Category Archives: Pruning

Meristem Cells

Part 10 of a series by Eugene Howell

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Acer BonsaiTo be a good bonsai artist you must first understand how a tree will respond to what you’re doing. This means you must understand the basic parts and functions of a tree. Superficially this may seem to be an overly simple topic. After all, everyone knows a tree has leaves, branches, a trunk and roots. But don’t be fooled, understanding how these parts respond to pruning, wiring and cutting is a bit more complicated and deserves some discussion.

As I stated in the last post the trunk is made up of five layers. The outside layer is the bark, next is the phloem, and the third is the cambium. What the cambium does is extremely important to the bonsai artist.
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Cambium Layer

Part 9 of a series by Eugene Howell

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Leaning BonsaiTo care for a bonsai tree well, it’s appropriate that we first learn something about how a tree actually works; otherwise we have little ability to understand the true nature of the living thing we’re trying to bend and twist and shape to our desires.

If asked what the major parts of a tree are, what would you answer? As a bonsai artist, if you pause for a moment to think about it, you should come to the conclusion that if you have no understanding of how a tree functions, you won’t know what you need to do to the tree in order to get it to develop into an excellent bonsai. Furthermore, you won’t know how the tree will respond to your actions. This, however, is critical. You must know what to expect from a tree in order to develop it the way you envision the tree as a finished bonsai. The more you know about the basic functioning of a tree, the easier and faster you’ll be able to turn raw material into a beautiful bonsai.
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