Friday, December 25, 2009

Beginner Bonsai Trees Simple Tips

Story : Herb Daniels

Bonsai trees are diminutive and exquisite examples of larger trees. To keep them small, they spend their lives in shallow containers. Just about any type of tree can be a bonsai. Nurseries and some stores carry beginner bonsai trees, which are just waiting for you to train them into a lovely design. Prior to training a bonsai, it is essential that you understand what is about to take place.

Pointers on Beginner Bonsai Trees

To further develop beginner bonsai trees, some parts of the plants will need to be removed in order to create fine-looking presentations. Beginner bonsai trees have no planned shape when you first get them. Therefore, their future motifs will be entirely up to the whims of their new owners.

It is possible to choose from many bonsai styles. Some of the more popular and less complicated ones include the windswept, cascade, slanting, formal upright, informal upright and the bunjin designs. Hobbyists about to grow beginner bonsai trees are able to select any style they will be happy with. While making the purchase, notice if a certain bonsai tree already has a tendency toward a specific shape. Does it have a crooked trunk or branches that suit a particular form? Carefully taking the time to observe the features of a new bonsai can be greatly rewarding, as well as inspiring.

Invest time in learning how to prune both the crown and the roots of your beginner bonsai trees. Pruning implies cutting off specific parts to encourage more growth or to engender a hearty plant. Repotting and pruning of the beginner Bonsai trees also encourage them to grow faster. Further, you will need to replace the container of your bonsai repeatedly every one or two years to stimulate continued health and in order to access the roots for pruning. This will also encourage faster growth, which can mean more pruning will be needed.

Since many varities of bonsai trees which have been shipped from tropical or subtropical regions, are not able to withstand cold and the shallow bonsai containers can freeze when left outside in winter snow and cold, it is recommended that you bring your beginner bonsai trees inside during the cold season in your area.

To prevent the soil from drying out too quickly, it is best to place beginner bonsai trees away from inside heat sources such as radiators. The container can also be placed on top of some pebbles in a shallow water dish to keep the humidity up around the plant. The container should not be directly in the water, just above it. Also, make sure the bonsai plants are not left too close to windows, because excess cold can stress a tree to the point of death. The more research you do to duplicate the conditions of a bonsai tree's origins, the easier it will be to promote its healthy survival for many years to come.

This is all you'll need to remember to care for your beginner bonsai trees, trim the plant regularly, provide water and high humidty, warmth, and occasional feeding, for best growth. Following this plan will bring you many years of satisfying bonsai gardening time.

About Author Herb Daniels :
Herb Daniels is an amateur gardener living on the East Coast of Florida puttering around in his garden as time and weather allows. Herb has a web site where he posts a few articles and other information about Beginner Bonsai Trees

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

How to Grow Bonsai - Bonsai Tools and Equipment

Bonsai tool sets from
Story by Paul J Martin

To begin with, you can make do with ordinary household tools such as nail scissors, secateurs, modeling knife etc. If you only have one or two trees, you can manage with improvised tools for as long as you like. But if you become a true bonsai hobbyist, you'll want to build your own set of bonsai tools. Where bonsai tools are concerned, buying the cheapest is certainly a false economy. Bonsai tools are expensive at the best of times, so cheap ones are rarely very cheap and the poor quality will disappoint you. Look for brand-marked Japanese tools nothing fancy, just plain black.

Looked after properly, they'll last a lifetime.


You can try salvaging some copper wire from electrical or telephone cables, then annealing it by heating it to red hot and allowing it to cool slowly - and then you'll need to wash off the soot. On the other hand, while you're spending money on tools, you might as well pick up some wire at the same time.

Wire is used for shaping branches, and for this ordinary garden wire - green-plastic-coated iron is far too rigid and is sure to damage the bark when you apply it. Traditionally, either annealed copper wire or brown anodized aluminum wire is used.

Copper hardens as it is bent, so it has greater holding power than aluminium - ideal for the springier branches of conifers. The gentler aluminum wire is kinder to the less supple branches of deciduous trees. Having said that, aluminum is usually cheaper and works as well as copper provided you use a thicker gauge.

There are nine gauges of aluminium wire, ranging from 1 mm to 6 mm. Copper wire gauges vary from supplier to supplier, but are roughly equivalent.

To begin with, you should buy small packs of the smaller sizes. When you've worked out which sizes you need more of, go for larger coils.

Other equipment.

When re-potting time arrives, you'll need sieves to remove the dust and coarse particles from your soil ingredients. A set of three with mesh sizes of 2 mm, 3 mm and 4 mm will be plenty for most small and medium-size bonsai. Larger bonsai in larger pots need larger soil particles, so an additional sieve with a 6-mm mesh would be useful. A bonsai soil scoop makes life easier at this time as well.

You'll also need a bonsai root hook and some chopsticks (or a Western substitute such as knitting needles) for teasing out the roots. Japanese bonsai root hooks are a little too brutal for most trees, and the tiny rakes with tweezers at the other end are only useful for weeding the pot. My favorite root hook is one that I made from a piece of 4-mm steel m and an old chisel handle over 20 years ago.

A turntable is invaluable for trimming, wiring or just contemplating your bonsai. Then are several all-singing, all-dancing Japanese bonsai turntable:

available but they are very expensive. An old cake decorator's turntable or a plastic TV turntable will do just as well.

There are many more useful little gadgets you can pick up along the way, but those discussed here are the ones that, if not essential, are hard to do without.

For loads of tips and advice on growing and keeping bonsai trees you must visit Try reading this article about fertilising bonsai The author is the writer at

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