Bonsai is a Japanese tradition that has truly caught on here in America. In order to create such a unique art form, a person has to have an eye for detail. If you have purchased a bonsai, it is very important to know how to trim and care for your bonsai tree in order to get the look you want. The design of the tree is completely up to you. Any perennial woody stemmed tree can be tamed and turned into a bonsai tree. With skill and an eye for design, you can create a masterpiece.
Trimming the tree
Before making any cut, you must decide what season is the best time to trim your tree. Only trim your tree at the time of year that it specifically needs. This is determined with its species. Trimming is usually done when the tree is growing more rapidly so find out what species of tree you have and go from there. The time is needed between each trimming so that the tree can heal properly. When you cut into a tree it is vulnerable to disease and infection so it needs time to regenerate.
Trimming the tree will determine the shape as well as size of the tree, so take a long look at it first to see what you would like to keep and what you would like to get rid of. Keep in mind that the tree also has to have balance and stability, so be very careful when removing large sections of branches. Take away the branches that will interfere with the tree’s artistic line and shape. Keep the branches that will enhance the growth and stability of the tree. Another portion that has to be trimmed is the roots. This will slow down rapid growth and keep that miniature size. Trimming the roots will also help the proportion of the tree.
Caring for your Bonsai
Make sure that you water your tree often never allowing your soil to completely dry out. If it is sitting in full sun, you may want to water it once a day. This is also determined by the type of tree you have, so be sure that you know what your species need. If your tree is inside during the winter and is exposed to your heating system, sit your tree in a shallow tray with a layer of gravel and add water. This will add extra moisture around the tree and reduces the moisture it is losing with your heating system.
Fertilize your tree with a liquid fertilizer and do it once a month if possible except during the winter. Try using fertilizer at half the regular strength. You can also spray your tree with a water soluble fertilizer every other month to keep the foliage healthy and strong. Your tree can also be treated for insects, so keep an eye out for any bugs or problems. Do research on your specific tree species and keep up to date on how to keep it happy and healthy.
Photo Credit: istockphoto.com