Bonsai tree with fruit

Contents

Care Instructions – Lemon Citrus

BONSAI BOY OF NEW YORK
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LEMON CITRUS (Meyer lemon)

The Meyer lemon is a citrus fruit native to China thought to be a cross between a true lemon and either a mandarin or common orange. It was introduced to the United States in 1908 by the agricultural explorer Frank Nicholas Meyer, an employee of the United States Department of Agriculture who collected a sample of the plant on a trip to China.The Meyer lemon is commonly grown in China in garden pots as an ornamental tree. It became popular as a food item in the United States after being rediscovered by chefs such as Alice Waters at Chez Panisse during the California Cuisine revolution. Popularity further climbed when Martha Stewart began featuring them in her recipes. Their leaves are dark green and shiny. The flowers are white with a purple base and fragrant. The Meyer lemon fruit is yellow and rounder than a true lemon. The skin is fragrant and thin, colored a deep yellow with a slight orange tint when ripe. Meyer lemon fruits have a sweeter, less acidic flavor than the more common Lisbon or Eureka grocery store lemon varieties. The pulp is a dark yellow and contains up to 10 seeds per fruit.

How To Take Proper Care Of Your Indoor Bonsai Tree

Bonsai is the reproduction of natural tree forms in miniature. This art form has its origin in Japan and China where it has been practiced for centuries. Bonsai are grown in pots and are totally dependent on you for their care.

With proper care, your bonsai will remain healthy, beautiful and miniature for many years to come. Since your bonsai is a living miniature tree, it will increase in beauty as it matures through the years. The instructions below are just the basics and, therefore, we recommend that you purchase one of the many fine books available on the subject.

PLACEMENT SUMMER
The Meyer Lemon is one tree that will thank you for putting it in the brightest, sunniest part of your yard. Meyer Lemons love the sun and they love hot weather, When night time temperatures drop below 45 degrees we suggest that you bring your bonsai indoors and place the tree on a windowsill or on a table in front of one

PLACEMENT WINTER
Once nightly lows begin approaching the 50 degree mark, it is time to bring your indoor bonsai inside. The ideal indoor location is on a window sill facing south. An east or west exposure is second best. A northern exposure will work, but will necessitate the use of “grow lights” to provide sufficient light to keep your bonsai healthy. Four to six hours of sunlight per day should suffice. If you can provide more, so much the better.

WATERING
The watering of your bonsai must never be neglected. Apply water before the soil appears dry — never allow the soil to become completely dry. It is a good idea to use a moisture meter until you get to know the requirements of your bonsai tree. Water should be applied until it begins running out of the holes in the bottom of your pot. It doesn’t really matter “how” you water your tree, but rather that when you are finished the tree has been well watered.

HUMIDITY
During the cold months, when your bonsai is inside, we recommend placing it in a shallow tray filled with a layer of gravel with water added. This provides extra moisture around the tree as the water evaporates and reduces the amount of moisture lost to modern heating systems.

FERTILIZING
Fertilizing is also necessary if your bonsai is to remain healthy and beautiful. Since your bonsai is growing in such a small amount of soil it is necessary to replenish the soil’s supply of nutrients periodically. Any general-purpose liquid fertilizer will do fine and is available at most garden centers. We suggest that fertilizers be used at half their recommended strength. Fertilizer should be applied at least once a month except during winter. Your bonsai will also respond well to foliar feeding, with a water-soluble fertilizer applied every other month as a spray.

TRAINING
This brief explanation of basic care does not cover training. Training deals with the art of bonsai and should be thoroughly understood before undertaking — or left to a professional. However, most of the true bonsai trees you find have already been through their training period, thus requiring only periodic trimming and pinching to remain miniature.

TRIMMING & PINCHING
Trimming and pinching keep your tree miniature. Pinch and trim back the new growth to the farthest safe point. Never should all of the new growth be removed. A little should be left to sustain the health of the tree. Tropical and sub-tropical trees used for bonsai will require periodic pinching and trimming throughout the year. Since different trees grow at different rates, it is necessary to evaluate each tree’s rate of growth and adjust your trimming and pinching to accommodate it.

REPOTTING
Repotting must be performed periodically on all bonsai when their root system has filled the pot. The reasons for repotting are to supply your tree with fresh soil, and to encourage a more compact root system. As a rule, most deciduous trees require repotting every two or three years, while evergreens only need to be repotted every four or five years. Since trees grow at different rates, this schedule will not always hold true, therefore, you should examine your tree’s root system each year to determine if it has become pot-bound.

In most cases, the potting process is easy and safe if performed properly and at the right time of the year. Repotting should be done in mid-summer. The tree, along with all of its soil, should be removed from the pot. The outer and bottom most fourth of the tree’s root mass should be removed. This is done by raking the soil away, then pruning back the roots. In most cases, it is not good to prune back more than one fourth of the tree’s root mass. After this, the tree can be placed back in its original pot or into another. The pot should have screen placed over the drainage holes. Then a thin layer of small gravel is placed in the bottom of the pot for drainage purposes. On top of this gravel is placed the new fresh soil. Place a layer of well-draining soil which is sufficient enough to elevate the tree to its previous height in the pot. After placing the tree back in the pot, the area left vacant by the pruned root mass should be filled in with fresh soil. This fresh soil should be worked in around and under the root mass in such a manner as to avoid leaving any air pockets. After repotting, your bonsai should be thoroughly watered. This can be achieved by submerging the entire pot in a tub of water. Moss or other ground covers can be used to cover the surface of the pot to help prevent soil erosion when watering.

INSECTS & DISEASES
Since your bonsai is a tree in miniature, it can be treated for insects and diseases the same as any other tree. If you discover any insects or diseases, visit our website where you will be able to obtain the necessary products to eliminate the problem.

Citrus Tree Bonsai

From Japanese ‘bon’ > ‘tray’ and ‘sai’ > to grow, to bring up, a bonsai is not only a miniature of natural trees, but actually a philosophy of life.

To grow a bonsai you need technique, creativity and lots of patience.

Bonsai tradition has ancient origins: Plinio the Old in his Naturalis Historia (78 a. C) described the technique of tree reproduction on small-scale, but according to historiography, this art was officially explained in Chinese documents (VI cent.).
Indeed Chinese transmitted bonsai culture to Japanese who, once learned the knowhow, applied Zen esthetic canons to this kind of way of growing trees, called seishi.
Though bonsai is a tree in miniature, it expresses the ‘power’ of a big tree: strength, stability, balance and peacefulness. To watch and prune a bonsai is a form of meditation, a way to achieve positive energy and ease tensions.
Lemon tree could be miniaturized too; let’s see its main features and learn how to grow it healthy and strong.

Scientific name:

Citrus Limon; Family Rutacee

Soil

100% akadama (granular clay used as soil for bonsai trees)

Fertilization

In springtime use high potassium fertilizer to add roots grown and fortify tree’s wood.
During summer months, use only slow release organic fertilizer, otherwise roots can be damaged.
Generally, wait fruits drop before doing any fertilization.

Watering

Water frequently in spring and summer, less in wintertime

Exposition

Direct light, outdoor. In winter keep the tree in a cold greenhouse, 3/9 ° Celsius.

Prune

In March

Pinching

Pinch shoots after flowers drop

Style

Broom Style (Hokidachi). The trunk is straight and upright. It branches out in all directions about 1/3 of the way up the entire height of the tree.

Wiring

In spring, shape younger branches with copper-aluminum wires protected by adhesive paper. We suggest you to extend the stronger branches to favor light filtering.

Repotting

Every ¾ years in springtime (end of April, May), if the tree is healthy, cut the roots and repot it.

Common diseases

Cochineals, red spider. Do use a fungicide every 15 days and, once a month, an insecticide.

Top 10: Bonsai fruit trees

Any tree species can be used to grow a Bonsai from. This of course includes fruit trees!

Bonsai are kept miniature by applying techniques like pruning, wiring and repotting. Over the course of several years the leaves slowly reduce in size, which is crucial for the tree to appear natural. The fruits however often remain quite big. Tree species like the apple or lemon tree for example have quite big fruits, which can appear dramatic but perhaps a bit artificial. Other tree species, like the crabapple or pomegranate have naturally small fruits.

The most popular fruiting Bonsai trees are the Crabapple, several Citrus varieties, Olive trees and the Pomegranate. But you could also try the Blueberry, Cherry or Quince.

In this article we have listed the 10 most beautiful Bonsai fruit trees. We also show flowering Bonsai trees in another top 10 post.

(#1) Shohin crabapple by Katsumi Komiya

Berries on a Crabapple Bonsai tree, very small size (called Shohin). By: Katsumi Komiya

(#2) Apple on Bonsai tree

“Big apple on a tiny Bonsai tree”. It looks photoshopped, but it is in fact a real Bonsai. Leaves can grow smaller, but often fruits remain relatively big. Photo by: Flowerstory

(#3) Callicarpa Japonica Bonsai fruit tree

Callicarpa Japonica Bonsai, bearing flashy purple fruits. Photo by: Associazione Rock’n’Bonsai.

(#4) Orange fruits

Cool fruits on the tree.

(#5) Japanese Winterberry (Ilex serrata)

Japanese Winterberry, photo courtesy by Jonas Dupuich and William Valavanis.

(#6) Miniature garden

The color on the tree is great, notice the mini fruits on the grass.

(#7) Lemons

A stunning Bonsai tree with lemon fruits.

(#8) Pomegranate fruit tree

Pomegranate (punica granatum).

(#9) American persimmon

Diospyros virginiana (L) American persimmon, by Luis Vallejo.

(#10) Apple fruits on Bonsai tree

Mini apples on this Bonsai fruit tree.

Apple Bonsai Tree Care Guide (Clusia rosea)

Introduction

Imagine having a miniature apple tree that bears mini apple fruits growing on top of your office table! Place this on your coffee table and you have an interesting piece to show to friends and guests as they come by. An apple bonsai tree is truly a remarkable tree. It looks and grows like a regular apple tree and of course, it grows flowers and bears real miniaturized apples.

An apple tree is perfect as a bonsai because of its dense form, numerous green leaves, and lovely flowers. Enjoy beautiful and fragrant pink and white flowers during the summer time and when these flowers wither, green fruits will grow. This fruit-bearing bonsai tree can be grown indoors and outdoors and this tutorial will show you how.

The Apple bonsai tree, also known as the Pitch Apple or Monkey Apple tree is native to tropical regions in America. It grows into various bonsai styles with dark green leaves and aerial roots, and grows white and pink flowers in the summertime. After the flowers drop off, it grows small, coin-sized miniature apple fruits.

Having your own miniature apple bonsai tree is a fun way to grow tiny little apples right on your desk at work or on your patio at home. Apple bonsais are one of several types of fruit bearing bonsai trees. It makes a great conversation piece or a cute decoration for your home or office.

Scientific/Botanical Name Clusia rosea
Description The tree is indigenous to the American tropics. It has a dense form, with plenty of deep-green leaves. Pendent pink and white blooms adorn the tree over the summer months. These give way to green fruits. The aerial roots of the tree are particularly bonsai-friendly
Position Situate the tree in a sunny location indoors. The apple bonsai can be grown outdoors in full sun or semi-shade in USDA zones 11 and 12, but roots must be mulched heavily to protect the tree from cold temperatures.
Watering Water the tree daily to keep the soil moist, but not waterlogged. Water requirements increase when the tree is in fruit.
Feeding Feed the tree twice a month with a bonsai fertilizer, but do not feed when it is in fruit.
Leaf and Branch Pruning Remove leaves as needed to allow light and air to reach all parts of the tree. Prune branches to shape the tree in springtime, before leaves emerge.
Re-potting & Growing Medium When grown in a container, re-potting is usually necessary every three to four years or when roots are pot-bound and watering becomes difficult. Re-pot either in early to mid-spring or early fall, using a bonsai soil mix that contains akadama.
Wiring Carry out shaping in the spring, before the emergence of new leaves and buds. The tree limbs should be slightly dry before wiring because they are more flexible at that point.
Notes Pitch apple bonsai tree is commonly known as autograph tree. It got this name because a leaf will retain the trace of a name or word that is carved out onto its surface.

What you need to follow this tutorial

  • An apple bonsai tree
    • You may use an already potted and growing apple bonsai tree which may be available in local nurseries and also from online bonsai retailers. Most growers prefer to use an already live tree because they can’t wait to see the apple tree’s lovely flowers and green fruits.
  • Apple bonsai seeds
    • You can use apple seeds from the store –bought apples but once these grow, these may not develop into the fruit that you are used to seeing and eating. Yes, growing from seeds is possible and you can purchase seeds from seeds shops or simply use the ones you have from grocery store bought fruit.
  • Bonsai Pot
    • You can use a variety of bonsai pots to grow apple bonsai trees. You can stay true to Japanese bonsai tradition and use jade pots but otherwise, any kind of pot would do. Just make sure that these have adequate drainage holes to prevent water lock and root rot.
  • Balanced fertilizer
    • Apple trees need a balanced and organic fertilizer. You may purchase fertilizer that is best suited for apple trees from garden shops or you can order online. Follow the instructions indicated in the packaging to get the best results.
  • Sharp scissors
    • You need a sharp pair of scissors to prune apple bonsai trees. You also need a pair to prune the roots of your plants if necessary.
  • Pliers
    • You need a pair of pliers to cut wires and to remove wires once they have served their purpose.
  • Wire for wiring
    • You can choose from aluminum wires or annealed copper wires to wire bonsai. Apple trees need to be wired early to control its growth and shape. This is done by using aluminum wires.
  • Clean water
    • You must have a good supply of clean water for your apple bonsai trees. You may use tap water or rain water provided this is clean and won’t be toxic to your bonsai tree.
  • Aggregates
    • Use aggregates like Akadama, decomposed granite, diatomite, pumic, sand with coarse grains and turface. These materials will improve soil drainage and aeration.
  • Growing soil for bonsai
    • Apple trees need soil that contains Akadama to improve drainage and aeration. You can purchase this soil mix from bonsai nurseries and garden supplies shop locally or from online garden supplies sites.

How Do You Maintain An Apple Bonsai Tree?

The Apple Bonsai needs a sunny area and it can be grown indoors or outdoors. If you grow it outdoors it is resistant to the cold, but you must protect the roots, so it can’t be planted in shallow bonsai type pots or trays. It should be planted into a soil made up of five parts peat, three parts argillaceous rocks, and two parts of granulate clay or sand. It grows best in the USDA growing zones of 11 and 12.

It should be watered every day, especially during the fruit bearing stage so the fruit won’t shrivel up. Be careful of it getting vine mildew, however. While it is in the fruit bearing stage you shouldn’t fertilize it or the fruit won’t grow well. The fruit, abet small, is edible just like a larger apple tree and if you take care of it correctly, it should grow for several years and produce fruit.

The apple bonsai tree needs a general purpose type of fertilizer. You can also fertilize it with a dilute form of manure tea once a week in the spring and fall, except while the fruit it growing. Maintaining your apple bonsai tree will ensure that you get the beautiful, fragrant and stylish creation that you desire.

Proper Care For Apple Bonsai Trees Means Patience

If you desire your apple bonsai tree to grow properly and produce delicious little apples, you do need to have a great deal of patience. They are grown and molded just like growing any other kinds of bonsai trees, which means you can train it to grow into different shapes and directions. You can even twist the trunk and make it look like a wild grown apple tree if you like that style, or grow it upwards, sideways or other directions.

It is, however, considered to be a very sturdy type of bonsai tree as long as you take care of its roots in cold weather and keep it properly pruned and maintained. It is a very impressive and fascinating little tree to own. You can even scratch your name into one of the leaves of an apple bonsai and the impression will stay there!

Step by step instructions

1) Understand fast facts about Apple bonsai trees

To care for apple bonsai trees, you must understand its basic needs. This tree is one of the loveliest when it blooms and also the most interesting when it bears fruit. Study the growth requirements, developmental stages and the care of regular apple trees and you will be acquainted with the care of apple bonsai trees.

Description

An apple tree is indigenous to the American tropics. It has a dense form with numerous deep-green leaves. During the summer months, an apple tree will grow pink and white flowers and these flowers will last throughout the summertime. After the blooms die, green fruits will emerge. And aside from its flowers and fruits, another thing remarkable about an apple tree is its aerial roots. You can style your apple tree bonsai to show off its majestic aerial roots in a display.

Growing position

A bonsai apple tree should be grown in a sunny location indoors. This could be near a window sill or on a balcony where it can have shade during the hottest time of the day. It can also be grown outdoors in full sun or in semi-shade in USDA zones 11 and 12. When grown in cold temperatures, the roots should be mulched to protect the tree from extreme temperatures.

  • An apple bonsai tree needs to be watered daily to keep the soil moist.
  • The soil should never be waterlogged
  • Increase watering when the tree begins to bear fruits.
  • Water only when the soil is dry but not too dry.
  • Water using water from the safe and clean source.

Feeding

  • Use appropriately balanced fertilizer ideally for apple trees.
  • Feeding should be done at least twice a month
  • Do not apply fertilizer when the tree is bearing fruit.
  • Always follow the fertilizer manufacturer’s instructions on how to feed your bonsai.

Leaf and branch pruning

  • Remove leaves as needed to allow light and air to circulate in and around the tree
  • The leaves can grow very thick so pruning has to be done accordingly.
  • Best to prune during springtime because this is the time before the leaves emerge.
  • Prune using sterile or clean pruning shears to avoid transfer or mold or disease
  • Re-potting & growing medium
  • Re-pot apple bonsai trees every three to four years.
  • Re-pot when watering becomes difficult, this could indicate root bound.
  • Re-pot during early to mid-spring or early fall.
  • Re-pot in a larger container each time.
  • Use potting soil that contains Akadama to improve soil aeration and drainage.

Wiring an apple bonsai tree

  • Shape your trees in the spring before new leaves and buds.
  • Tree limbs should be slightly dry before applying wires
  • Remove wires at the same season these were applied to prevent injuring your tree.

Important notes

Pitch apple trees are also known as “autograph” trees. This has earned its name from the plant’s ability to retain any mark carved on its leaves’ surface. You can carve your name on the leaves of this tree and it will remain there until the leaves wilt.

2) Distinguishing apple bonsai trees from other bonsais

Apple bonsai trees can be easily distinguished from other bonsai trees because of its unique dark green leaves which grow thick. These leaves are perfect for creating plumes of leaves for a variety of bonsai styles.

The white and pink flowers of this tree also distinguish it from other bonsai trees. And as these bear green fruits, these become more unique than other trees. This is an exciting fruit-bearing tree to grow and cultivate. You will surely love to have one compared to other indoor or outdoor bonsai trees.

3) Purchasing apple bonsai trees

You can purchase apple bonsai trees from online bonsai sites and from bonsai nurseries locally and online. It is not too hard to find one however you must understand some important facts if you wish to purchase an apple bonsai tree:

  • Once it arrives, it has to be planted within 24 to 48 hours of getting it.
  • Usually, apple bonsai trees arrive or are taken home with paper wrapped around its roots, remove this immediately when the bonsai arrives home.
  • After removing the paper, soak the roots in warm water overnight.
  • Look for reputable grower or retailer that gives 100% guarantee on the plant’s health

Another way to go about it is to use apple trees from your backyard or neighborhood. If you are blessed with apple trees growing nearby then you can use grafts from these trees to grow your apple bonsai tree.

4) Growing apple bonsai trees from seeds and cuttings

You will be able to grow an apple from seeds but once these trees bear fruit, the appearance and the taste won’t be the same as the apples that are you are used to eating from the store. For instance, if you plant Granny Smith apple seeds you may not end up with a Granny Smith apple tree at all.

Another thing to consider is that apple trees must be planted in pairs to bear fruit. This is because apple trees are not self-pollinating. They need a different kind of apple tree to pollinate with. Therefore you may use seeds of an apple you are eating plus the seeds of another type of apple.

The tree that the apple tree that you will be able to grow from seeds will not have any dwarfing characteristics so this will grow to its full height of about 30 feet. Pruning, cutting, and shaping must be done early to accommodate the fast growth of an apple tree. Your tree won’t grow fruits until these reach 8 to 10 years of age.

Here are steps on how to plant apple trees

  • Collect the seeds from the two kinds of apple trees.
  • Place the seeds in a dry paper towel and let these dry until there is no moisture on the outside shell of the seeds.
  • Wet another paper towel and let it dry till its damp. Cover your seeds with this damp paper towel
  • Place these in a sealable plastic bag or inside a Tupperware container. Cover or seal it.
  • Place the seeds in the fridge. Apple seeds need to be exposed to cold to stimulate winter time. This is the period when the seeds begin to grow roots and sprout.
  • Keep the seeds inside the fridge for 70 to 80 days in a temperature of around 40 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • If possible do this when it is actually wintering to align the seed growth with the actual seasons.
  • Check the container regularly and make sure that the paper towels are damp.

After the allotted time, the seeds may now be removed from the fridge. But before you do remove this, prepare your pot and soil. Your seeds should be planted outside in a prepared seedbed or in a pot. Use a good potting mix with Akadama. The ideal soil has neutral pH level. Do not place fertilizer yet because this is not needed at this time.

  • Place the seeds in the middle of the soil and cover these.
  • Pat down the soil to compress it.
  • Water this immediately to let the soil settle around the seed. The soil should stay moist.
  • Keep the pot at room temperature or in an environment higher than room temperature. An area near the window sill would be a good place.
  • Seedlings will grow after several weeks of planting. Keep watering your seeds daily.

Growing apple bonsai trees from cuttings

Another way to grow an apple tree is to grow these using cuttings. You will harvest your cutting from a healthy apple tree and care for it to become young trees. After the cutting has become stronger then you may now grow this in individual pots.

  • Select a healthy apple tree to get your cuttings from.
  • Use a clean or sterile cutter to harvest the cuttings. Create a diagonal cut to harvest your cutting.
  • Place the cutting in the water right after harvest. This will prevent air from entering the stems.
  • Allow the cuttings to develop roots as these remain in the water. You may also use a grafting technique to grow good roots.
  • When the roots have grown thicker and healthier, you may now transfer this in individual pots.
  • Water the cuttings daily and keep the roots moist.

5) Caring for an apple bonsai tree

Apple bonsai trees need extra TLC to keep the tree healthy, strong and ready for pruning. It requires a sunny location indoors so it’s best to grow and care for it near a window sill. Water your bonsai trees regularly but don’t water when the soil in the pot is damp. Fertile with balanced nutrients and feed the tree at least twice a month. It’s important to understand how to care for regular apple trees to be able to provide the best care for your tree.

6) Soil and re-potting an apple bonsai tree

Apple trees can grow fast but it could take a decade before these grow fruits. You must re-pot every three to four years but this is not always the case. When you notice that your trees are not drinking well and is not responding to feeding then suspect root bound. When these happen, re-pot the tree immediately. Re-pot from early to mid-spring or early fall to provide fresh nutrients to the soil.
Use a larger container each time you re-pot. This will help the pot accommodate new roots. And when it comes to the type of soil to use, use only soil with Akadama. This is an aggregate material that can improve the aeration and drainage properties of your potting soil.

7) Watering an apple bonsai tree

You must water your trees daily to keep the soil moist. The soil should never be waterlogged therefore you must water again when the soil is dry. During the fruit-bearing season, increase your watering. Always use clean water to water your plants. If you are in doubt about the quality of your tap water or rainwater then have these tested.

8) Pruning and shaping an apple bonsai tree

Apple trees could grow thick tufts of leaves, therefore, it’s important to regularly prune it. Remove leaves as needed to let light and air to circulate in the tree. Improving air circulation can help improve the overall shape of the tree as well. The best time to prune is during springtime when the leaves emerge. This way you can see clearly the details of each tree. You must prune the leaves and stems using a clean or sterile pruning shears or scissors to prevent the transfer of diseases or molds.

The type of wire to use for wiring

There are two kinds of wires to wire bonsai trees. There are anodized aluminum and annealed copper wires. Anodized aluminum is the ideal wire for deciduous trees that have harder and stronger trunks and therefore will work great on young trees. Annealed copper wires are for trees with harder trunks like conifers and pine trees. Wires are available in a variety of thicknesses like 1 mm to 4 mm wires.

Anodized aluminum wires are for people who are growing bonsai for the first time because these are easier to handle and may be purchased from any local hardware store. Wires may cause injury to bonsai branches so you must always be careful.

The most common material used to protect branches is raffia is usually used to avoid injuries in trees when wiring. Raffia is material made from palm fiber that you can get from garden stores. Raffia should be soaked in water and wrapped around the tips of the branch or bark where the wires would go. Raffia will protect branches from damage due to wiring.

How to wire a bonsai

  • Choose the kind and thickness of the wire for your apple bonsai tree.
  • Measure the length of wire appropriate for a branch and cut it using a pair of pliers.
  • Take one end of the wire and wrap this around the branch. Wrap the wire in a45 degree angle.
  • Wrap the extent of the branch with wire and do this neatly.
  • After wiring the branch, cut the excess with the use of pliers.
  • Position the branches and gently bend these accordingly.
  • Bring down branches that are too high by using a guy wire. Wrap moist raffia around the branch and place a hook at the end. Tie a wire on the hook and secure it to a strong root. This will lower the high branch eventually.
  • If you want to lift a branch that is too low use a guy wire to raise it. Take the end of this branch and wrap raffia around it, place the hook and a guy wire on the hook. Attach the end of the wire to anything above the bonsai plant.
  • Remove the wire after it has served its purpose.

When to start wiring

Start wiring an apple bonsai tree as soon it has developed a definite trunk and branches. Attach the wires to the branches carefully because it can injure mature barks and trunks. Place wires on apple trees during the growing season or as the branches become thicker. Wire when the plant is moderately-hydrated. Remember to remove the wire when it is due. If you don’t do this then you will risk injuring your bonsai apple tree.

Check your trees post-wiring. See that it is growing new leaves and stems. Your bonsai should be drinking well and responding to fertilizer feedings. Remove the wires by cutting it piece by piece to make removal easier and to prevent injury to your tree.

Bonsai shapes for apple trees

Wiring and pruning will shape and style apple bonsai trees. There are a number of bonsai styles that you can use to shape an apple bonsai tree.

Shakan Bonsai Style

The Shakan bonsai style is a style that can be used on apple trees. This is a slanted bonsai tree style that depicts a slanted tree in its natural environment. The trunk emerges from the soil in a slanted manner as the rest of the tree is grows in an outward way. The trunk is in a 60-80 degree angle for that slanted appearance. You can create a slanted bonsai tree design by wiring, applying lighting and tilting the pot.

Shari Bonsai Style

In the shari bonsai style, the bark is shaved to prevent new growth from appearing. Known as the stair effect, the branches may be long or short. The overall design is achieved with wiring and pruning. The crown leaves at the top of the tree gives the tree a balanced appearance. A barkless area along the trunk is also present and this is mostly due to harsh weather conditions.

Seki-joju or Rocky Terrain

The Seki-joju or Rocky Terrain style shows off the tree’s aerial roots. It is all about growing bonsai roots through natural obstacles like a jagged or smooth rock. The Seki-joju happens in nature when the roots of trees grow underneath and near the sides of rocks. Tree roots are very versatile. These will crawl around, along with the sides and even underneath rocks. The rest of the tree will grow in a straight manner no matter what obstacles are placed along its path. The Rocky Terrain bonsai style is for bonsai that have healthy and well-presented roots.

Literati Bonsai

The Literati design has a skinny trunk and curved leaves that would be a good design for thick apple tree leaves. Bonsai growers say that this style is all about the struggle for even the smallest and simplest life form to exist in nature. In the literati style, a few bald spots along the trunk are seen and these represent dead branches common in regular trees. This bonsai style is common when trees grow in densely populated areas like forests and woodland areas.

Dramatic Fukinagashi

The Dramatic Fukinagashi style is also called a windswept style because it is like a head of hair in a storm. An apple bonsai tree can be shaped into this style when it undergoes shaping and training. In the Fukinagashi style, the branches and the trunk will grow to one side. You need wires to position the trunk and minimal but regular pruning to develop that windswept design.

Han-kengai

The Han-kengai bonsai style is similar to a cascading effect. The section of the trunk grows in a straight manner as a branch grows outward and downward. A small part of the trunk grows along the section where the thick branches are located. The branches will grow in different directions and create low-lying leaves. This bonsai style should be planted in a deep pot to preserve this design.

9) How to prevent pests and diseases

Once it starts to grow, you need to protect your apple bonsai tree from any possible diseases or pests like web worm, mites, aphids, tent caterpillar, blight, or a scab infection. Most of the time you can keep these dangers away from your tree by either taking the bugs or other pests off by hand or if you prefer, you can treat the tree with insecticides.

You can use either a systemic insecticide that you pore next to the roots and the tree takes it in through its roots, or you can spray the tree so that if the bugs or pests try to chew on it they ingest the poison and die. You can use green or natural bug killers so as not to endanger other animals or plants if desired.

The major insects and pests that can affect apple bonsai trees are apple maggot flies, plum curculio, and codling moths. Apple maggot flies usually lay eggs in developing apple fruits during June or July. Once these eggs hatch, the larvae then will burrow into apples. You can hang sticky traps in the tree near the fruit to catch flies.

Plum curculio is a ¼ – inch long beetle that burrows through apples and this will leave a crescent-shaped scar. You can kill these beetles by spraying with phosmet right after the petals fall and then spray again 10 days after. You must also rake away dropped fruit to reduce infestation.

Codling moths are insects that hatch within days and the larvae burrow into the apples to eat the apples and grow into mature moths. You can remove codling moths by spraying with Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki during the evening 15 days after the petals drop. Repeat the spray five days later.

To completely protect apple bonsai trees you can use an organic insecticidal spray to remove pests out of sight. If you grow your tree outdoors, you must remove any falling leaves and detritus from around the base of the tree.

Prune apple trees every winter before new growth emerges. Cut any crossing branches, water sprouts, and any thick areas. Reduce thick leaves to open the tree to sunlight and air to provide adequate aeration. This will also reduce fungal diseases and will eradicate habitat of insects.

Where To Buy Apple Bonsai Trees

It’s not hard to find a place to buy an apple bonsai tree. You can usually find it in either a mail in catalogue or online at several Internet sites. If you get your apple bonsai tree in the mail, it is sometimes shipped with bare roots, so please be aware of this fact.

If it comes this way, it must be planted within 24 to 48 hours of getting it. When it arrives, you need to take any paper off the roots, and then soak the roots in warm water overnight. Be sure you order your tree from a company that gives a 100 percent guarantee that it is healthy and ready for planting.

Occasionally, depending on where you live, you may be able to find an apple bonsai tree for sale at a plant nursery or garden center. Be sure you look it over and make sure it is healthy, not cracked or broken, or dried up. When you take it home, you may need to prune off any problem limbs or roots before you plant it.

Be sure you plant it in the right kind of pot. As mentioned before, it needs to be a deep pot so as to protect the roots. Be sure the pot you choose is made of something like a rot resistant wood or some sort of non-porous material. If you choose a clay pot, it is very porous and can attract bacteria or fungi to your apple bonsai tree. The pot should be no smaller than 15 gallons in size.

You may also be able to grow an apple bonsai tree from seed, but it is a much harder venture and it is most likely better to just buy one that is already at least a few inches or a foot or so in size so it has a better chance to grow and thrive.

Conclusion

Apple bonsai trees could be a source of joy and happiness especially when your bonsai trees have already begun to bloom lovely flowers and bear fruits. To care for apple bonsai trees, you need to have special growing skills, good attention to details and patience. Apple bonsai trees also need shaping, pruning, and good maintenance care. You will be able to have a lovely fruit-bearing tree in no time when you follow these growing techniques.

The bottom line is that an apple bonsai tree is a very popular, miniature version of a regular apple tree complete to the tiny little apples that grow on it. If you are looking for a cute, decorative bonsai tree that can become a showplace piece in your home, then look no further than choosing an apple bonsai tree.

Growing Fruit Trees As Bonsai: Learn About Bonsai Fruit Tree Care

A bonsai tree isn’t a genetic dwarf tree. It’s a full-size tree that is maintained in miniature by pruning. The idea behind this ancient art is to keep the trees very small but retain their natural shapes. If you think bonsai are always tiny trees with fragrant flowers, you aren’t alone. However, this is a misconception. You can also choose from a wide variety of fruit trees as bonsai. Do bonsai trees produce fruit? Yes, they do.

If you decide to try to use fruit trees as bonsai, remember that they’ll require more maintenance than full-size fruit trees. Read on for some bonsai tree growing tips and information on the best fruit trees for bonsai.

Fruit Trees as Bonsai

You can plant an apple tree right in your backyard, but not a bonsai apple tree. Bonsai trees are grown in containers with a good root space and sufficient nutrients to flourish.

Picking a container for bonsai fruit trees requires a measuring tape. Measure the diameter of the trunk level with the soil. That’s how deep your container should be. Now measure the height of the tree. Your container should be at least one-third as wide as the tree is tall.

Be sure the container is made of untreated wood and has sufficient drainage holes. Fill it halfway up with a mixture of half potting soil and half peat compost. Alternatively, mix sand, bark pieces, and garden clay and blend well.

Before you plant your bonsai, slice off one-third of its root ball with a saw and prune out any damaged branches. Then tuck its remaining roots into the soil in its new container, adding more soil and a decorative layer of pebbles.

Bonsai Fruit Tree Care

Here are a few more bonsai tree growing tips. You’ll need to water your tree twice each day, morning and evening. Place the container in a window that gets direct sunlight. Don’t put it anywhere near heat-producing appliances.

You’ll do well to buy a bonsai tool kit to help shape your tree. Remove protruding limbs with the clippers. In order to train the limbs in particular directions, wrap small pieces of copper wire around them. For fragile branches, place rubber or foam between wire and limb.

Best Fruit Trees for Bonsai

Which fruit trees make good bonsai trees?

Consider crabapple fruit trees as bonsai, particularly the cultivars ‘Calloway’ and ‘Harvest Gold.’ They delight with snowy blossoms in springtime and leaves that turn gold in autumn. Both offer edible fruit, red and yellow respectively.

If you’d rather grow a tiny cherry tree, pick ‘Bright n Tight’ cultivar, an evergreen cherry. It offers fragrant, showy spring flowers that transform into black cherries.

If you are thinking of using citrus fruit trees as bonsai, consider Meyer lemon trees or calamondin orange trees. The former bears full-size lemons on bonsais, while the latter offers fragrant blossoms and fruit all year long.

Cherry blossom Bonsai

In Japan’s Nara period (710–794) a tradition began of watching and appreciating the cherry blossom, called Sakura.

The short period in which the cherries bloom has become a national obsession and is a period of great importance to the Japanese. Needless to say, many cherry blossom Bonsai trees are kept in Japan.

A wonderful Cherry Bonsai in full bloom, and a closeup of its flowers.

Two cherry bonsai blossom trees at a show in Japan, late March – Sakura time!

Cherry Bonsai – care and maintenance

Position: The cherry needs plenty of sun and not too much wind. A cool period in winter of at least 3 months is required. Protect it from frost, but it needs to be in a cool spot.

Watering: No specific guidelines; water plenty when needed and make sure the tree never dries out.

Fertilizing: Fertilize in the growth period, once a month with an organic or liquid fertilizer.

Pruning and wiring: The cherry bonsai is a difficult tree to keep in shape. To maintain shape, prune and/or wire it in spring. If you want your tree to blossom, don’t prune it for an entire year.

Repotting:Repot once every 2 to 3 years.

Acquisition: Cherries can be purchased in (online) Bonsai stores or grown from seed.

When does the cherry Bonsai bloom? Depending on your geographical location the cherry trees bloom around march or april.

Cherry blossom Bonsai photos

A few photos of Cherry bonsai trees in blossom, mostly these photos are taken in Japan.

Bonsai tree in full bloom

Cherry blossom Bonsai around April.

Cherry Bonsai tree at the Omiya Bonsai Art Museum.

Photo courtesy by Omiya Bonsai Art Museum (they have a cherry blossom Bonsai special in March/April), Tosaen and our own photos.

Care Instructions – Cherry

JAPANESE FLOWERING CHERRY (prunus serrulata)

The Japanese Cherry is also called the Hill Cherry, the Oriental Cherry or the East Asian Cherry. It is a species of cherry native to Japan, Korea and China. It is known for its spring cherry blossom displays and festivals. Few trees exemplify the spirit of Japanese bonsai more than a lovely cherry in bloom. The abundant pink and white flowers are produced in clusters of two to five together at nodes on short spurs in spring. At the shortly after the flowers blossom, the black fruit begins to appear. The Japanese Cherry is deciduous tree with a short single trunk and a beautiful dense crown. The smooth bark is chestnut-brown with prominent horizontal lenticels. The leaves are arranged alternately with a short petiole and a serrate or doubly serrate margin. At the end of autumn, the green leaves turn yellow, red or crimson.

How To Take Proper Care Of Your Bonsai Tree

Bonsai is the reproduction of natural tree forms in miniature. This art form has its origin in Japan and China where it has been practiced for centuries. Bonsai are grown in pots and are totally dependent on you for their care.

With proper care, your bonsai will remain healthy, beautiful and miniature for many years to come. Since your bonsai is a living miniature tree, it will increase in beauty as it matures through the years. The instructions below are just the basics and, therefore, we recommend that you purchase one of the many fine books available on the subject.

PLACEMENT
A Japanese Flowering Cherry Bonsai is a living miniature tree and not a house plant; therefore, your bonsai must be maintained in a cool/cold environment during the winter season. As a guide, around Thanksgiving Day it is time to prepare your Bonsai for its winter dormancy period which should last approximately three (3) months. This can be accomplished in several ways. One method is to bury your tree in the ground (preferably without the pot) up to the rim of the container and then mulch up to the first branch. It is best to choose a location that is protected from wind and sun, but not rain or snow. A second method which is also common is to place your tree(s) in an unheated garage or shed. During this time, your tree does not require light because it is in a dormant state; however, it will require watering approximately every two weeks. Throughout the spring, summer and fall your bonsai should be placed outside, such as on a patio, balcony, terrace, or in a garden. Once outside, your bonsai should be positioned where it will receive sufficient sun – morning sun and afternoon shade is best. A bonsai can be viewed best when it is placed approximately three to four feet high (eye level), such as on a table, wall or bench. A bonsai can and should be brought into the house on special occasions and displayed in a prominent place. Your Bonsai should not remain inside for more than a few days at a time, as the atmosphere is detrimental to the health of your tree.

WATERING
The watering of your Bonsai must never be neglected. Apply water when the soil appears dry — never allow the soil to become completely dry. If your Bonsai is receiving full sun, it may be necessary to water once a day. This schedule may vary with the size pot, type of soil and type of Bonsai tree you own. Evaluate each tree’s water requirements and adjust your watering schedule to accommodate it. It is a good idea to use a moisture meter until you get to know the requirements of your Bonsai tree. Watering should be done with a watering can or hose attachment which should dispense the water in a soft enough manner as not to disturb the soil. Water should be applied until it begins running out of the holes in the bottom of your pot. A good rain is usually a sufficient watering.

HUMIDITY
During the cold months, when your bonsai is inside, we recommend placing it in a shallow tray filled with a layer of gravel with water added. This provides extra moisture around the tree as the water evaporates and reduces the amount of moisture lost to modern heating systems.

FERTILIZING
Fertilizing is also necessary if your bonsai is to remain healthy and beautiful. Since your bonsai is growing in such a small amount of soil it is necessary to replenish the soil’s supply of nutrients periodically. Any general-purpose liquid fertilizer will do fine and is available at most garden centers. We suggest that fertilizers be used at half their recommended strength. Fertilizer should be applied at least once a month except during winter. Your bonsai will also respond well to foliar feeding, with a water-soluble fertilizer applied every other month as a spray.

TRAINING
This brief explanation of basic care does not cover training. Training deals with the art of bonsai and should be thoroughly understood before undertaking — or left to a professional. However, most of the true bonsai trees you find have already been through their training period, thus requiring only periodic trimming and pinching to remain miniature.

TRIMMING & PINCHING
Trimming and pinching keep your tree miniature. Pinch and trim back the new growth to the farthest safe point. Never should all of the new growth be removed. A little should be left to sustain the health of the tree. Tropical and sub-tropical trees used for bonsai will require periodic pinching and trimming throughout the year. Since different trees grow at different rates, it is necessary to evaluate each tree’s rate of growth and adjust your trimming and pinching to accommodate it.

REPOTTING
Repotting must be performed periodically on all bonsai when their root system has filled the pot. The reasons for repotting are to supply your tree with fresh soil, and to encourage a more compact root system. As a rule, most deciduous trees require repotting every two or three years, while evergreens only need to be repotted every four or five years. Since trees grow at different rates, this schedule will not always hold true, therefore, you should examine your tree’s root system each year to determine if it has become pot-bound.

In most cases, the potting process is easy and safe if performed properly and at the right time of the year. Repotting should be done in mid-summer. The tree, along with all of its soil, should be removed from the pot. The outer and bottom most fourth of the tree’s root mass should be removed. This is done by raking the soil away, then pruning back the roots. In most cases, it is not good to prune back more than one fourth of the tree’s root mass. After this, the tree can be placed back in its original pot or into another. The pot should have screen placed over the drainage holes. Then a thin layer of small gravel is placed in the bottom of the pot for drainage purposes. On top of this gravel is placed the new fresh soil. Place a layer of well-draining soil which is sufficient enough to elevate the tree to its previous height in the pot. After placing the tree back in the pot, the area left vacant by the pruned root mass should be filled in with fresh soil. This fresh soil should be worked in around and under the root mass in such a manner as to avoid leaving any air pockets. After repotting, your bonsai should be thoroughly watered. This can be achieved by submerging the entire pot in a tub of water. Moss or other ground covers can be used to cover the surface of the pot to help prevent soil erosion when watering.

INSECTS & DISEASES
Since your bonsai is a tree in miniature, it can be treated for insects and diseases the same as any other tree. If you discover any insects or diseases, visit our website where you will be able to obtain the necessary products to eliminate the problem.

From Best Products

Bonsai trees have often been described as “living art”-the goal of growing these trees, that derived from an ancient Chinese horticulture practice, is to create mini replicas of what’s found in nature-which, I guess you can say, is an art form. Practicing this technique yourself might not be the easiest in the world, which is why Amazon is letting us test out this ancient art form with instructional $13 DIY kits.

This kit comes with everything you need to grow your own cherry blossom Bonsai tree-including Japanese cherry blossom flowering Bonsai seeds, a ceramic vase, Bonsai potting mix, pebbles, and a handy instruction guide.

Growing Bonsai trees isn’t an easy task though-after soaking your seeds for 24 hours straight, you’ll need to place them in a wet paper towel in your fridge for at least 4-8 weeks. Those who dare to grow will need to have patience, and a ton of it at that.

Fair warning-this product has some skeptical reviews due to the seeds not sprouting quickly, but keep in mind Bonsai trees tend to take at least three years to sprout fully, according to Bonsai Empire.

The Bonsai tree brand 9GreenBox also states, “Some seeds can take months to germinate, and just the preparation can be a long process. Patience is a required virtue to grow these bonsai. Some bonsai seeds take an especially long time, so dedication is a must.”

Good luck!

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How To Grow Bonsai Trees From Seed

It is good to know that you can actually grow bonsai trees from seeds. Although they grow very slowly from it, growing bonsai trees from seed can be beneficial because you may want to start from scratch, see the beauty of your bonsai tree while it grows, and ensure it is free from disease and pests.

You may need to wait several months for your seed to germinate depending on the species, and some finicky and slow-growing tree species may also need several seasons just to break their seed coats.

Although it may require so much time, the fruit of your hard work will be greatly rewarded. A bonsai tree that is grown from a seed and properly cared for over the years can be beautifully shaped, uniquely styled, and passed down from one generation to another.

In this tutorial, allow us to share with you comprehensive information about growing bonsai trees from seed. Here are the topics we will cover:

  1. How to Obtain Seeds
  2. Types of Seeds for Bonsai
  3. Preparation and Choosing the Best Soil
  4. Scarification and Stratification of Bonsai Seeds
  5. Post-Germination Care

1) How to Obtain Seeds

The first thing you need to think of if you are planning to grow bonsai from seed is how to obtain the seeds you’ll need. Tree seeds can be collected in your surroundings. You can also choose to purchase them in an actual gardening shop or online store. Remember that there’s no such thing as a special “bonsai tree seed” because a bonsai tree is created from a normal tree.

If you’ll collect tree seeds from local trees in your area, you can plant the tree seeds during autumn. However, if ever you want to plant tree seeds during springtime or any time out of the season, or if you are planning to grow seedlings from trees that are not growing based on your local climate, it may be necessary to do “stratification”.

Stratification refers to the process of treating tree seeds to mimic the natural winter conditions, endured by seeds prior to germination. For first-timers, this process might be quite complicated, so it’s advisable to choose a tree species that are suitable according to your climate, so you can simply plant it during autumn, like what the natural environment does!

Where to Obtain Tree Seeds

As previously mentioned, you can gather tree seeds from trees that are growing in your local area by autumn. Tree seeds such as acorns and chestnuts can be easily found in the forest. Tree seeds coming from conifers are found inside the pine cones. After collecting the pine cones, you need to store them in a warm place so they’ll release their seeds from and in between the scales. Seeds of different tree species are available in online bonsai stores.

Tips When Buying Tree Seeds Online

If there are no arborists’ brick and mortar shops available in your local area, you can go online. There are many tree seed dealers available online, and you may obtain a good price for high-quality seed. Don’t forget to do some research before buying. Choose sites with trusted and reliable sources that come with foolproof recommendations from online bonsai community forums or other bonsai experts in the field.

Whether you are buying from a brick and mortar store or online shop, it is important to only deal with a seller offering certified disease-free seeds. These tree seeds have been bred and specially treated to resist the common diseases by most bonsai species. This is highly beneficial when it comes to growing bonsai trees from seeds. Wild or untreated tree seeds succumb to damping off and are more susceptible to diseases just prior the seedlings are able to reach their first year.

When buying online, also bear in mind that there’s no such thing as bonsai seeds. Many misinformed and disreputable vendors will sell tree seeds that are labeled as “bonsai” for marketing purposes. It is best to avoid these seeds. Vendors who do not know enough information about the tree seeds they tend to defraud their customers just for a markup.

Where to Get Pine Seeds to Grow Bonsai Pine Trees

To start growing a bonsai pine tree from seed, you need to collect large slightly green or brown cones during fall. Choose cones that are closed because open cones mean that seeds were probably been released. Pine trees that have plenty of cones tend to have more viable seeds. Just lay the pine cones in a room temperature in open box. When they are dry, the pine cones will open and then will be releasing their seeds. You can place the box somewhere hot (between 104 and 113 degrees Fahrenheit) if they don’t open until they eventually do. You can use tweezers for removing any remaining seeds inside the pine cones.

To improve the odds of germination, you can stratify the seeds. To do this, you can mix them with a sand or moist peat, then put them in a clear plastic bag. Refrigerate for 3 to 7 weeks. If the tree seeds germinate while kept in the refrigerator, immediately sow them. Sow the tree seeds in 3-inch containers or pots, providing a bottom heat of around 60 degrees. You can transplant the seedlings outdoors into larger containers or pots during spring, 6 to 8 weeks after they germinate and when they are about 2 inches tall.

Tree seeds can be found in your local area. They are obtained in the fruits of trees, and tree parts like the pine cones.

2) Types of Seeds for Bonsai

When it comes to the bonsai species you are planning to grow, it’s entirely up to you. There are basic guidelines you can follow when choosing a bonsai seed. For you to obtain the best results, it is important to buy your bonsai seed from a trusted and reputable tree dealer or nursery. There are many tree species of beautiful bonsai. Fir, pine, maple, cedar, and birch are the most common tree species used for bonsai. Most of these tree species belonging in these genera are easy to cultivate.

The easiest tree species to grow from tree seeds are maple, scots pine, black pine, larch, and beech, which are great tree species for first-timers. If you’re a first-time horticulturist, you need to stay away from tree species such as needle juniper, white pine, or hornbeam because they’re more difficult to germinate.

Once you have decided on the best tree species you want to use for your bonsai, you can shop around and find suitable vendors. The ideal choice is dealing with an arborist with brick and mortar store with friendly and knowledgeable staff. While you’re shopping, you can easily get your questions answered by the experts.

The Two Most Popular Tree Species for Bonsai

Ficus Bonsai

Juniper Bonsai

Deciduous Tree Species for Bonsai

Japanese Maple Bonsai
Acer Palmatum

Trident Maple Bonsai
Acer Buergerianum

Dwarf Pomegranate
Punica Granatum

  • Chinese elm Bonsai or Ulmus Parviflora
  • Japanese elm
  • Zelkova Bonsai (Japanese Elm)
  • Hornbeam and Beech (Carpinus and Fagus)
  • Wisteria Bonsai
  • Magnolia Stellata Bonsai
  • Crabapple Bonsai (Malus)
  • Oak Bonsai (Quercus)
  • Celtis Bonsai (Hackberry)
  • Jacaranda Bonsai or Jacaranda mimosifolia
  • Chinese pepper Bonsai or Zanthoxylum
  • Ginkgo Bonsai or Ginkgo biloba
  • Adenium Bonsai or Desert rose
  • Japanese winterberry Bonsai or Ilex serrata

Broadleaf evergreens

  • Privet Bonsai (Ligustrum)
  • Snow rose Bonsai or Serissa foetida
  • Boxwood Bonsai or Buxus sempervirens
  • Olive Bonsai or Olea europaea
  • Fuchsia Bonsai
  • Ficus Bonsai
  • Jade Bonsai (Crassula)
  • Fukien tea Bonsai or Carmona retusa
  • Fig tree or Ficus Bonsai
  • Azalea Bonsai (Rhododendron)
  • Bird plum Bonsai or Sageretia theezans
  • Bougainvillea Bonsai
  • Cotoneaster Bonsai
  • Money tree Bonsai or Pachira aquatica
  • Gardenia Bonsai or Gardenia jasminoides
  • Crepe Myrtle Bonsai or Lagerstroemia indica
  • Brush Cherry Bonsai or Eugenia myrtifolia
  • Hawaiian Umbrella Bonsai or Schefflera
  • Brazilian rain tree or Pithecellobium
  • Japanese holly Bonsai or Ilex crenata
  • Citrus Bonsai (lemon or orange)
  • Premna Bonsai

Conifers and Pines

  • Juniper Bonsai or Juniperus
  • Spruce Bonsai or Picea
  • Yew Bonsai or Taxus
  • Buddhist Pine Bonsai or Podocarpus macrophyllus
  • Cedar Bonsai or Cedrus
  • Pine Bonsai or Pinus
  • Larch Bonsai or Larix
  • Coast/Dawn Redwood Bonsai or Sequoia
  • Bald Cypress Bonsai or Taxodium distichum

When choosing tree species to create a bonsai, it is important to consider several factors such as climate, outdoor or indoor bonsai growing skills, and your personal preference. It is best to choose a tree that can easily adapt to the type of environmental condition in your area.

3) Preparation and Choosing the Best Soil

Not all tree seeds are almost ready to sprout when they are placed into the soil. Many tree seeds species should be prepared carefully and stored before they’re ready to germinate or sprout. Before planting or even purchasing a tree seed, you need to do some research to familiarize yourself with its particular needs.

Basic Concepts of Stratification and Scarification

For instance, tree seed temperate species such as maples that need to undergo the process of cold stratification prior to germination. Cold stratification involves a cold state and moist period for tree species most especially during winter months. These tree seeds species fall off from the mother plant during fall. They tend to spend the freezing winter season on the ground.

A warmer weather during spring follows the cold winter period, triggering them to sprout or germinate. For germinating bonsai seeds that need cold stratification, you need to place the tree seed in a plastic bag that is filled with a potting soil which is kept moist. Place it in the vegetable crisper of your refrigerator for several months so that the seed species will germinate. During spring, you can pot out the germinated seeds.

Other tree species such as eucalyptus can be scarified. The eucalyptus seeds are specifically and naturally designed to sprout or germinate only given under certain conditions. They have hard shells that should travel first travel through an animal’s digestive tract or should be subjected to fire prior to germination.

When you’re growing bonsai trees from seeds at home, bypassing these extreme measures is possible using simple scarification. This is done by simply filing gently through the seed’s hard coat until lighter coat is revealed underneath and germinate during spring.

Choosing the Best Soil

Most tree species such as maple and pine do very well in well-draining and organic commercial potting soil. Don’t ever use garden soil for your bonsai tree. Garden soil is too heavy for a bonsai pot and it is generally not sterilized. Your tree seed for making your bonsai may not be able to survive it.

Fill a bonsai pot with several drainage holes within 1/2-inch from its lip. You can place coffee filters too over the drainage holes if ever the soil crumbles out of them. Next, water the soil thoroughly and then allowing it to drain the excess water for 30 minutes.

4) Scarification and Stratification of Bonsai Seeds

Stratification refers to the process of subjecting tree seeds to cold temperature, thus snapping them from the dormancy state. This is a process done in preparation to germinating a seed to create a bonsai tree.

There are many tree seeds that are genetically programmed in order to survive the cold winter months, and then when spring arrives they suddenly sense the change, thus starting to sprout into seedlings. Some tree seeds will never sprout until they are able to sense that cold and warm cycle. We can mimic that cycle artificially through stratification to break their dormancy. We will show you how successfully sprout your tree seeds through stratification.

Challenges Bonsai Cultivators Face on Tree Seeds

One fact about tree seeds is that they’re perfectly tuned to their environment where they were grown for many generations. It is a good thing and also a bad thing! If you’re going to grow trees living in a climate in winter, the tree seeds are also programmed to live through this very cold period, so they become dormant. They need to undergo the dormancy, otherwise, they won’t sprout. It only means that you need to mimic the cold season for the tree seed through stratification. The process may vary from one seed to another.

Step-by-Step Guide of a Typical Stratification Process

Step #1: The first step is soaking the tree seed in water in order to soften up the hard outer shell surrounding it.

Step #2: The next step is planting the tree seed in a soft bedding such as a peat moss.

Step #3: Adding water and placing the seeds in sealed and clean plastic bag come next.

Step #4: You can now place the bag in the refrigerator for a period of time. This is done to simulate the cold winter season.

Step #5: When the seeds have sprouted, remove them from the refrigerator, and plant them in the soil. Doing this will simulate the springtime.

Scarification refers to the soaking of the tree seeds in a room temperature water for a certain period of time. This is performed usually within 24 to 48 hours. Some tree seeds have very hard coatings or shells. You can actually file or scratch the hard shell with a pin or needle to further help in breaking the outer covering until the white layer is revealed.

Step-by-step Guide in the Process of Scarification

Step #1: Scarification – Soak the tree seeds in the water at room temperature within 48 hours at the maximum. This will soften up the outer shell of the tree seed in order to break through. Be sure to remove any tree seeds that float because they’re probably just empty shells, which means that there are not viable for sprouting or germination.

Step #2: Place it in a soft mixture. Remove and dispose of any floating seeds.

Step #3: Bag the seeds in a resealable bag. Next, water the peat moss so it remains moist but not too wet. Then place it in a resealable plastic bag.

Step #4: Place them in the refrigerator to mimic the cold season. The length of time required may vary from 1 to 6 months. Check on your seeds regularly. If any of the seeds have sprouted, you can simply take them out and then plant them immediately!

Step #5: It is time to show them in the soil.

Tips in Germinating a Tree Seed

Tip #1: Labeling your resealable plastic bags containing your seeds is with all the pertinent information is very important, most especially if you are germinating a lot of tree seeds. Make sure to label them at every step of the process. You can write how many seeds are planted in every little bag. If they’re going to be inside the refrigerator for a month or so, of course, you do not want to forget the day they went in ad their tree types. That is why you need to label the plastic bags with the entry date and tree species.

Tip #2: Plant plenty of tree seeds. This is done because you will never know how many seeds will actually germinate. Planting lots of them will help ensure you have germinated seeds. If ever you end up having too many seedlings, you can just always cull the weaker ones away.

Tip #3: Checking your specific tree seed species and following the recommendations will help.

Tip #4: Be sure to check your seeds regularly, most especially while they are in the refrigerator. If some seeds have already sprouted, you take them out and immediately plant them.

Tip #5: Take note that once the tree seeds have germinated or sprouted, it means that they are good ones, and you can immediately sow them in the soil.

Stratification and Scarification Tree Seed Guide Chart

Type of Tree Seed Stratification Scarification Planting
Japanese White Pine warm stratification in moist peat moss within 60 days warm water within 24 hours Sow seeds in the soil ⅜ inch deep
Gray Bark Elm cold stratification within 60 days warm water within 24 hours Sow seeds in the soil ? inch deep
Japanese Firethorn cold stratification within 30 days warm water within 24 hours Sow seeds in the soil ⅛ inch deep
Japanese White Birch cold stratification within 60 days warm water within 24 hours Sow seeds on the soil’s surface
Trident Maple cold stratification within 90 days warm water within 24 hours Sow tree seeds 1/4 inch deep
Japanese Maple warm stratification within 120 days then cold stratification for another 120 days Hot tap water within 48 hours Sow tree seeds 3/8 inch deep
Nomura Red Maple warm stratification within 60 days then cold stratification for another 60 days Hot tap water within 48 hours Sow tree seeds 1/8 inch deep
Japanese Larch cold stratification within 30 days warm water within 24 hours Sow tree seeds 1/16 inch deep
Japanese Hornbeam warm stratification within 60 days then cold stratification for another 90 days warm water within 24 hours Sow tree seeds 1/8 inch deep
Japanese Heavenly not needed warm water within 24 hours Sow tree seeds 1/8 inch deep

Germinating tree seeds is very important and the methods used are stratification and scarification. These methods simulate the natural environment and climatic conditions needed to germinate tree seeds. Once you see the seeds sprout, it means that they are viable to create beautiful bonsai trees!

5) Post-Germination Care

The amount of your precious time you invest in your bonsai seedlings take to emerge from their tree seeds, depending on the species. While some tree seeds will germinate in only a few weeks, others will take months or several seasons. But once your bonsai seedlings successfully break from their seeds and develop two true leaves, then the leaves that will sprout after the first two immature leaves. You can reduce watering whenever the soil’s top third in the pot dries out.

Once the bonsai trees outgrow the seedling trays, you can pot them up into a larger container. Insert a pencil beneath the roots of your seedlings, pushing them up to be removed from the soil. Don’t pull them by their delicate stems.

Once the bonsai tree seedlings are planted in larger pots, you may start caring for them as you would normally do in any other bonsai tree. Move them to direct sunlight and make sure to water them regularly. Once your bonsai trees are 5 to 6 weeks, you may start a fertilization regimen.

Final Words

Now, you have just gained the right knowledge on growing a bonsai tree from seeds. We hope that you enjoyed this tutorial. If you do, please share it with your family and friends. You can also comment below and share your insights, suggestions, and your experiences in growing tree seeds and creating them as beautiful bonsai trees. Happy tree seed germinating and bonsai tree growing!

How to Grow a Bonsai Tree

A few years ago I was given a beautiful bonsai container and decided to try my hand at growing a compact plant to fit it. I had an old azalea growing in a too-small pot that I thought would be perfect for my experiment. Here’s what I learned about bonsai, a living art form!


I envisioned my pretty pink azalea looking something like this

What Is Bonsai?

Bonsai is said to be one of the oldest horticultural pursuits, originating in China during the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD).

Many people have a misconception of what bonsai really is. The typical question many people ask is: “Are bonsai their own species of trees?”

No, bonsai is a sort of craft or living art form. Techniques including shallow planting, pruning, defoliation, grafting, and root reduction, along with wiring the trunks and branches into desired shapes, all help to create the look of a mature tree in miniature.

With proper care, a bonsai can last for centuries, but even a relatively young plant can give the illusion of great age. The Lars Anderson Bonsai Collection at the Arnold Arboretum in Boston has some bonsai trees from the 18th century.


The word “Bonsai” means a pot (bon) that holds a plant or plantings (sai).

Indoor and Outdoor Bonsai

There are indoor and outdoor bonsai plants. Most bonsai should actually be placed outside, where they are exposed to the four seasons just like normal trees are. Outdoor ones are made from hardy evergreens or deciduous plants that need a cold period of dormancy during the winter. They are not meant to be indoors year-round.


These trees grow outside year-round near my son’s home in Texas.

Only tropical plants can survive in the indoor climate of your house; they don’t need a cold period and are better suited to growing indoors. My azalea was not a hardy species and would blossom in late winter in the house, making it perfect for an indoor bonsai. Jade plants are easy to train as bonsai by pruning and removing new shoots to get the look you want.

You can use flowering and fruiting shrubs as well as houseplants.

Can Bonsai Be Created From Any Plant?

Almost any tree or shrub can be turned into a bonsai. The key is to prune the roots and the foliage so the plant remains (or is pruned) to be dwarfed.

Specifically, bonsai is created from perennial woody-stemmed tree or shrub species that produces true branches and can be cultivated to remain small through pot confinement with crown and root pruning.

Which Is the Best Bonsai Tree for Beginners?

I admit that my azalea did not respond well to having its roots severely cut back and crammed into that shallow pot and promptly died!

Ficus is probably the easiest to grow for beginners; it’s tolerant of the low humidity indoors.

Here is a short list of good subjects for bonsai:

  • Ficus (many species)
  • Crassula (jade plant)
  • Carmona (tea plant)
  • Schefflera
  • Calamondin
  • Sand pear
  • Bougainvillea
  • Gardenia
  • Jacaranda
  • Jasmine
  • Pomegranate
  • Chinese elm
  • Olive
  • Rosemary

Ancient tradition required you to return to nature to find your potential bonsai, but nowadays, we can just head to the local nursery or greenhouse for a bonsai-worthy plant.

What a wonderful way to enjoy bougainvillea in a small space!

How Long Does It Take to Grow a Bonsai Tree?

Have patience, it can take 4 to 6 months to create a pleasing appearance. To avoid breaking a branch, clip the wire to remove it rather than trying to unwrap it from the plant.Caring for Bonsai

The shape of your bonsai depends on the material you are using. Some plants such as jade are too soft to wire into shape and will instead need to be pruned appropriately. After deciding on the look you want to achieve, prune branches starting from the base of the tree to expose the trunk. The root mass may need to be reduced to fit into the new container. If the roots are drastically cut back, the top growth will need to be cut way back as well. When the roots are newly cut, the plant will need to be kept out of the sun while it recovers. Branches and pliable trunks can be wrapped with wire to train them into the appropriate shape.

Hard to believe such a striking plant is growing from such a tiny rootball.

With such a reduced rootball, proper watering is critical to keep your bonsai growing and healthy.

  • Feel the soil and water when it feels dry just below the top.
  • Water with a hose sprayer until the soil is saturated or dunk the whole pot in water up to the rim.
  • Either way, let the excess water drain from the newly watered plant, since sitting in a wet saucer can rot the roots.

Fertilize with a bonsai-specific liquid fertilizer diluted to half strength twice a month during active growth—April through September—and cut back to once a month October through March.

This little evergreen shrub, native to Puerto Rico, is a popular bonsai subject.

Your established bonsai will eventually need repotting.

  • Each time you repot you will need to cut the roots back.
  • Put the plant in the shade and stop fertilizing until it recovers to avoid burning freshly pruned roots.

The look of your plant will change over time as it matures. You can continue snipping the growing tips back and even removing some of the leaves to keep it in the shape you desire.

Enjoy indoor plant projects! See how to make a terrarium garden under glass.

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