What is Bonsai you ask? Let's give you the answer!

Well, many people ask "what is Bonsai?" We can tell you 2 things. It is an ancient art form and it is amazing!

Now we've established that, lets answer your question…….


This amazing art form involves the growing of a tree or shrub in a small pot, but, we must appreciate that not every tree or shrub grown in a pot is a Bonsai. There is much more to this art than meets the eye!

"What is bonsai" quickly becomes "how to bonsai"! Bonsai trees are created from normal trees or shrubs. A bonsai should be a perfect miniature of the same tree fully grown in it's natural habitat. Basically, if left to their own devices, trees will grow as large as they can…….

As an artist, you will 'dwarf' a chosen tree, disallowing it from accelerating towards the skies. Why?

Because you can't have a 40ft Elm tree on your table at a dinner party can you? In order for a plant or tree to be considered a bonsai, the plant has to be successfully 'miniaturised'. This is achieved through the process of pruning and the limitation of it's root growth. The overall size of a Bonsai can vary significantly, and they can grow quite old (as old as humans!). Bonsai trees have a reputation of great age, but a plant does not have to reach a certain age to be considered a Bonsai.

Bonsai is an art form

Depending on the workmanship a 10-year-old specimen can be as visually powerful as a 100 year old!

The wonderful and exciting thing about Bonsai, is that unlike a painting or a sculpture, a bonsai is living. It breathes and grows. It is a piece of art that is always in progress.

The art form is cultural, spiritual and has an extensive history. So, as your interest grows, you may decide to grow a tree!

Your question "what is bonsai?" has been answered and eventually you will find yourself deciding on a purchase!

Don't be mistaken

Your tree may not be a bonsai! Young seedlings and cuttings that lack shape but placed in small containers are not genuine.

They may have had the potential to become an amazing specimen, but are nothing more than ‘sticks in pots’.

If you have a shapeless example, old trees and shrubs in pots with no shaping and no artistic merit, all is not lost!

You can call these 'potential Bonsai' now that you understand the answer to "what is Bonsai".

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