The art of bonsai is aerobatics in crop production. Few dare to this feat. And it’s not just about the complexities of growing techniques. To do this, you need to be a little … Japanese. After all, there is a bonsai occupation – a lifestyle, a special form of leisure and even a way of knowing the meaning of life.
Maple bonsai. Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com Sage Ross
In all my life, I have not planted a single indoor flower and could not stand it when I saw window sills in other houses, lined with all sorts of geraniums, cacti, violets. I considered this to be violence against the flora: plants should live in freedom. So nature has ordered. Why argue with her? But my firm conviction was shaken one day. That was twenty years ago, when I found myself in the Far East on business. There, in one of the houses, I first saw a living miniature tree. I was shocked! The gaze returned to him all the time. From that moment my “case history” began. Diagnosis: bonsai.
Bonsai – where to start?
I found my first tree in a mountain crevice, in the same place in the Far East. It was a pine tree. She grew up right on a rock, was pretty beaten by storms, but desperately fought for her life. I rescued her from her stone captivity, which, by the way, made my task much easier. Hardened in harsh environmental conditions, she was already ready for life as a bonsai. True, the roots were weak. Therefore, upon arriving home (I live outside the city), I first planted a pine tree directly in the ground. There she grew up for almost a year until she got stronger.
After studying the literature on bonsai, I got down to business. To begin with, I prepared everything you need:
- nippers of a concave shape (they snatch out the stumps together with a part of the trunk, which gives quick healing of the wound);
- nippers for thick branches;
- two scissors with thin and blunt ends;
- small nail file (with a blade no more than 15 cm long).
Our advice: When choosing a bonsai plant, pay attention to its root system. She must be strong, well developed and healthy. You can start shaping the tree in the second or third year of life, and pruning is carried out in the spring, when the first buds appear.
Choosing the right bonsai tableware
A year later, in the spring, he began to prepare my Far Eastern “friend” for a new place of residence. It was necessary to choose a suitable vessel. Guided by the advice of bonsai masters. So, they have developed three rules for determining the size of the dishes:
- The length of the pot is equal to or greater than two-thirds of the height or width of the plant.
- The width is 1-2 cm less than the longest branches on both sides.
- The depth is equal to the diameter of the trunk at the base.
Bonsai of toothed oak. Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com Sage Ross
In my case, I needed a vessel with the following dimensions: length – 60 cm, width – 30 cm, depth – 4 cm. I chose a rectangular clay bowl with large drainage holes.
It is important that the bonsai bowl is made from natural material. It can be ceramics, faience, porcelain. The main thing is that both color and shape are in harmony with the tree itself.
Now it was necessary to take care of the soil. In composition, it should be as close as possible to that in which the tree grows in natural conditions. A mixture of coarse sand with a small addition of humus is good for pine.
Choosing a bonsai shape
I decided to shape my tree in the classic vertical bonsai style. By nature, the pine tree was slender, with an even trunk. So I decided to let it grow. For the vertical style, it is important that the trunk is perfectly straight, tapering towards the top, and the branches, slightly sagging, grow horizontally. In this case, it is necessary that the lower branch is the thickest, and the remaining branches thinner towards the top. In this direction, I began to work.
Before planting the tree in the pot, I trimmed the thin roots (they were quite developed) and practically removed the central root.
It is believed that the ideal height of a bonsai is about 54 cm. My tree has already grown over 80 cm. So I decided to shorten it. To do this, I sawed off the top just below the desired height, but with the expectation that the remaining upper branch took the place of the top. It turned out well. The wound on the trunk was almost invisible.
In the same way, cut the side branches, giving the crown a triangular shape. At the same time, I tried to ensure that the branches were not located one above the other and were not at the same height. And so it happened: the remaining branches looked in different directions and did not interfere with each other. Moreover, the lower branch was located at a distance of 17 cm from the beginning of the trunk.
This is another rule of the classic bonsai style: the lower branch should be from the base of the plant at a distance of 1/3 the height of the tree.
Bonsai from Japanese black pine. Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com Sage Ross
Choosing a place for bonsai
When the tree was trimmed, it was time to plant it. At the bottom of the bowl, I laid a thin drainage of porous plastic, a thin layer of dried moss and a few lumps of rough earth. A small layer of the main soil of sand and humus was poured on top and a pine tree was placed on it so that all thin roots were evenly distributed on all sides.
Then he again covered it with soil, filling all the voids between the roots. He tamped the soil well so that the tree sits firmly in place, and the upper roots peep out slightly above its surface. Now about watering.
Our tip: When molding coniferous bonsai species, pinch is used instead of pruning to avoid damaging the remaining living buds. It is carried out in the spring, when the plant begins to wake up.
Lime bonsai. Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com Sage Ross
You cannot water the bonsai from above
I just put the tree together with the bowl (it should sink) in a large basin of rainwater. After planting and the first watering, he quarantined the tree and kept it for ten days on a quiet veranda (without drafts and direct sunlight). Then he began to carry the pine tree outside, increasing the walking time every day. And so for two weeks she got used to the sun and wind. After a month, I assigned her a permanent place on the northeastern side of the courtyard. It grows with me there practically bezvylazno. Only in severe frosts I bring bonsai to the veranda.
I do not forget about my brainchild even for a day. Of course, daily pruning, watering and other procedures are not required. But just to sit next to me, admire and, what a sin to conceal, to confess with a tree – I cannot deny myself this. Such gatherings have become a daily ritual for me.
And you know, I began to notice changes in myself. What used to hurt and annoy me no longer bothers me at all. Some kind of inner peace and confidence have appeared, I live in harmony with myself and the world around me. I’m sure it affects bonsai.
Alexander Proshkin. Krasnodon