FIGURE 26–3 Tools for creating a bonsai. These include: (a, b, e) a variety of cutting implements (c) a pair of forceps, (d) a pair of pliers, (f ) a brush, (g) a hand trowel, (h) a scalpel, and (i) a wire. (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) (f) (g) (h) (i) FIGURE 26–4 Typical bonsai containers have an Asian design. They are usually shallow. (Source: George Acquaah) 26.2.2 CONTAINER The plant selected can be left in its original container for the initial stages of the culture (the training and primary or initial pruning). After the topwork is completed, it should be transplanted to a bonsai container, which is characteristically very shallow (Figure 26–4). The bonsai container is usually round but may also be oblong or rectangular in shape for certain planting designs involving more than one plant. The color of the container should not be bright (browns and greens are preferred). Earthen pots that are unglazed on the inside are best. Drainage holes should be provided in the bottom of the container. 26.2.3 PLANT SELECTION As previously mentioned, both deciduous and evergreen plants, purchased at a local nursery, can be used for bonsai. Species such as pine, juniper, and pyrachantha are excellent bonsai material. In selecting a plant, it is best to look for one that already has a rugged and irregular appearance in order to have a head start on the design. As indicated, deciduous species shed their leaves at some point. If green leaves are desired year-round, conifers should be selected. Further, conifers require relatively little maintenance. 714 Chapter 26 Bonsai: The Art of Miniature Plant Culture 26.3 TRAINING BONSAI Plants for bonsai may be collected from nature, raised from seed, or vegetatively propagated.