Basic Guide to Create Bonsai

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Bonsai Variation: Forest and Groves


Your bonsai experiments do not have to be limited to single plants. Multiple planting is a creative and fun way to utilize inexpensive materials. In this site, multiple plantings are referred to as forests and groves.

Forest and Groves

Forests and groves basically differ in the number of trees used. A forest utilizes many trees, so many that the actual number is not important. A grove usually has a few as three trees, or as many as eleven, but always an uneven number. This is because an uneven number of trees is easier to position in a natural way. An even number, on the other hand, often looks as if the trees were line up by man, not created by nature. In a grove the eye is able to discern the approximate number of trees, which should all be of the same species.

Bonsai Variations: Forest and Groves
Bonsai Variations: Forest and Groves
Image Source: bonsaitonight.com
When you are selecting material for a multiple planting, you can use smaller, less expensive trees. However, your dominant tree, the one on which the planting is centered, should be chosen with great care. This tree should have the thickest trunk and the best branch arrangement. The other trees need not be perfect, and probably would not be good enough to make a single bonsai.

Look for trees with different heights and trees with trunks of different thickness. If the trees heights are too similar adjust them by pruning. The variation in the thickness of the trunks enables you to create perspective. Though trunks can vary in thickness, they should all be of the same line, that is, all straight or all slanted in the same direction. If some of the trunks need wiring to conform to the line, wire them before planting.

Design Your Landscape
Before you plant your landscape, arrange and rearrange the trees until you are satisfied with the overall design. Create this design by giving the most prominent place to your dominant tree. For a more natural arrangement, avoid placing the dominant tree in the center of the container. Position the other trees so their trunks are visible. Do not place one tree directly behind another, and do not plant trees where their trunks might cross in front of another’s.



The strongest branching should occur on outside trees and, of course, at the tops of tree. The design of a multiple planting is created by the line formed by the outside trees and treetops, as though the entire planting were a single tree. It is important to remember that the foliage on the top of trees in a forest shades the rest of the branches. You do not see as many branches on the trunks of old trees growing together. To create a similar effect in a multiple planting you may want to cut back inner branches.

Containers used in forest plantings are necessarily large, to allow for the numerous trees and also to create un-planted land area. As these containers hold more soil than a regular bonsai container does, you should check different areas of the container to determine if the trees need to be watered.
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