Introduction to the Art of Bonsai
The definition of the term “Bonsai” is a plant, usually a tree or shrub, that is grown in a container and made to look like a mature tree through the use of various training techniques. The plant usually does not exceed 1 meter in height. The art of bonsai as we know it, traces back almost 2000 yrs. The word ‘bonsai’ is made up of 2 Japanese characters or word phrases, “bon” & “sai.” “Bon” is the pot, tray or container; the “sai” is the tree or potted planting. The original word Bonsai comes from the Chinese word “P’en Tsai” which sounds similar to bonsai and has nearly the same meaning. It couldn’t be further from the true spirit of bonsai, howerver, if we restrict our interpretation in this way. It is indeed a tree in a pot, but a tree that has been subjected to a number of horticultural and aesthetic disciplines through which visual harmony and botanical well being is achieved. The essence of classical Bonsai is to produce a healthy miniature representation of a tree.