Can Any Tree be a Bonsai?
A question we often come across from beginner bonsai enthusiasts is “Can any tree be a bonsai?”. There is a common misconception that bonsai is a specific tree species. The truth, however, is that bonsai is rather a way of growing trees in a confined space.
So, can you make a bonsai out of any tree?
The short answer is – yes, you can turn any tree into a bonsai. In fact any plant with a wood-like structure, like a shrub, would be suitable for a bonsai. There are, however, a few caveats in there.
If you’re determined to grow your own bonsai from a sapling, this blog is for you. Keep reading to learn more about making a tree into a bonsai.
Which Trees Can You Use to Make a Bonsai?
You can turn almost any young tree sapling into a bonsai by planting it in a pot and training it into shape. Some species are easier to train than others based on their qualities, such as growth rate for example.
There are a few different factors to consider when determining if you can bonsai a particular tree species. The first one being whether the particular tree species grows well when the roots are confined to a pot. You should also research if the species you wish to turn into a bonsai tolerates root pruning. Certain tree species don’t take well to root pruning.
Another aspect to consider is the aesthetic appeal of a tree. Generally, trees with smaller leaves and thinner trunks are preferred for bonsai. Trees with visually attractive characteristics such as flowers are also a popular bonsai option.
And of course you should choose a tree that is suitable for your local climate.
Do Certain Species Make Better Bonsai?
Some species are more tolerant of growing in a container than others. You can use both deciduous or evergreen trees from all over the world to grow a bonsai.
Which Trees are Difficult to Bonsai?
While you can make almost any tree a bonsai, there are certain species that are more difficult to work with. A lot of conifers and pines in particular aren’t tolerant to pruning as they don’t produce new growth as fast as deciduous trees.
This doesn’t mean you can’t style a pine tree as a bonsai, it just means that the process takes longer. There are plenty of beautiful bonsai conifers, in fact one of the most popular bonsai trees is the Buddhist Pine.
Deciduous trees with larger leaves and large internodes are another challenge to grow into a bonsai. Species like the Horse Chestnut or Sycamore have bigger leaves even when confined in a pot, which makes it hard to create a bonsai with proportionate appearance.
Get Your Bonsai Journey Started!
Before you get your hands dirty with bonsai soil, make sure you have the right equipment. If you’re determined to take a sapling from your garden and turn it into a bonsai, it’s important to use the correct tools.
Here at Bonsai 2 U, you will find a fantastic range of bonsai tools and accessories. From plastic grower pots and specialised bonsai soil to different sizes of wire, we have everything you will need for growing a healthy bonsai tree.
Browse the range online or visit Bonsai 2 U’s bonsai nursery in person! For more useful tips on bonsai tree care why not head over to our Care Hub?