Working a bonsai is an ancient art for which you have to arm yourself with patience, large doses of patience, because it will take years for us to appreciate the first results of our project.

Confinement and a state of alarm have given us time: it is one of the positive things that we must extract from this situation. And if there is a hobby that needs time to see its results, it is the cultivation of a macrobonsai.

It was the Chinese, more than 2,000 years ago, who began to create miniature landscapes, and the Japanese who copied this art to begin to grow trees in reduced size individually.

Ancient olive tree art and Japanese aesthetics

Following his wise advice, today, thousands of fans around the world are dedicated to this art that combines the techniques of horticulture with Asian aesthetic principles. Specifically, Japanese aesthetics is almost a philosophy of life and all of this is expressed in the beauty of a small bonsai.

Extremadura bonsai fans have spent the past two months of quarantine overseeing their miniature forests, and this spring’s rains have been a true blessing. As in any plantation and garden, each season has its specific tasks and the same happens with a macrobonsai.

In the first days of spring it is time to transplants, but it is also time to prune, graft, clamp the leaves and fertilize.

Each specimen must be given a specific shape where each branch has its function and importance. The wires of different thickness will help us to tame that branch so that it is placed in the desired position.

Small-leaved species are easier to work with to make a nice macrobonsai, but ultimately any species with a woody trunk grown in a small pot can make a worthy miniature tree.

Mediterranean forest species

In Extremadura we are fortunate to have access to seedlings of common species in our forests such as olive trees, wild olive trees, holm oaks, gall oaks, cork oaks, ash trees, willows, pines or maples.

Extremadura bonsaists are going through a very entertaining confinement among all the necessary tools to work a bonsai where they can not miss pruners, scissors, pliers or toothpicks.

Many of these tools come directly from Japan, in addition to the specific Japanese granulated clay substrate (akadama) that facilitates aeration, retention of water and nutrients and prevents root rot.

Spring is also a good time to get future bonsai by performing air layering on the branches of our tree and obtaining new trees from cuttings.

Enjoying macrobonsai cultivation is a rewarding experience where days and weeks go by without us noticing.

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