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Q: bonsai ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: bonsai
Category: Family and Home > Gardening
Asked by: webbiz100-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 26 Jul 2005 02:11 PDT
Expires: 25 Aug 2005 02:11 PDT
Question ID: 547971
History of Bonsai, latest growing tips & hints
Types and styles, resource information.
Any other pertinent information would be great.
Subject: Re: bonsai
Answered By: nenna-ga on 26 Jul 2005 10:35 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Good afternoon webbiz100 and thank you for your question.  I had a lot
of fun researching this and learned a lot myself (I never was very
sucessful in keeping my bonsai alive and now I know why!)

Please find below the history and miscellaneous information that I
think you might find useful in caring for your own bonsia.


It is widely accepted that it was the Chinese who first created the
miniature landscapes and trees that we now know as bonsai (referred to
as ?Penjing? by the Chinese), though there is no definite proof. 
Bonsai was believed to have started in the Han Dynasty (206 BC?220 AD

The earliest documented proof of bonsai was discovered in 1972 in the
tomb of Prince Zhang Huai, of the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907 A.D.) who
died in 706 A.D.   Two wall paintings discovered in the tomb show
servants carrying plants resembling bonsai.  To see one of the
paintings, please visit:

( )

It wasn?t until Heian period (794 - 1191A.D.) that Buddhist monks
brought bonsai from China to the island of Japan.

The art of bonsai was typically practiced by only the wealthy, however
with the Chinese invasion of Japan in the fourteenth century, the art
of bonsai started to be practiced by people of all classes.

The first introduction of the bonsai are to the west was at the Third
Universal Exhibition in Paris in 1878.  The showing of Bonsai at Paris
exhibitions in 1878, 1889, 1900 and the first major Bonsai exhibition
held in London in 1909 increased western interest in Bonsai.  S.M.
Japanese Nursery Company from 1904 indicates that over six hundred
plants were auctioned off over a three day period in New York City.

= = = = = = = = = =


The five basic bonsai styles are:

     1.	formal upright

     2.	informal upright

     3.	slanting (or windswept)

     4.	semi-cascade

     5.	cascade. 

* * * * * * * * * *

Formal Upright:  This occurs when it has grown in the open under
perfect conditions. The trunk should be perfectly straight, tapering
naturally and evenly from base to apex. The branches should be
symmetrically spaced so that they are balanced when viewed from any

Recommended Species: Larches, Junipers, Pines and Spruces are all
suitable species. Maples can also be used, but are not as easy to
train into such a conformist style.  Fruiting trees are not suitable
for formal upright.

Google Images:  (

* * * * * * * * * * *

Informal Upright:  When growing, these trees bent or altered their
direction away from wind or shade of other trees or buildings, or
towards light. The trunk should slightly bend to the right or left -
but never towards the viewer.

Recommended Species: Most species of plants are suitable for this
style, mainly the Japanese Maple, Trident, Beech, almost all Conifers
and other ornamental trees such as the Crab Apple, Cotoneaster and

Google Images: (

* * * * * * * * * * *

Slanting:  Trees that slant naturally occur a result of winds or deep
shade during early development. Whether curved or straight, the whole
trunk leans at a definite angle. The stronger roots grow out on the
side, away from the angle of the trunk lean, to support the weight.

Recommended Species: Most species are suitable for this style, as the
style does bear similarity to informal upright. Conifers work
particularly well.

Google Images: (

* * * * * * * * * * *

Semi-Cascade:  The tip of a semi-cascade projects over the rim of the
container, but does not drop below its base. The style occurs in
nature when trees grow on cliffs or water. The angle of the trunk in
this bonsai is not precise, as long as the effect is strongly
horizontal, even if the plant grows well below the level of the pot
rim. Any exposed roots should balance the trunk.

Recommended Species: Many species are suitable, except strongly
upright ones. Flowering cherries, cedars and junipers work well.
Google Images:  (

* * * * * * * * * * *

Cascade:  The growing tip of a cascade bonsai reaches below the base
of a container. The trunk has a natural taper.

Recommended Species: Many species are suitable, if they are not strongly upright. 

Google Images:  (

= = = = = = = = = =


The three most important steps for caring for your bonsai are as follows:

1. Soak thoroughly:   Every week, immerse your tree, up to the first
branch, in a sink or tub of tap water. Watch the bubbles. Very few
bubbles indicate that you can wait longer before watering next time.
The soil should dry out a little on the top between watering, but
never dry completely.

2. Mist leaves daily.

3. Sunlight:  Bonsai need about five hours of indirect or filtered
sunlight each day. In the warmer months, you can put your bonsai
outside, but not in the direct noonday or afternoon sun. During the
summer, a few hours of direct morning sun, while the world is still
cool, will benefit the tree.  During the winter, keep your bonsai
where it receives maximum indirect light. Beware: tender trees may
freeze on windowsills: direct sunlight may be too hot.

If you follow these suggestions, your tree will remain healthy.

Pruning:  Bright green growth will appear at the tips of the branches,
especially during the spring and summer. If the new growth results in
a nice shape, leave it.  However, if you prefer, trim the tree to look
the way you think the tree should look. Needles, leaves, and branches
that grow from the underside of large branches can be removed.

Food:  When you see new growth, feed your plant continuously, whether
by inserting a fertilizer stick, by adding weak fertilizer to the
weekly immersion, or by using a slow release fertilizer.

Internet Bonsai Care Guide:
( )

Bonsai Boy FAQ
( )

= = = = = = = = = =


Bonsai (101 Essential Tips) - by Harry Tomlinson

The Complete Book of Bonsai - by Harry Tomlinson

Bonsai: Grow Your Own Bonsai from Cuttings, Seeds, and Saplings - by
Werner M. Busch

Bonsai (Rd Home Handbooks) - by Harry Tomlinson

Beginning Bonsai: The Gentle Art of Miniature Tree Growing - by
Shirley Student, Larry Student

Bonsai Survival Manual : Tree-by-Tree Guide to Buying, Maintaining,
and Problem Solving - by Colin Lewis

Bonsai Bookshop
( )

= = = = = = = = = = =


Origin of Terms:
( )

Open Directory Project
( )

Bonsai Web
( )

The Bonsai Guide
( )

Garden Web Bonsai forum
( )

Bonsai Site Forums
( ) Forum
( )

Bonsai Talk ? Links to various Bonsai Forums
( )


Bonsai Crash
( )

Bonsai Potato
( )

If you would like to learn more about Bonsai, ask your local nursery
if they carry books and magazines on Bonsai, and if there are any
Bonsai Clubs in the area. Check at your local library for Bonsai
books, clubs and magazines.

= = = = = = = = = =

If this answer requires further explanation, please request
clarification before rating it, and I'll be happy to look into this

Google Answers Researcher


History of the Bonsai
( )

Bonsai in Asia
( )

The Bonsai Site:
( )
( )

Pine Garden Bonsai Company
( )
webbiz100-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $5.00
Hi nenna,
Thanks for the fantastic info and speedy reply, I look forward to more
of your great work.

Subject: Re: bonsai
From: nenna-ga on 28 Jul 2005 06:22 PDT

Thank you very much for the rating, comment and tip!  If I can ever be
of any help to you in the future, please let me know!


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