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Vol#16 Bonsai Tree Proactive Care for the Following Year

Flowering Bonsai

With the spring equinox behind us, flower bonsai trees are now reaching their peak bloom and fruiting bonsai trees are beginning to blossom for pollination. Both types of trees herald this season and display their splendor to us.

Many of us have been inspired to start their bonsai artistic journey because of them. However, we often hear that even though the tree flowered well the first year, only a few flowers bloomed the next.

There could be multiple factors contributing to this phenomenon, but it is accurate to state that the care given to a bonsai after its prime stage has passed may directly impacts the flowering and fruiting performance in the years to come.

While flowers and fruits naturally drop from the tree as part of its metabolic processes, it actually requires energy. Even in bonsai trees found in their natural habitat, there are years when they bear abundant flowers and fruits (known as "front" years), and other years when their yield is lower (known as "back" years), suggesting that trees adapt their energy allocation accordingly.

When it comes to a bonsai nursery, bonsai trees with flowering stalks are pruned and fertilized before the flowers completely fade.

After the flowering season or immediately after fruiting, fruiting bonsai trees undergo a "thinning" process to reduce the number of fruits. Once the process is complete, the fruits are promptly picked, and then fertilizers are applied

We refer to the fertilizer, applied after the flowers or fruits have finished as thankful-fertilizer, 'お礼肥 Oreihi' in Japanese, which conveys a sense of gratitude and appreciation towards the tree's performance throughout the year. The decision to prune flowers or fruits, or even apply thankful-fertilizer "お礼肥 Oreihi' ", can significantly affect the health and growth of the bonsai tree in the coming year.

I encourage you to express your gratitude and show your appreciation to your bonsai for its flowers by applying thankful-fertilizer to ensure it thrives for many years to come!

ReBonsai Yusuke Ogawa 

Follow this link to learn more about pruning : Vol#9 Pruning Bonsai

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