Bonsai Trees Original Power Point Created by Stephanie Husak Modified by Georgia Agricultural Education Curriculum Office June 2002
Introduction Lets start by saying that bonsai trees are not genetically dwarfed plants, they are full size trees and are kept small by planting them in small planting pots. Given the proper care they can live for hundreds of years being passed on from generation to generation. Overall bonsai trees are something that are quite personalized and there are no strict rules to abide by. Only if you undertake it merely as a hobby which to gain enjoyment out of it.
Maintenance They are developed from seeds or cuttings, from young trees or naturally occurring stunted trees transplanted into containers. Bonsai are kept small by pruning branches and roots, by periodic repotting, by pinching off new growth, and by wiring branches and trunks so that they grow into the desired shape.
The bonsai first appeared in China over a thousand years ago on a very basic scale, known as the practice of growing single specimens. They displayed sparse foliage and rugged, gnarled trunks which often looked like animals, dragons and birds. In an ancient Japanese scroll written in Japan around the Kamakura period, it is translated to say: “To appreciate and find pleasure in curiously curved potted trees is to love deformity.” Whether this was intended as a positive or negative statement, it leaves us to believe that growing dwarfed and twisted trees in containers was an accepted practice. History
Tips to Remember • Bonsai is an Outdoor activity. Putting trees in pots doesn’t transform them into indoor plants. If you keep them inside they will die. • You will make mistakes, everyone does, learning and experience is the best teacher. • You will kill trees. That is the sad part of the activity, especially starting out. Learn from your mistakes and do your best to prevent them in the future. • Learn to care for different types of plants and grow your collection from their.
Watering More bonsai are lost due to improper watering than from any other causes. The length of time between watering can vary quite a bit depending on conditions such as humidity, soil moisture, and size of the pot. Bonsai should be watered every day or two. The best time is in the morning or late afternoon.
Repotting A bonsai must periodically be repotted to supply a pot-bound root system with fresh soil. It is also necessary to keep the root system balanced with the top growth. Most require repotting every two to three years and should be placed in specialized pots. This should be done in early spring. Do not let root system dry out while repotting and do not place in direct sun light for at least on week.
Fertilizing Feedings vary from plant to plant, A water-soluble fertilizer is usually applied every two to four weeks. Miracle grow and Mir-acid are commonly used, but check label directions for your tree. Do not feed right after repotting (wait 3-4 weeks). Don’t feed if the tree is in a sicken condition. Pre-moisten the plant soil first. Never fertilizer a very dry bonsai you’ll burn it’s roots and any decorative moss.
Trimming Pruning and Training Trimming and pruning are the means by which a bonsai is kept small. You should trim the tree when the new growth comes in the spring. It is important however never to remove all of the new growth. The roots are trimmed and the tree limbs are wound with annealed copper wire to assist the branches to grow in the special way you want.
The Desired Looks The tree and the pot from a single harmonious unit where the shape, texture and color of one complements the other. Then the tree must be shaped. Every branch and twig of a bonsai is shaped or eliminated until your shape is desired.
Formal Upright A tree with a style such as formal upright only occurs when it has grown in the open under perfect conditions. The most important requirement for this style is keeping the trunk perfectly straight.
Informal Upright In nature, these trees bend or alter their direction away from wind or shade. An informal upright bonsai the trunk should slightly bend to the left or right, but never towards the viewer. Neither the trunk or branches should be pointing towards the viewer.
Slanting Style Trees that slant naturally occur a result of really strong winds or deep shade during early development. Whether curved or straight, the whole trunk leans at a definite angle. The stronger roots grow out on the side, away from the angle of the trunk lean, to support the weight.
Cascade The growing tip of a cascade bonsai reaches below the base of a container. The trunk has a natural taper and gives the impression of the forces of gravity. Branches appear to be seeking the light. All that is needed to require this shape is a tall narrow pot which will enhance the style.
Semi-Cascade Like the cascade projects over the rim of the container, but does not drop below the base. The style occurs in nature when trees grow on cliffs or overhang water. The angle of the trunk in this bonsai is not precise, as long as the effect is strongly horizontal, even if the pant grows well below the level of the pot rim.
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