5 Oldest Bonsai Trees in The World
How old is the oldest bonsai tree in the world? Bonsai are known to live long if they’re kept healthy but how long exactly can they live for? Well, some of the oldest bonsai trees are over 1000 years old!
In this post we’ll list the five oldest bonsai trees and tell you a bit more about their history.
5. Sandai Shogun no Matsu
The Sandai Shogun no Matsu is a five-needle pine bonsai and one of Japan’s national treasures. This bonsai tree is believed to be over 500 years old. It is named after Shogun Tokugawa Iemitsu, who received the tree when it was already about 200 years old. Since then this gorgeous bonsai has been passed down from emperor to emperor.
4. Akao Garden’s Red Pine
Located in the Akao Herb & Rose Garden in Atami, Japan, this red pine tree is not only the oldest bonsai, but also believed to be the largest bonsai tree in the world. The red pine is 600 years old, over 30 feet wide and 16 feet tall.
While its size is not typical for a bonsai, it still classes as one because it’s contained in a pot. Its branches are so massive that extra support had to be added to hold up the main ones.
3. Shunkaen Nursery Bonsai Trees
The Shunkaen Bonsai Museum in Tokyo, owned and operated by Kunio Kobayashi, is home of not one but two of the oldest bonsai trees in the world. Both of them are estimated to be over 800 years of age.
Kobayashi is one of the most famous bonsai masters, who has been practicing the art for more than 30 years. He opened the Sunkaen Museum in 2002 to exhibit the work done by him and his assistants and help popularise the art of bonsai.
2. Juniper Bonsai Tree
This 1000 years old Juniper bonsai is kept in the Mansei-en Bonsai Nursery, located in Omiya, Japan. The tree was collected from the wild and proven to be over a millennia old.
Mansei-en is one of the six bonsai gardens in the Omiya Bonsai Village. It’s the oldest one of the gardens and has been owned by the Kato family since the 19th century, but it wasn’t open to the public until 1925. The garden is also home to other old bonsai trees, including a 700-year-old Shimpaku Juniper.
1. Ficus Retusa Linn
The oldest known bonsai is the Ficus Retusa Linn, found in the Crespi Bonsai Museum in Italy. It is estimated to be over 1000 years old. The founder of the Crespi Museum, Luigi Crespi, tried to get ownership of this bonsai tree for ten years, until he finally succeeded in 1986.
The tree was previously taken care of by Chinese bonsai masters. During its first years in Italy, it was shaped by Shotaro Kawahara, one of the most famous Japanese bonsai masters. Since the Ficus bonsai has been taken care of by Alberto Lavazza and Crespi himself. When the museum was opened in 1991, the bonsai became a centrepiece, placed in a majestic glass pagoda.
If you want your bonsai trees to live just as long you have to take good care of them. In our bonsai Care Hub and our Blog you’ll find many useful tips on bonsai potting, watering and more to ensure your trees flourish.