In her free time, Carolyn J. Upshaw pursues a variety of outdoor hobbies. An avid gardener, Carolyn J. Upshaw enjoys planting and cultivating bonsai trees.
The first step to growing a bonsai tree is to acquire a specimen. You will need to decide whether you wish to grow the tree indoors, in which case you will need a sub-tropical variety, or outdoors.
You will also need to choose whether you would like to cultivate a ready-grown bonsai or a pre-bonsai, which includes tree material you can shape yourself. Starter kits are also available, though some intrepid gardeners opt to take the three to five years necessary to grow a tree from scratch.
When your tree is ready for shaping, you will need to learn to prune. The most successful pruning uses concave cutters, which allow wounds to heal fastest. You can begin pruning by removing all but one branch growing at the same height and cutting away any branches that are unusually twisted or that grow thickly at the top of the tree.
Pruning is generally most successful during the spring and summer. All year, however, you will need to be careful to keep the tree in direct light and water it as needed. While summer is also the ideal time for feeding the plant, fertilizer helps keep it healthy through winter and spring.