Bonsai is an ancient Japanese art form that focuses on the act of dwarfing and training the growth of trees and other plants so that they may be formed into aesthetically pleasing shapes and arrangements. With a little work, dedication and effort, you can create your very own Bonsai trees in the comfort of your own garden, and in a shorter amount of time than you might think.
Select the plant that you wish to become your first Bonsai project. A few common choices include jade trees, maple trees, ficus plants, juniper bushes and Chinese elms. Any of these plants will work well with the art of bonsai and provide wonderful results.
Determine the shape in which you wish your Bonsai tree to grow. Traditional shapes in which many Bonsai trees are sculpted include slanting, upright, elongated, cascade or weeping. Most people, when picturing Bonsai in the minds, tend to imagine either the cascade or weeping shape. If you are unfamiliar with the various shapes of the Bonsai growth patterns, there are plenty of reference materials available to give you ideas.
Wrap the Bonsai tree in wire. You will want to bind the branches and trunk of your Bonsai tree with Bonsai wire. Lace the wire around the the branches and trunk of the tree while it is a sapling at forty-five degree angles. Gently bend each branch into the desired shape for the overall effect you are seeking to achieve. Be sure to keep the wire coils close together, but loose enough so the tree still has room to grow.
Bind the branches. Now that you have them wired up, you will also need to tie down the branches using garden string. This will assist the wire in quickly molding the tree to the shape you are looking for. Tie the string to the branches and pull them gently into shape. Use small gardening stakes to tie off the ends of the string to.
Attach weights to the branches that you wish to mold. Generally this is a slower method of training a Bonsai tree, but if you combine it with the previous methods discussed, it will help to accelerate the process of producing the desired shape in a timely manner. Use garden string to attach small weights to the branches. These weights can either be purchased from a specialized bonsai supplier, or you can use fishing weights to achieve the same effect at a fraction of the cost.