Do bonsai trees exist naturally?

Natural bonsai trees are few and far between. Those coniferous seeds that managed to lodge in the crevices of the rock miraculously germinated. Year after year, snow presses on the seedling. The stem, repeatedly bent, broken and healed, looks little like the straight and symmetrical shape of its relative.

The practice of bonsai is sometimes confused with dwarfism, but dwarfism generally refers to the research, discovery, or creation of plants that are permanent genetic miniatures of existing species. Plant dwarfism often uses selective breeding or genetic engineering to create dwarf cultivars. Bonsai does not require genetically dwarf trees, but rather depends on the growth of small trees from seeds and regular stocks. Bonsai uses cultivation techniques such as tree pruning, root reduction, potting, defoliation and grafting to produce small trees that mimic the shape and style of full-size mature trees.

Unlike other types of plants, bonsai are not native to any particular region. They grow in temperate regions, such as Japan and China. The tips of these tender new shoots die from the cold wind, and the roots cannot get enough moisture to compensate. So natural bonsai grew twisted and close to the ground to keep away from the dry breeze.

Nowadays, bonsai can literally come from all corners of the world. Even though bonsai can come from anywhere updated, their roots can only be found deep in Asian traditions. While most don't age enough to earn a place on this list, bonsai often enjoy a longer life than they do in nature. Unlike naturally growing trees, bonsai environments are carefully controlled so that they receive enough sunlight, water, nutrients and protection from the elements.

If you have a particular plant that you like, you can make it grow into a bonsai. However, some plants are easier to design because they have smaller leaves. In contrast, a typical bonsai container measures less than 25 centimeters in its largest dimension and 2 to 10 liters in volume. Around the 14th century, the term for potted dwarf trees was the bowl tree (, hachi no ki).

The art of bonsai is based on total dedication to caring for a tree and pruning and shaping it to grow strong while locking it in a smaller size and in a pot. In 1975, bonsai master Masaru Yamaki gave the tree to the United States as a 200-year gift. In short, the origin of bonsai intertwines the cultures of two nations: Chinese and Japanese. When trees are too close to each other, aesthetic discord between adjacent trees of different sizes or styles can confuse the viewer, a problem addressed by exhibition screens.

Japanese bonsai exhibitions and catalogs often refer to the size of individual bonsai specimens by assigning them to size classes (see table below). Hachi no Ki (Potted Trees) is also the title of a Noh work by Zeami Motokiyo, from around 1383, based on a story about an impoverished samurai who burns his last three potted trees like firewood to heat a traveling monk. Another key trend was the increase in books on bonsai and related arts, which were first published in English and other languages for audiences outside Japan. It's remarkable to think about how much the world has changed since the world's oldest bonsai were seeds.

On the contrary, wild olive trees recover quite quickly, which means you can put them in pots and start enjoying your new collection. Bonsai should look as authentic as possible: nothing should distract contemplators from the joy of experiencing a unique dance of emotional responses from the sight of a small tree that resembles their brothers and sisters in living nature. Although this progress towards international markets and enthusiasts was interrupted by the war, by the 1940s bonsai had become an art form of international interest and participation. It places the bonsai at a height that allows the spectator to imagine the bonsai as a full-size tree seen from a distance, placing the bonsai not so low that the spectator seems to be floating in the sky above it, nor so high that the spectator seems to be looking at the tree from below the ground.

People with aesthetic sensitivity can even imagine themselves birds singing among trees or insects singing in the grass when they look at a bonsai representation of a landscape. . .

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Harlan Nuon
Harlan Nuon

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