Gardening & Outdoors
Man videos himself restoring neglected bonsai tree and gets 7 million views
This man saw the inner potential in a 35-year-old bonsai tree and turned it into a beautiful reality.
Elijah Chan
07.20.22

Bonsai might be one of the most interesting feats of horticulture.

Starting around 1,000 years ago in China, the art of bonsai has captured the imagination of everyone.

Pexels - Quang Nguyen Vinh
Source:
Pexels - Quang Nguyen Vinh

Small trees, sitting comfortably in trays, are not only regarded for their innate beauty but for the process they had to endure to be in their perfect little shapes.

Care for bonsai trees isn’t easy.

It has always been associated with mediation and “being zen” because of the painstaking amount of patience one has to invest in one tree.

Pexels - Quang Nguyen Vinh
Source:
Pexels - Quang Nguyen Vinh

It’s a long-term commitment.

For a bonsai tree to reach its final form, one has to maintain and train the branches for decades.

With this level of commitment demanded by the plant, one can easily give up.

YouTube - Bonsai Releaf
Source:
YouTube - Bonsai Releaf

YouTube channel Bonsai Releaf is a channel dedicated to picking up the bonsai where people left it off.

Chinese Juniper bonsai gets a makeover

In this video, a 35-year-old Chinese Juniper bonsai tree is about to get a makeover.

At first glance, or for those with untrained eyes like us, the Chinese Juniper seems to be growing well with its vibrant green pines and luscious branches.

YouTube - Bonsai Releaf
Source:
YouTube - Bonsai Releaf

But for a bonsai grower, this tree is the equivalent of a man who just let go of their hair during the entire phase of pandemic-mandated lockdowns.

In short, it needed a haircut.

First off, the bonsai had its weeds pulled. This will make sure that the tree doesn’t have competition when it comes to nourishment.

It was also dusted off to get rid of the cobwebs that covered the inner canopies.

YouTube - Bonsai Releaf
Source:
YouTube - Bonsai Releaf

Choosing the “face”

Next, the man chose which part of the plant should be the “face”.It may not look obvious to some, that’s why the video included which structures to consider.

In his list, the man noted the twisting and leaning trunk of the tree. Then he found an angle where he could showcase the branches.

Through a sketch, he also envisioned what each branch and pocket of foliage should look like.

Then, he started pruning the branches. Low hanging branches were cut off, then the branches that grew away from the goal shape.

He also trimmed the backside of the plant where one of the main branches protruded out from.

YouTube - Bonsai Releaf
Source:
YouTube - Bonsai Releaf

For most who aren’t as familiar with taking care of such trees, it can be a bit confusing as to which branches to trim and why do it in the first place.

The video shows that it keeps the shape and promotes other growth.

Then he carved out the deadwood.

He laminated the exposed parts with lime sulfur and began the tedious process of wiring the plant.

Wiring the branches help train the plant on how and where to grow their branches.

YouTube - Bonsai Releaf
Source:
YouTube - Bonsai Releaf

They mentioned in the video that these “braces” would have to stay on for a couple of years.

Perfecting that “weathered” look

Then, he also showed some crafty techniques on how to beautify the tree by burning the fibers of the branches for that weathered look.

YouTube - Bonsai Releaf
Source:
YouTube - Bonsai Releaf

Last, with the help of his daughter, he lined the soil with moss which further creates the illusion of a small tree in the field of grass.

See this bonsai’s final shape in it’s full glory in the video below!

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

By Elijah Chan
hi@sbly.com
Elijah Chan is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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