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Bonsai

bon·sai (bone-sigh) n.

Etymology: Japanese, literally, tray planting; a potted plant (as a tree) dwarfed and trained to an artistic shape by special methods of culture

Also: the art of growing such a plant

Plural: bonsai

Bonsai calligraphy by Eri Takase

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Frequently Asked Questions

There are five basic styles of bonsai:

1. Formal Upright - Chokkan
Straight trunk with strong taper, generally used on conifers
2. Informal Upright - Moyogi
Curved trunk with major branches on the outside of the trunk curves, and the apex over the base
3. Slant - Shakan
Slanted trunk that flows to one side, offset apex
4. Semi-Cascade - Han Kengai
Mostly horizontal trunk, growing tip may be below rim but not below base of the pot
5. Cascade - Kengai
Trunk falls below base of pot

(Click here for further details about bonsai styles.)

"Every tool roll is different. The cutting edge should be protected when the case is rolled or folded. When it comes to bonsai tools, care after use is the most important."

~ Ashley Carrier, Bonsai Outlet

"With a little care after each use, your tools will keep their edges for many years without sharpening.

  1. Wipe off moisture and dirt with a cloth.
  2. Remove tree sap from the cutting edge and underside. If the sap is difficult to remove, breathe on the blades before wiping. If you don’t remove the sap, your tools will rust.
  3. After removing all the sap and other stains from the blades, oil them with Tri-flow or choji oil. Tri-flow is perhaps the most cost effective oil for bonsai tools. This stuff is used by mechanics, carpenters, etc. because it does not collect dust like other oils can.

In the event that your tools rust – and don’t worry, I have some very expensive Japanese tools that have rusted in the past - the best tool I’ve found to remove rust is SandFlex. It’s an abrasive eraser/blocks for cleaning rust and grime off your tool."

~ Ashley Carrier, Bonsai Outlet

The Plant Hardiness Zones divide the United States and Canada into 11 areas based on a 10 degree Fahrenheit difference in the average annual minimum temperature. (The United States falls within Zones 2 through 10). For example, the lowest average temperature in Zone 2 is -50 to -40 degrees Fahrenheit, while the minimum average temperature in zone 10 is +30 to +40 degrees Fahrenheit.

(Click here to find out your Hardiness Zone.)

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