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Bonsai Tree Care
Home  > Tree Care  > Bonsai Tree Care

Bonsai Tree Care Information

bonsai tree care1

bon-sai noun

  • ornamental potted tree or shrub dwarfed by pruning, and trained to grow in different shapes
  • the art of growing ornamental trees or shrubs in pots



Japanese for “Tray Planting” living dwarf trees or shrubs.  Additionally, the specialty of pruning and developing them in pots.  Typically, bonsai tree examples are regular trees and shrubs, not a dwarf variety.  When you bonsai a tree, you are dwarfing the plant through a variety of pruning and branch training techniques.  Pruning will involve removing branches and roots, while training will involve tying wire to branches.  The bonsai craft originated in China, but was sought after and perfected by the Japanese.
Inspiration for the bonsai tree was found in nature, in trees that develop in brutal, rock places.  They become dwarfed and gnarled over time, because of the environment they grow in.
Prized attributes for a mature bonsai tree are an aged weather worn trunk, with exposed weathered upper roots.  Bonsai trees may live for more than a century, and are passed on as an esteemed family belonging, from one generation to the next.  Bonsai pots are normally pottery and can vary in shape and size.  They are precisely designed to correspond in color and size of the tree.
A big business in the Japanese nursery industry includes bonsai trees.


Bonsai - Planting in trays or low sided pots.  from bon, a tray or low sided pot, and sai, a plant or plantings.  Bonsai is a Japanese fine art utilizing smaller than normal trees developed within these small pots.  Comparative practices exist in different societies, incorporating the Chinese convention of penjing, from where the art originated.  The Japanese tradition dates back more than a thousand years, and has its own traditions as well.

“Bonsai” is a Japanese articulation of the prior Chinese word penzai.

The reasons for bonsai are to ponder (for the viewer) and the calming practice, exercise and ingenuity of the grower, or artist.  In relation to other plant practices, the bonsai is not intended for food, medicine or creating gardens and parks.  Instead, the art of the bonsai is for long term development.  What teaches more patience than watching a tree grow?  All done through the proper care of your bonsai tree.

A bonsai tree starts with a cutting, seed, or small tree species which would be suitable for bonsai tree development.  Once the bonsai artist receives their specimen, their legacy begins.  Usually a good source for a bonsai tree is any type perennial woody tree or shrub.  Some species of tree or shrub are better suited for the bonsai development because of their small leaves or needles.  This helps them in the aesthetics of the future tree.

Once the tree or shrub reaches its intended sized, it is transferred to the pot or tray for the remainder of its existence.  This pot is usually one designed specifically for the use of bonsai display.  After the bonsai tree has been transfered to the final pot it is the responsibility of the bonsai artist to shape and grow their tree into a thing of beauty.  This is done by restricting how large the tree can grow, through a variety of root pruning and branch pruning techniques.  Wire is also incorporated into the growing of your bonsai tree.


For more information about getting started with your own bonsai tree, please check out one of the books on bonsai tree care. 








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