The Origin of Bon-Sai 盆栽
Bon-sai, often misspelled as banzai or bonzai, is a miniature tree grown in a pot by using artificial methods to control its growth. It’s true definition means Tree in a Pot.
The Bon-sai has been around for thousands of years originated in China and eventually made its way into the Japanese Culture. Originally only the elite of the society practiced pun-tsai with native-collected specimens and the trees where spread throughout China as luxurious gifts.
During the Kamakura period, the period in which Japan adopted most of China’s cultural trademarks, the art of growing trees in containers was introduced into Japan.
These are a couple of my favorite styles
Informal Upright Bonsai style
The informal upright style is common in both nature and in the art of Bonsai. The trunk grows upright roughly in the shape of a letter ‘S’ and branching occurs at every turn. Tapering of the trunk must be clearly visible, with the base of the trunk thicker than the higher portion.
Semi-Cascade Bonsai style
The semi-cascade style, just like the cascade style, is found in nature on cliffs and on the banks of rivers and lakes. The trunk grows upright for a small distance and then bends downwards and to the side.
Unlike the cascade style, the semi-cascade trunk will never grow below the bottom of the pot. The crown is usually above the rim of the pot while subsequent branching occurs below the rim.
Location: Remember bonsais are actually mini trees. To keep it healthy and growing, place your bonsai outdoors or somewhere close to the window where it may receive plenty of sunlight.
Water: When the top soil of your Bonsai is complete dry, water it carefully. Don’t drown it, but make sure it gets soaked equally with enough water.
Pruning: Trimming your Bonsai is an art form and to most a mediative stress relief project. It takes time and practice and should not be rushed.
Use a Bonsai trimming tool and not regular scissors (you wouldn’t get a hair cut with random scissors, would you?). Do not be afraid to prune your Bonsai; it is important, especially in the outer and top areas, to prune regularly in order to force the tree to distribute growth more evenly.
The ultimate goal of growing a Bonsai is to create a miniaturized but realistic representation of nature in the form of a tree.
Price Range: You will find bonsai trees for a variety of prices from $50 to $1000, and sometimes even more.
Bonsai trees make a unique and thoughtful housewarming or hostessing gift instead of flower or wine.
Popular Bonsai Designs
Bonsai at it’s best on Pinterest