According to Bonsai Empire, the word "Bon-sai" is a Japanese term that is literally translated as "planted in a container." Bonsai trees are grown as miniature representations of nature in the form of a tree.
Bonsai Empire explains the various connotations and implied meanings of bonsai trees. Bonsai trees are often seen as a representation of nature that has been accentuated but not spoiled by human interaction. Therefore, they are a symbol of the balance between nature and humanity. Some people see a bonsai tree as a representation of something much more than itself, leaving the plant open to the interpretation of the individuals who encounter it. Bonsai trees are also held in high regard, having received daily care throughout their lifespan. They can represent a portable oasis or miniature garden that symbolizes the seasons and are used with this interpretation for meditation and contemplation assistance.
Bonsai trees are not a specific type of tree. Any plant species that has a woody stem or trunk and grows true branches can be grown in a restricting container into a bonsai tree. Bonsai trees are grown through techniques including pinching buds, pruning and wiring branches and limiting fertilizers to redirect healthy growth. Bonsai trees are usually kept under 4 feet in height.