Sweeping away the excess soil from the pot, Suganthy Aiyaswamy uprooted a sapling with a spade. She then sprayed some water on a fresh-looking pot and snipped most of the roots before planting the sapling in the new pot.

“The main root should be cut off and only one-third of the roots must remain while re-potting the bonsais. It should be done every two years, to contain the growth of the trees,” Ms. Aiyaswamy said, as the audience meticulously dug up their pots and planted tree saplings.

At the inauguration of the bonsai demonstration and exhibition, organised by the Indo-Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, here on Wednesday, a large gathering of women were armed with saplings and terracotta pots to learn the art of bonsai.

Shaping a bonsai

“A bonsai should have three sides, similar to a triangle. As the soil content is very less in a pot, the growth of the trees depend on fertilisers,” she said. Molly Cherian, another resource person, wound a copper wire over a branch of a tree to teach the ways to shape a bonsai.

“Wiring should always begin from the base and be clockwise,” she said.

Lan Minagawa, wife of Consul General of Japan in Chennai Kazuo Minagawa, inaugurated the exhibition, which is being conducted as part of ‘Green Homes – part of Climate Management Programme Series. On display are a dozen decades-old bonsais, each pruned and nurtured into interesting shapes.

Awareness of global warming

“We decided to encourage people who love greenery to learn the art of bonsai. This way, we could spread awareness about global warming,” said N. Krishnaswami, president, Indo-Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The exhibition will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. till May 28 at the Chamber office on Kavignar Bharathidasan Road, Teynampet.

More In: Chennai