The tiniest trees – enjoy the beauty of the ancient art of bonsai
Adorable bonsai trees are not just miracles – they are a result of hard work and hundreds of hours of care. Let's take a look at the most wonderful examples of this ancient Asian art and learn a little more about it.
The ultimate goal of this Japanese art form is to cultivate, in containers, small trees that look exactly like full size trees
'Bonsai' literally means 'tray planting'
Bonsai originated in Japan in the 6th century from the Chinese practice of penjing, which is very similar to bonsai, but allows more "wild-looking" trees
Bonsai reached the highest level of expertise only in the 14th century
Any tree species can be used to grow a bonsai – they are not genetically dwarfed plants
To keep such a tree small, one needs to cut and reshape its branches and roots all the time
Some tree species are more popular for bonsai due to their small leaves and needles
Anyway, professional bonsai artists sometimes choose species with large leaves on purpose – it complicates the whole process and makes it more interesting
To keep the leaves small, most bonsai artists cut the largest ones off (not disturbing the stem)
Bonsai trees can live just as long as full sized trees, but they need constant care – otherwise they just grow wild and spread out of containers
This bonsai is about 120 years old:
And the oldest one, the Ficus retusa Linn, is now found at the Crespi Bonsai Museum in Italy. It's more than 1,000 years old
There are many styles of bonsai. Cascade-style conifer is in the picture:
Flowers and fruits can also grow on bonsai trees. Popular species with fruits include fig, crabapple, lemon, orange, mulberry and cherry
The smallest bonsai trees are usually about 1 to 3 inches tall (3 to 8 cm)
The most expensive bonsai tree was sold in Japan for $1.3 million
Which tree did you like the most? Would you like to try growing a bonsai tree yourself?
We are waiting for your comments!
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