For decades, Bonsai has been taking creativity to life in the form of miniature trees in Asia and around the world. Bonsai trees continue to fascinate people even today.
Many gardeners want to learn and get involved in the art of growing these miniature trees.
We are going to have a closer look at what makes bonsai trees worth so much.
How Much Does a Bonsai Tree Cost On Average?
You might have discovered that Bonsai trees can be very costly. A regular Bonsai tree can cost upwards of $100. Younger trees are more affordable, around $20-$50.
How expensive can a Bonsai tree get? To give you an idea, the most expensive Bonsai tree ever recorded sold for $1.3 million! The price is determined by a number of variables.
A Bonsai tree is essentially living art. It’s a miniature tree that functions as an artistic representation of a real-life tree.
Bonsai trees are so small because Bonsai growers have learned unique methods to prune and shape the tree to preserve its scale and form. Since the tree requires the right amount of sunshine, water, and nutrients to live, the art of growing Bonsai demands regular commitment.
In Japanese, the word “Bonsai” simply translates as “planted in a container,” so think of a Bonsai tree as an actual tree that has been planted in a container.
Some people believe Bonsai trees represent unity, stability, and order so it’s not just any indoor plant. The oldest Bonsai trees are priceless and are even considered sacred.
To appreciate and understand why Bonsai trees are so valued, we must first consider what makes them special. Let’s explore the various reasons.
It Takes a lot of Skill to Master The Art of Bonsai
One important reason Bonsai trees are worth so much is that it takes a certain amount of expertise to preserve their form and look.
This involves branch and root pruning, leaf trimming, wiring, clamping, and grafting. These methods can dictate the form and style of your Bonsai tree. As a result, the miniature tree is one-of-a-kind to the Bonsai gardener who cared for it.
As for most activities that take any level of ability to learn, the finished product will almost always be worth more than when it began.
It’s essential to remember that growing and tending for a Bonsai tree requires more than just watering a plant. It involves a dedication that will pay off steadily as the tree grows.
To do so, a person must have the necessary skills and mindset to support and care for a Bonsai tree even after it reaches its full maturity.
How Long Does it Take To Grow a Bonsai Tree?
Rare items are undoubtedly more expensive. What makes a Bonsai tree so rare and remarkable is how long it takes to mature.
Years, if not decades, are spent growing and sculpting Bonsai trees into living works of art.
There is a powerful bond between the Bonsai tree and its caretaker, as the resulting piece represents the caretaker’s time, attention, and devotion.
When you purchase a Bonsai tree, you are paying for another gardener’s years of dedication, perseverance, and effort. Caring for a Bonsai tree demands an investment in time and dedication, more so than any other medium of art.
Every day for years, Bonsai gardeners practice this delicate method until the tree can hold its own. Naturally, older trees that were grown in the wild are rare and generally expensive because of their tapered trunks and aged look.
Bonsai Involves High Maintenance
Parallel to the amount of time it takes to grow, a Bonsai tree also requires high maintenance. For instance, one must train its branches to grow a specific direction by wiring and clamping, as well as protect it from damage by placing a cardboard or cloth where it’s wired and clamped. This ensures the method won’t leave a mark on the delicate branches.
Trimming also needs to be done daily to make sure the Bonsai tree stays compact, in addition to encouraging better growth.
A caretaker carefully trims the leaves to achieve a desired shape as well. It takes time and diligence to keep a Bonsai tree healthy, ensuring it will last years and continue its natural life cycle as a miniature version of the tree.
Does it Requires Special Tools to Grow Bonsai Trees?
As mentioned, a Bonsai tree is not just any indoor plant. Caring for it requires proper tools, some of which you wouldn’t normally need for a regular plant.
The bottom of the pot must be packed with small rocks and materials. This will allow accumulated water to escape while still allowing oxygen to penetrate the soil. Potting soil should be rich in nutrients and have high water absorption capacity.
Bonsai growers also invest in high-quality bonsai equipment to help them care for their trees with more accuracy and efficacy. For instance, the cost of a Bonsai pot varies based on its size, content, and age.
These containers are very hard to come by and can cost thousands of dollars. However, handcrafted pots are a common choice among some Bonsai growers.
Aluminum wires are also used to shape the branches. Bonsai trees with older and thicker branches and trunks require solid copper wires. With the right materials, Bonsai trees may be styled, shaped, and trained to look or grow a certain way. These tools can be costly, and they need to be cleaned and re-sharpened on a regular basis.
Pruning shears are also needed to prune and trim the Bonsai tree to achieve the desired style. In addition to trimming wires, a high-quality pair of pliers can also trim tough roots, limbs, and trunks, particularly on mature trees.
A lot of extra costs are involved
Shipping Bonsai trees is extremely costly. These costs can easily reach up to four times the cost of the tree itself. Additionally, equipment, containers, and show tables are often exported internationally and are added to the final price.
In terms of design and maintenance, if a grower opts for older, more antique supplies, the mature Bonsai tree can become more expensive. That’s because these tools are more valuable than those produced in factories.
Another factor to the cost is the risk of a Bonsai tree developing mold or disease. If that happens, it must be treated swiftly and properly. Naturally, treatment can be expensive due to the time and attention required to keep the tree healthy.
To recognize a Bonsai tree’s worth, the key is to recognize the time, effort, and energy required to build and care for it. Not only that, certain bonsai trees have been known to survive and grow for up to 500 years. Some bonsai trees even outlive their keepers.
Growing a bonsai tree requires artistic skill, attention to detail, a sense of balance, and patience. As a result, the price reflects that effort, along with its age, tree type, and any other kind of labor necessary to keep the tree alive. Knowing these factors, it’s clear to see why these tiny, living works of art are worth so much.