Introduction: Growing a Bonsai
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Bonsai specimens are ordinary trees and shrubs, not hereditary dwarfs; they are dwarfed by a system of pruning roots and branches and training branches by tying with wire. The art originated in China, where, perhaps over 1,000 years ago, trees were cultivated in trays, wooden containers, and earthenware pots and trained in naturalistic shapes. Bonsai, however, has been pursued and developed primarily by the Japanese. The first Japanese record of dwarfed potted trees is in the Kasuga-gongen-genki, a picture scroll by Takashina Takakane.
Step 2: Bonsai Styling and Shaping
Bonsai styling and shaping
Over the years many styles to classify Bonsai trees have been advanced, closely resembling circumstances in nature. These styles are open to personal interpretation and creativity, meaning that trees do not necessarily need to conform to any form. Still, the styles are important to gain a basic understanding of shapes and should serve as guidelines to successfully train miniature trees.
Remove weeds and the surface soil so you can see where the main roots for your tree start. If your plant is in a black Pb bag, cut the top of the bag away, this will allow you to see how much trunk you have before the first branch.
Take a sharp pair of pointed scissors and remove any dead wood or old leaves. Then remove any leaves growing from the bottom of the branches.
Stop and look. Have you decided which side will be the front yet? The front should have the first main branch growing about 1/3 of the way up your tree to the left or right. Try to find a branch that fits this description, that will narrow your angles down to two. From the front of your tree you should be able to see a lot of the trunk but still have branches at the back to give depth. (Remember you can remove branches to achieve this.) You should not have roots or branches coming straight out at you from the front of the tree. No two trees are alike and all are unlikely to fit this description perfectly but keep all these factors in mind when deciding.
Choose the branches you wish to use in your design. It is common for beginners to retain too much foliage, remember you want your plant to look like a tree not a manacured shrub. The gaps between the foliage are just as important as the foliage itself. The first branch is 1/3 of the way up your tree to the left or right and the next branch should be slightly above and out to the other side. Avoid if possible branches that are opposite and at the same height. This is called a bar branch and is undesirable. The third branch should be at the back and slightly higher again. Follow this pattern as best you can up your tree. When you have choosen which branches will remain, remove all the unwanted branches. The basic shape of your tree should be triangular. It can be any shaped triangle but must conform to that basic shape. Lightly trim your remaining branches so they are longer at the base of the tree and shorter towards the top. You should now have the basic outline of your tree.
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Step 3: Suitable Atmosphere,soil and Other Conditions.
If your bonsai needs to grow much faster you should Keep it on a place with good atmosphere.
For the first case you should know that most trees do better with morning and afternoon sun. There must always be a source of sunlight near the bonsai. If there are walls around your tree you should consider moving its position once in a while or it’ll start growing on the side in which the sun hits it directly.me.
There’s no specific schedule or routine for watering a bonsai. The best way to know how often you should irrigate it’s to constantly check the soil: It should never be completely dry. Try to keep it moist and wet but be careful not to overwater it because it can harm its roots..
bonsai seed When you grow a bonsai from seed, you’ll have to wait until the tree is germinated and strong enough to be treated as a bonsai (remember there are no bonsai “special” seeds, all miniature trees grow from regular seeds).
Just like real trees, bonsais can be affected by pests and diseases. You must check constantly for these uninvited guests. Viruses, fungus, insects and plagues are all common problems when you grow a bonsai. Some insects may be beneficial for your miniature tree, like worms and ladybugs. You must only remove the ones that affect it negatively, like grasshoppers.
CARE FOR BONSAI
If it is your first time with a miniature tree, we always recommend getting a prebonsai and plant another by seed at the same time..
Every once in a while you must repot your miniature tree. It’s one of the most important steps when it comes to bonsai care. This is needed because at some point the roots are going to grow extensively and the pot is going to be way too small for them. If the plant container become in what’s known as pot-bound, meaning that the root system have fill the pot, then the bonsai may be harmed..
As part of your bonsai care, you should fertilize it constantly during spring, summer and early fall. Those months are known as the growing season. There’s special bonsai fertilizer, but you can also use an average one. .
Step 4: GROW TREES FROM SEEDS AS BONSAI CULTIVATION TECHNIQUE
Bonsai seeds, in Japanese: “Misho”
Growing Bonsai from tree seeds can be very rewarding and gives you full control from the earliest stage possible. Although it takes a long time (at least three years) before you have a tree you can start working on, this is the only way to grow a Bonsai right from the start! First of all, seeds need to be obtained; you can collect these from trees in your surroundings or you can choose to buy them in an (online) shop. Keep in mind that there is no such thing as special “Bonsai seeds” as Bonsai are created from normal trees.If you collect seeds from trees growing in your local area planting the seeds in autumn will do just fine, however, if you want to plant seeds out of the season (during springtime for example) or if you like to grow seedlings from trees not growing in your local climate, a process called "stratification" can be necessary. Stratification is the process of pretreating seeds to simulate natural winter conditions that a seed must endure before germination. For beginners this might be a bit complicated, so it is advisable to select a tree species that is suitable for your climate and simply plant it in the autumn, just like Mother Nature does!
Step 5: How to Grow Bonsai Trees From Seed
As mentioned previously, you can collect seeds from trees growing in your area in autumn. Seeds like chestnuts and acorns are easy to find in the forest. Seeds from conifers can be found inside pine-cones. Once you collect the pine-cones you need to store them in a warm place so they will release the seeds from between the scales. Seeds of various tree species are also easily available for purchase in (online) bonsai shops.
The best time to sow seeds is the autumn, this way you follow nature’s time schedule and the young seedling will have a full summer to grow after germinating in early spring. This also means you don't need to worry about stratification.
Step-by-step plan for sowing Bonsai seeds:
1. Choose a pot roughly 15 cm (6’’) deep with a hole for drainage.
2. The bottom layer (roughly ¼ of the pot) should consist of fine gravel and akadama (a type of clay you can purchase from a bonsai specialist) in a ratio of ½ to ½ (read the Bonsai soil article for more detailed information on soil mixtures for different species of trees, climates, etc.).
3. On top of the bottom layer put akadama, fine gravel and potting compost mixed together in a ratio of ½ to ¼ to ¼. This layer should fill the pot up to roughly 3 cm (1’’) below the rim (see photo 1, below).
4. Put the seeds (see photo 2, below) on top of the earth and place them 2 to 5 cm (about 1’’ - 2’’) apart, depending on the size of the seeds (see photo 3, below).
5. Cover the seeds with the same ground mixture used in step 3, (see photo 4, below).
6. Rinse a considerable amount of water over the seedbed, but be careful not to disturb the soil surface by using a fine nozzle.
Step 6: And Then? Aftercare
And then? Aftercare
Put the prepared seedbed outside on a bright position and keep it damp, but not wet. During the spring the Bonsai seeds will germinate, do not prune or repot the seedlings until the next spring. You can start using small quantities of fertilizer during the summer. After one year the seedlings can be separated and put in bigger pots; it will take at least three years of unrestricted growth before the seedlings are ready for their first training.
From seedling to Bonsai
Once you succesfully propagated trees from seed, the next step is to train the young seedlings throughout the years to become well shaped Bonsai trees. This will be a test of your patience, but it is a great way to style Bonsai trees without the need to prune thick branches (which is often inherent to styling Yamadori or nursery stock). But first, six images of a Criptomeria tree that was grown from seed into Bonsai over the course of 15 years.
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