Definition - What does Bonsai mean?
Bonsai is the highly stylized ancient Japanese art of pruning and training a potted tree in a special form that keeps plant growth stunted on purpose. A bonsai plant remains dwarfed for its entire life.
Most often, a bonsai tree is created by the pruning of a narrow or broadleaf evergreen plant, although the art can also include deciduous blooming plants, such as a crab tree or certain varieties of a blooming maple.
MaximumYield explains Bonsai
The art of creating a bonsai has been around for thousands of years in Japanese culture. A bonsai plant is recognizable by its dwarf size and highly stylized shape and form.
The creation of a bonsai tree requires that both the roots and the top growth be carefully pruned. Pruning the roots along with the top growth helps stunt the plant, keeps it confined to the pot, and eliminates the growth of air roots.
The whole purpose of a bonsai tree is to enjoy the splendid beauty of the pruned creation own its own terms. For most hobbyists, the end goal is to create an artistic subject for contemplation and reflection. That being said, a bonsai tree is never grown for food or any other practical use other than to be completely enjoyed as an art form.
It takes careful planning and pruning in order to create a bonsai plant, but once they are created the plant can live hundreds of years with minimal maintenance. The difficulty and the art form lies solely on the creation/establishment of the bonsai plant. Therefore, artists may spend years on creating and growing a single bonsai plant.
The hobby of growing bonsai trees is said to be therapeutic for some, giving people without a garden space the chance to nurture and care for something that is guaranteed never to grow large enough that it takes over one's living quarters. Bonsai trees also make great gifts, making it a lucrative industry for growers who are skilled.