You may be surprised to learn that bonsai are really just normal trees grown in a special way so that they remain a miniature replica of the regular tree. There are various ways of growing bonsai trees. They can be grown from seed, from cuttings or from young trees. The secret is in training them by pruning which varies according to the different types of tree. Nikki Phipps author of The Bulb-o-licious Garden tells you how it’s done in her article over at Gardening Know How.

Bonsai are nothing more than ordinary trees grown in special containers, These are trained to remain small, mimicking larger versions in nature. The word bonsai?comes from?the Chinese words ?pun sai,? meaning ?tree in a pot.? Keep reading to learn more about the various bonsai pruning methods and how to start a bonsai tree.

Bonsai Basics

Although it can be done (by experts), it is more difficult to cultivate bonsai trees indoors. Bonsai can be accomplished by growing seeds, cuttings or young trees. Bonsai can also be made with shrubs and vines.
They range in height, from a couple inches to 3 feet and are trained in various ways by careful pruning of the branches and roots, occasional repotting, pinching of new growth, and by wiring both the branches and trunk into the desired shape.
When styling bonsai trees, you should look carefully at the tree?s natural characteristics for help in choosing suitable bonsai pruning methods. Also, depending on the style, an appropriate pot must be selected, keeping in mind that most bonsai are positioned off-center.
Bonsai must to be pruned in order to keep them small. In addition, without root pruning, bonsai become pot-bound. Bonsai also need annual or bi-annual repotting. Just as with any plant, bonsai trees require moisture to survive. Therefore, bonsais should be checked on a daily basis to determine whether they require watering.

Bonsai Pruning Methods

Bonsai styles vary but often consist of formal upright, informal upright, slanting, broom form, windswept, cascade, semi-cascade and twin trunk.

Formal Upright, Informal Upright and Slanting Styles

With formal upright, informal upright and slanting styles, the number three is significant. Branches are grouped in threes, a third of the way up the trunk and trained to grow to a third of the tree?s total height.

  • Formal upright ? With formal upright, the tree should be evenly spaced when viewed on all sides. Normally a third of the trunk, which is completely straight and upright, should display an even taper and placement of the branches generally forms a pattern. Branches do not face the front until the top third of the tree, and are horizontal or slightly drooping. Juniper, spruce, and pine are suitable for this bonsai style.
  • Informal upright ? Informal upright shares the same basic bonsai pruning methods as formal upright; however, the trunk is slightly bent to the right or left and branch positioning is more informal. It is also the most common and can be used for most species, including Japanese maple, beech, and various conifers.

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