An Introduction to Bonsai

Root Over Rock Style Bonsai
Squamata Set In Driftwoord Bonsai

The main definition of bonsai is a combination of both art and horticulture and the love of this is worldwide. There are many misconceptions about the craft. One of these is that they are tortured and starved trees. Nothing can be further from the truth. Actually, they are healthier than the trees in the ground because of the many regimes that the tree is put through e.g. cropping or trimming, root pruning and adjustment of branches by means of wiring. The health comes from all these processes plus feeding and fertilizing.

The techniques of Bonsai are no less cruel than that of any other horticultural practice but the result is far more rewarding.

The Japanese believe that bonsai is associated with Zen Buddhism as in it involves a combination of elements. Man, nature, earth, rock, water and trees. To our world now, bonsai is viewed as a hobby that allows a greater understanding of being with nature and also a way to enhance our gardens.

Bonsai can be developed from grafting, cuttings, established trees collected from nurseries or from the wild also starting from seed. These are then trained to establish the best health and then transplanted into containers. Most bonsai range in height from 5 centimetres (2 in.) to a metre (3.33 ft.). Bonsai are kept small and trained by pruning the branches and roots, by periodic repotting, by pinching off new growth, and by wiring the branches and trunk so that the desired shape is achieved.

Bonsai in eastern culture is considered a combination of heaven and elements of earth in one container. This creates harmony.

If proper love and care is given to your bonsai it can live for hundreds of years this has been proven by bonsai masters who have handed down both the craft and their trees from generation to generation. An example of this is in Omiya, Japan; Master Saburo Kato has a juniper aging 400 years old.

Bonsai are ordinary trees or plants; they are not hybrid or dwarf varieties. Any plant can be used. Small leaved trees are most preferable. The best examples of these are plum, azalea, pines, larch, Chinese elm, banksia serrata, conifers, e.g. Squamata, procumbens nana, shore juniper, cedris deodora, cedris atlantica.

Generally speaking, bonsai is something that is personalized and that there are no fixed rules. It is a commitment of time patient�s skill and pleasure. So take your time and enjoy your bonsai.

"Bonsai is the creation of living art and the blending of elements"

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