plant. The bonsai aesthetic includes these key techniques:
- The bonsai practice included miniaturization; these trees are kept small enough to live in containers.
- Proportioning is important with bonsai planting. It is important that the plant look like they would naturally, just on a smaller scale. Make sure the leaves are in proportion to the size of the tree as well as the trunk.
- Bonsai trees should foster asymmetry
- The artist should not leave his mark; the tree should not look like the artist has worked hard on it. Keep wiring hidden and if a branch is removed make sure the scar is covered.
- Bonsai creations should contain poignancy
When it comes to creating a bonsai tree, this article addressed many helpful hints that will aid in the creation of the bonsai, as well as its long term maintenance and general care. This hobby can be a very satisfying and rewarding experience for the gardener, a form of art that is totally different from other types of gardening.