Friday, January 22, 2010

All You Should Know About Chinese Elm Bonsai

By: Marcin Doliwa

A Chinese Elm bonsai is an extremely flexible variety of tree as it allows you to shape and style it anyway you want. These trees are very popular owing to the fact that they look perfect as miniatures, due to their rounded shape, fine twigs and small leaves. They have a modeled dark grey bark that has a coloring mixed with cream and red.

A Chinese Elm bonsai remains semi-evergreen as long as it is kept indoors. However, when they are grown as large bonsai trees, outside, they will turn into deciduous trees. A great thing about growing Chinese Elm bonsai is that, unlike other elm trees, Chinese elm is not prone to the Dutch elm disease.

The bark of the Chinese Elm is its most attractive aspect. With age, the appearance of the bark gets even more attractive, acquiring a fissured look that enriches the character of the bonsai. In case of this bonsai, you should remember that smoother the bark is, the weaker it is.

You can also grow the Chinese Elm bonsai on the ground for sometime, pruning and trimming it while it grows in the soil. This will help the trunk to get a stocky appearance, if you alternate the growth of the tree with regular chopping, through a period of a few years. Since this bonsai variety has a masculine look, you can give it a ragged and scarred or a hollow look by styling it.

Sunlight, water and fertilization

The Chinese Elm bonsai usually requires full sunlight or partial sunlight. Too much shade can lead to interior shoot die back, or growth of overlarge internodes. Only people, who live in places that have extremely hot summers, should keep this in partial shade.

During winter, you can keep some or all of the leaves of the tree. However, take care of the roots during the winter. This is because; the Chinese Elm bonsai has fleshy roots that can get damaged easily if they are allowed to get cold.

Never allow the soil in the bonsai pot to run dry, as this can severely damage the tree. Make sure to water the bonsai on a regular basis. Since, they grow fast, it requires proper fertilization. They should be fed every month, or twice every month, depending on the organic content of the fertilizer that you use.

Styling and repotting

Repotting of this bonsai must be done once every year for the first five years, after which you can repot it every couple of years.

The Chinese Elm bonsai can be styled into any shape and style. You must use bonsai wire to give it the desired shape. You can also achieve a multi trunk style by wiring together a number of branches of the tree.

Author is bonsai enthusiast. For more information please visit

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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A Brief Overview of the Japanese Bonsai Tree.

FULL Japanese Juniper Bonsai Tree in AUTHENTIC Japanese Bonsai Pot Japanese Bonsai
Story by: Anita Proach

Contrary to belief, Bonsai trees do not originate from Japan. Discoveries have been made in Egyptian tombs of sketches showing miniature trees in pots. These are thought to have been kept for decorative purposes and the pictures date back to 4000 years ago! There are also records dating back more than 2000 years that show Bonsai being grown in China. The practice of growing trees in a pot was originally Chinese, but the practice of growing the bonsai tree was made into an art form by the Japanese when the concept was introduced to them about 5 centuries ago.

This has led to quite different styles in Japanese and Chinese bonsai; the Chinese bonsai being much more freestyle and more lightly pruned than the Japanese miniature bonsai that are very heavily groomed and pruned and look much more like miniature natural versions of the full sized versions.

Many people think of tiny little Japanese trees cut and pruned to a miniature size but literally speaking, bonsai is a Japanese word, but its roots are Chinese and are derived from the word punsa meaning tree in a pot. These bonsai were not as small as the bonsai that people often envisage and were grown on an individual basis outdoors in pots. It was, though, the Japanese that took this art form and progressed it to the level it is at now.

Yoga & Zen Reflection Bonsai - Juniper Bonsai Tree by the Pond

It is a common misconception that the bonsai tree is small naturally, but this is not true. While they are smaller than their wild counterparts they do not have to be a couple of inches tall; they can be grown in a pot in the garden and will be smaller than their wild counterparts. The bonsai tree comes from the same seed as its larger counterpart, but is grown in a specific way to ensure that it remains tiny. It is vital for the beginner to know that the main element to growing a bonsai is pruning this is the technique used that allows the tree to stay small. Without regular pruning, the bonsai tree will grow to its standard height and size.

The bonsai tree can grow to various heights. There are trees that are a few inches high and some grow much taller. There are no restrictions; it is only important that the bonsai tree is grown in a pot and attains the image of a full-grown tree as it would in nature. In the beginning, growing these miniature trees may seem difficult, but it would not take long before you learn the art form of the bonsai tree and find that you simply cannot get enough of these unique plants.

A Japanese Juniper Bonsai Tree - An Authentic Japanese Bonsai

Misconceptions About Bonsai Trees.

Some people believe that training Bonsai trees is a cruel pastime because the cultivator starves the tree and cuts it to such an extent that it becomes unhealthy. Quite the reverse is usually true; while they are cut and pruned quite heavily to keep them to the size of the pot, they are usually transferred from pot to pot regularly and are fed and watered much more often than their wild cousins.

Bonsai trees do not live shorter lives than wild trees. They regularly live for many centuries and are traditionally passed down from generation to generation of family. They lead nearly exactly the same length lives as their wild cousins and are often much healthier because of the attention they receive.

The Advantages of Growing Bonsai.

Unique Terrarium Bonsai for Pets with Japanese
"Water Well" Handmade Bonsai Container

Not everyone has a large garden where they can plant numerous trees and let them grow as big as they want, and even those who do have large gardens still need to wait for many years before the tree becomes truly established. By growing bonsai you do not need any more room than the size of your pot and because you only need them to grow to much smaller proportions it really is accessible for anyone who is interested in growing bonsai trees. You can even grow them inside if you can recreate the correct conditions for the tree you want to grow.

The roots of a bonsai tree have to be pruned so that it will remain healthy. By pruning the roots, it produces a small thick ball or pack of root that permits it to be transplanted to an appropriate container. When pruning the roots, one-third of the roots are removed yearly so that new soil can be added and give space for new roots to develop.

It was not until the early 1900s that the bonsai tree was introduced to the western world, but it soon became not only a popular hobby, and requires attention to detail, foresight of how the tree will grow and plenty of time and care. It began to be considered a serious art form in horticulture by many people and today, there are bonsai tree displays and shows, as well as stores dedicated to the bonsai tree. You will undoubtedly feel massive satisfaction if you decide to grow Bonsai and are any good at it.

Bringing the exquisiteness of a Japanese garden into your home with the bonsai tree is a great way to add beauty and elegance to your surroundings. If you are looking for a new type of indoor plant, or simply a new hobby, consider the bonsai tree.

About The Author
Anita Proach has always had a love for the Japanese-style. The traditions and history with the beautiful simple lines, the minimal approach to interior and exterior spaces and the blending of such wonderful elements like the bonsai, koi fish ponds, gardens, art and architecture, all working in harmony with nature.

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