Bonsai Today

Online magazine for Bonsai lovers

guide

Propagating

Actinidia chinensis (Kiwi)

How to create bonsai from cuttings, grafting and other methods with interesting and unusual species. This time it’s the Actinidia arguta, or hardy kiwi, a very rapid grower. A large woody plant of the silver vine family, native all over the main island of Japan, Korean Peninsula and China. Grows…...


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Tree guide

Pyrus pyrifolia

How to create bonsai from cuttings, grafting and other methods with interesting and unusual species. With the help of illustrations we will see how to take a piece of material through to completion The pear A large deciduous tree in the pear genus of the Rosaceae family. It is found…...


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Tree guide

Hibiscus

Jerome Kellerhals has his bonsai garden in sunny Florida USA, where he mainly works on semi-tropicals. This time he talks about the many virtues of the sea hibiscus acquired from a special friend. This old-world tropical tree (Hibiscus tiliaceus) is a member of the mallow family. It has heart-shaped leaves

Tree guide

Larix

This is a tree whose beauty is legendary, yet it suffers from some neglect as bonsai. There are many species of larch to choose from and available in Europe are Larix decidua, the European larch; L. kaempferi, syn. L. leptolepis, the Japanese larch and L. Eurolepis, the Dunkeld larch: a

Tree guide

Crataegus

An interesting plant that is either a spreading tree or large shrub. The wild tree has white flowers and red fruit. The distribution is vast spreading from America in the west, through Europe and on to Asia. The Hawthorn has a striking appearance as an old tree and is often

Tree guide

Pithecellobium

Styling and caring a Brazilian raintree Jerome Kellerhals has his bonsai garden in sunny Florida, where he mainly works on semi-tropicals. Here he talks about a special tree he grew from scratch, the Brazilian raintree. The Chloroleucon tortum, is often referred to as Pithecellobium tortum, commonly known as the Brazilian…...


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Tree guide

Potentilla

Potentilla, a plant that is often overlooked as a ‘serious’ Bonsai because of its shrubby nature. It does however have excellent characteristics for Bonsai, with its interesting bark and fresh yellow flowers. SPECIES Common Name: Cinquefoil Genus: Potentilla Higher Taxon: Rosaceae Species: Fruticosa Skill Level: beginner to advanced Soil Type:

Tree guide

Pinus parviflora

This is one of the most popular of the Asian pines for bonsai work and garden use. The two species of the white pine commonly seen as imported bonsai in the west are: Pinus Parviflora var. ‘Negishi’, with its very blue leaves and P. Parviflora var. ‘Zuisho’, which has very

Tree guide

Cotoneaster

Cotoneaster is a familiar plant, which can be found in almost every garden. It has all the plus points: small leaves, tiny flowers and berries, and it grows quite rapidly compared with other species. When the leaves drop in the autumn they colour brightly from yellow to copper red. SPECIES

Tree guide

Zelkova

JAPANESE ELM Being a rapid and very vigorous grower makes it possible to have quick results with Zelkova. The downside is that the elm can overgrow very quickly and so it needs regular pruning and re-styling to stay in shape. SPECIES Common name: Elm Genus: Zelkova Higher taxon: Ulmaceae Species:

Tree guide

Buxus sempervirens

Boxwood Its botanic name Buxus comes from the Greek word puksos, meaning ‘dense’, because of its very hard wood, which is second only to ebony as the hardest wood of all. Because of this feature, craftsmen, lathe operators, cabinet makers, sculptors and artists have used it to create masterpieces. Eternity

Tree guide

Acer palmatum

Acer palmatum, the Japanese maple, has a wide distribution and grows at many elevations throughout its native habitat. In cultivation, it is seen everywhere as a garden plant and as bonsai. Under good conditions, the tree grows from about 2.7m to 4.6m in a spreading or rounded, open-tiered shape, depending

Tree guide

Malus

Crab apple Malus sieboldii is a member of the apple family, a deciduous tree that can be found growing throughout Japan. Botanically speaking, ‘Miyama Kaido’ is the same, the difference lies in the colour of the fruit, either red or yellow. In the world of bonsai, yellow fruiting trees are

Tree guide

Ficus

Figs are keystone species in many tropical forest ecosystems. Figs have figured prominently in some human cultures, such as Buddhism, objects of worship and many practical uses. For bonsai they are a great source of material with many style options Majestic appearance Ficus are exceptionally interesting trees. Their appearance grabs

Tree guide

Weigela

Weigela florida may well be the most common and popular species along with its cultivars:W. ‘Foliis purpureis’, slower-growing dwarf form of compact habit with attractive purple-flushed leaves and pink flowers; ‘Variegata’, a form with compact habit and cream/white edged leaves; ‘Venusta’, a free flowering form, the flowers being a little

Tree guide

Celtis

The Celtis (Hackberry) originates from China and Taiwan and has a strong yet graceful trunk with neat oval leaves. In southern Europe, bonsai amateurs often grow the Celtis australis, but nurseries tend to import the Celtis sinensis, so we shall describe that variety here. This deciduous tree may reach 20

Tree guide

Carmona

Fukien tea Ehretia Buxifolia is a very common ‘supermarket’ bonsai also known in the bonsai world as Carmona microphylla. It is a nice shrub from the South China province of Fuijan. It’s an evergreen tropical tree, with a grey trunk, shiny, oval dark green leaves and, if you look closely,

Tree guide

Podocarpus

Podocarpus, or Chinese yew, Buddhist pine is a gymnosperm, a conifer of the Podocarpaceae family. More than 100 varieties live in the whole world. But for bonsai we are interested by Asian varieties. P. macrophylla or Chinensis is one of the most used for bonsai. But it’s not a dwarf

Tree guide

Chaenomeles

The quince is perhaps the only fruit and flower bearing tree with so many attractive qualities. The dramatic movement and the purple brown flaking bark of the trunk make it stand out from other deciduous trees. As a bonus, it grows a bright yellow pear-shaped fruit that ripens in winter.

Tree guide

Stewartia

Like a super artificial tree, the Stewartia shines with it’s copper bark and its delicate branches reaching up to the sky. Not much to style here, but oh it’s elegance and beauty! To be enjoyed all year through. The Stewartia monodelpha and S. pseudocamellia are native in Japan and China