A prebonsai is a tree or plant that is in the initial stage of growth and training to become a mature bonsai. It has been selected or grown specifically for future transformation into a bonsai, but has not yet reached the level of maturity.
Prebonsai are usually small, young plants, usually obtained from seeds, cuttings or seedlings. Their size and age vary depending on the species and how long they have been in training. Prebonsai are often 1 to 3 years old, although some may be younger or older. These small trees often have no defined shape beyond that created by the natural growth of the plant itself. Often the species used for prebonsai do have a certain curvature to their trunk. They also tend to have thin branches that are easy to shape, and one of the most important characteristics of a prebonsai is the beginning of the design of the trunk and roots. Through techniques such as wiring, pruning and transplanting, the trunk and roots begin to be shaped to create an aesthetic structure.
During the pre-bonsai stage, the tree undergoes initial training to develop its desired shape and style. This includes pruning excess growth, wiring branches to shape them and encouraging proper growth of branches and foliage. Prebonsai also require special care including providing adequate light, water and nutrients and protection from extreme weather conditions. During the prebonsai stage, the plant may be transplanted several times into smaller pots to promote the development of the root system and maintain a size suitable for the design.
In conclusion, although it has not yet reached the form and refinement of a mature bonsai, the prebonsai begins to show the style and design that it is intended to develop in its final version. The selection of the main branches and the overall structure of the tree begin to take shape. Patience is key to bringing a prebonsai to its final, mature state!