Preserved Bonsai Trees

The art of bonsai has long been valued by gardeners who enjoy shaping what should be large into something small. Bonsai gardeners often like the change, diligent care, and attention to detail that is the heart and soul of the art of bonsai, but others suffer from either a lack of aptitude or a lack of desire when it comes to such maintenance. For those people who wish to experience the beauty and grace of a bonsai tree without having to live with the constant fear of the impending death of the tree at the omission of one day’s worth of watering, seeking other options is the wisest course of action.

Appeal Of A Preserved Bonsai Tree

Not everyone is well suited to being a bonsai tree gardener. Some people lack the patience, knowledge, and time to nourish and shape a bonsai tree over time, so they seek for a way to experience the elegance of the bonsai tree without all of the hard work. Those who are bad or unlucky with plants, those who live such busy lives that they often forget to water their foliage, and those who simply do not want to put up with the quirks and difficulties presented by the typical bonsai tree may want to purchase a preserved bonsai tree instead of a live one.

The Difference Between A Preserved Bonsai Tree And An Artificial Bonsai Tree

The preserved bonsai tree does share some similarities with the artificial bonsai tree; for example, both are not alive. An artificial bonsai tree, however, was either never alive or the only living part of it was the piece of wood used for part of the trunk. The preserved bonsai was–unlike the artificial bonsai tree–once alive but has been preserved to capture the look, texture, and, if done well, even the scent of the once-living bonsai tree. While the foliage from the once-alive bonsai tree may be removed, preserved, and reattached to the now-preserved bonsai tree, the artificial bonsai tree is completely assembled from previously unrelated parts. The artificial bonsai tree can use artificial parts such as fake foliage and faux tree bark, but a preserved bonsai tree is completely natural and completely as it was when alive.

Purchasing A Preserved Bonsai Tree

Most people who are serious about procuring a preserved bonsai tree do so through purchasing one that has already been completely preserved. The process is more difficult than that of creating an artificial bonsai tree, so most people who want a quality preserved bonsai tree specimen purchase one from a reputable bonsai tree or general plant website. There are as many options available for the customer who wants to purchase a preserved bonsai tree as there are bonsai tree varieties, so the customer will have to peruse multiple websites to get a feel for the type of preserved bonsai tree that he or she wants to purchase. As with any online business exchange, the customer should be certain of the validity and reputability of any online company with which he or she does business.

Benefits Of Owning A Preserved Bonsai Tree

There are numerous advantages that a person can gain from owning a preserved bonsai tree. For example, a preserved bonsai tree does not need to be watered, fertilized, or pruned. The owner does not have to worry about proper sunlight exposure or humidity, or about moving the preserved bonsai tree as the seasons change. Friends, family, and acquaintances will all be duly impressed by a preserved bonsai tree and, if the tree is particularly well preserved, will not even be able to tell that the preserved bonsai tree is anything other than a real, live bonsai tree.

Drawbacks Of Owning A Preserved Bonsai Tree

There are also drawbacks to owning a preserved bonsai tree. While the maintenance level is lower than that of living bonsai trees, the owner must still ensure that the trunk especially remains free of fungus and rot. Treating the preserved bonsai tree for such problems is best done by professionals, although some preserved bonsai tree owners may learn to carry this process out themselves–carefully. The fixed aspect of the tree makes changing the shape of the tree impossible, and the tree can become covered with dust if not periodically dusted. These bonsai trees can also be more expensive than many other types of bonsai trees, so the individual customer will have to decide if the beauty and convenience of the preserved bonsai tree is worth the cost.

Preserving The Trunk Of A Preserved Bonsai Tree

There are a couple of ways to preserve the trunk of a bonsai tree. One is to apply annual or biannual coatings of lime sulfur to the trunk in order to fend off potential bacterial and fungal infections. Lime sulfur has a rotten egg type smell and the capability to burn the skin on contact, so proper safety precautions should be taken at all times when utilizing lime sulfur. The bark that is to be preserved should be wetted before lime sulfur application in order to ensure success, and the owner should ensure to not use too much lime sulfur as this could prove detrimental to preservation efforts.

Another method is to use wood hardener or wood preserver; this is especially effective when the tree is being preserved because of the onset of rot. The preserver should strip the rotten bark from the tree before applying the wood hardener, which will dry and preserve the trunk of the tree.


The biggest appeal of the preserved bonsai tree is, of course, its low maintenance. All an owner has to do is to dust the tree to keep it from becoming dusty, take it in yearly or biyearly to experts to have the tree treated for potential fungal and/or bacterial growth, and make the key decision of whether or not to tell visitors to their home that their bonsai specimen is not alive.

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