Old bonsai trees look amazing.... Add some wisdom to your life!
So you're wanting to find out about old bonsai trees?
We can tell you that older bonsai trees are an amazing way to add some wisdom to your garden or house.
In the world of bonsai, age is everything! The work of bonsai artists worldwide is judged on the aesthetics of old bonsai trees, seen through a tree's trunk and branches. Bonsai trees grown carefully over time present a sense of wisdom through thick trunks and carefully pruned foliage.
Among the oldest of all bonsai trees, if looked after properly, is the pine tree. Bonsai pines can live for thousands of years and gain aesthetic appeal with every year of live they pass! Imagine having an old pine in your yard? One that is meant to be 100 feet in height? This is what bonsai is all about!
Some trivia for you! There is wide debate on the oldest of all bonsai, but Masaru Yamaki's pine from Japan is considered among the oldest bonsai still in training, which is currently around 400 years old!
Lets take a look at buying old bonsai trees, and what to do to ensure you keep them alive!
If you are lucky enough to come across an old bonsai tree, say, over 30 years old, you must ensure you take the necessary precautions to not kill it.
Firstly, if you are thinking of buying an old tree, it will cost you! Bonsai increase in value with age, kind of like a fine wine! A 30 year old tree will be more expensive than a 15 year old, especially if the tree is in great shape! Bonsai nurseries will often have old specimens that have been carefully crafted over time, but expect to pay upwards of thousands of dollars! They don't come cheap, but, they are truly worth it!
Generally, as trees age, their roots can become brittle and entangled. This necessitates regular repotting, with the removal of around 30% of their roots. Repot older bonsai trees every 2 years to ensure good root health. When repotting, always ensure the new bonsai soil is healthy and of the correct pH for the species!
Bonsai masters tend to perform heavier pruning on older bonsai trees. If you have an old tree, you would be well advised to prune upwards of 50% of new growth in Spring, to maintain the tree's shape and character.
When wiring elderly bonsai trees, ensure you do not allow the wire to bite into the bark. If a tree has made it to old age, you don't want to go hurting it and abusing it in the prime of it's life!! You can use raffica to protect the branches, or wire loosely, allowing room to move.
Watering doesn't change. You should always water your bonsai daily, sometimes twice daily in hot weather!
It is important to match old bonsai trees with suitable pots. Again, depending on the species, you will select a new pot that can efficiently house the tree, but also match it's appearance. Old bonsai generally portray a sense of wisdom and grace. It is important to emphasise this with a nice pot, perhaps one that is unglazed and authentically old!
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