Types of Large Bonsai Trees
A bonsai plant is grown in a container, developing a root system, trunk and branches that are groomed and styled regularly for optimum health. The maintenance requirements of bonsai trees differ depending upon the species. Large bonsai trees develop over time through careful human cultivation and can flourish and live for centuries.
- The cultivation of bonsai trees dates to the ancient Egyptians who experimented with hydroponic growing of plants in containers. The Chinese adopted this form of landscape architecture under the name "punsei," which was later embraced as a gardening tradition in Japanese culture and coined,"bonsai." Bonsai signified a connection between spirituality, nature and philosophy in ancient times and grew to be a delicate art form of varying styles and interpretations. Bonsai has since expanded around the globe as an aesthetically intriguing technique among botanist and gardening enthusiasts.
- Large bonsai plants require careful cultivation and maintenance. Regular pruning, styling, feeding, watering, wiring and repotting are necessary for the livelihood of the plant. Indoor and outdoor positioning depends on the type of bonsai, the amount of sunlight needed, climate control, and the root and branch training methods used. Indoor bonsai trees require temperatures of 50 degrees or higher and are typically low-maintenance plants. Flowering bonsai trees are tropical and need more light, yet bloom year-round. Deciduous and evergreen bonsai trees require outdoor potting and are latent during winter months.
- Large bonsai trees can grow from miniature sizes of 6 inches up to 3 feet tall when cultivated in a pot that can hold enough soil to cover the surface area of the expanding roots. Stabillize the roots of a bonsai by wiring them in place prior to filling the pot with soil. This will allow the bonsai to grow into a large-sized plant within five to 10 years. The growth and maturity of a bonsai depends on the ongoing maintenance, species, age and overall health of the plant.
- The five large bonsai trunk styles are: formal upright, informal upright, slanting, cascade and semi-cascade. Formal upright is most difficult to achieve as it requires symmetrical growth of the branches and a straight trunk. Informal upright trunks bend to the right or left. The trunk of a slanting bonsai tree is angled. Cascade style refers to the way in which a bonsai’s branches overhang its trunk, with a semi-cascading bonsai exhibiting partial overhang and standing taller than a fully cascading tree.
- The Chinese elm bonsai is a deciduous, flowering tree than can grow indoors or outdoors in temperate climates without harsh winters. The Chinese elm is a strong plant that can survive in shade or light, reaching a moderate height of 1 foot. in a 13-year period. The gingko biloba is an outdoor bonsai tree yielding seasonal foliage, and growing up to 2 feet high within six years. Junipers are low-maintenance bonsai plants, resistant to harsh conditions, and growing 1 foot in 10 years. Traditional Japanese flowering species that can develop into large bonsai trees include: crape myrtle, heavenly bamboo, white jasmine, cherry blossom, emerald ficus and Brazilian taintree.