The Japanese word “Bonsai” 盆栽 translates as “tray planting” in English. As you may know it is the centuries old Japanese art form of growing, tending and nurturing trees grown in containers. Bonsai is simple in purpose – the contemplation of the viewer and the pleasing effort of the grower – however it is very difficult in execution.
The practice of cultivating bonsai integrates a number of methods either exclusive to the art of bonsai or, if used in other forms of husbandry, applied in unusual ways that are particularly apposite in the area of bonsai cultivation. These techniques include:
Leaf trimming, the selective removal of leaves (for most varieties of deciduous tree) or needles (for coniferous trees and some others) from a bonsai’s trunk and branches.
Pruning the trunk, branches, and roots of the candidate tree.
Wiring branches and trunks allows the bonsai designer to create the desired general form. As a result you can make detailed branch and leaf placements.
Clamping using mechanical devices for shaping trunks and branches.
Grafting new growing material (typically a bud, branch, or root) into a prepared area on the trunk or under the bark of the tree.
Defoliation, which can provide short-term dwarfing of foliage for certain deciduous species.
Traditionally, bonsai are temperate climate trees grown outdoors in containers. Kept in the artificial environment of a home, these types of bonsai trees will weaken and die. However there are a number of tropical and sub-tropical tree species will survive, grow and thrive indoors. Some of these tropical and sub-tropical species are suited to bonsai aesthetics. Therefore you can shape them much as you would a traditional outdoor bonsai.
In terms of longevity according to Bonsai Dude, a bonsai has the same lifespan as its parent tree. Consequently some trees slowly wither away once they reach a 100 years of age, while other species in the wild can live up to 5,000 years.
Indeed there is a bonsai currently living in U.S. National Arboretum in Washington, D.C that was first planted in Japan in 1625. Even more remarkably this Bonsai survived the nuclear attack on Hiroshima, being housed at the time just 2 miles down the road! Truly remarkable.
To browse my unique range of artificial bonsai for your aquarium please click here or click on the images below.
I love Bonsai’s, they’re like tiny little trees!