These trees originate in Japan and dates back over a thousand years. The word "bonsai" is the japanese pronunciation of the early chinese term penzai. "bon" means tray-like pot. These flattened bowls have been made in China since 5,000 years ago. The Bonsai tree was considered "sacred" because it could not be used for ordinary purposes such as lumber. The first tray landscapes were believed to be brought to Japan from China about 1,200 years ago. These were brought as religious souvenirs.
Has a straight trunk that gradually tapers from the base to the top.
The lowest branch is the thickest branch and every branch above it gets smaller.
The apex of the tree is in alignment with the center line of the trunk.
Upright trunk with noticeable curbs. Sometimes shaped like the letter "s".
In every twirl, branches appear. Smaller at the top and bigger towards the bottom.
The trunk is thicker in the soil.
Mostly a formal upright but with a slight lean.
The trunk usually grows in one direction with an angle between 60 to 80 degrees to the ground.
They grow downwards, below the base of the pot holding it.
The trunk can be upright for a small part and then downward.
Very similar to cascade style except that the tip does not grow below the base of the pot.
Branches are allowed to grow feely to resemble plants growing from cliffs.
How to prune a bonsai
The goals of maintenance pruning on a bonsai is to maintain and refine the shape of the tree. it is important to prune areas to encourage growth closer to the inner parts of the tree. To prune a bonsai, prune branches/ shoots that have outgrown the intended shape using shears. Prune large branches. Place the tree on a table at eye-level. Remove all of the dead wood from the tree. This is a creative process so be careful when picking which branches to prune.
How to shape a bonsai
Remove vertical growing branches which are too thick to bend. Remove branches with twists and turns. Remove branches that conceal the front of the trunk. Remove thick branches from the top of the tree. Branches at the bottom should be thicker than the ones on top.
How to maintain a bonsai
Watch your bonsai closely and only water when the soil becomes slightly dry. It should never be completely dry and always be damp. When watering, remember to water thoroughly. Make sure the entire root base is watered. All indoor trees should be placed in a warm environment with lots of light.