An Introduction To The Art Of Bonsai
If you are a gardener chances are you have heard of Bonsai trees. Growing them is truly an art form in and of itself.
The word means a tree in a container or tray. The art of Bonsai involves carefully and shaping trees so that they remain small and grow from the tray.
Because they are growing in a tray rather than outdoors, they need extra special care to remain small and to nurture.
Extremes of anything will inhibit its growth. The type of soil and temperature need to be monitored closely. A slight deviation either way may endanger the tree and may be counter productive.
If you over water the plant it will essentially drown and form fungi and the roots will rot. If you under water the tree, the roots will shrivel up and die.
The development of the tree involves a complete system that works together to help the tree develop or not. If one variable is off it could kill the tree.
There are a variety of styles which would denote the shape of the tree and how it will grow. A formal upright tree looks like a mini tree. It is the easiest to nurture and develop because there is very little experimentation needed to develop it. The lower two branches need to pruned so that they come forward slightly to provide balance. The trees easiest to work with for this style are Junipers and Spruce trees.
The style is very similar to the formal upright except the top curves to the left. The object is to have the tree look like it is moving. The best trees for this style are the Maple and Crab Apple tree.
The slanting Bonsai tree has a very obvious slant to either side. The lowest branch should be growing out on the opposite side of the slant to provide balance. They are known as leaners; similar to trees that may sway or grow because of wind or gravity to grow in a slanted position.
The cascade Bosai tree has an interesting look. The tree begins to grow upwards and then drops down below the container. This tree is a bit more challenging to grow because trees tend to grow up and not down, which is unnatural. It looks best planted off center.
A semi cascade Bonsai tree looks like a tree that started growing up straight and then cascades down. The cascade and the branches should lean slightly to the front, as this represents the front f the tree. The recommended trees for this style are the weeping willow and junipers.
Other styles are the literati and windswept. It is best to decide before you begin the process of planting the tree. If you change your mind, you will need to uproot it which could potentially damage the tree and cause it to die.