The art of growing bonsai trees originated in China almost 1,000 years ago. However, it was the Japanese that were able to truly develop it and turn it into a worldwide phenomenon. Bonsai refers to the practice of growing a fully matured tree at a miniature height. The art of shrinking trees as they grow has become a popular practice in all parts of the world and is considered not only artistic – but in some cultures it is spiritual to them.
Many feel that all you need to do is to place the tree of your choice in a pot and it will grow as a miniature tree. This is only one of many steps. A bonsai tree can only be miniature through the pruning of the branches and roots and other techniques. Those who have the ability to grow a perfect bonsai (fully mature miniature tree) are truly talented.
When growing bonsai trees you want to achieve the shape it will usually take on when it is full grown through the balance of the above ground growth and the root growth. You should begin to shape the tree while it is still young and as it matures. Shaping is controlled through the use of a copper wire on the branches and trunk of the tree. Make sure thought that you cut the wire off before it starts to dig into the tree and causes scarring.
You can grow a bonsai tree from either its cuttings or its seeds. When you grow from the seeds you will find it easier and much more rewarding. To watch it fully take on a new shape and grow so small is an amazing site. Using cuttings is a bit more difficult and involved because it can take them longer to mature.
There are two types of trees that you can grow from using cuttings; softwood and hardwood. Hardwood cuttings are taken at the end of the yearâ€™s growing season and the growth begins the following season. Softwood cuttings are taken in the summer – but they should be left along until the new growth starts to show. During this time the trees can then be placed in individual pots.