Browsing Category "Bonsai/Garden"
25 Aug
2009
Posted in: Bonsai/Garden
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Step By Step How to Make a Bonsai Tree, Pictures of Japanese Boxwood Bonsai Tree

Here is a step by step illustration of how to Make a bonsai tree. I am making a Japanese Boxwood (Buxus microphylla) plant into a Bonsai tree in this example.

How to Make a Japanese Boxwood Bonsai Tree –

At the end of the Article are a series of pictures that will help illustrate what the text is describing. (Pictures of transforming your bonsai tree are in order from Top to bottom, left to right)

Before beginning, make sure that you have chosen a tree that will survive in the climate where you live. Once you select a type of tree that you would like to Bonsai, start by taking it out of the pot and loosening up the root system.

Start pulling off about an inch of soil from the top of the plant to expose the root system. Do this gently, trying not to damage the roots. Using a chopstick works well to stick in and pull away soil from the roots without harming the plant. After doing the top, start working your way up from the bottom now. You will need to pull away close to all the soil from the bottom of the plant up, until the root ball and soil are are a little less than the thickness of the height of your bonsai pot. The roots may be very long, it is OK to cut most of them off so that you can fit your tree in the pot, just make sure that you have the mail center part of the root system, and a good amount of smaller routs surrounding it. (See Pictures Below for an example)

Next let the plant soak in some water for about 20 minutes. The plant will need a lot of water over the next few days due from all the stress caused.

When potting the bonsai tree, add some soil to the bottom of the pot and then place the tree into the pot. Getting a good bonsai soil mixture is a good idea because it helps with the drainage. But regular soil will do if you don’t have access to anything else. Then set our tree in the pot and position the bonsai tree where you would like to see it. As an artist, the rule of thirds applies pretty well here also. Never plant it dead in the center of the pot. Try to place it slightly off centered. In this case, I don’t have a good bonsai pot yet, so I just cut the pot that the Japanese Boxwood came in down to a couple inches tall for now, and will just be using the original soil again. If you had a good pot, you would want to wire the tree in place. Refer to this article on how to make a bonsai tree for a more detailed description.

Now that you have your tree in the pot, you can begin to prune and shape it to the desired size you like. It is important not to trim off all the leaves, but you will most likely be getting rid of a good amount of them, as you did to the root system. Think of it as balancing the tree out. Start snipping away at branches and leaves until you get it looking like you imagined. Try to expose some of the trunk and branch system to give the look that it is a miniature tree. Over time the leaves will start to shrink a bit, and fill out more, so it will look even more like a mini-tree.

The Pictures below show you how to make your Japanese Boxwood Bonsai Tree!

Click on any image to View Full Size

21 Aug
2009
Posted in: Bonsai/Garden
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Make Your Own Bonsai Pot, Making Cheap Bonsai Pots with Found Objects, Use Household Objects for Bonsai Pots

Bonsai Pots can be very expensive, and I don’t have the money to buy them right now in this poor economic state… So I have been trying to put together a list of found objects, and household materials that would work well as bonsai pots instead of buying overpriced ceramic pots.

Most of these items can be found around your house, or at a garage sale for VERY cheap! But, a lot of them will not allow for drainage, so you will just need to drill some holes in the bottom which is not difficult to do.

Below are a list of some great solutions to overpriced bonsai pots, and will give your garden a fun and unique look! Not to mention it will cut down on old unwanted things that may just get thrown into landfills.

Here is a list of some great Alternatives for Bonsai Pots:

  1. Shallow Wooden Bowl
  2. Small Shallow Serving Bowl (See picture below – Found this one at Cost Plus World Market)
  3. Wooden Platter
  4. Wooden Basket, (Lined so soil wont fall out, but make a few holes for drainage)
  5. Shallow Metal Pot, Pan or skillet (Just remove the handle)
  6. Coconut Shell (See picture below – I got this coconut shell already cut perfectly in half from Island Way Sobet Desert – http://www.islandwaysorbet.com)
  7. Bottom of an Old Metal Pitcher
  8. Small Shallow Serving bowl
  9. Pie Tin
  10. Casserole Dishes

I am going to continue to post more found object that are great for making cheap bonsai pots when i come across them. Also, feel free to post any that you may come across or have used!

Small serving tray that can be made into a bonsai pot

Small serving tray that can be made into a bonsai pot

Coconut Shell Bonsai Pot

Coconut Shell Bonsai Pot

20 Aug
2009
Posted in: Bonsai/Garden
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How to Start a Bonsai Tree, Making a Bonsai Tree, Bonsai Made Easy

Here is your Step by Step guide to Making a Bonsai Tree –

1. First you need to star by selecting what type of tree you would like to Bonsai. When selecting your tree species, take into consideration your geographic location. It is smart to chose a species that is used to your local climate. Choosing a tree that typically grows in a completely different climate from where you live probably wont last very long. Some trees loose their leaves in the winter, and are used to freezing cold weather. Others are used to a fairly steady year round climate. Some will need watering daily, some won’t. So it is very important to research the species of tree that you are going to Bonsai before you start. Pick something indigenous to your area for starters.

Myrtle Bonsai Tree

2. Once you select a type of tree that you would like to Bonsai, then make sure it will be an appropriate size for you. Some bonsai trees will only be a few inches tall, while others can few a few feet tall. Choose the Species that is best suitable for your space.

3. Once you have decided what type of tree and size bonsai will be appropriate for you, you can go to a local nursery or a bonsai shop and select a plant/tree that you will make into a bonsai. When I first started making bonsai trees this was something that I was very unclear on. I did not know that pretty much anything can be made into a bonsai tree. So once again, just select whatever works best for you and is indigenous to your area. When choosing a plant, look for good leaf color and just make sure the plant looks healthy. Look through all the selection of the species that you have decides on and try to imagine what it would look like in a flat bonsai pot/tray. It may be somewhat difficult to do this because the plant may seem very large at this time, but try to imagine what it would look like after being pruned down to the size you would like to see it at. It’s important to visualize the bonsai tree before buying it and taking it home. This is difficult to do at first, but will get easier the more you do it. If this is your first time making a bonsai tree, just try to pick a healthy tree, with some branches coming out of the trunk at a fairly low spot.

4. Next you have to select a pot that will be sufficient for your bonsai tree. The size of the pot needs to be large enough to fit the main part of the trees root-ball in it, and for some extra soil to cover all the roots.  If you have too small of a pot, the roots will not be able to hold any moisture, and will most likely die off quickly. Most bonsai pots come with pre-drilled drainage holes. If yours did not, make sure you make some drainage holes in your pot. If it is a large pot, use about an 3/4″ drill bit and make about 3-4 holes equally spaced along the bottom of the pot. If you are using a small pot, make 2 small holes about 1/3″ equally spaced on the bottom of the pot.

It is a good idea to wire down some screen, or mesh over these holes after drilling them to prevent your soil, or rock from falling out. Be sure not to use a screen that is too fine preventing the pot from being able to drain easily. Good Drainage is KEY for bonsai trees!

5. Prepare the tree for placing into the bonsai pot. Remove the newly purchased plant from the pot it came in. Start pulling off about an inch of soil from the top of the plant to expose the root system. Do this gently, trying not to damage the roots. Using a chopstick works well to stick in and pull away soil from the roots without harming the plant. After doing the top, start working your way up from the bottom now. You will need to pull away close to all the soil from the bottom of the plant up, until the root ball and soil are are a little less than the thickness of the height of your bonsai pot. The roots may be very long, it is OK to cut most of them off so that you can fit your tree in the pot, just make sure that you have the mail center part of the root system, and a good amount of smaller routs surrounding it.

6. When potting the bonsai tree, add some soil to the bottom of the pot and then place the tree into the pot. Getting a good bonsai soil mixture is a good idea because it helps with the drainage. But regular soil will do if you don’t have access to anything else. Then set our tree in the pot and position the bonsai tree where you would like to see it. As an artist, the rule of thirds applies pretty well here also. Never plant it dead in the center of the pot. Try to place it slightly off centered. Next before covering the roots with soil, use some heavy gauge wire to help tie it down, and hold the bonsai tree in place. Wrap the wire through the holes in the bottom of the pot and wrap around and over the root system to hold in place. Clip any extra wire off after your tree is tied in place pretty well, then finish adding soil to the pot. The soil should be right up to the brim of the pot covering all the roots.

7. Now that you have your tree in the pot, you can begin to prune and shape it to the desired size you like. It is important not to trim off all the leaves, but you will most likely be getting rid of a good amount of them, as you did to the root system. Think of it as balancing the tree out. Start snipping away at branches and leaves until you get it looking like you imagined. If you get a tree like a ficus, that has fairly large leaves, don’t be discouraged if you don’t think that it looks like a really bonsai (mini) tree yet. The leaves will shrink over time, and you can continue to cut back the large ones and new smaller ones emerge. In time you will have a great looking bonsai tree!

8. Soak the whole pot in a big bucket of water, just high enough to cover all the soil in the pot. Soak for about 20 minutes, and let drain.

9. Try experimenting with different trees and shrubs indigenous to your area. The more you practice bonsai, the better you will get at it, and a better understanding you will have of bonsai trees.

Hope this article was helpful in making your bonsai tree, please feel free to post some comments if you would like more information, or if you just felt this article was informative.

Stay tuned for upcoming live demonstrations and step by step pictures on making a bonsai tree!!