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Nebari is a term used in Japanese bonsai cultivation that refers to the visible portion of the roots as they emerge from the soil line and spread out over the surface of the soil. The word “nebari” literally translates to “root spread” or “root flare” in Japanese, highlighting its importance in bonsai aesthetics. A strong nebari is crucial in bonsai cultivation since it provides stability to the tree’s trunk while also enhancing its aesthetic appeal. A strong nebari indicates good health, balance, and harmony between the roots and branches. It also adds dimensionality to tree design by creating an impression that it has been growing in nature for many years. There are different methods to create a good nebari on bonsai trees, such as regular root pruning, placing the tree on a stone, or applying a tourniquet technique. These methods aim to stimulate the growth of sideward or horizontal roots that form a natural-looking root flare. A well-developed nebari can take years or even decades to achieve fully, depending on the species and age of the tree.

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