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Bonsai: The Art of Growing ‘mini trees’

Bonsai is a branch of horticulture where in the growth of plants is curbed or dwarfed. The plants are developed and nurtured in pots or trays or containers. The word ‘Bonsai’ comes from the Japanese language. This art of shaping and developing ‘mini trees’ dates back to around 4000 BC. The art was practiced in Egypt and China back then. Today these plants are used as a decorative item in houses all over the world.
Bonsai: A tough art
There are a number of techniques that one needs to follow in order to develop plants in trays and pots. Professionals work on trimming leaves, pruning the trunk, roots and branches, clamping, defoliation and grafting. In order to provide the plants the desired shape, the branches are wrapped with copper or aluminium wires.
Pruning is the most important aspect of Bonsai. Mistakes in pruning can kill the plant or hamper its growth. These days modern devices are used to prune the branches and the roots of the plant. Similarly clamps are used to shape the branches and trunks of the plants.
The plants can be provided the desired size by properly shaping and pruning the branches. Tiny Bonsai plants are not more than 7.5 cm. Plants in the ‘small’ category have three sub categories namely Gafu (13-20 cm), Komono (up to 18 cm) and Myabi (15-25 cm). Plants in the ‘medium’ category go up to 60 cm and the large Bonsai plants subcategorized as Omono and Bunju go upto 120 cm and 100 cm respectively.

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