In the Imperial Palace in Tokyo lives a 499 year old five needle miniature pine tree. This bonsai tree is known as the Sandai-Shogun-No Matsu. It is one of the country’s national treasures and it was first trimmed and potted in 1610, just a few years after Guy Fawkes tried to blow up the British Parliament and a few years before William Shakespeare died. It’s still thriving today because its keepers have known the secrets of bonsai trees care.
Bonsai is, as I’m sure you know, the art of growing miniature trees. But just because they’re tiny doesn’t mean they’re less hardy than their full sized cousins nor does it mean they do not live as long.In fact, many of these dwarfs often outlive their fully grown counterparts.
There is something extremely therapeutic about creating bonsai trees, and at the same time it is an art which requires little in the way of expensive or specialist tools. The trees are a living art – with no two exactly alike – and they can change with the seasons and the years. Deciduous bonsai grown outdoors, for instance, lose their leaves in winter just as normal tree removal do, then they grow them back in spring. For added visual effect you can choose bonsai trees that flower such as azalea or white star jasmine.
The easiest way to start is to buy a tree already trimmed and in a pot. It has usually already been shaped, often with the sculptor using wire to give it a unique, twisted appearance. But it is up to the keeper of the tree to trim leaves and branches as the years go by, deciding which to keep and which to cut. Bonsai masters, those that are involved with bonsai trees care, attempt to create not just an aesthetically pleasing shape, but a spiritual sense of age, beauty and timeless endurance.
You will need to know how to prune the trunk and roots of your tree as well as the branches. It may sound rather daunting but, as I have said before, all that’s needed is the right knowledge to know what to trim and what to leave.
Another very vital factor for bonsai trees care is watering. Because they are in shallow pots and have less roots than normal , bonsai trees are particularly vulnerable to dehydration. But give them too much water all at once and it’s like subjecting them to a 100 year flood! Watering needs depend on the humidity, type of soil, size and shape of the pot, the type of tree you have and whether it’s inside or outside.
Bonsai do need to be re-potted and the roots pruned but when depends entirely on your particular type of tree and how vigorously it is growing, but it is most often done, as with normal gardening, just before spring when the plant is in a reasonably dormant state.
Bonsai generally need a loose fast-draining soil – It does depend on where it is sited, the pot and the type of tree. Pots come in a huge variety of shapes and sizes. The pot should complement the tree in both colour and shape and is considered as much a part of the art-form as the tree itself.
Bonsai trees care is not particularly onerous if you have the right knowledge. They don’t require a lot of effort or expense, neither are they particularly time consuming. Bonsai trees can die very quickly – it they do not have the proper care.
With the right knowledge you will not only create something that will give you hours of pleasure but also a treasure your family can pass down from generation to generation. By understanding the principles of bonsai trees care, you can grow a living treasure to pass on to your grandchildren, which in turn, they can pass on to their children with the duty of care for bonsai trees handed down through countless generations, outlasting most other forms of legacy.