Why is bonsai such an expensive hobby

Mini Trees - The Art of Bonsai Growing

Life in a shell

Bonsais are not compact dwarf shrubs, but real trees. The mini-trees are often grown in shallow dishes. But her life is different from that of her big siblings.

Growers already regularly prune the young plants with tweezers and scissors. Roots and branches are shortened, the trees are brought into the desired shape with wires.

A bonsai artist is considered particularly skilled when he grows a tree as it would grow in nature. Just reduced by ten, fifty or a hundred times.

Pine, fir or maple trees - a wide variety of tree species can be grown as bonsai.

In addition, shrubs such as rhododendrons and quinces are particularly popular. Because they promise magnificent flowers. But German oaks can also be pruned into bonsais.

At the beginning it is important to have a harmonious relationship between the shell, roots, trunk, branches and leaves.

The special art lies in giving the bonsai a certain expression later: to make the tree look as if it were bent by the wind.

Trees as sculptures

Bonsai art originally comes from China and only later came to Japan. The balance between natural and artificial beauty played a major role in Japanese cultural history centuries ago.

It was not until the end of the 19th century that the first bonsais came to Europe on the occasion of the 1889 World Exhibition in Paris. Soon after, they conquered the salons, living rooms and gardens of the Europeans.

Opinions have been divided since then. The opponents' questions: Is it allowed to prune a tree that would be many meters high in nature? Isn't that a rape of nature?

Proponents of art oppose this: if the owner knows his tree very well, he can predict how the plant will react to interventions. It provides him with the right amount of water and nutrients.

It also protects it from pests and ensures that branches and leaves are always in the right proportion to the root mass.

Not every tree in nature has it that good. Many forest trees spend their lives in a row with little space. Before they reach an appreciable age, they are felled for economic reasons.

Even in the wild, trees sometimes have a tough existence: clinging to rocky slopes, their roots find little nutrients and water in narrow crevices. Under such conditions, sometimes crippled forms develop, which show that there are also bonsai trees in nature.

Expensive hobby

Numerous mini-trees seem to feel quite comfortable in their shallow bowls. They bloom regularly and some even bear fruit. Some specimens are passed on for generations.

The oldest among them are worth a fortune: a 1000 year old tree, for example, can bring in up to half a million euros.

Hobby bonsai growers have to dig deep into their pockets if they do not want to get involved in the tedious growing process from seeds.

But be careful with cheap bonsais from the hardware store: Their crown and roots were mostly brutally cut. It is not uncommon for the battered tree to take revenge by soon giving up its ghost.