Bonsai trees have been cultivated in China and Japan as an art form for thousands of years. Before that, trees and shrubs were pruned to grow in pots so that herbalists could take medicinal plants with them as they traveled over the countryside treating the sick. Today, the art of bonsai has become the reason for cultivating the trees. Self-education is the first step in caring for your beginner bonsai trees.
Choosing a Tree
Even beginner bonsai trees are just normal trees that are pruned to maintain a specific size and acquire a pleasing shape. Selection of your beginner bonsai trees don’t have to be limited to dwarf varieties as any tree can be a bonsai tree. You may want to start at your gardening center because trees sold in your locale have been selected by knowledgeable growers to thrive in your climate. This important for the beginner bonsai trees as the pruning can weaken the trees during the growing season, making it more difficult for them to survive in difficult weather conditions.
Your next consideration could be appearance – after all this is an art form. What kind of look do you want? The straight trunk of the fir tree makes it a good choice. More colorful trees are also appealing. The red maple, for example, makes a lovely bonsai. Flowering trees are very good beginner bonsai trees. The blossoms are beautiful and many varieties have a rough bark that adds an aged appearance.
Remember that trees with flowers also bear fruit and allowing fruit to grow to full size can bend and break miniaturized branches. One or two pieces of fruit can be allowed to grow for appearance, but be prepared to help the branch bear the weight by adding braces. Beginner bonsai trees don’t have to be trees. Vines and shrubs can also be pruned in the bonsai style and add more choices for climbing, flowers and fragrance to your collection.
Once you choose your beginner bonsai trees, find out as much as you can about their needs and growth patterns. For many trees, pruning can only be done safely at specific times of the year. Shaping should only be attempted during dormant periods, when the trunk and branches are not stiff with sap. Sun and water needs must be met to ensure healthy trees. With a little pampering and a lot of education, your beginner bonsai trees can become beautiful works of art that will last forever.