Choosing a Bonsai Tree

by : teahupoo

Though when people first think of the Bonsai tree they think of the Japanese, in fact the bonsai goes back thousands of years with the small trees even being found in the tombs of Egyptian Pharaohs. The bonsai that we know of today first appeared in the Tang dynasty of China in the 8th century which is how the Japanese found the art when they were bringing back a lot of the Chinese culture.

There was some rekindled interest in the miniature trees in the 1300's with the introduction of east and west trading and then once more in the 1600's but it was not until the exhibition in Paris in 1878 that the Bonsai became famous internationally with people all over the planet taking up the art today.

When choosing the type of bonsai that you want to grow you have a choice of two basic types, tropical and temperate. If you are growing the plants indoors this is not a critical decision but if you are raising your bonsais outside then it can be a critical one. Tropical bonsais are susceptible to freezing and cannot tolerate hard frosts like the temperate kind can. Even though the temperate bonsais are able to tolerate the lower temperatures they still need to be protected from severe cold.

The best treatment for all bonsais is to allow them to remain outdoors as much as possible, this will keep them the healthiest possible. If you must bring them in due to inclement weather conditions make sure that they have access to plenty of natural light and water them fervently. Temperates actually need the dormant cycle that they get from the fall and winter, if they don't experience a period of dormancy they may just wither away.

There are also different styles of bonsai in regards to the trunk with the main categories being single or multiple trunks. In the single trunk you will see four subcategories which are Bankan, Kengai, Chokkan, and Shakan. In the multi trunk you have the Soju, Yose, and Korabuki as the main styles.

The bonsai displays that you see shown as a landscape with other features added to them are called Bonkei. Suiseki displays are virtually like a small hillside and are usually designed to resemble a real mountain or hillside in miniature complete with rocks and other trees and sometimes even include buildings. If you are getting into bonsai as a hobby and do not intend to compete just practice the style that gives you pleasure.