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Bonsai Care

Bonsai Care, Bonsai Supplies, Bonsai Tree Care Basics

Can I Use Cactus Soil for Bonsai?

Bonsai cultivation involves several activities that cause a lot of strain to your tree. For example, constantly shaping a bonsai tree takes its toll after some time, so it is essential to have a high-quality recovery system. A healthy root system will ensure that your bonsai tree has enough power and strength to stay alive.

Soil plays a vital role in ensuring you have a healthy bonsai tree with a robust root system. Although you could always buy the ready-made bonsai soils in stores, they can be rather expensive. What soil alternatives do you have for successful bonsai cultivation?

One of the options that you have probably come across is the use of cactus soil. Many bonsai beginners are unsure if cactus soil is a viable option for bonsai trees. When you are new to bonsai cultivation, you must carry out detailed research before performing any action. This is quite understandable since you want the perfect bonsai tree.

Bonsai tree cultivation takes a lot of time and effort, as you have already realized. We don’t want you to make any mistakes because it could cost you your perfect bonsai tree. Let’s take a close look at whether you can use cactus soil for bonsai.

What Is Cactus Soil?

Cactus soil is specially designed for the cultivation and growth of cactus plants. It is commonly referred to as a cactus mix and is widely available in most nurseries and garden centers. Thus, you have the option of purchasing cactus soil or making your own at home. When it comes to cactus soil, you need the right combination of ingredients.

Getting cactus soil from garden centers ensures that you get a mixture with superior drainage qualities. Bonsai cultivation requires soil that can dry quickly upon watering. Soil that holds water can lead to several problems that will stunt the development of your bonsai tree.

Cactus Soil vs. Bonsai Soil

Buying ready-made bonsai soil is an ideal solution when you have sufficient funds. However, you have probably read about different bonsai cultivators who use their own soil mixtures. One great alternative that you could use is cactus soil.

Cactus soil has a suitable water retention rate because it is not prone to break down or condense. The ultra-porous properties of cactus soil make it ideal for bonsai cultivation. You can also use cactus soil for other types of succulents other than the cactus plant.

Cactus soil is just as productive as bonsai soil when appropriately mixed. The key with cactus soil is getting your mixture just right. You will need a specific mix that matches the need of your bonsai tree. Different tree varieties will need different blends, and you will have to conduct proper research to determine the appropriate blend.

When you carefully look at bonsai soil, it resembles the same mixture as cactus soil. Bonsai soil can be classified as cactus soil that has undergone several tweaks. With a little bit of practice, you can start mixing cactus soil to get an exact match for commercial-grade bonsai soil.

Pros of Using Cactus Soil for Bonsai

  • No organic components

Cactus soil does not contain any organic compounds, which ensures that you get a perfect drainage system. Although organic compounds can be beneficial in some situations, they often lead to a lack of drainage. Without proper draining, your bonsai tree roots will rot, causing several complications. Bonsai trees take longer to heal than the average plant, and you don’t want to find yourself in a compromising situation.

  • Perfect water retention rate

The retention rate of cactus soil remains unchangeable throughout the entire process. Most soils will break down and condense after a certain period. With cactus soil, however, you are assured of a perfect water retention rate at all times. You don’t have to worry about your bonsai tree lacking water or having too much water.

  • Ultra-porous properties

The ultra-porous properties of cactus soil ensure that your bonsai tree has enough space to grow and flourish. Understand that proper root development is required to have a healthy bonsai tree. Root development is significantly encouraged by the porous properties of cactus soil.

Cons of Using Cactus Soil for Bonsai

  • Steep learning curve

Making the perfect cactus soil mix can be rather tricky and you need a lot of expertise. A lot of trial and error is required to find the ideal mix. Most of the time, bonsai cultivators don’t have room to carry out several tests. The good news, however, is that you can always get cactus soil from nurseries and garden centers.

Cactus soil is a great option when it comes to bonsai cultivation. This soil works just as well as bonsai soil. Cactus soil and bonsai soil are made up of similar ingredients and provide the same benefits like water retention and good drainage. You get a cheap alternative that guarantees excellent results. Ensure that you find the right cactus mix for your bonsai tree variety.

Bonsai Care, Bonsai Tree Care Basics

How to Trunk Chop a Bonsai Tree

When designing your miniature tree, one of the most important considerations is the trunk. A strong trunk not only looks beautiful but also ensures the well-being of your trees. Bonsai tree cultivation can be rather challenging, especially when you don’t know how to develop a large and interesting trunk.

Trunk chopping is one of the most common techniques used to create the perfect bonsai tree trunk. If you don’t know how to trunk chop a Bonsai tree, then you have come to the right place. In this article, we will take an in-depth look at everything you need to know about trunk chopping your bonsai tree.

Is Trunk Chopping Healthy?

Now, you may have come across a group of people who deem trunk chopping a ‘dirty’ word. Why does this happen? Some trees don’t recover fully from trunk chopping wounds. If you have been to bonsai exhibitions and shows, then you might have noticed this.

However, there is nothing wrong with trunk chopping since the scars are only visible from the backside. To many bonsai tree cultivators, the wounds are not an issue, but experienced bonsai connoisseurs might not agree with this sentiment. They feel that the undesired effect of trunk chopping ruins the entire design.

You must understand the side effects of trunk chopping your bonsai tree before we can move on to the next sections.

Bonsai Tree Trunk Chopping

There are two distinct styles of trunk chopping: Moyogi tapering and Spreading Oak tapering. In this section, we will take a look at both of the styles to help you decide which one suits you.

The Moyogi Tapering Style

The Moyogi tapering style can be traced back to ancient Japan. It focuses on the trunk that emerges from the soil and considers it a crucial component of achieving the desired results. Your trunk must, therefore, show signs of movement before you start trunk chopping.

The trunk chopping should be done straight across since new buds don’t develop at high points. If your trunk is not chopped straight through, then the buds may appear at lower points of your bonsai tree. When this happens, you will have to re-cut your tree trunk.

Re-cutting should be avoided since it will lead to a large scar. The problem with large scars is that they set back your tree’s development. However, you can always chop your trunk at an angle should you spot a decent low bud or branch.

The Spreading Oak Tapering Style

With this style, you will have to start by making a straight-across chop, just like the Moyogi tapering style. It is always a great idea to carry out this stage during mid-autumn to ensure you can pick the best three buds.

You then need to wait for the spring season before you start cutting back your branch when you spot four pairs of leaves. You can also leave your bonsai tree branch with only a pair of leaves intact for better results.

After 3-4 weeks of growth, start adding wire to achieve the spreading oak style. This style requires you to exercise patience for around four years before you get the sound and admirable trunk that you want. Your secondaries should be handled exactly like the primaries while you wait for the tertiaries to build a canopy top.

Things to consider before chopping your bonsai tree trunk

Trunk chopping techniques should be used on well-developing tree species only. Ensure that your bonsai tree is a healthy and vigorous species before you think about trunk chopping. Avoid trunk chopping when your bonsai tree shows signs of slow development.

Careful monitoring and panning are required once the tree-back buds because you have to pick another leader.

Hardwood deciduous trees respond quite well to trunk chopping. Tree species belonging to the Acer genus will also respond very well. These trees have a high survival rate and usually bounce back nicely from wounds.

Consider taking a walk in nature to get inspiration on a suitable shape for your bonsai tree. You will come across unusual patterns and shapes that will open up your imagination greatly.

Conclusion

Planning and patience are essential when you decide to carry out trunk chopping. Remember that the entire process will take time, and it can be quite challenging. Open up your imagination and let your bonsai tree guide you on your journey to achieving greatness.

Bonsai Care, Bonsai General Info, Bonsai Tree Care Basics, Indoor Bonsai Trees, Outdoor Bonsai Trees

How To Look After Your Bonsai Tree

The bonsai tradition is one that anyone can participate in. Bonsai growing is not hard, but there are some aspects to it that are unlike those of growing any other houseplant. The way we care for our bonsai is different because of one important aspect: the small, shallow container. Because they are housed in these containers, the trees’ nutrient and water intake is restricted. Soil is another special part of bonsai growing, because they are not planted in regular potting soil. Keep reading to learn how to look after your bonsai.

Bonsai Placement: Indoor or Outdoor?

Generally, bonsai are placed into two categories: indoor and outdoor. It is very important to your tree’s survival that you know what kind of tree you have. The care requirements are nearly identical for these trees, but they each grow best in their own climates. 

Indoor bonsai trees are tropical or subtropical species. This means they like high temperatures, high humidity, and lots of sun. Growing constantly all year, they do not have dormancy periods in the winter. Common indoor bonsai include the Ficus, Carmona, and Jade species. These trees should be placed in front of a window where they can receive as much light as possible, usually a south-facing window. 

Outdoor bonsai, on the other hand, are temperate, continental, Mediterranean, or maritime trees. Unlike indoor species, the outdoor variety goes dormant once a year to survive the winter and prepare for growth in the spring. Exposure to the four seasons is crucial to the tree’s survival. Winters must be cold enough for them to go dormant, but not so cold that frost damages the tree. They must be protected from frost in a greenhouse.

The Importance of Watering

There are some very important factors to consider when watering your bonsai. First, you should never water your bonsai on a schedule or routine. Always check the tree’s soil moisture before watering. Watering on a routine can cause serious issues like under- and over-watering. Both of these will prove fatal if done often enough. 

When your tree needs to be watered, do so with a fine-nozzle watering can to prevent the soil from being disturbed. Using rain water is preferred, but tap water can be used as well. Water generously until the water begins to drain out of the holes at the bottom or sides of the pot. Wait around 10 minutes, then repeat.

Providing Nutrients With Fertilizer

bonsai care

Since bonsai are planted in nutrient restricting pots, they require fertilizer in order to survive. Bonsai fertilizer is composed of three elements: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Each serves a different purpose but is equally important. 

Because indoor bonsai grow consistently all year, they should also be fertilized all year. Feed with liquid, balanced fertilizer. The rate at which you should fertilize depends on the brand, so follow the directions on the packaging. 

Outdoor bonsai should be fed during their growth season, from spring to autumn. Fertilizer with a higher nitrogen content should be used in the spring, balanced fertilizer in the summer, and lower nitrogen content fertilizer in the autumn. Do not feed in the winter.

Bonsai Soil and Repotting

The right soil is key in the health of your bonsai. Bonsai need a special inorganic fertilizer, rather than organic potting soil. Inorganic soil consists of Akadama, pumice, and lava rock. Good bonsai soil provides drainage, aeration, and water retention. Organic soil provides none of these crucial qualities and will cause your tree to die. 

Deciduous bonsai need a mix of Akadama, Pumice, and lava rock at a ½, ¼, ¼ ratio. Coniferous like the same mix at a ⅓, ⅓, ⅓ ratio. 

Every few years, your bonsai will need to be repotted. This is because new roots will grow, which takes up the room that the soil used to. Once the roots have circled around the root ball, it is time to repot. Old roots should be pruned off. Without repotting, your bonsai will become pot bound, meaning the tree will not soak up nutrients, and it will die. 

Caring for a bonsai tree may seem intimidating at first, but don’t worry! Participating in this beautiful tradition is very rewarding, because you aren’t just looking after a tree, you are embarking on a journey. When you first get your tree, you will either place it indoors or outdoors, depending on the species. Make sure you know what kind of tree you have! Watering should be done as necessary, not on a routine. Fertilizing needs varies from indoor to outdoor species. Repot your tree every few years as needed with inorganic soil. We know you will love caring for your bonsai tree!

Bonsai Care, Bonsai Tree Care Basics, Indoor Bonsai Trees

Indoor Bonsai Low Light

An indoor bonsai tree not receiving enough light can be a major problem – for most bonsai. There are some indoor bonsai that thrive in environments with low light. On the other hand, bonsai that need lots of light will experience harmful and even fatal effects if they are not receiving enough light. Luckily, there are plenty of ways you can get your bonsai the light that it needs, including artificial lighting and periodic outdoor placement.

Indoor Bonsai That Grow in Low Light

While most indoor bonsai must be grown indoors in order to receive as much light as possible, there are some bonsai that do not need lots of light to survive. These trees are recommended for those who live in darker, colder areas as well as those who are just starting out in the bonsai world. 

By far, the most popular indoor bonsai is the Ficus bonsai. Trees in the Ficus variety do not need lots of light, can handle low humidity, and do not like direct sunlight. Placing the Ficus at a window where it can receive indirect sunlight and no shade is best for this tree to thrive. 

The Hawaiian Umbrella bonsai is another bonsai that needs very little light and low humidity. They prefer temperatures above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. These trees do not need artificial lighting at all! Hawaiian Umbrellas can survive solely on the indirect light they receive from the sunlight. 

Another bonsai tree that grows very well in low light is the Lucky Bamboo bonsai. While not actually bamboo, their stems resemble the stems of real bamboo plants, hence the name Lucky Bamboo. They are some of the easiest bonsai to grow because of their tolerance for light. Lucky Bamboo grows very well in low light as well as lots of light.

Problems with Placing Outdoor Bonsai Inside

The biggest difference between indoor and outdoor bonsai is the fact that outdoor bonsai must go into dormancy in the winter, while indoor bonsai do not. Because of this, placing an outdoor bonsai inside can be very harmful to the tree. When placed inside, outdoor bonsai will not be able to go dormant and they will die as a result. 

If your tree looks like it is not growing properly, figure out what kind of tree you have. Maritime, continental, mediterranian, and temperate trees must be grown outdoors, while subtropical and tropical trees need to be grown indoors.

Harmful Effects of Low Light in Bonsai

Most indoor bonsai need lots of light. If your bonsai is not receiving enough light, your bonsai’s growth will slow and eventually cease. If this goes on for too long, your tree will not be able to recover. Signs of low light include yellowing leaves. These leaves will dry out and fall off the tree. It should be noted that yellowing leaves is also a sign of under-watering.

How to Give Your Bonsai Enough Light

We now know how important it is to give your tree enough light, but what can we do to give the tree plenty of light? 

First and foremost, place your indoor bonsai directly in front of a south-facing window or a window where it will receive as much light as possible. While your bonsai won’t receive direct sunlight indoors, placing the tree in front of a well-lit window will guarantee your bonsai is getting as much sunlight as possible. 

It is very likely that even in front of this window, your bonsai isn’t receiving enough light. Artificial lighting is needed for many indoor bonsai. The light intensity the tree will receive with these grow lights will greatly increase the quality of life for your tree. Leave the lights on for around 10 hours every day. Some grow lights can even automatically turn on or off at a certain time every day. 

The amount of light your bonsai receives can make or break or tree. Bonsai that can tolerate low light will, of course, thrive in this setting, but most indoor bonsai will be badly affected by low light. Those that need lots of light will benefit greatly from being placed in front of a well-lit window at all times. Grow lights can also benefit many bonsai that are not getting enough light naturally. Also keep in mind that outdoor bonsai cannot be grown indoors, and vice versa! Your bonsai will always be happier in full sun, but those who can survive it will be just fine in low light.

Bonsai Care, Bonsai Species, Outdoor Bonsai Trees

How to Care For Trident Maple Bonsai

Trident Maple bonsai are some of the most popular bonsai in the world. Anyone can take care of this hardy plant without too much trouble. They do require a decent amount of attention since they need to be watered frequently. You can be as creative as you want to be with these trees since they handle pruning and wiring very well. 

These trees can be distinguished by their dark green leaves that turn red and orange in the fall. The Trident Maple has three-lobed leaves as opposed to the five-lobed leaves of the similar tree, Japanese Maple.

Caring for Trident Maple Bonsai

Taking care of a Trident Maple bonsai is not hard at all. They prefer lots of light with afternoon shade. Watering should be done frequently so that the soil stays moist. Feed these trees from spring to summer using a balanced fertilizer. They take pruning very well but wiring should be done with some caution. Pests are rare, and diseases can be easily fixed.

Where to Position Your Trident Maple Bonsai

Trident Maple bonsai need to be placed outside all year long. These trees are in the outdoor category because they need to go into dormancy in the winter. While temperatures must be low in the winter, they need to be protected from frost. Placing them in a cold garage or in a greenhouse will work well in the coldest of winters. 

In the summertime, Trident Maples prefer lots of light. Set your tree in a spot where it can receive shade in the afternoons. Too much direct sunlight will cause the leaves on the tree to burn.

Watering Your Trident Maple Bonsai

Your Trident Maple bonsai’s soil should be kept moist. Watering should be done nearly every day. A well-draining soil is a must. This soil will help prevent over-watering, which is a common, deadly disease in these bonsai. In the winter, water less often since it will be dormant. 

Never water your bonsai more than once a day unless the soil dries out. Checking the soil before you water will help you determine whether you need to water your Trident Maple. Do not let the soil dry out completely, but do not soak the soil.

When to Fertilizer Trident Maple Bonsai

As you may know, bonsai are trees that are planted in shallow containers. The purpose of this type of container is to restrict growth and nutrients. Since the tree cannot receive the nutrients it needs as trees in nature do, fertilizer is needed to keep the tree healthy and strong.

Trident Maple bonsai have a dormancy period, which means they also have a growth period. Fertilizer is used to encourage growth, so it should be applied during this growth period. This is from spring to autumn, March to September. Use a balanced fertilizer once or twice a month. Do not fertilize in the winter.

How to Prune and Wire Trident Maples

Pruning and wiring practices are key to maintaining the shape of the tree. Heavy pruning at the top of the tree will encourage growth at the bottom of the tree. For every five to six leaves, leave two. Remove weak branches carefully in the summer. When roots die, prune them off. Roots are very tolerant when it comes to pruning. 

Do as much wiring as possible when the tree is still young. Do not keep the wires on for too long. Remove the wire during the same season that you applied it. Wire is known to bite into and scar tree branches when kept on too long.

Trident Maple’s Common Pests and Diseases

So long as your Trident Maple is properly cared for, it is unlikely that it will encounter any pests or diseases. If a pest is to attack your tree, it is likely an aphid. Apply a pesticide and your problem should be solved. 

Diseases are much more likely to occur. These include problems that arise due to light deficiency as well as under- and over-watering. All of these problems can be dealt with if discovered quickly. 

If your tree is not receiving enough light, consider moving it to a place where it can receive full sun and little shade.

Issues related to water can also be resolved easily. Simply water when the soil starts to dry out. Do not let the soil dry out completely. 

Those new to bonsai growing will love the Trident Maple bonsai. It is easy to care for, and is arguably one of the most beautiful bonsai species you can grow. You can let your creative side run wild when cultivating this tree by using pruning and wiring techniques. The care of this tree is simple. Water often, fertilize every two to four weeks, and keep the tree outside unless it frosts. Pests and diseases can be taken care of easily. We know you will love caring for your Trident Maple bonsai!

Bonsai Care, Bonsai Species, Outdoor Bonsai Trees

Evergreen Bonsai

Evergreen bonsai are trees that keep their foliage all year. Their leaves stay green all year as well (unless they are in poor living conditions, but we’ll get into this later in the article!). Common evergreen species include spruce, fir, pine, and cypress. These are perfect for those who can pay a good amount of attention to the tree. They need to be watered every two to three days and fertilized every week or so. In this article, we will be going over everything you need to know to properly care for your evergreen bonsai.

How to Care for Evergreen Bonsai

Your evergreen tree will thrive with plenty of water, lots of sun, and weekly feedings. Most of the evergreen species are very easy to care for, so they are perfect for those who are just dipping their toes into the bonsai world. Pests and diseases are relatively common but can be dealt with by using pesticides and improving the tree’s living conditions. All evergreens are outdoor bonsai, and they should only be brought inside to be protected from harsh light or to be given additional light through artificial light.

Are Evergreen Bonsai Indoor or Outdoor Trees?

In nature, evergreen trees grow in cold regions and in rainforests. As bonsai, they grow best in full sun outdoors. Some can survive in the shade, but full sun is always best for trees from the rainforest. Coniferous trees can thrive in very cold climates, while evergreens from the rainforest are used to warmer temperatures. 

All evergreen trees need to go through dormancy in the winter. This is so that the tree can survive the cold and prepare for growth in the spring. Evergreens may like lots of sun in the summer, but they need climates that are very cold in the winter.

Watering Evergreen Bonsai

All bonsai species are different when it comes to watering. In general, evergreen trees thrive with lots of water and moist soil. Over- and under-watering are some of the biggest evergreen bonsai killers. Avoid these fatal issues by only watering when the soil gets slightly dry. Do not water when the soil is wet, but do not wait until the soil is completely dry. 

Plant coniferous trees in well-draining soil, and plant rainforest evergreens (those found in temperate and tropical zones) in soil that will provide good water retention. Rainforest evergreens love constantly damp soil.

Fertilizing Evergreen Bonsai

Since bonsai trees are planted in shallow containers, their nutrient and water intake is limited. Fertilizer is required for evergreen bonsai in order for them to survive. When using organic fertilizer, you will usually need to apply once or twice a month, while liquid fertilizer is usually applied every week or two. 

We recommend using a fertilizer with a high nitrogen content one week, then a balanced fertilizer the next week. Repeat this process throughout the year, increasing the amount of fertilizer in the spring and beginning of the summer. Feed occasionally in the winter and fall.

Training Techniques for Evergreen Bonsai

Common training techniques used in evergreen bonsai growing include pruning and wiring. 

Pruning is not needed very often. Maintenance pruning should be done as needed as well as structural pruning. Instead of cutting off needles, it is better for the tree if you pinch off the foliage. It is best to prune in the fall right before the tree grows in the spring. Always sterilize your tools between uses to prevent infections. 

Wiring is done by wrapping wire around branches and trunks to bend them into a desired shape. Evergreens need to be wired with copper wires because of their thick branches. Always use caution when wiring your tree. Wire is known for cutting into branches and permanently scarring them if not removed in time.

Common Pests and Diseases in Evergreen Bonsai

Pests and diseases are fairly common in evergreen trees. Many of these problems are preventable and most are treatable as well. 

Common pests that you may encounter include spider mites and caterpillars. To rid your tree of these pests, you can apply pesticides and spray the pests with water. Ladybugs are also a viable option. These lovely little critters are not harmful at all to your tree and will eat away all those unwanted pests! Remember that when there is one bug, there are always dozens more hiding.

Diseases occur when your tree is not receiving proper care. These diseases include but are not limited to over-watering, under-watering, and complications related to insufficient light. To solve your over- or under-watering problem, you must only water when the soil is slightly dry, but not completely dried out. If your tree’s needles are browning, place your tree in full sunlight and out of the shade. 

The evergreen bonsai is the perfect addition to any garden. These trees are easy to care for and so beautiful. Water your evergreen every few days as needed. Fertilizer should be applied every week or so, switching between balanced and high Nitrogen fertilizer. Evergreens respond well to pruning and wiring. Pruning should be done in the fall, and wiring can be done throughout the year. Diseases can be dealt with by improving the tree’s conditions, and pests can be easily eradicated. We know you will enjoy bringing this amazing bonsai into your home!

Bonsai Care, Bonsai Supplies, Bonsai Tree Care Basics

Best Working Techniques for Thickening a Bonsai Trunk

Bonsai is an art form from East Asia that employs cultivation techniques to create small trees in containers that resemble the shape and scale of full-grown trees. Specific attention is usually required on the trunk of a bonsai simply because it is one of the most attractive features of any tree. Some of the cultivation techniques used by growers lead to problems that result in a weak or narrow trunk. However, some methods can be used to thicken and strengthen a Bonsai trunk.

Best working techniques for thickening a Bonsai Trunk

The following are some of the techniques that can be used to thicken Bonsai trunks. You should note that some of them may take much time to get the desired results.

Splitting the Trunk

This is the quickest method to thicken your bonsai trunk. You need to split it down physically in the middle and use a wire to keep the two halves separate while the trunk heals. When employing this technique, you must remove the bonsai from the pot and remove all the soil in its roots. Split the trunk in the middle using a saw while holding the tree in an upside-down position. After that, you can return the tree to its pot with the help of wires or wooden edges to keep the two parts of the trunk from each other. This technique should be used on species that can cope with this type of injuries, such as elms and boxwood.

Induced Trunk Swelling

This is an old method used by the Japanese. You should place a wire tourniquet on the base of the tree to induce swelling. This technique will give you quick results in a single growing season when you apply to a fast-growing material. The scar left by the wire tourniquet will still be visible but its effect on the trunk will be visible as well. The technique results in the thickening of the area around the base only. Therefore, you should make a tapered trunk in species that do not taper naturally, such as the Chinese elm. Take care when using this technique, as it leaves a permanent scar behind.

Intentional Scarring

This technique is mainly used to thicken the trunks of a pine or Juniper tree. With the help of a knife, you can carve vertical lines on the back down to the sap layer. The carving will result in an injury that the tree will recover from. Scar tissue will be produced that will lead to the thickening of the trunk. The Juniper Bonsai is one species that has shown good results when a reverse taper was done mid-trunk. Its trunk was cured in this way, since it only requires single scarring. The technique is repeated once every two years to heal the reverse taper. A trunk can be thickened at the base when you carve three or four scars around its circumference and leave it for some time to heal.

Growing in Large Trunks

This method will give you formal and upright trunks with a good taper. You need to plant the tree in-ground or use an escape technique whereby you plant them in a larger can. This will give allowance to the roots to escape through the drain holes of your nursery can down into the earth’s surface. You should also remember to continue watering them through the can. When the time comes for harvesting the tree, you will simply cut its roots at the can. These roots will still have an intact root ball. The top of the tree must be given time to recover before you can cut its trunk. When using this technique, you should let the tree grow naturally to a point where the top can wave in the wind. This will result in the development of large buttressed trunks after a period of close to 5 years. Thereafter, you can break the tops and Jin in the upper part.

Some other techniques can be used to thicken a bonsai trunk. However, some of them can prove to be very risky and dangerous and will require extra caution. The above techniques have been used for a long time and their results are guaranteed. Therefore, you should choose the technique that is easiest for you.

Bonsai Care, Bonsai General Info, Bonsai Tree Care Basics

Grow Bonsai Trees From Cuttings

If you have decided to start growing a bonsai tree, you must first know the life cycle stage of the tree you want to begin with. Bonsai can be grown from seed, from the bonsai shop, from layers of soil, or from cuttings. If you are just starting, you may want to grow your tree from cuttings.

The first stage of the bonsai tree’s growth cycle (seeding) is the most difficult. Keep in mind that if you start with seeds, you will need to create an ideal environment for the bonsai to live. Therefore, starting from cuttings will be less stressful because the bonsai has already completed the most crucial stage of its life cycle.

Let’s take a look at each strategy in more detail. You can have a very lovely bonsai no matter how you start it.

Grow Bonsai from Seeds

Growing a bonsai from seeds can be similar in many ways to a parent-child relationship. Some experienced bonsai tree designers choose this option because it is the most satisfying for them.

Growing Bonsai by Layering

Another option similar to growing from seeds is to start growing bonsai from land or air layers. This method takes less time than growing from seeds, and you will see your bonsai grow to its full potential quite quickly. During this stage, it is already possible to see the structure of the tree, so the cutting of unnecessary branches will be a simple task.

Growing Bonsai Out of Cuttings

For anyone new to bonsai, growing from cuttings is the easiest way to start, unless you prefer to buy ready-made bonsai at a bonsai nursery. The best part of this option is that the most crucial stage of bonsai cultivation is over. However, it may be difficult to cut the tree unless you know exactly how you want to grow the tree.

Preparing the Cuttings

When making a bonsai cut, it is best to make the cut at the bottom or end of the butt. Cut below the knot and make the cut approximately 3/4 of an inch above the knot. This technique has two purposes. First, that makes it simple for you to distinguish the top of the cut from the bottom of the cut while handling it. It also helps cut in two different ways. Every time the bonsai is cut on the knot, the part of the branch above that knot will die down to the top knot. So if you leave the half leg under the lower knot, it will die anyway. Having this part of the deadwood underground is not a good idea. It is just a place to hide from insects and diseases.

Benefits of Proper Cutting

The cut is made 3/4 inch above the knot so that the 3/4 inch section of the shank above the knot protects the top knot. That prevents the sprouts from being damaged during handling and planting. You can press the pieces without hurting the buds. Rooting the cuttings in this way helps to place the cuttings on top of the angled pieces. That removes water from the end of the cut and helps reduce the chance of the tree getting sick. Once you have made all your cuts, dip the bottom of the pieces into a rooting pot. Make sure you have the right stable root complex for cutting bonsai. Arrange them with equal butt ends and tie them in bundles.

Ensure Regular Watering

bonsai watering

Water it regularly, but don’t moisten the soil too much, as it may rot. In a few weeks, the cuttings will begin to emerge. Some may collapse because they don’t have enough roots to support the plant. Others will develop their roots when they come out. By fall, the surviving pieces should be well-rooted. You can plant it as soon as you want, or you can wait until the rainy season.

Conclusion

Spray parts with anti-dry fluids to help root. Pieces will retain moisture if sprayed and dried before cutting. Cuttings should always be taken early in the morning to avoid water stress.

Bonsai Care, Bonsai General Info, Bonsai Tree Care Basics

How To Grow Bonsai Trees From Harvested Wild Plants

Collecting a tree from nature is a cheaper alternative to buying one. If you’re interested in knowing how to collect a tree from nature the proper way, continue reading this article! 

Gardeners should take the tree in the early stages of spring, and they should take a reasonable amount of the plant’s soil with it if possible.

Step 1: The first step is to remove any vegetation around the plant to ensure that you are only taking the tree home with you. 

Step 2: The second step is to make a circular trench about 2 feet in diameter around the tree. Try to damage the smaller roots as little as possible. 

Step 3: The third step is to dig under the root mass to free the tree from the surrounding land. 

Step 4: The fourth step is to moisten the root clump. This will keep the tree healthy on your journey home.

Step 5: The next step is to wrap the root clump in plastic to not let any moisture escape.

Once You’re Home

Once you get home, the first step is to cut away the plastic on the root ball so you can access the roots easily.

The second step is to cut away the very obvious dead or rotting roots. You don’t want root rot to fill up your tree!

The next step is to place the tree in an oversized pot. Cover up the roots with bonsai soil and cover all air pockets. Water well and allow for a year of rest before beginning bonsai training.

Tips and tricks for caring for and keeping your Bonsai tree healthy

The tree must be moved to its permanent home immediately, as the tree will need time to recover from being removed from its original home. It may take several seasons for the plant to recover fully. Only experienced bonsai owners should take a tree from the wild; more often than not, novices who have no idea what they’re doing will kill the tree by accident. 

Growers are advised to proceed with caution, as removing a tree from the wild can cause permanent defects. Gardeners should review plants carefully before proceeding with this process. 

Gardeners should study the roots of the tree that they are planning to rehome, as root formation takes a lot of time and effort. You should look for roots that extend in all directions; do not choose a tree that requires a ton of rootwork. 

Young trees can easily be shaped into any shape the gardener desires; more mature and thicker trees will not be able to move as freely. 

Gardeners should also choose trees that have a large number of branches, as this will allow them to be more creative through pruning. Trees with more branches also look a lot better and healthier than those with sparse branches.

Growers should watch for discolored or yellow leaves, as these may be signs of infection. 

In conclusion, here are the key things a grower needs to do to care for a wild bonsai tree. Investigate the tree before planting, transport the tree the right way, check the roots as well as the leaves very well, take young trees with numerous branches, and maintain it well!

Summary

Let’s go over the procedure to remove a wild bonsai and place it in your home. First, you need to remove the vegetation surrounding the tree. Then you need to create a trench 2 feet in diameter around the plant. You will then need to remove the plant from the soil, trying to spare all of the smaller roots. You will then need to moisten the roots in order to ensure it will be healthy and happy on your ride home. You should wrap the roots in plastic to keep all of the moisture locked in. Once you get home, you will need to cut open the plastic and place the bonsai in an oversized pot. Let the tree rest for at least 1 year before beginning bonsai training, as the tree will need this time to recover from being repotted. Overall, bonsai can be very rewarding if you take good care of them. If you follow these steps, you’re on the correct path to success!

Bonsai Care, Bonsai Species, Bonsai Trees For Sale, Outdoor Bonsai Trees

How To Care For A Bald Cypress Bonsai Tree

The Bald Cypress is one of the most fascinating shade trees in nature. It has many potential benefits, including conservation of the soil, protection of the soil’s humus content, prevention of erosion, and shade, to name but a few!

It is important to know how to care for this wonderful tree. In this article, we will examine the various steps and strategies to nurture the Bald Cypress to maturity.

Bald Cypress Bonsai Description and General Information

The Bald Cypress is generally a tall tree. Its bark is a reddish-brown color, and its leaves are needle-shaped. These leaves develop an auburn color in the fall prior to dropping to the ground.

This tree is native to Central America and the southern United States. It grows abundantly in Guatemala, Mexico, and the US states of California, New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas. Outside these areas, it is mainly found in zoos, parks, and botanical gardens. In nature, the tree grows to a maximum height of around 35 meters (100 feet).

How to Care for a Bald Cypress Bonsai Tree

Below are the steps you should take to care for the Bald Cypress Bonsai tree:

Positioning Your Bald Cypress Bonsai

Generally speaking, this is a tree that thrives in the outdoor environment. If you have to keep it indoors, this should only be for a limited duration of time. Never keep it indoors during the natural dormancy period as that is when it requires plenty of sunshine to germinate above the soil.

During its formative or germination stages, the tree requires plenty of warmth and light. For that requirement to be fulfilled, you have to place it in full sun. If the germination happens in the winter, you should place it indoors and protect it from frost.

Watering Your Bald Cypress Bonsai

Its water needs vary with the seasons. The needs peak in the summer months, due to the extremely high temperatures and the similarly higher rates of evaporation. You should thus make sure that you supply sufficient amounts of water at such times. Preferably, you should place the tree on top of a shallow bowl filled with water.

Fertilizing Your Bald Cypress Bonsai

The Bald Cypress requires fertilizer to thrive and grow to its full extent. You should furnish the fertilizer in the spring and early winter; never fertilize your tree in the fall or summer. Fertilize the tree once a week and taper the fertilizer at least once a week or more in the springtime.

Pruning & Wiring Your Bald Cypress Bonsai

Like any other tree, the Bald Cypress has to be pruned in order to thrive. Wait until the new shoots have started growing laterally, then trim them using the secateurs. This should be done in the fall or early spring. Refrain from doing this too early, as early pruning might cause irreversible damage to the plant.

Training Your Bald Cypress Bonsai

To help the trees grow well and unhindered, you should adopt a variety of training methods. Below are some of the methods that have been used and consistently noted to deliver good results:

  • Tie the branches off to hold them in the desired location.
  • Cut a V-shaped notch in the ‘armpit’ to bend the branch downwards.
  • Plant the tree in a group to come up with desirable styles.
  • Cut the trunk to a desired or manageable height.

Repotting Your Bald Cypress Bonsai

With time, the trees will overgrow the pots where they are planted. Thus, they should be regularly repotted. This should happen every two years for younger trees and every three to five years for elderly ones. The exercise should be accompanied by pruning the roots.

Keep your tree’s roots as moist as possible to prevent the withering of the plant. This is an exercise that should happen in the early spring, when the rates of precipitation are high enough to maintain the desired moisture content of the soil.

Common Bald Cypress Bonsai Pests and Diseases

Like any other tree, the Bald Cypress is prone to a variety of pests and diseases. We have listed some of the most common pests and diseases below:

Root Aphids

These are aphids that attack the roots from below. Since they are invisible to the naked eye, they can only be detected by examining the leaves and the branches for the signs of drying. They can only be mitigated by seeking expert interventions. This should be done in a timely manner, as any delays may have far-reaching ramifications.

Cedar-Apple Rust

Cedar-apple rust affects those Bald Cypress trees that grow within a ½ mile radius of apple or crabapple trees. This rust is mainly transmitted by the winds that carry the spores to the Bald Cypress. To mitigate this issue, you ought to prune the leaves and the branches.

Red Spider

This is a common pest that affects indoor and outdoor Bald Cypress trees alike. The spider feeds on the foliage of the tree and is largely resistant to common pesticides. To combat it, you should think of introducing predatory mites. Examples of these include the Phytoseiulus per-similus.

Twig & Tip Blight

Twig & tip blight is a fungal infection that mainly affects the leaves and the branches of the Bald Cypress. To bring the issue under control, all you need to do is prune the affected portions of the plant. This will prevent the fungus from spreading to the other portions of the trees.

Citrus Longhorned Beetles

Native to the Koreas, Citrus Longhorned Beetles also affect this tree. They feed on the bark, the leaves, and the petioles of the trees. These beetles emerge mostly in late spring. You are advised to start early to minimize the spread of the infections to the other parts of the tree.

Conclusion

We will now examine a variety of the most popular Bald Cypress trees.

Bald Cypress – Taxodium distichum – Healthy Established Roots – 1 Gallon Trade Potted – 1 Plant by Growers Solution

This tree is healthy and hardy. Its roots are firmly anchored and well-established. Moreover, it grows healthy and strong year-round.

Bald Cypress Tree (Jumbo)

When fully-grown, this tree achieves a massive size. That makes it well able to add more shade than your ordinary Bonsai can give.

Bald Cypress Tree – Conifer Healthy Established Rooted

This is an evergreen plant that sheds all its leaves in the fall, hence the designation ‘bald.’

Bald Cypress – Taxodium distichum – 3 – Year Plant

Though this starts out as a delicate tree, it grows into an extremely tough tree able to withstand various risks.

Bald Cypress Tree Quart Pot (Taxodiun distichun)

This is by far the smallest and most compact of the trees listed here. Nonetheless, this one often lasts longer because it fully anchors itself into the ground when planted.