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Selecting a Bonsai Pot - Pruning and Height of Bonsai

Selecting a Bonsai Pot or Container

The Pot or the container has a major role in the Bonsai set up. The pots serves to hold the soil. It also adds to the appearance of the tree.

The Pot or the container should be selected keeping in mind the tree species and the desired size of the final Bonsai.. The pot should be of sufficient size as to accommodate the root system and permit growth.

A rule of thumb is that the depth of the pot should be equal to the diameter of the tree trunk immediately above the ground. The width of the pot should be 2/3rd of the height of the tree.

A Bonsai plant will be housed in different pots during its growth. Young Bonsai Plants have to be trained. The Bonsai plant is kept is progressively smaller pots
The color of the pot should not be distracting. The colour of the pot should complement the tree and its foliage. The colour depends on the color of the tree. Try to find out how the tree will look during the different seasons of the year. Brown pots are ideal.

Glazed Pots are also available. These pots are particularly chosen for indoor installations.
Texture of the pot is another aspect to be looked at. The pot should have a flat surface. It should not rock. Pots should have holes which allow the excess water to drain.

Pruning in Bonsai

A Bonsai Plant needs to be pruned and trimmed periodically. Pruning refers to the removal of branches. Pruning is done so that the Bonsai retains its shape. Pruning can also be done if you want the Bonsai to have a particular shape.

Pruning is necessary so that the tree does not waste its resources in unnecessary growth. Pruning can be done with special tools or with any sharp scissors.

Many trees tend to grow more at the top. In the wild, trees compete with one another for sunlight. Thus a tree dedicates more resource to grow taller and less resources to grow sideways. In Bonsais this can result in a lean tree. It avoid this, you may have to prune the top and remove the branches. This makes the Bonsai grow sideways.

Pruning also permits light to fall on the lower branches and gives them a chance to grow.  The extent of pruning is based on factors such as the rate of growth of tree, the tree species and the desired objective.

Maintenance Pruning in Bonsai

Maintenance Pruning refers to the pruning done to maintain the shape of the Bonsai. As the Bonsai grows, it may lose its original shape. Many Bonsai which are not pruned may start to resemble a small shrub. Leaves and branches are removed to maintain the shape. Pruning should be done during the growing season which is late spring and summer. Do not prune the tree during autumn or winter as you may not have proper perspective.

Aesthetic Pruning in Bonsai

Aesthetic Pruning refers to the pruning done to make the bonsai take a particular shape. This is usually done early on as the plants starts to grow into a tree. It can also be done later. Aesthetic pruning is done to make the plant grow in a specific direction. Branches can be cut to make the plant grow more bushy.

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Height of the Bonsai

The name Bonsai conjures of miniature plants.  While bonsai trees are usually small, there can be bonsai up to a metres or a few metres high.  These are known as the Garden Bonsai. Bonsai are classified on the basis of height. It is a generally accepted rule of thumb that the height of the Bonsai should be six times or twelve times the diameter of the trunk above the ground.

Thus the ratio of thickness to height should be 1:6 to 1:12 Bonsai are classified into the following categories based on their height.
Keishiless than 2.5 cms
Shito2.5 to  7.5 cms
Mame7.5 to 15 cms
Shohin15 to 20 cms
Kifu Sho20 to 40.5 cms
Chu40.5 to 61 cms
Dai61 cms to 101.5 cms

These rules are not rigid, It is not always possible to grow a bonsai tree to a specific limit. Thus, minor deviations are acceptable.  They factor is proportion.  They Bonsai needs to give an authentic appearance of a grand old tree. 

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