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Int. Jr. of Agril., Env. and Biotech. Vol. 4, No. 2 : June 2011 : 115-118

Bonsai : Symbol of Culture, Ideals, MoneyHorticulture and Beauty

Bonsai : Symbol of Culture, Ideals, Money and Beauty

Prasann Kumar*and Padmanabh Dwivedi

Department of Plant Physiology, Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India. *E-mail : [email protected] MS Received on : 27th March, 2011 Acccepted on : 21st March, 2011

Abstract A bonsai is not a genetically dwarfed plant and is not kept small by cruelty in any way. In another term bonsai establishes a connecting link between art and science. There are many myths which are associated with bonsai. These not only provide confusion for budding enthusiasts, but give the pastime a bad name for anyone not quite experienced in the area. Seeds or cuttings from young trees and stunted tree can be used for bonsai cultivation in containers. Over 2000 years ago china has the technology for bonsai cultivation, so it is regarded as the first country where bonsai first appeared at basic scale. Japanese contribute an extraordinary role in refining the art of china for bonsai, so Japanese are also credited for its introduction in the world. Bonsai were brought indoors for display at special times by the `Japanese elite' and became an important part of Japanese life by being displayed on specially designed shelves. Bonsai has tremendous commercial potential for its ornamental value. Keywords: Bonsai cultivation, Connecting link, Science.

Introduction According to the recommended technology, it is the art of artist for dwarfing trees or plants and developing them into an aesthetically appealing shape with the help of growing, pruning and training bonsai in containers. Bonsai word is made of two contributory words firstly the "Bons" meaning shallow pan and secondarily "Sai" meaning plant which can be translated as "tray planting". There are many myths which are associated with bonsai. These not only provide confusion for budding enthusiasts, but give the pastime a bad name for anyone not quite experienced in the area. A bonsai is not a genetically dwarfed plant and is not kept small by cruelty in any way. Bonsai can be developed from seeds or cuttings, from young trees or from naturally occurring stunted trees transplanted into containers. The most common bonsai range in height from 5 cm to 1 m. Bonsai are kept small and trained by pruning branches and roots, by periodic repotting, pinching off new growth, and making wiring of the branches and trunk gives desired shape of trunk and

braches of bonsai plants. Special hybrid dwarfs cannot be included in bonsai, while it includes ordinary trees or plants. Small leafed varieties are most suitable, but essentially any plant can be used, regardless of the size it grows in the wild. In Japan, varieties of pine, azalea, camellia, bamboo and plum are most often used. The artist cannot mimic nature engineering but rather expresses a personal aesthetic philosophy by manipulating it. Timeline of bonsai cultivation Bonsai first appeared in China over two thousand years ago on a very basic scale, known as pun-sai, where it was the practice of growing single specimen trees in pots. Bonsai were brought indoors for display at special times by the `Japanese elite' and became an important part of Japanese life by being displayed on specially designed shelves (Aragaki et al., 1989., Douthitt, 2001., Pessey, 1993). This extraordinary art was refined by Japanese who are also credited for its introduction in the world. In the 17th and 18th century, the

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Prasann Kumar and Padmanabh Dwivedi

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 those used today (Tomlinson, 2003). The main factor in maintaining bonsai is now the removal of all but the most important parts of the plant. Growing technology Propagation The plant raised from seeds or seedlings will take some time to train as bonsai. Large seedlings plants can also be obtained from nurseries. Container Formal bonsai containers are used for growing of developed trees. These containers are usually ceramic pots, which come in a variety of shapes as round, oval, rectangular and colors generally black, green, or brown and may be glazed or unglazed. When a flowering tree having red or pink flower is chosen as bonsai, a brown coloured pot should be avoided. Pots usually have vertical sides, so that the tree's root mass can easily be removed for inspection, pruning, and replanting. A bonsai pots have drainage holes in the bottom surface to complement fast-draining bonsai soil, allowing excess water to escape the pot. For preventing soil from falling out and to hinder pests from entering the pots from below growers cover the holes.

Planting A plant is planted in the center of the pot in straight bonsai, whereas cascade type should be planted on one side the side over which it hangs. Due to water falling directly over the soil, it leads to formation of hard surface of soil and it causes negative effect on growth and development of roots of bonsai plants. So hardening of soil in the pot can be prevented by scattering of small pebbles of different colour spread randomly over the surface, which will prevent the soil from becoming hard. Common styles of bonsai The different style of bonsai is based on the shape of the trunk at maturity and number of the tree grown in a pot. The important styles are: 1. Upright or chokkan style: In this bonsai style, stem of plant is directly upright and straight. Only one specimen is grown at a time.

Fig. 2 2. Slant-style or Shakan: In this bonsai style, trunk emerges from the base at an angle, and the apex of the bonsai will be located to the left or right of the root base.

Fig. 1 Planting Mixture A good potting mixture is made up of 2 parts of fibrous loam, 1.5 parts coarse river sand, 1 part leaf mould. Repotting of bonsai plant should be done after a certain period ranging from one to two year interval.


Fig. 3

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Bonsai : Symbol of Culture, Ideals, Money and Beauty

3. Cascade-style or Kengai: In this bonsai style, the trunk hangs over the edge of the container just like as if it hangs over the edge of a high mountain.

Plants Suitable for Bonsai Trees Adenanthera pavanina, Adansonia digiata, Berberis thunbergi, Bombax mamabaricum, Brassaia actinophyalla, Babbusa nigra, Butea monosperma, Callistemon lanceolatus, Chorisia speciosa, Erythrina crista-gall, Ficus religiosa, Ficus benghalensis, Ficus infectoria, Ficus retusa, Kegellia pinnata, Mangifera indica, Punica grantum, Putrangiva roxburghii, Thesposia populnea Juniperus chinensis, Juniperus prostrate, Pinus khasiana, Cedrus deodara, Cryptomeria Japonica, Ginkgo bilobia, Pinus densiflora, Picea excels, Taxus baccata. Abenium obesium, Azalea indica, Berberis asiatica, Brya ebenus, Contoneaster horizonalis, Fortunella japonica, Jatropa podagrica, Bougainvillea spp.

Conifers Fig. 4 4. Broom style or Hokidachi: In this bonsai style, trunk is straight and upright. It is used for those trees having numerous, fine branching of stem often with species like elms.


Bonsai size classifications Common names for bonsai size classes Large bonsai Common name Fig. 5 5. Multi-trunk style or Ikadabuki: In this bonsai style, all the trunks growing out of one common point having one root system. Morphologically it appears as multiple plants from a single pot but it is actually a single tree. Imperial bonsai Hachi-uye Dai Omono Chiu Chumono Katade-mochi Komono Mame Fig. 6 6. Literati style or Bunjin-gi: In this bonsai style the characterized feature is generally bare trunk line, with branches reduced to a minimum, and typically placed on the top of a long, often contorted trunk. Shohin Shito Keshitsubo Size class Eight-handed Six-handed Four-handed Four-handed Two-handed Two-handed One-handed Miniature bonsai One-handed One-handed Palm size Fingertip size Poppy-seed size 6­10 in (15­25 cm) 5­8 in (13­20 cm) 2­6 in (5­15 cm) 2­4 in (5­10 cm) 1­3 in (3­8 cm) Dimensions 60­80 in (152­203 cm) 40­60 in (102­152 cm) 30­48 in (76­122 cm) 30­48 in (76­122 cm) 16­36 in (41­91 cm) 16­36 in (41­91 cm) 10­18 in (25­46 cm)

Medium-sized bonsai

Routines within growing bonsai trees There are several routines that are done with the developing bonsai (Lewis, 1996): Training Copper wire is used very commonly for training and bending of bonsai trees. The gauage of the wire will depend on the specimen of

Fig. 7

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Prasann Kumar and Padmanabh Dwivedi

the plants. During wiring, we should take a precaution, that a branch first bind the wire round the trunk several times and then around the branch. The wire coil should spaced evenly by about 0.5 to 0.06 cm. Rewinding is to be done every six months. In upright and oblique style very little wiring is needed, whereas in other styles wiring is different. Pruning and Pinching Bonsai tree additionally wants adequate quantity of sun light to grow properly, at least 3 to 6 h daily. The last exercise is trimming the particular crown of the bonsai. The main attraction of the bonsai tree is its physical and morphological appearance and therefore we need to sustain its gorgeous look simply by trimming them regularly. With the sapling, this pruning can be important to minimize the expansion. Various methods of pruning viz. shoot pruning, leaf pinching, root pruning helps bonsai to keep plant dwarf. Watering Maintenance of optimal level of soil moisture within the growing pot is very important for desired level of performance of bonsai plants, hence regular and appropriate watering after a certain interval of time is an additional crucial action for growing bonsai tree. The particular earth of most bonsais must be kept wet constantly simply because dried up soil may get rid of the bonsai tree effortlessly. Excessively watering in pot again leads to detrimental effects on growth and development of growing plant roots, because excessive water causes reduction of soil porosity and these soil air space is occupied by soil water, so ultimately due to reduction of soil air anaerobic condition develops so that root respiration is affected causing reduction of energy generation; this slows the growth and causes death of plants roots. Choosing the stability is essential in this case. Additionally, bonsai tree cooking pots must have sufficient quantity of deplete openings thus water can easily strain properly. Watering should be done depending on climate as during the rains watering should be reduced.

Repotting The fast growing plants will need repotting every year while low growing will need repotting after 2 to 3 years. Role of growth retardant in canopy management of Bonsai As we know growth retardants are those chemical substances that retard stem elongation without causing a malformation of plants. e.g. Phosfon-D (2, 4-dichlorobenzyltributyl phosphonium chloride), cycocel or CCC (2-chloroethyl trimethylammonium chloride) and Bnine (N-dimethyl aminosuccinamic acid) are found effective on large number of plants. Cycocel (liquid) is used as foliar spray or soil drench. Phosfon-D and cycoel dust are applied in soil, while B-nine is used as foliar spray. In case of perennial plants, chemicals are used when new shoots on pruned plants attain 5-10 cm length. References 1. Aragaki, H. and Bester, J. (translator), 1989. Classic Bonsai of Japan. Kodansha International Ltd, 17-14 otowa 1-chme, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo. 188. 2. Douthitt, J., Hill, W., 2001. Bonsai- The Art of Living Sculpture. Rizzoli International Publication. Inc., 300 Park Avenue South New York. London, 144. 3. Gustafson, H.L., 1996. The Bonsai Workshop. Sterling International Publication. Inc., 300 park Avenue South New York. London, 128. 4. Lewis, C., 1996. Bonsai Survival Manual: tree by tree guide to buying, maintaining and problem solving. Quarto Publishing Plc., The old Brewery 6 Blundell Street London, 160. 5. Pessey, C.,1993. A Step-By- Step Guide to Growing Training and General Care. Sterling, 120. 6. Tomlinson, H., 1995. Bonsai-pocket encyclopedia. Readers Digest Association, Inc., Pleasantville, New York, London, 216. 7. Tomlinson, H., 2003. 101 Essential Tips: Bonsai.DK Publishing, Inc. 375 Hudson Street, New York, 72.


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