How to Create Bonsai from Regular Trees
Ask This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook learns about the ancient art of bonsai
$50 and Up
- Begin with a tree in a container and find the face and the front that you want to celebrate.
- The bonsai height should be about six times the size of the trunk.
- Take the top off of the tree with the concave cutter.
- Pluck the needles off the branches to make room for wiring.
- Prune out smaller branches to give the tree more shape.
- Use thick bonsai wire to anchor the tree to the soil and then wrap the trunk to the top. Use wire cutters to cut the wire to size.
- Use thinner wire to anchor the branches, working from the bottom up.
- Bend the branches to the desired angles.
- Rake the roots, starting at the bottom, knocking soil off of the root ball.
- Spread the roots out.
- Add screens to the container holes and hold them in place with wire.
- Add wires to anchor the tree to the container.
- Add bonsai soil to the container and set the tree into the container about ⅓ off to the side with the apex appearing to bow.
- Use wire to anchor the tree to the pot.
- Add more soil to the pot firmly. Add decorative rocks or moss as desired.
- Dunk the tree in a basin of water to remove air bubbles.
- Water with a hose and soft nozzle.
- After a year, remove the wires from the tree.
Roger visited Bonsai West in Littleton, Massachusetts.