Top 5: Oldest Bonsai Trees.

The bonsai tree is a Japanese art form using miniature trees grown in containers.

The purposes of bonsai are primarily contemplation (for the viewer) and the pleasant exercise of effort and ingenuity (for the grower).

But as much as I'm sure you've heard about this practice, most of us are only aware of a few limited types of bonsai tree, when in fact, there are hundreds of different types.

Trees can grow for thousands of years.

Bonsai trees, if well kept, can also become very old. Some of the oldest bonsai in the world are over 800 years; the result of many generations of patience and hard work.

This article lists some of the most famous and oldest trees, enjoy! old-bonsai-thumb


(#1) Ficus bonsai tree at Crespi, Italy - over a 1000 years old!

Ficus Bonsai 1000 year old
This Ficus Bonsai tree is reported to be over a thousand years old; the oldest Bonsai tree in the world. It is the main tree on display, at the Italian Bonsai museum "Crespi" (image courtesy also by Crespi).


(#2) Old juniper Bonsai tree at Mansei-en, Japan - tested and proven to be over a 1000 years old!

1000 year old pine Bonsai tree at Mansei-en
This juniper is tested to be more than 1000 years old, collected in the wild in Japan. It is still a rough material, as it is in training. It is at the Mansei-en bonsai nursery of the Kato family in Omiya, Japan. Photo by Morten Albek.


(#3) 800 Year old tree, at Shunka-en, by Kunio Kobayashi.

800 year old Bonsai
A stunning tree displayed at Shunkaen. The tree is estimated to be around 800 year old. For more information, read the Shunka-en Bonsai page, or check the Bonsai artist profile of Kunio Kobayashi.


(#4) An 800 year-old Bonsai tree also at Shunkaen.

Kunio Kobayashi Bonsai Shunkaen
A remarkable tree which is well known for its extremely high age; the tree is reported to be over 800 years old, one of the most expensive bonsai trees! Its owner, master Kobayashi, is one of the most well known Bonsai artists in the world and has won the prestigious Prime Minister award in Japan 4 times. His nursery, ShunkaEn, is located in Tokyo and is open to visitors.


(#5) The Japanese White Pine that survived Hiroshima.

Old bonsai tree survived Hiroshima
This tree has been trained into a Bonsai for almost 400 years, the result of 6 generations of hard work and patience by the Yamaki family. But what makes it really special is that it was in Hiroshima when the atomic bomb fell in 1945; the tree survived and was later donated to the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum in Washington (Image courtesy also by the museum).

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