Bonsai is the name of a more than 1000-year-old Japanese artform that attempts to recreate a living-image of a mature tree, in a pot. Most bonsai-trees are between 25 and 90 cm high, and the tradition is very highly developed in Japan, where it is considered an artform comparable with theatre and music.
Many of the trees are common species, such as beech and pine, which can be used in bonsai. These trees grow outside the whole year, although protection is necessary in the coldest and wettest winter months. During warm-periods in summer the trees must be watered daily in order not to dry-out and die. Moreover, they must be pruned, pinched, and wired to preserve the image of a large tree in nature.
It may take a long time to create a bonsai from a seedling, although it is not considered important that the tree is ‘finished’ in one’s own lifetime. In a bonsai-growers perspective, it is quite normal that a bonsai tree approaches the desired form in the next human-generation! However, one can create a good bonsai in 5 – 20 years starting from seed collected in nature. In Japanese this is called “Yamadori”.
Is it difficult?
It would be a mistake to say, it is easy. Cultivation of a bonsai demands an understanding of the conditions necessary for growing the tree, together with good artistic sense and patience. It is almost a prerequisite for the successful cultivation of bonsai, that one is more interested in the process than in the result finally achieved by using these special techniques.
The trees are pruned with special tools and wired to form them into the image of a mature tree in nature. Different techniques are used, depending on the tree species and the desired form to be developed.
The Bonsai pot
The use of the pot is an important part of the whole bonsai. This is important to the image one wishes to create with the tree, just as a frame is important to a picture painting. So, it is not so strange that the word bonsai means “tree-in-pot”.
All of the bonsai displayed in Bangsbo Botanic Garden have been donated by Connie and Orla Pedersen from Hedensted and the bonsai-house itself has been donated by The Friends of the Garden.