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 Bonsai Tree Article

 By Erik A. Olsen

As you will discover in this bonsai tree article, this type of tree is exciting to grow and aesthetically pleasing. Although bonsai first began in China as Penjing, the form of creating magnificent and unique trees made its way to Japan where the name was changed to Bonsai. These tiny trees are meticulously shaped through ongoing wire training, pruning, trimming, and repotting. Although they are the same species as what you would find in your own backyard, they are designed so small that they will fit beautifully on a coffee table or on the corner of a desk.

This bonsai tree article will talk about one of the most amazing museums in the United States called the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum. Located in Washington, DC, this museum is truly one of a kind. You will be able to view magnificent bonsai trees up close and marvel in their beauty. Although there are smaller bonsai museums around the world, this particular museum is like nothing else. We wanted to talk a little in this bonsai tree article about the ancient eastern tradition. The word “Penjing” is a reference to the tree-shaping art required to make these small, container-grown trees. For success, the master growers will coax and encourage the roots of the trees to grow over large rocks that are placed at the base of the young trees. In time, the Penjing tree roots will grow into sculptural shapes that come out over the stones, known as the “root-over-rock” method or style.

This bonsai tree article will also talk about the migration from China to Japan. However, the style of the bonsai first traveled through Korea, where bonsai is still a prized art form. Because bonsai are traditionally grown in a pot that sits on a tray, the word, “Bonsai” was formed, meaning “tray planting.” For the art of bonsai to be effective, both the pot and the tray must enhance and complement each other for complete, visual harmony. Keep in mind that you can grow bonsai in a number of sizes. Some are as small as six inches while others are quite large, up to 48 inches.

Now, this bonsai tree article will discuss some of the displays seen at the museum. For example, there are famous Japanese red and white pine that are each centuries old and between three and six feet tall. This is unusual since most bonsai are small but with these, the size is so impressive that it takes six strong individuals to move the display. The Japanese white pine is the oldest bonsai in the world, reaching close to 400 years of age. In fact, this particular has quite an interesting history. For example, it survived a nursery where the atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan and belonged to one family for six generations prior to making its home in the United States.

Finally, this bonsai tree article will discuss the Japanese red pine also in the museum. This tree is the world’s second oldest tree, somewhere around age 200. In fact, this tree also has a fascinating history that began when it was the first bonsai in history to leave the Imperial Household. In fact, both the white and red Japanese bonsai trees were Bicentennial gifts in 1976 to the United States, making them all the more special.
 

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