Among bonsai enthusiasts, the age of the bonsai is very important. It does not have to be the actual age, but the age of the tree. Since bonsai trees live for hundreds of years or more, it is impossible to grow one to that age. So that means making your bonsai tree look older than it actually is is an important part of the art of growing a bonsai tree. With proper care and handling, you can make your five-year-old bonsai tree look more like a five-hundred-year-old bonsai tree. If you can pull this off, you are doing well with your bonsai tree growing hobby.
Certain features of your tree will make it appear older than it actually is. Tight foliage, open branches with angular curves, bark fractures, and a domed crown will make your bonsai tree appear older. If you start with a bonsai tree that already has some of these characteristics, you will have less work to do in the long run. Yamadori bonsai are a popular choice for these characteristics. However, these trees have their drawbacks. If you start with a Yamadori, you will have to do some great carving and heavy cutting to hide the removal of other branches. You should know that this is not an easy task. If you do something wrong, you can never correct your mistakes. If you are a beginner, you may not want to try this. Fortunately, if you can’t do this, there are things you can do to advance the age of your bonsai. These things will take longer to take effect than others.
Shaping your bonsai crown will take time, but it is imperative if you are trying to make your tree appear older. If you’ve ever looked at a tree that is hundreds of years old, you’ve probably noticed that it has a domed crown. Building a proper wreath will require that the apex of your bonsai be built in the same way as any other branch. The apex supporting lameness should come from below and not from the side. The balance of the branches of your bonsai should be taken into account when you know everything about the species of your tree. The arched branches will not necessarily convey an impression of old age. The bark of the tree will be what speaks the most about the maturity of your tree. There are some species of bonsai that will retain a smooth bark texture throughout their lives, but for the most part, a rough bark texture is necessary if you want your tree to appear aged.