Bonsai Garden Tour

Bonsai Garden Tour

Veer sir’s Bonsai Garden Tour

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Nearly everyone likes bonsai trees. Miniature trees, how could you not love them? They’re pretty cool-looking. I mean some of it I think it’s just like  this contact with nature. You know we’re talking about little miniature trees so  it’s a combination of horticulture and art. Yet there seems to be a lot  of misconceptions around them. I heard people say that they all  came from seeds that were radiated by the bombs that were dropped in Japan. I would guess it would be some sort of breeding program to stop their growth, but I have no idea. What’s even more of a mystery even within the bonsai community is the science behind bonsai. You know even as a lifetime bonsai artist I don’t fully know the science behind it.  I mean I have an idea of how it works, but I can’t fully explain it. And the answer isn’t what you think. That’s impressive I never knew that but it  makes total sense when you think about it yeah Yes? I’ll get this one Like many Asian traditions, the  art of bonsai originated in China. Bonsai, the word bonsai is literally a  Japanese word it means tree in a tray. It was brought to Japan from China  and then refined in Japan and then bastardized throughout the rest of the world. This is a Kimura bonsai nursery in  Northridge, California. What’s your name? I’m Bob Pressler I’m the  owner, president, chief artist, chief weed puller, the guy that  writes a check, you name it, I do it. And how long have you been in the bonsai industry? I’ve been doing growing bonsai since  I was 10… So that’s 53 years. What are some of the common  misconceptions of bonsai trees? All kinds. That the wire and  stuff we put on them torture them. That they’re house plants. That’s probably the  biggest misconception. They’re cute, they’re cute little trees sometimes and people think that  they grow them indoors and unfortunately they can’t. You name it, there are a lot of ideas about  bonsai out there that aren’t really too accurate. A bonsai tree is just a normal tree  manipulated to become a miniature. Bonsai are not genetically dwarves. That means  if you take a seed from a bonsai and plant it, it’s going to grow up to be a normal tree. Theoretically, any tree can become a  bonsai, but some do better than others. Some people think that they’re  genetically dwarfed trees, and occasionally we’ll use one like that, but  not really. We make full-sized trees smaller. So what would happen if you were to take, let’s say an old bonsai tree, and plant it  in the ground and stop taking care of it? See that tree that’s sticking  out over the roof there? That used to be a bonsai tree in a pot. In a pot? That was weak and I put it in  a bigger pot and it rooted into the ground then it just got too big  and I just said the hell with it. The goal of bonsai is to make a  miniature tree look fully mature, and that’s where the art form becomes unique. Number one, you know we want to keep them small  so proportions are probably the single biggest factor that keeps them looking like real trees.  It doesn’t matter if it’s two inches tall or two feet tall or four feet tall, if everything’s  in proportion, it’ll look like a real tree. Every tree is supposed to tell a story of age, and bonsai artists are able to accomplish  that by using a few techniques. First of all pruning away stuff we’re not going to  use, a lot of extra branches and stuff like that it also keeps them small. All the wire is used for is to shape and position  branches and sometimes trunks. We use the wire to kind of like bend the branch into position or move  it down or up and hold it in that place until it decides to stay there. Yeah, you can do all kinds  of stuff to them. I mean you can bend branches this big and they just seem to shrug it off if  you do it the right technique at the right time. We prune the roots. We take them out of the pot  cut the roots sometimes in half. The whole thing restricts nutrients it’s in a small pot, most  of the soil mix we use is pretty inorganic, so there’s like no nutrients in the soil itself.  So we give them enough to stay healthy and thrive, but not so much that they want to  outgrow their growing conditions. What’s remarkable is as the tree receives less  nutrients, all growth begins to slow down, the trunk grows smaller rings, and  the leaves miniaturize drastically. Also, the leaves are miniature as well. The leaves are but the fruit and flowers  aren’t. Restricting the nutrients and the size of the pot restricts the  size that the leaves can get to. You know even as a lifetime bonsai  artist, I don’t fully know the science behind it. I mean I have an idea of how  it works, but I can’t fully explain it. The answer lies in something  called the apical meristem. Apical coming from the word  apex, meaning “highest point”. And meristem coming from its meristematic  cells also known as stem cells. These regions are stem cells found  at the tips of the shoots and roots. The shoot apical meristem gives rise to the  leaves, flowers, fruits, and height of the tree. Stem cells are undifferentiated cells that have  the power to turn into any cell. For example, a human embryonic stem cell can  differentiate into a blood cell, a neuron, a skin cell, any cell in our body. Apical meristematic cells operate the same way and can differentiate into a host  of other cells in the plant. So what normally happens is  water comes up from the roots, through the trunk, up to  feed the apical meristems. As apical meristems grow, they divvy a  set amount of cells to form a leaf bump, which eventually differentiates  into a leaf. Researchers didn’t know the mechanism behind bonsai leaf  miniaturization, but they had two theories. That bonsai leaves have the same amount of cells  as normal leaves, but the cells are smaller. Right, that the tree itself is being  shrunk down on a cellular level. Right. Or? Or the cells were the same size,  but there were just fewer of them. What do you think? The second one, the cells are smaller, I think the cells are  smaller. Yeah, I’d say probably so yeah. Okay. Neither, no there’s got to be one? I would  say probably the… I don’t know. 50/50 chance. i’ll say two just because,  yeah I’d say the second one, yeah. To my surprise, the correct answer was  the second one. In this paper written by Körner and colleagues, it was discovered  that not only were the cells the same size, in some cases, they were larger  than their normal counterparts. What made leaves miniature was the fact that  there are fewer cells present in the leaf. The cutting of roots and lack of nutrients  slows the growth rate of apical meristems causing fewer cells to form a leaf  bump, resulting in a smaller leaf. But it’s just less of them. Less  of them to divvy up everything out, that’s impressive. I didn’t know that at all. What’s amazing is these trees don’t even  know that they’re making a miniature leaf they’re just growing and differentiating normally. Think of it like making cookies.  The components are exactly the same, the only difference is that bonsai’s  have less starting material. Researchers observed the greatest reduction of  leaf area in broadleaf trees, with one species becoming 50 times smaller, while their conifers  only experience a 5 to 8 times reduction. Now these tiny leaves are also  accompanied by tiny little trunks, and that’s because trunk size is a function  of growth rate. The reasoning behind it is why make a huge trunk if you’re not  transporting that much material? Small leaves need less water and nutrients. And  we’re also reducing the total amount of leaves on the tree. Giant sequoias can use up to 500 gallons  of water per day, and that’s why they’re so big. But these little guys don’t need that much do  they? Everything stays nice and pocket-sized. Yeah that’s basically the way it works, I mean glad to hear that you  know scientists think so too. I’m gonna go do some research I wanna see  like you know like now I’m very intrigued. Oh that’s awesome, I kind of want to make our  bonsai tree come back to life, it’s totally dead Now I got to say, after making this video  I have a brand new appreciation for bonsai. I mean I liked them before, but now I love  them and throughout the process, I made my very first bonsai tree, and I think it turned  out great! I can’t stop looking at the thing. Although I do have to say I was surprised to see  a subset of people who weren’t as enthusiastic as myself when it came to bonsai. I mean to  watch some of the things we do sometimes, yes it does seem cruel, and I can only speak  for me personally. I never do anything to a tree that I think is going to harm the health  of the tree. To me, that’s got to be number one. Remember the art of bonsai is mimicking nature, the twisting of the trunk and branches represent  all the hardships a tree had to go through. These trees grow in places where it’s really  strenuous, it’s tough on them. 120 degrees, no water for six months, snow, wind, whatever. And  they survive. In a way it’s brutally beautiful. And yet these trees still grow in the face  of adversity, and they do so perfectly. Bonsai shows that life can be  beautiful within the struggle. It’s something that only mother nature can do.  We can do all kinds of stuff. We can take tools and carve things and create deadwood and stuff,  but we can’t touch what mother nature can do. Trees never ask for a lighter  burden, only for broader shoulders I mean is there anything you want  to let people know about bonsai? Yeah, don’t try to grow them indoors and  don’t be afraid of them. They’re just trees. Yeah, people ask me how much work is it, and I generally tell them that it’s more work  than a goldfish and less work than a kid. So if you made it this far thank you for  watching I do want to give a huge shout out to kimura banzai bob and Diana they were  so nice they showed me around they talked for over an hour about bonsai and I learned so much  and if you live in southern California please go and check them out if you want to learn about  bonsai they have classes there that are super affordable I was even surprised by it and they  sell their bonsai as well also it’s a great date place I mean just walking around in a little  nursery whatever you know like do your thing so please support small business they absolutely know  what they’re doing they’re complete professionals and if you haven’t subscribed yet please subscribe  I’m almost at a thousand subscribers which is a huge landmark for me and I’ve been working on this  for over a year so thank you so much and take care


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