The Care and Feeding of Bonsai Trees

This afternoon I was reading up on bonsai trees on wikipedia. I’m quite fascinated by them. They’re a work of art! However, I didn’t know much about the way that they become the way they are. It’s pretty amazing. So are the Japanese for developing these trees.

There are many techniques used to develop a bonsai. There’s pruning, of course. This results in the small size of the tree and dwarfing of the foliage. Improper pruning can weaken or even kill the tree. Careful pruning throughout the tree’s life is necessary to maintain the basic design which could otherwise disappear behind the uncontrolled growth of branches and leaves. Wiring, which is wrapping copper or aluminum wire around branches and trunks, allows the designer to create the desired form of the tree. When used on new branches or shoots, it holds the branches in place until they convert into wood. This may take one growing season. Wiring may also be used to connect a branch to another object (branch, or pot itself). When this wire is tightened, force is applied to the branch. 

The trees themselves are quite delicate. The owner or designer needs to ensure the tree is correctly watered. Sun, wind, and heat can dry bonsai trees out in a short period of time. Watering too much leads to fungal infections and root rot. Sometimes these trees are marketed as cool house plants, but it is rare that a bonsai would be able to thrive inside a regular house. (I don’t think there’s any hope for me to get one. I just have to have fun with my virtual bonsai on facebook *sigh*)

Taking care of a bonsai takes a lot of patience. The constant pruning, correct watering, and just keeping it happy would drive anyone (me) nuts. 

Now for the real reason for me reading up on bonsai trees. I feel like I’m a bonsai. Don’t laugh. A bonsai shaped by God’s fingers.

Growing hurts. It helps me to be assured that I’m being pruned into something beautiful. (I know it’s a stupid analogy, but bear with me). It helps to know that the people, choices, and circumstances that God throws into my path are all helping to form me into the person I’m supposed to be.

(Closing note. People are not trees. ^_^ However, that’s for another day). 

Peace out.




3 thoughts on “The Care and Feeding of Bonsai Trees

  1. I’ve been fascinated by bonsais for 7 or 8 years. I’ve wanted to badly to have a 50-year-old trident maple or something. I used to get tons of books at the library, mostly just to look at the pictures, but also to learn about how to go about starting one. Difficult as crap! I’ll never have the patience. I want the beauty of a 50-year-old NOW! I don’t wanna WAIT 50 years! And if I bought a 50-year-old bonsai, I’d totally end up killing it from doing something wrong or neglecting it. And then I’d be very, very sad that I killed something that’s been here for 50 years. So…yeah, no bonsais for me 😦 I won’t allow myself.

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