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About Bonsai Trees

Bonsai, the Japanese art form of growing and shaping miniature trees to attain a desired aesthetic standard, dates back over a millennium. The word Bonsai can be roughly translated as ?planted in a tray?, and the practice was originally derived from the Chinese penjing, literally ?tray scenery?. Following the Second World War an increasing number of Bonsai exhibitions were being staged and books related to the art form being published for a readership outside of Japan. This activity brought the practice firmly into the consciousness of the western world. Today Bonsai is practised by hundreds of thousands of enthusiasts worldwide. Bonsai is unusual in the field of gardening in that specialists rarely rely on seeds to grow their source material. Rather it is mature or at least partially grown plants that are used to obtain the desired aged appearance characteristic of the form. Common aesthetic styles include formal and informal upright, semi-cascade and cascade, slanting, raft and group/forest. Size classes are grouped as large, medium and miniature. Shaping and pruning of crown and roots are used to keep the plant small and give the appearance of a tree in miniature. Bonsai requires specialised care and maintenance for the long term health of the plant. However, specialised Bonsai seeds are available for those who wish to get started with the hobby in a less challenging way. A number of kits are available which provide seeds, a planting medium, container and the tools to grow your own Bonsai. Alternatively, fully grown mature Bonsai are obtainable, as well as starter trees. Additionally, specialised tool kits including scissors and grafting knives are offered, as well as a selection of trays and pots, plant food and soil mixtures for both indoor and outdoor Bonsai specimens.