How to Make Bonsai



Let’s try to answer on the question: How to make bonsai? Plants chosen for bonsai should have attractive bark, and the trunk must give the illusion of maturity. The trunk should have girth, but must remain in proportion to the entire tree.

The trunk should taper gradually toward the top of the tree. All parts of the ideal bonsai — trunk, branches, twigs, leaves, flowers, fruits, buds, roots — should be in perfect scale with the size of the tree.

There are many ways to obtain bonsai. The easiest and best method for the beginner to obtain bonsai is to buy nursery stock and develop his own.

At the beginning it is best to work with the more common plants. Most are obtainable at local nurseries. Plants that are native to the area where you live often make fine subjects for bonsai. But make sure these plants meet the bonsai requirements of size, leaf, trunk and scale.

In addition to nursery stock, plants for bonsai can be collected from the wild or propagated from plants in your garden. The job of finding plants in the wild that adapt well to bonsai is difficult for the beginner.

The best time for collecting plants in the wild is during March and April, when new growth or leaves have not yet begun to sprout. Here, the collector must recognize when the wild plant is in its dormant period.

When digging the plant you want, try not to injure the taproots. Get as much soil around the roots as possible. Older trees will require greater care and a slower training schedule.

To give the appearance of age, the upper one-third of the root structure of a mature bonsai is often exposed. This is especially effective if the roots have good girth and form. Twisted and tangled roots should be straightened before potting or repotting a tree to achieve an aged appearance.

The front of the bonsai should offer a good view of the main trunk, which must be clearly visible from the base to the first branch. Everywhere on the tree, but mostly from the front, the branches should look balanced and appear to be floating in space.

The branches should not be opposite one another with their lines cutting horizontally across the trunk. The branches give the bonsai the dimension and establish the tree’s basic form.

Before deciding on the shape of your bonsai, study the tree carefully, and take into account the natural form of the species. Observe the way mature trees of the same kind grow in their natural setting to achieve an impression of age and reality.

Now, we know how to make bonsai.




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