Dictionary and Journal

Bonsai Dictionary Definitions

Bonsai is known as the combination of techniques used to grow and model a tree in order to make it or keep it small. The word bonsai is of Japanese origin that means “planted in a shallow pot”, the terminology “Bon” that expresses “plate” or “bowl” and “Sai” which means “planted”.

As such, bonsai are miniature trees that reduce their treatment through certain techniques such as: pruning, wiring, clamping, among others, and with special care in their form to create a style that represents a scene of nature.

Regarding bonsai trees, the following should be clarified; In the first place, they are not dwarf trees, on the contrary, any species can be used to create a bonsai, as long as it contains woody stem from which branches grow to be grown in a small pot, although maple trees, Chinese elms and junipers, They are used frequently. On the other hand, they are not a different kind of vegetable.

The main objective of bonsai is to create a realistic portion of nature, in which the degree of beauty depends on the care provided by the grower. However, the smaller a tree becomes, the more abstract its representation.

Now, as for the offer of a bonsai to a friend or relative, each one has a meaning that distinguishes it from one another, but in general the bonsai have a message of friendship, happiness, and long life. Also, bonsai helps create an atmosphere of peace, harmony and freshness.

Finally, there are public places that have bonsai collections, as in Mexico: Bonsai Tatsugoro Museum (Fortín de las Flores, Veracruz), Tanryu-ji Museum (Puebla), Culiacán Botanical Garden (Culiacán, Sinaloa), and Municipal Palace from the city of Tijuana (Baja California).

Bonsai History

Bonsai had its origin in China, more than 2000 years ago, performing the so-called punwan known today as “penjing”, when there was already a strong interest in the art of making miniature landscapes.

For its part, in the Japanese tradition the cultivation of bonsai is about 300 years old. With the spread of the Zen religion, art by miniature trees took a great boom, and it was until the 18th century that bonsai acquired the characteristics we currently know.

Bonsai care

First of all, bonsai should grow in places of free air, with temperatures, humidity, and natural light in a moderate way, with greater care in the summer due to high temperatures, being able to be a solution the use of cold beds or greenhouses.

As for watering, it depends on the type of bonsai, climate, land used and the size of the pot. It is important, the permanent monitoring of the bonsai to prevent its dryness, or the rotting of its roots by excessive irrigation. This means that some bonsai require frequent watering, while others prefer little water.

Finally, it is very important to make the fertilization on a regular basis, which often depends on the age of the tree, through the use of liquid fertilizers, or organic for bonsai.

Bonsai classification

In Japan, bonsai are classified depending on the number of people needed to lift it, the smallest are Keshisubo, Shito and Mame, between 3 – 15 cm high, and the largest are classified as imperial.

However, with respect to their size, bonsai are classified as:

  • Keshitsubo: 3-8 cm
  • Shito: 5-10 cm
  • Mame: 5-15 cm
  • Shohin: 13-20 cm
  • Komono: 15-25 cm
  • Katade-mochi: 25-46 cm
  • Chumono / Chiu: 41-91 cm
  • Omono / Dai: 76-122 cm
  • Hachi-uye: 102-152 cm
  • Imperial: 152-203 cm