“THE OBJECT IS NOT TO MAKE THE TREE LOOK LIKE A BONSAI, BUT TO MAKE THE BONSAI LOOK LIKE A TREE.”

BONSAI


Bonsai” Akirafutokoro prince (706 AD).

INTRODUCTION :

“BONSAI” is a fascinating art-form that combines horticultural techniques and Asian aesthetics in a unique way. The art originates in the Chinese empire and was copied and adapted by the Japanese to what we know now as Bonsai trees. Literally translated “bon- sai” means “planted in a container”.

DEFINATION AND MEANING :

The word “Bon-sai” is a Japanese term which, literally translated, means “planted in a container.”This art form is derived from an ancient Chinese horticultural practice, part of which then re developed under the influence of Japanese Zen Buddhism. It has been around for well over a thousand years. The ultimate goal of growing a Bonsai is to create a miniaturized but realistic representation of nature in the form of a tree. Bonsai are not genetically dwarfed plants, in fact, any tree species can be used to grow one. “Bon" (left character) is a dish or thin bowl (“a modified vessel which has been divided or cut down from a deeper form”). “Sai”(right character) is a tree or other growing plant which is planted – “planted”, as would be a halberd or spear or pike stuck into the ground. “Bonsai” thus means or denotes “a tree which is planted in a shallow container”.

HISTORY OF BONSAI :

The Chinese started creating miniature landscapes over 2000 years ago. The further the reproduction was in size from the original, the more magically potent it was likely to be. During the KAMAKURA period (700 years ago) the Japanese copied the art-form and from that moment on, a distinctive Japanese style emerged. Instead of entire landscapes, the Japanese started growing individual trees. These trees are what we know as BONSAI today.

BONSAI TECHNIQUES


Some of the important techniques for growing Bonsai are: 1) PRUNING 2) WIRING 3) REPOTTING

1) PRUNING :

Branches are pruned with the help of scissors and other tools which are helpful for pruning are used to adjust the shape of the tree. When we start pruning a young Bonsai for first time particular care should be taken because the basic shape and style can be decided then. When the tree gets older, branches are cut to achieve a better balance, such as Direction, Density, and Length of the branches. They are living plants in a point of they can become bigger if no pruning done. Pruning helps the tree to control it’s size. The branches are pruned vary depending on the type of plant. A Bonsai that is nearly fully grown is pruned to maintain and enhance its beauty. Proper way of pruning makes the tree to grow healthy and allows to receive plenty of sun and air.


Tools used for pruning



After pruning

2) WIRING :

Wiring is attaching wires to trunk and branches to create a desired curve or a turn. Mostly Aluminum and Copper are commonly used. Aluminum is mostly suited for beginners. Wires are available more than 10 different thicknesses because they are used based upon the size and hardness of the branch. Wires are usually wrapped from the trunk to lower branches and then upper branches. If the wires left for a long time the plant gets injured. So Bonsai growers should be careful when removing the wires. Wiring is a way to help a tree reach its full potential.


Wiring in a tree


3) REPOTTING :

The key to having a healthy bonsai is to keep its roots fit. Regular Repotting is required in which the over grown roots can be pruned and planted in the new soil. The bonsai should be freed from the pot, and should carefully removed from the roots. The roots should be trimmed one-third. When replanting, carefully watch not to leave any air pockets in the soil. When the pot becomes filled with roots, the tree's growth becomes stunted, and it becomes harder for the plant to absorb water and air through the soil. Repotting can increase a Bonsai’s longevity.