Bonsai trees are trained to grow into a shape that is pleasing to look at. The best bonsai trees appear to be old, have a shape that seems natural.
The word bonsai means "tray garden" in the Japanese language. Bonsai is a very old art form in Japan, but is not as old as penjing. Penjing is a Chinese art form that is almost the same as bonsai.
The art of bonsai began in China over two thousand years ago, where it has been called penzai, a word that is almost the same as bonsai. It was brought to Japan some time near the year 1300 A.D.
Bonsai spread to Korea some time from the 7th to the 13th century --during the Tang or Song dynasty In Korea, the art form is now called (분재) or Bunjae -- which also sounds like "bonsai".
People in China still practice this form of artistic gardening. Because the Chinese art is mostly shown outdoors, Chinese penjing plants are often larger than Japanese bonsai.
A bonsai plant is not naturally small. It is kept small by shaping and root pruning. It is possible for a well-tended bonsai to live to be older than a large tree of the same species. However, a bonsai needs much care, and a poorly-tended bonsai will not be healthy and might die.
In the art of bonsai a sense of beauty, patience, and good care are all needed. The plant, the shape of the plant, as well as the arrangement of soil choice of container are important.
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