Creating a Bonsai group planting

By on July 28, 2016 in FEATURES with 0 Comments

Creating a Bonsai group planting

Group plantings replicate a number of trees growing together in a copse, wood or a forest and show the interplay between the trees and their branches as they compete for light and nutrients

Spring is the best time of year to create a group planting.

  • First of all choose suitable bonsai plants; a group planting should consist of different sizes of trees, a few tall ones for in the middle and several smaller ones to plant on the sides. Use trees growing upright, as the composition would look unnatural when using different shapes of trees. The number of trees you use is up to you and what you have available
  • Selecting the right pot is very important; choose a large and shallow pot, too large rather than too small
  • Use a soil mixture of akadama, fine gravel and potting compost mixed together in a ratio of ½ to ¼ to ¼

After having selected the trees and the pot, follow the step-by-step plan to create the group planting:

  1. Cut several pieces of copper wire (about 10 cm or 4’’ long) and attach these to the pot using the drainage holes or with waterproof glue. The wires will be used to anchor the roots and stabilize the composition of trees.
  2. To provide for a good drainage, fill the bottom layer of the pot with fine gravel and akadama in a ratio of ½ to ½.
  3. Now prepare the trees by removing any dead branches and removing the lower branches to create a trunk (till about 1/3 of the tree’s height). Take the trees out of their pots and after having removed the soil, carefully disentangle the roots.
  4. Place the taller trees slightly to the side of the middle in the pot (see photo 1, below) and add the smaller trees around it, when you are satisfied with the composition of the group planting (see photo 2, below), carefully use the copper wires to anchor the trees in place.
  5. Use the prepared soil mixture to fill the pot and cover all the roots (see photo 3, below).
  6. Water thoroughly and use some moss to cover the surface, to prevent erosion.

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Place the newly planted Bonsai group in the shade for at least a few months and wait until the next spring to start training the trees.

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