The description of Advanced Styling Techniques of Bonsai
Bonsai is the Japanese art of growing small trees in pots. This is done by growing the tree in a small pot or tray and pruning (cutting) the branches and roots to keep the tree small over time. Bonsai trees are trained to grow into a shape that is pleasing to look at. The best bonsai trees appear to be old, and to have a shape that seems like a real tree except much smaller.
The word bonsai means "tree in tray" in the Japanese language. Bonsai is a very old art form in Japan. It is a Japanese form of the older Chinese art called penjing. Penjing is a Chinese art form that also uses trees growing in pots. Other nations also have arts like bonsai and penjing.
People like bonsai because it is nice to look at, and because it is fun to grow a bonsai tree. A bonsai tree can live for a very long time, longer than a person can live. In a family, a bonsai might be started by a grandparent, then given to a parent, then given to a child over many years.
A bonsai starts with a small tree. This tree can be grown from a seed, or can be found already growing in a yard or a park or the forest. It can also be bought from a plant store.
To make the bonsai, the small tree is taken out of the ground. Its roots are carefully cleaned of dirt. The roots may be trimmed (cut) a little to help them fit in a small pot. The branches may also be trimmed to make the tree smaller. Then it is put in a bonsai pot, which has low sides. Fresh soil (dirt) is put in the pot to cover the bonsai tree's roots. Then it is watered and put outdoors to live.
Good trees to make into bonsai have small leaves (pine tree needles are leaves too). If the leaves are too big, the bonsai will not look like a small tree. A good bonsai tree will have old-looking bark and old-looking roots too.
Topics included in this section are defoliation, creating deadwood parts on a tree, working on the surface roots and trunk of a Bonsai and guides to create a Bonsai forest or rock planting.
Bonsai defoliation involves cutting all the leaves of a tree during the summer. In doing so you force the tree to grow new leaves, leading to a reduction in the size of leaves and an increase in ramification.
Deadwood on Bonsai
Creating deadwood on Bonsai, in the form of Jin or Shari, can enhance the tree's character significantly. A "Jin" is a bare-stripped part of branch and a "Shari" is a barkless part of trunk.
Surface roots (Nebari)
In Japanese: Nebari - A very important aspect of a Bonsai is its Nebari (or: root-flare), the surface roots that provide visual balance to a tree. Creating a Nebari can be done using two methods; by regularly pruning the downward growing roots or by applying a propagation technique; air layering. Both methods will be described in detail below.
The trunk of a Bonsai deserves specific attention, as it is one of the most eye-catching features of a tree. The following features will be discussed: The Nebari, tapering, thickness and overall shape of the trunk.
Bonsai rock planting
In Japanese: Seki-joju / Ishisuki - The sight of trees growing in or on rocks can be quite dramatic, as these trees have to struggle to find nutrients in a harsh environment. With Bonsai this kind of landscapes can be imitated, often using pine trees. This guide will describe in detail how to create a rock planting.
In Japanese: Yose-ue - Although Bonsai are often planted solitary, trees in nature are more commonly found in groups. Creating a Bonsai forest (or group planting) requires an odd number of trees (that is, in case only a few trees are used, to provide asymmetry), usually belonging to the same botanical family.
Advanced wiring techniques
Using wire, both aluminum and copper, for Bonsai art design is a relatively recent practice, dating from the 20th century.