Where do bonsai trees grow naturally?

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. 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 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.

Unlike other types of plants, bonsai are not native to any particular region. They grow in temperate regions, such as Japan and China. 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 pruning, root reduction, potting, defoliation and grafting to produce small trees that mimic the shape and style of full-size mature trees. Originally, only the elite of society practiced pun-tsai with specimens collected by the natives, and the trees spread all over China as luxury gifts. During the Kamakura period, the period when Japan adopted most of China's cultural brands, the art of growing trees in containers was introduced to Japan.

The Japanese developed bonsai along certain lines due to the influence of Zen Buddhism and the fact that Japan is only 4% the size of mainland China. The range of landscape shapes was therefore much more limited. Many techniques, styles and tools known in Japan were developed from Chinese originals. Although it has been known to a limited extent outside of Asia for three centuries, only recently has bonsai truly spread outside its countries of origin.

The direct inspiration for bonsai is found in nature. Trees that grow in the rocky crevices of high mountains, or that protrude from cliffs, remain dwarf and gnarled throughout their existence. The Japanese prize in bonsai, an aged appearance of the trunk and branches and an eroded character in the exposed upper roots. These aesthetic qualities are considered to embody the philosophical concept of the mutability of all things.

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. Bonsai is an ancient ornamental plant, which has been cultivated for 2000 years. Basically, it originated in 700 A, D in China, when people started growing dwarf trees in small trays, or a similar type of containers.

Olive trees grow to a mature age and have impressive trunks, but they don't grow too much in their natural habitat. Takamatsu City (home of Kinashi Bonsai village) was already cultivating partially formed dwarf pine fields as a major source of income. There are several types of trees that produce excellent bonsai in nature, such as olives, walnuts and elm. Like the aesthetic rules that govern, for example, period music of common Western practice, bonsai guidelines help practitioners to work within an established tradition with some certainty of success.

Its dwarf trees were renamed “Bonsai” (the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese term pun-tsai) to differentiate them from the common hachi-no-ki that many people cared for. While the word bonsai literally translates to “grown in a container,” it symbolizes much more than that. Recently, bonsai, too often seen as a tiring pastime for the elderly, now even has a version that is becoming popular with the younger generation with easy-to-care, cordless, wild-looking mini-trees and landscapes using native plants. For example, Kokufu-ten bonsai exhibits reappeared in 1947 after a four-year cancellation and became annual affairs.

Compositions with more than one type of tree were accepted and recognized as legitimate creations. Finding beauty in severe austerity, Zen monks, with fewer landforms as models, developed their tray landscapes along certain lines so that a single tree in a pot could represent the universe. The practice of bonsai development incorporates a number of techniques, either exclusive to bonsai or, if used in other forms of cultivation, applied in unusual ways that are particularly suitable for bonsai mastery. Bonsai are not cultivated for food or medicinal purposes, but are intended for viewing pleasure.

The art originated in China, where, perhaps more than 1000 years ago, trees were cultivated on trays, wooden containers and clay pots and trained in naturalistic ways. The Japanese tradition of bonsai does not include indoor bonsai, and bonsai that appear in Japanese exhibitions or catalogs have been cultivated outdoors throughout their lives. Not only is bonsai a great way to display trees, but it helps the horticulturist learn a lot about tree care. .

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Harlan Nuon
Harlan Nuon

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