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Bonsai Trees

from: Andrew Green

What are Bonsai trees?

Many people think of tiny little Japanese trees cut and pruned
to a miniature size but literally speaking Bonsai means 'plant
in a tray' and while they are smaller than their wild
counterparts they don't have to be a couple of inches tall; they
can be grown in a pot in the garden and will be smaller than
their wild counterparts.

Misconceptions about Bonsai trees.

Many people believe that training Bonsai trees is a cruel
pastime because the cultivator starves the tree and cuts it to
such an extent that it becomes unhealthy. Quite the reverse is
usually true; while they are cut and pruned quite heavily to
keep them to the size of the pot, they are usually transferred
from pot to pot regularly and are fed and watered much more
often than their wild cousins.

Contrary to belief, Bonsai trees do not originate from Japan,
but there are records dating back more than 2000 years that show
Bonsai being grown in China. These Bonsai weren't as small as
the Bonsai that people often envisage and were grown on an
individual basis outdoors in pots. It was, though, the Japanese
that took this art form and progressed it to the level it is at
now. This has led to quite different styles in Japanese and
Chinese Bonsai; the Chinese Bonsai being much more freestyle and
more lightly pruned than the Japanese miniature Bonsai that are
very heavily groomed and pruned and look much more like
miniature natural versions of the full sized versions.

Bonsai trees do not live shorter lives than wild trees. They
regularly live for many centuries and are traditionally passed
down from generation to generation of family. They lead nearly
exactly the same length lives as their wild cousins and are
often much healthier because of the attention they receive.

The advantages of growing Bonsai.

Not everyone has a large garden where they can plant numerous
trees and let them grow as big as they want, and even those who
do have large gardens still need to wait for many years before
the tree becomes truly established. By growing Bonsai you don't
need any more room than the size of your pot and because you
only need them to grow to much smaller proportions it really is
accessible for anyone who is interested in growing Bonsai trees.
You can even grow them inside if you can recreate the correct
conditions for the tree you want to grow.

Growing Bonsai trees can fast become an addictive hobby and
requires attention to detail, foresight of how the tree will
grow and plenty of time and care. You will undoubtedly feel
massive satisfaction if you decide to grow Bonsai and are any
good at it.

About the author:

Bonsia HQ, for lots of information about
looking after your bonsai.



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