Types of Bonsai Trees

Interesting Facts about Popular Types of Bonsai Trees

Bonsai is the art of cultivating, dwarfing and developing plants into aesthetically appealing trees by pruning and training them in small containers. These lovely miniature trees may be developed from cuttings, seeds, or from young trees that are transplanted into pots. Most bonsai trees stand at least 2 inches to 3 feet tall, and they are kept small by pruning roots and branches or by wiring trunks and branches to let them grow into your desired shape and size.

Whether you are a beginner or professional bonsai grower, these fascinating plant species are great options to choose from as you explore the rewarding hobby of bonsai gardening.

1. Okinawa Holly

This smaller version of the Holly tree produces beautiful pink flowers during summer and spring. The Okinawa Holly is native to Japan, among several other countries in the Northern Hemisphere. With its hardiness, extraordinary appearance and miniature size, this specie is a suitable choice for growing bonsai. Moreover, beginners will appreciate the ease of cultivating and maintaining the enchanting look of the tree. On average, this type of bonsai tree can grow about 5 to 6 inches in height.

okinawa holly bonsai

While the Okinawa Holly is quite hardy, it can thrive well in temperatures that range between 60 and 85 degrees. You may use fertilizer to enhance the tree’s growth, but you should reduce the strength by at least 1/3 of what is recommended by the manufacturer. The right time to apply fertilizer is twice monthly every spring and fall. During the winter months, you should only fertilize the plant once per month. Lastly, you should re-pot the tree every year at springtime, so you can maintain its excellent condition.

2. Japanese White Pine

The Japanese White Pine is the perfect choice for those who prefer a strikingly attractive bonsai plant for their home. In the wild, this dense and sturdy tree can grow up to 50 feet in height. However, pruned and trained ones can become a remarkable bonsai tree. What makes this specie a popular option among bonsai enthusiasts is its irregularly shaped body, broad and spread out canopy, and twisted needles with green or bluish tufts on their tips. This appealing and hardy plant is indeed a fine choice for beginners and experienced bonsai masters.

japanese white pine

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It is important to note that this type of bonsai tree requires full sun and cooler climates. You also need to make sure that it has good drainage and make sure you use fertilizer monthly during early to late spring. Before winter comes, this tree will need a slow-acting fertilizer to support its growth and development. The common solution for the fertilizer is 20-20-20, although this still depends on the acidity of your bonsai soil mixture.

3. Trident Maple

This stunning deciduous tree is suitable for bonsai cultivation because of its fascinating colors of foliage during fall, which may range from bright red to faded orange. In addition, the tree is quite bushy at the top part and has a think and sturdy trunk. The Trident Maple also has a soft brown-colored bark that comes with a dappling effect. Its small leaves are grouped close together toward the tree’s top portion, which is why this specie is called the “Tri-dent” Maple tree.

trident maple

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One benefit of cultivating the Trident Maple for bonsai is its speed in reaching maturity, as compared to other species. When full-grown, the tree looks remarkable because of its refined quality. Most people also prefer to use this type of tree because it is easy to style. It works well with a number of styles such as twin trunk, formal or informal upright, forest, and rock-over-rock. Keep in mind that the soil used for this tree must be free-draining, and it is advisable to repot the tree yearly in the early spring. You should wait until the buds start to swell before you re-pot it, and feed the tree every week during spring and bi-weekly in late summer.

4. Juniper

This hardy conifer is a non-flowering tree specie that is very easy to train and prune. Thus, the Juniper makes an excellent option for bonsai gardening. It is also known for rapid growth patterns, and it produces flowing and long branches that you can train using a wide range of bonsai styles. The tree’s branches responds amazingly well to reshaping and wiring, although there are some species of this tree that may have stiffer branches.

juniper bonsai

Most people choose the Juniper for bonsai because of its hardiness, and you can place the tree outdoors or indoors. However, you should avoid placing it in an area that is below 59 degrees. If you plan to grow the tree outdoors, make it a point to protect the root-ball or newly-trained Juniper from frost. Additionally, you should be careful when training the tree because its needles can cause allergic reactions. Thus, you should wear gloves to prevent redness and itchy rashes on your skin.

5. Japanese Maple

The Japanese Maple is known for its compact trunk, delicate foliage, and beautiful colors. During fall, the tree’s leaves turn into gorgeous colors such as gold and red, which can enhance the beauty of your garden. The tree needs to be placed in a semi-shady place during the summer months, and make sure it is protected from wind. Springtime is the perfect time of the year to do most of the pruning, and make sure you pinch back some unwanted shoots. The best way to know if the tree needs to be pruned is when new shoots have reached at least 4 nodes.

japanese maple

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This bonsai tree must be fertilized during the latter portion of winter until early spring, and it also needs to be planted in a well-balanced soil. As for the required amount of water, you should provide the tree with as much water that it needs. Keep its soil moist without over-watering the plant. This way, you can prevent leaf burn in case the soil starts to dry out completely.

With proper care, various types of bonsai trees can live for several years. By obtaining a deep understanding of what your plant needs to grow well, you can ensure its outstanding condition and striking beauty.

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