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Oldest Bonsai in the world

10 Oldest Bonsai Trees in the World

Do you know? The Oldest Bonsai Tree is believed to be more than 800 years old!

The following article will guide you through the world’s oldest bonsai tree. And let you know the intriguing story of each.

So aren’t you curious to know the name of a 1000+-year-old Bonsai tree? 

The old bonsai tree requires more care. Because they are delicate to handle. The slightest negligence can kill the oldest species of Bonsai. That’s why older bonsai are priceless and rare to find. Due to their rareness, older Bonsai are cherished as heirloom or found in museums.  

How Long Do Bonsai Tree Live?

Bonsai trees are known to live longer. But the fact is Bonsai tree lives until we care. Unlike other trees, the bonsai tree does not grow in an entirely natural condition. While Growing Bonsai, an environment suitable for the bonsai tree is created and controlled.

A bonsai tree must be in an environment where it receives adequate amounts of sunlight, soil mixture, water, nutrients, etc. As long as the Bonsai tree is in the proper condition, it will continue to live. The bonsai tree has a century-plus lifespan. If handled carefully, it can live a thousand years or more.

Shopping for indoor bonsai trees online is a great way to find a unique and beautiful addition to your indoor space. With a wide selection of species and sizes available, you can easily find the perfect bonsai tree to suit your needs. Make sure to research the specific care requirements of your chosen tree to ensure it thrives in your home or office. 

Factors that affect the lifespan of Bonsai,

  1. Care Received by Plant
    • Sunlight
    • Water
    • Fertilizer 
    • Pruning
    • Other nutritional elements
  2. Type of species (easy to care for and live longer)
    • Cherry
    • Cypress
    • Ficus
    • Juniper
    • Maple
    • Pine
  3. Sheer luck
    • It depends on how it is grown
    • Some plants are immune to disease

Long-living Bonsai Species 

A long-living Bonsai Species receives adequate care from the Owner. There have been long-living species passed from generation to generation. If you want to give the Long-living bonsai species to your generations, consider the following list

  • Ficus
  • Pine
  • Maple
  • Cedar
  • Cypress
  • Azalea 
  • Cherry

Oldest Bonsai Tree in the World

The following list of Bonsai trees has survived a long span, and some are still living. Each one has an exciting story. For example, one survived the massive disaster of history. Some bonsai trees have been sold for millions of dollars, while others are more than 800 years old. 

Let us learn more in detail about:

Tree NameAge Location
1. The Chabo Hiba Cypresses275 years oldNew England’s Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University
2. The Red Pine Bonsai in Akao Herb and Rose Garden600 years oldKamitaka, Japan
3. The Yamaki Pine392 years oldNational Arboretum in the United States
4. The Happo-en Specimen200 years oldTokyo, Japan
5. Sandai Shogun no Matsu Bonsai500 years oldTokyo Imperial, Japan
6. Bonsai Trees at Shunkaen Nursery800 years oldTokyo, Japan
7. Juniper Bonsai Tree1000 years oldOmiya, Japan
8. Ficus Bonsai Tree1000+ years oldParabigo, Italy
9. The Million dollar Bonsai800 years oldTokyo, Japan
10. Comfy in the Pot200 years oldUnited States

1. The Chabo Hiba Cypresses

Age: 275 years old

Location: New England’s Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University.

The Chabo Hiba Cypresses are also called hinoki cypresses. It is believed that the tree species of this Plant have been extinct for so long. Usually, this species has two shapes. First one, “Nakasu.” It is a mimic of Mount Fuji. And Another one is “Jikka.” It resembles the lakeside with hanging branches. During the William Howard Taft (27th president of the united states) administration, an ambassador to Japan, Larz Anderson, used to collect and maintain the rare bonsai trees. 

Larz brought a vast collection of bonsai plants from japan to the united states in 1913. After his death, Larz’s widow, Isabel Weld Perkins, donated 30 plants to Arnold Arboretum. After the death of his wife, the rest of the Larz collection was handed over to Arnold Arboretum.

In 1889, the Anderson family had a Japanese garden. Both Larz and Isabel were interested in Horticulture. During his first visit to Japan, Larz Brought two dwarf maple plants. At that time, he did not know about Bonsai or how to take care of it. So Anderson hired a skilled Japanese gardener to take proper care of his plants. Rainosuke Awano was one of the most popular ones among his gardener. He maintained all the collection of Anderson. 

Now, the garden has been named “larz Anderson Park.” Their collection is also called Japanse Dwarfed trees. The collection of Larz Anderson is 150-275 years old. They are still displayed in New England. Currently, Arnold Arboretum’s expert staff handles the tree with utmost care. In addition, you can see the collection of Larz six chabo Hiba plants, which are 150-275 years old in New England.

2. The Red Pine Bonsai in Akao Herb and Rose Garden

Age: 600 years old

Location: kamitaka, Japan

The Akao Herb and Rose garden have 12 themed garden, exotic plants, a collection of roses, an Herb garden, a Rose valley, and bonsai plants. This flowering garden is 660 thousand square meters. In the garden, Red Pine is the oldest and largest bonsai tree. It is sixteen feet tall and thirty feet wide.

Red Pine is so massive that it requires support to hold its branches. Therefore, this 600-year-old Plant is also known as the “Pine of the Phoniex.” This eye-catching tree is displayed in the middle of the garden.

Though Red Pine Size is atypical Bonsai, it still qualifies as a bonsai tree as it is planted in such a container that it can be technically considered Pot.

3. The Yamaki Pine

Age: 392 years old

Location: National Arboretum in the United States

The amazing fact about Yamaki Pine trees is that it has survived many natural disasters. Even the Hiroshima Bombing, which happened during World war II. The atomic bomb killed over 100,000 Japanese. The white pine was planted just a mile away from where  America dropped the bomb. Despite the destruction caused by an atomic bomb, the Plant survived. 

At first, Americans were unaware of the Plant’s history. Then, in 2001, Yamaki grandchildren visited the museum where they told about the history of the Plant. Also, they told about the news footage taken after the blast. They were showing the unharmed Yamaki pine plant.

The Plant was kept by four generations of the Yamaki family. Later, In 1976 it was donated by Masaru Yamaki to National Bonsai and Penjing Museum in Washington. Masaru gifted 53 specimens for the country bicentennial(two-hundredth anniversary). Since then, this nearly 400 years old Plant has been the symbol of Friendship and Peace.

Today, the tree is housed in the Arboretum of the U.S., showing the cultural connection between Japan and the United States. During the 70th anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing, Yamaki Pine was the guest of honor. White Pine also shows the dedication of the four generations of the Yamaki family.

4. The Happo-en Specimen

Age: 200 years old

Location: Tokyo, Japan

The Japanese term Happo-en means “a garden with beauty from all angles.” Happo has a wide variety of bonsai species, nearly 200 years old. Happo is one of the oldest gardens. Among the various old bonsai plant, the garden has old Bonsai named Yezo spruce and Chinese Juniper.

In the city of Meguro, Happo-en is the wedding venue. Right in front of the entrance, there is a bonsai tree collection, which is roughly between 100-500 years old. It is believed that the oldest Species may have been more than eight centuries.

The notable tree in the garden is the Kurumatso Bonsai plant- 225 years old. It has the tiniest Fruit of kaki(Japanese Fruit). The collection of Bonsai has made the Happo-en a photoshoot spot. Young Women of japan are fond of clicking pictures in the garden wearing kimonos.

Happo-en also contains a traditional tea house where Japanese people enjoys tea ceremony.

5. Sandai Shogun no Matsu Bonsai

Age: 500 years old

Location: Tokyo Imperial Palace.

Sandai Shogun no Mastu means “third Generation Tokugawa’s Pine.”This Plant is considered the National Treasure of Japan. It is a five-needle pine. The Plant is named for Shogun Tokugawa Lemitsu.

When Lemitsu had the Plant, it was 200 years old. Lemitsu was a lover of Horticulture. He was so obsessed that he even neglected his duties as a shogunate(Hereditary military Dictatorship).

After that, It is believed that the specimen of this Plant has been passed through-line of Japanese emperor for 500 years.

Sadly, Sandai Shogun is not in good shape at present. This is because it got damaged during World War II, and its maintenance was neglected. But it is believed that proper care for a few years can fix him back.

6. Bonsai Trees at Shunkaen Nursery

Age: 800 years old

Location: Tokyo, Japan

Kunio Kobayashi owns and operates Shunkaen Nursery. The Nursery consists of two old bonsai plants. In 2002, Kobayashi opened the Nursery to spread the Japanese culture. Also, to show his art of Bonsai. Which he has mastered over 30 years. Shunkaen nursery is the collection of Kobayashi’s art and his apprentice. He has helped more than 200 people to display their bonsai art.

Currently, this is one of the most expensive bonsai Plants due to its old age, and Kobayashi is an award-winning artist. Kobayashi has won the prestigious prime minister award. That too four times!. He has also won Japan Bonsai Association Award and Japan Full Bloom Award.

7. Juniper Bonsai Tree

Age: 1000+ years old

Location: Omiya, Japan.

This Juniper Bonsaii tree is in the Mansei-en Bonsai nursery of Japan. The Plant was collected from the Japanese forest. After getting it from the forest, it was tested to be over 1000 years old. It is owned by the Kato family. Since the 19th century, the Kato family has owned the garden. Later in 1925, the Kato family opened it for the public.

Juniper Bonsai Tree is located in Omiya Bonsai village. It consists of six gardens with coniferous trees, deciduous trees, and other accessory plants used to make the bonsai plant.

The village has many collections of bonsai plants. That’s why it is also known as “The Sacred Land of Bonsai.” This Omiya village garden is the home of other bonsai plants. It also has 700 years old Shimpaku Juniper tree.

Though the Juniper Bonsai tree is more than 1000 years, it is still a rough material.

8. Ficus Bonsai Tree

Age: 1000+ years old

Location: Parabigo, Italy

Ficus Bonsai tree is believed to be the oldest bonsai tree in the world. It is located in Crespi Bonsai museum Italy. The museum’s founder, Luigi Crespi, spent ten years gaining ownership of the Ficus bonsai plant. Finally, in 1986, he succeeded in gaining ownership.

Since 1991, Ficus bonsai has been the centerpiece of the Crespi museum. It was shaped by Japanese Bonsai master Shotaro Kawahara during the first years after that Crespi and Alberto Lavazza took care of the tree.

A 1000-year-old Ficus Bonsai Tree is 10 feet tall with dense aerial roots. The more interesting fact about this oldest tree is that it is planted in the world’s largest Pot. The Pot was made and fired in a single piece.

There are other 200 eye-catching bonsai plants in the museum. But this Ficus bonsai plant remains the center of attention for every museum visitor.

9. The Million dollar Bonsai

Age: 800 years old

Location: Tokyo, Japan

The Million Dollar Bonsai is an old pine tree that belongs to shunkaen Nursey of Japan. This 800-year-old Plant was damaged and had dead cells. Later, the Owner of Shunkaen, Mr. Kobayashi, changed the Plant with his knowledge of the bonsai plant. Kobayashi’s expertise and care changed the Plant from damaged to healthy.

Later, this old pine was sold for 1.3 million dollars at International Bonsai Convention. That’s why it is named Million Dollar Bonsai. It is one of the most expensive ones. However, it is known for its impressive size and quality. As the Owner of the Plant is a well-known bonsai artist in the world, the Plant was sold at an expensive rate

10. Comfy in the Pot

Age: 200 years old

Location: united states

The last one on the list is Comfy in the Pot. This 200-year-old Comfy Pot belongs to the old cypress family. The long life span of this Plant is impressive, as cypress species requires meticulous care and effort. You can find this bonsai plant in the Arnold Arboretum of the United States.

Conclusion

The oldest Bonsai depicts the art of the Japanese. Also, it shows the dedication towards the Plant. This top 10 oldest bonsai tree shows the Owner’s hard work and patience level. It proves that a tree can survive for many years if handled with care. When maintained properly, it can even pass through your line of generation.

Do you know any ancient Bonsai Plant that is not on the list? Comment below and let me know.

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One comment

  1. N V Murthy

    Really interesting and thrilled to read and watch the 10 oldest bonsais. Hats off to the dedication, care and love provided by the care takers.

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