Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Juniper sp.

Well known and one of the most popular - Juniper bonsai. It habituates in the northern hemisphere of the World. For growing a bonsai, it best suits species form South-Est of Europe and Asia.
Particular characteristic of the fruit is a common one for the whole Cypress group. The leaves happen to be of two type: pinnacle and very rigid or scale. Sometimes both of them appear to be present on the same bonsai. An interesting fact is that fruits of the Juniper are used to make the sort of alcohol called Jin. This tree likes a lot of sun rather than a watery environment.

Caring in vegetation period

Every king of Juniperus sp. is felling well under high-level sun radiation, but suffers being in a dark place(except heated seasons, when we talk about young plants).Juniper is very steady to most uncomfortable weather state and temperature, though when it is frosty weather you should guard its rhizome. Juniper does not attach to the group of plants which needs a lot of watering, so it is recommended not to water until the soil is fully dry. It is also not recommended to settle the plant in high humidity environment. Adding nutritive material best suits to a warm time of the year in a moderate way. You should not abuse using nutritions, when it is a favorabil season to browse.
In the end of winter it is the best time to trans-pot the Juniper and to prune (before the young runaway appears). Every 3 or 4 years, you should cut the rhizome to 1/3 of its true length, which makes a good plant invigoration of the existent rhizomes and appearance of new ones.

Styling the bonsai

The species which have pinnacle leaves, you should firstly completely remove the yellow ones, from the center of the crown, trying not to leave there a thing. The trees with green squamiform leaves should not have new runaways and the pruning is
good to be spent in spring and autumn.

Because of the low growth it is not a must to cut branches for changing the direction of the trunk, but it would be much more useful to wire, that could be done in autumn and un-wire not earlier than 7-8 months.
You could apply other, much harder techniques, thanks to a high flexibility and durability of its wood material. It is often used the technique of forming
the tree by attaching weights or cross-piece.

Illness and wreckers

The stables and leaves of these plants are rarely
exposed to insect, tick or woodlouse invasion in the specific power of the bark and leaves. But it can't be neglected the possibility of being infected with the fungus Coryneum cardinale, that slowly destroys the infected tree. The illness begins with discoloration of the leaves and appearance of some black spots on the surface of the trunk and branches, which provokes branches to become dry.

With the help of fungicide, especially sistematical, you could get rid of it. In this case you should necessarly remove dry branches, to eliminate the possibility of uncontrolable spreading of the fungus. Read more!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Bonsai forest pictures

Here are some amazing forest pictures, I like bonsai forests most of all, just incredible nature art:
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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Hinoki cypress bonsai

Look at it. How graceful it is. How old and ageless it looks. Beautiful and adorable CHAMAECYPARIS SP., or how we call it Dwarf Hinoki or False Cypress, stands up here making your eyes enjoy. There are a lot of cypress versions, with different look, form of leaves and color, which varies from bright green to pale-grayish. Trees are distinguished with theirs golden shades and needles, completely covering the bark. The edges of the leaves have blue coloring and the tree when mature will produce miniature cones, typically the size of a pea.The trees and the bushes in the wild nature, can reach heights in 50 meters with formation of a conic crone. Prominent cypress feature is ability of its some branches to a mutation that allows to receive new copies of a tree from stem cuttings.

Caring in vegetation period

Despite strong look, this coniferous tree does not carry excessive stay on the sun, in particular in the summer, its stability to cold weather is the characteristic feature. Watering should be regular for substratum maintenance in constantly damp condition, especially during the hottest period of year. It is necessary to avoid over watering the tree for what the deep soil with a porous limy substratum and good drainage gets it out. Because of the slow evolution of the tree adding of nutrients should be moderated. Repoting is made every three — five years only in the early spring.
The Hinoki Cypress needs to be fed biweekly from early spring to mid fall. Be sure to use soil without lime. If necessary, you can add one teaspoon of Epsom salts to the water every three months to provide the foliate needed magnesium. The result will be vibrant blue foliate.

Styling the bonsai

When pruning, it is necessary to delete new superfluous runaways so, that the crone not to be too expanded, and branches were proportional in the sizes. After occurrence of leaves it is recommended not to cut them, but to delete completely, liquidating on 1/3 of all volume of foliage and in regular intervals cleaning from the crone all the dried up leaves. In the autumn for regulation of growth of branches of the first order it is necessary to wire them, trying to keep small leaflets on a tree bark. Keep up, that the wire doesn't stick into the bark. Dismantle fixing design approximately in ten months. Always use your hands, never scissors, which will cause the foliage to turn brown. As far as wiring, the Cypress is generally easy to work with. Just remember that it usually takes some time for the branches to set. Because

of this, you will likely have to rewire more than once to avoid cutting deep into the tree. You can wire the Cypress throughout the year but a common problem is wiring takes the energy out of the tree. Therefore, wait about three to four months to report after you have wired the tree.
To repot your Cypress bonsai, this should be done every three to four years in mid spring for younger trees and then three to five years for the mature trees. When repotting, choose a richer mix if you grow your bonsai in a hot region, which will help keep the soil from drying out.
Now, since this tree is fast growing it is possible that you might need to repot every other year, often removing about one-third to one-half the root mass. You will need to determine the repotting schedule based on your specific tree. In any case, make sure the container used is not too big, which w ould cause problems with the soil remaining too wet.

Illness and wreckers

In a dehydrated medium there can be red soil pincers and wood lice though the most dangerous are illnesses of a fungoid origin, especially whe n pruning works are spent without caring of a sa nitary code. Red soil ticks are deleted by means of the cotton wool sadden with spirit, and then spray the acaricides or insecticides, reducing f or this purpose half a dose and concentration of a solution for usual plants. By means of the same receptions wood lice, but with the use of special insecticides.

The Cypress can have problems with juniper scale. However, a good, organic pesticide will generally keep things under control. Another problem is the bag worm, which will create webs in the dead foliage. Therefore, make sure you use the right product to kill the worm and remove any dead foliage. Read more!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Cedar bonsai

There are some types of cedar, that can become a bright bonsai indeed. The most precious ones come from the Cyprus Island and the Himalaya mountain ridge. On the one hand the are marked up by the size of the needles, by another hand by coloring and look. In the nature, tall (to sixty meters in height) trees with very thin extended needles are initially adapted for low winter temperatures and strong solar radiation in the summer. Needles grow directly from under barks of branches. In fructification of its cone in the thin, compactly located plates form fruits of the oval form with very easy winged seeds. Before I discuss what cedar is, perhaps I'd better clarify what cedar isn't. Eastern red cedar isn't a Cedrus at all, it's a juniper - Juniperus virginiana (which, BTW, is the "cedar" used as fragrant red cedar woodwork). Eastern white cedar and Western red cedar aren't Cedrus either, they're arborvitae - Thuja occidentalis and Thuja plicata, respectively. Incense cedar, Calocedrus decurrens, is close, but no cigar. Japanese cedar is Cryptomeria japonica.

Caring in vegetation period

The cedar perfectly adapts to any place, preferring solar, well aired corners with moderate humidity of environment. It is not necessary to fill in a substratum, completely to dry it before repeated watering, reducing a quantity of water and watering frequency in process of a cold snap. The soil should be well drained and sated sour clay. Fertilizers are brought as spring (for powerful growth of new runaways), as in the autumn (with a view of increase of frost resistance of a plant in the winter). The change is made strictly in time from three till five years. Roots are cut off on one third of length, but the earth which has stuck to a rhizome does not leave.

Styling the bonsai

Pruning works spend on new runaways as in the spring, and in the summer, deleting dry branches in a crone. Any care of cedar needles it is not required, except constant and all-the-year-round cleaning of needles falling down on soil.

The best time wiring a cedar is autumn. Fixing by a wire proceeds approximately one year. At a thickening of a trunk and branches not to suppose their damage.

Illness and wreckers

Caterpillars of a silkworm and bugs-grinders are the basic wreckers of a cedar. You need to destroy caterpillars operatively at detection or to sprinkle special insecticide if they have already generated a cocoon. When struggling with bugs-grinders is necessary to spray all tree in the end of winter. Identical work should be managed in the spring for destruction of adult individuals of a bug-grinder. From illnesses it is necessary to avoid some root white decay which is distinguished on the whitish stains appearing at the basis of a trunk, and at the started disease on slightly swelled up a little kidneys and loss of needles at a crone. Sometimes during the autumn period small fungi with a yellow scaly hat are observed.

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Friday, February 13, 2009

Additional bonsai classification and styles

By the time I've researched this amazing art, I discovered some additional bonsai classification. In most of the sources it was talking about size, trunk number and style classification of bonsai. Next I will give you some information about it.

Size classification

Considering the sizes, to be exact trunk height bonsai, we can speak about three basic groups: mini-bonsai, average bonsai and big bonsai. The height is measured from the basis to the top of a trunk without height of the landing container.
Mini-bonsai, named in Japanese «shohin», forms a group into which enter tiny bonsai with the height of a trunk to be from 8 to 15 centimetres. Distinctive property — fragility and intensive leaving. Their small sizes demand the constant control over conditions of cultivation, reduction of the time break between chopping the plant and its change. It is necessary to give particular attention to the soil condition, their landing containers have small sizes and limited volume of a substratum which suffers from fast evaporation and flooding by water. It is necessary to follow invariable conditions of cultivation of these bonsai as their small vital reserves and vulnerability can lead to death of the plant from a cold or the superfluous sun. Trees of this group possess the big decorative value.
Having reached heights of sixty centimetres, plants get to the second bonsai group which, in turn, is subdivided on two subgroups: Subgroup of "Komono" (Komono) with plants from 15 to 30 centimetres in height and "Chumono" (Chumono) with bonsai from 30 to 60 centimetres. Plants of both subgroups concern the most widespread bonsai as have proportions very convenient for work which favorably affect appearance of the plant.
And, at last, to the third group big
bonsai, or "Omono" (Omono), belong plants which can reach one meter in height. The majority of plants of this group are majestic and occupy the considerable space. Owing to these features them place outside of the house where they ideally look.

Trunk number classification

Often in containers there are some trees belonging to one kind or several trees, forming a group or forming a small landscape. There are trees, growing with one trunk from one root system. These are the most widespread
bonsai and the majority of existing styles is based on them. On the other hand, there are species that own some trunks growing from one root, known as multi-trunks bonsai grow. Usually gardeners create landscapes with more trunks, each of which having a separate root. In this group, except for the first kind formed in pair of trees, bonsai are grown up with odd quantity of trunks.

Style classification

This is the usual classification, which is often recognized by the all bonsai lovers
Irrespective of the sizes and features of bonsai
style, all of them are grown up by means of the same receptions. The aesthetic norms defining appearance of each copy, can differ, presenting thus original decisions so unlike against each other. From here there is a distinction of bonsai styles. Paramount value is given to an arrangement of a trunk and branches though also the form of roots in some cases is considered. Bonsai style is an artificial way of cultivation of vegetative kinds.
Occurrence of styles is based on supervision over the nature, and any deviation from it, so valued in gardening, that should be resolutely separated from the traditional
bonsai concept. It is important to keep communication between a grown up tree in bonsai style and wild plants. An example: there is a copy which belongs to a kind living in the marshy, fertile environment. We even couldn't think of beginning its formation in style "cascade" or «roots on a rock» because in the nature such situation is not viable. Styles differ with an inclination between a trunk of a plant and the container, an arrangement of branches and roots and configuration of several copies bonsai within one container. To the basic styles «the slanting tree» and "cascade" belong «formal upright».
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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Bonsai styles and forms

In order to decide to begin growing your own bonsai, you should already know that there are different styles, in which you little tree to be represented. Surely it all depends on the tree species and surely your imagination. There are a lot of complex styles to choose from, even you can apply some different styles together in order to make your eyes admire, but you should know the basic ones, from which you could easily begin. Bonsai can, however, be classified into five basic styles: formal upright, informal upright, slanting, cascade, and semi-cascade. There are two other possible styles (Windswept {Fukinagashi} and Literati {Bunjin}) that many people consider as basic styles.

Formal Upright (Chokkan)

The formal upright style has classic proportions and is the basis for all bonsai. It is the easiest for a beginn
er to grow because it requires the least experimentation, avoids the problem of selective pruning, and should almost immediately become a displayable bonsai. In this style, the form is conical or sometimes rounded and the tree has an erect leader and horizontal branches. One of the branches is lower and extends a little farther from the trunk than the others. Also, the lowest two branches are trained to come forward on the front side of the tree, one slightly higher than the other. The formal upright style is considered the easiest for the novice bonsai grower. Plants in the formal upright style look best in oval or rectangular containers. Do not center the plant when placing it in the container. Plant it about a third of the distance from one end to another. In choosing a nursery plant for this style, make sure the trunk rises up from the ground in a fairly straight line. Trim off the small branches or twigs that are too close to the base and near the main stem. These branches detract from the overall composition. For a tree to be a formal upright, it must have a very straight trunk and a very balanced distribution of branches and leaves. The goal is to develop a sense of balance, but not strict symmetry. The first branch should be the most strong and should be positioned roughly a third the height of the tree. This style is best suited to conifers.
Recommended Species are
: Larches, Junipers, Pines and Spruces are all suitable species. Maples can also be used, but are not as easy to train into such a conformist style. Above all, fruiting or naturally informal trees are not suitable for formal upright.

Informal Upright (Moyogi)

The informal upright style has much the same branch arrangement as the formal upright style, but the top, instead of being erect as in the formal upright style, bends slightly to the front. This bend makes the tree's branches appear to be in motion and enhances the look of informality. The trunk in the informal upright style bends slightly to the front. This bend helps to give the style of informality. Many nursery trees are naturally slanted. This makes them well suited to the informal upright style. Check the tree's slant by looking down at the trunk from above, from this angle the top should slant to the front. If this view is not attractive, you may move the rootball to slant the tree in another direction. If you choose a vertical tree at the nursery, and want to train it in the informal upright style, simply tilt the plant when potting it. When you do this, trim the branches and foliage so they are scaled to the size of the tree. The informal upright style looks best in an oval or rectangular container. It should be planted, not in the center of the container, but a third of the distance form one end. Informal uprights are one of the most common styles. This is the most basic design in that it follows the natural structure of the tree's trunk. The goal is to develop a single line of the trunk, reaching from the roots to the apex while producing a natural structure of branches and foliage. Again, the branching starts about a third of the way up, and there should be little or no empty spaces. Most deciduous trees will be best suited to informal upright styles.
Recommended Species are: Most species of plants are suitable for this style, mainly the Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum), Trident Maple (Acer buergerianum), Beech, practically all Conifers and other ornamental trees such as the Crab Apple, Cotoneaster and Pomegranate.

Slanting (Shakan)

In the slanting style, the trunk has a more acute angle than in the previous styles. The lowest branch should spread in the direction opposite to that in which the tree slants. The top of the tree is bent slightly toward the front. The lower branches are arranged in groups of three, starting about one-third the way up the trunk. In the slanting style the trunk has a more acute angle than in the informal upright style. The lowest branch spreads in the opposite direction to that in which the tree slants. Slanting trees in nature are called "leaners" -- trees that have been forced by the wind and gravity into nonvertical growth. The attitude of the slanting style falls between the upright and cascade styles. This style looks best planted in the center of a round or square container. The goal of shakan is to balance the movement of the trunk with the placement of the branches so that the tree does not appear to be lopsided. A slanted style tree can often give a very powerful impression of strength and age.
Recommended Species are: Most species are suitable for this style, as the style does bear similarity to informal upright. Conifers work particularly well.

Cascade (Kengai)

In the cascade style the trunk starts by growing upward from the soil, then turns downward abruptly, and reaches a point below the bottom edge of the container. For this reason, the container should be placed on the edge of the table, or on a small stand. The cascade style of bonsai represents a natural tree growing down the face of an embankment. A cascaded planting usually looks best in a round or hexagonal container. The cascade style has most of its foliage below the soil surface. This style is representative of a natural tree that is growing down the face of an embankment. Training a tree in the cascade style takes longer than in the slanting style. Choose a low-growing species instead of forcing a tree that normally grows upright into an unnatural form. Bend the whole tree forward so one back branch is vertical and the side branches fall naturally. A cascaded planting usually looks best in a round or hexagonal container that is higher than it is wide. The tree should be planted off-center from the cascading side.

Semicascade (Han-Kengai)

The semicascade style has a trunk that is allowed to grow straight for a certain distance, and then is cascaded down at a less abrupt angle than in the cascade style.The semicascade style has a curving trunk that does not reach the bottom of the container as in the cascade style. Prostrate junipers and flowering plants are well adapted to both of these styles. The cascading branches are thought of as the front of the tree, and the back branches are trained closer to the trunk than in the other styles. The semicascade should not reach below the bottom of the container, but should go below the level of the soil surface.
Recommended Species are: Plants that are well adapted to the cascade and semicascade styles are prostrate junipers, and flowering plants such as chrysanthemums, wisteria, willows, and star jasmine.

Windswept (Fukinagashi)

This style simulates the effect of sustained exposure to strong winds. In this design, each of the branches appears to be "swept" to one side, as if being blown by a strong wind or having large portions of foliage and branches stripped by environmental conditions. These trees are modeled on trees usually found in coastal areas, where strong environmental forces have shaped and sculpted them for years.

Literati Style (Bunjin)

This style is the most unconventional of them all. Bunjin often have long thin trunks which curve back around toward the front at the top, displaying the tree's foliage in a cascading form. It is not uncommon to see Japanese Red Pines shaped in this style. This style technically "breaks the rules" in a number of ways, but also imitate trees in nature that have been forced to contort themselves to survive. Often the result of adverse conditions, bunjin show us how nature itself "breaks the rules" in order to survive, not infrequently with astounding grace and beauty.

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Bonsai history

Bonsai first appeared in China over a thousand years ago on a very basic scale, where it was the practice of growing single species of trees in pots. Actually, it was during the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907), when they, for the first time, created miniature landscapes and trees which they called Penjing, that literally translated means tray scenery.

With Japan's adoption of many cultural labels of China - bonsai was also taken up, introduced to Japan during the Kamakura period (1185 - 1333) by means of Zen Buddhism - which at this time was rapidly spreading through Asia.

The earliest documented proof of bonsai was discovered in the tomb of Prince Zhang Huai, who died in 706 during the Tang Dynasty. Two wall paintings discovered in the tomb show servants carrying some plants resembling bonsai. In one of the paintings a servant is carrying a miniature landscape and in the other painting a servant is shown carrying a pot containing a little tree.

Bonsai were brought indoors for display at special times by the 'Japanese elite' and became an important part of Japanese tradition by being displayed on specially designed shelves. These complex trees were no longer permanently reserved for outdoor display, although the practices of training, pruning and wiring did not develop until later - the small trees at this time still being taken from the wild nature. In the 17th and 18th century, the Japanese arts reached their peak and were regarded very highly. Bonsai again evolved to a much higher understanding and refinement of nature - although the containers used seemed to be slightly deeper than the pots used today. The main factor in maintaining bonsai was now the removal of all but the most important parts of the plant. The reduction of everything just to the essential elements and ultimate refinement was very symbolic for the Japanese philosophy at this time - shown by the very simple Japanese gardens such as those in the famous temple - Roan-ji.

Called Bonsai (tree in a pot or tray) by Japanese , this art form was initially limited to the elite noble class and did not become popular until the Muromachi era in the 14th century, jointly prospering with the green tea ceremony to become part of Japanese culture and tradition.

By the Edo era in the 16th century, every citizen of every class, from the Daimyo (feudal lord) to the merchants, wouldn't hesitate at a chance to enjoy Bonsai together, and several competitions for potters were held regularly. During this period the Japanese developed a passion for growing plants and gardens and in this period Bonsai styles appear on prints and illustrations along with life's events and landscapes. It is regarded that the Japanese Bonsai arts reached their peak by the 18th century, and were regarded very highly.

The Japanese went to great lengths to refine the art of Bonsai and a lot of credit must go to these early masters, the refinements that they developed have made Bonsai what it is today, and some consider that the finest Bonsai are still being developed by Japanese.

While it is almost certain that Western man had in some small way been exposed to Bonsai even as early as the 16th Century by sea traders and missionaries, the earliest Bonsai to come to the west came from Japan and China. The showing of Bonsai at Paris exhibitions in 1877, 1889, 1900 and the first major Bonsai exhibition held in London in 1908 increased western interest in Bonsai. In the late 1800's at least 2 Japanese nurseries had operations in America and a catalog from the S.M. Japanese Nursery Company from 1904 indicates that over six hundred plants were sold off over a three day period in New York City. In these early years many westerners felt that the trees looked tortured and many openly voiced their displeasure in the way the trees were being treated by Bonsai masters. It wasn't until 1935 that opinions changed and Bonsai was finally classified as an art in the west.

In Japan today, bonsai are highly regarded as a symbol of their culture and ideals. The New Year is not complete
unless the tokonoma - the special niche in every Japanese home used for the display of ornaments and prized possessions - is filled with a blossoming apricot or plum tree. Bonsai is no longer reserved for the upper - class, but is a joy shared by executive and factory worker alike.

The Japanese tend to focus on using native species for their bonsai - namely pines, azaleas and maples (regarded as the traditional bonsai plants). In other countries however, people are more open to opinion.

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My bonsai blog

I dedicate this blog to Bonsai trees, of which I am kindly passionate. I even don't remember when I first time became a fan of this prehistoric art of Chinese/Japanese culture, but I am sure that my passion, as for all other nature loving humans, will be in my heart till the rest of my life.
Isn't it adorable to bring up a little piece of nature in your own home, by your own hands, taking care of it like a mother of a child.
I have circled internet for some time and I have seen a lot of information and pictures of Bonsai, and I decided to dedicate this blog, for those who are starting to get known with this piece-of-art
and would like to know much more about it's history and nature...
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