May 8, 2013

Bonsai Versions of the World’s Tallest Tree

 

Bonsai is a Japanese art form using miniature trees grown in containers. Similar practices exist in other cultures, including the Chinese tradition of penjing from which the art originated. The Japanese tradition dates back over a thousand years, and has its own aesthetics and terminology.

The purposes of bonsai are primarily contemplation (for the viewer) and the pleasant exercise of effort and ingenuity (for the grower). A bonsai is created beginning with a specimen of source material. This may be a cutting, seedling, or small tree of a species suitable for bonsai development.

While there are many popular species for Bonsai, I am fascinated by the use of Coast Redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens), as they are the tallest trees currently on Earth.

Common names include coast redwood, California redwood, and giant redwood. They are evergreens and can live 1200–1800 years or more, reaching up to 379 feet (115.5 m) in height (without the roots) and up to 26 feet (7.9 m) in diameter at breast height. An estimated 95% or more of the original old-growth redwood forest has been cut down due to its excellent properties for use as lumber in construction. [Source]

Hyperion is the name of a coast redwood in Northern California that was measured at 115.61 metres (379.3 ft), which ranks it as the world’s tallest known living tree. It was discovered August 25, 2006 by naturalists Chris Atkins and Michael Taylor. [Source]

Below you will find a small gallery of beautiful Bonsai Redwoods. There are many more examples online, but a great place to start is at the Redwood Empire Bonsai Society where they feature an extensive collection from countless Bonsai exhibits in the U.S.

 

1. Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) – 50 years old

bonsai redwood tree (3)

 

 

2. Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens)
Jan Hettick/Bonsai Society of Portland

bonsai redwood tree (1)

 

 

3. Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens)

bonsai redwood tree (10)

 

 

4. Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) – 40 years old

bonsai redwood tree (11)

Photograph by Shelli @ speacock.net

 

 

5. Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) – 31 years old

bonsai redwood tree (4)

 

 

6. Bonsai Redwood Grove @ The Chicago Botanic Garden

bonsai redwood tree (14)

Photograph by djblock99 on Flickr

 

 

7.

Redwood Bonsai
Photograph by plymouths on Flickr

 

 

8. Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens)

bonsai redwood tree (5)

 

 

9. Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens)

bonsai redwood tree (6)

 

 

10. Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens)

bonsai redwood tree (12)

 

 

11. Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) – 50 years old

bonsai redwood tree (8)

 

 

12. Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens)

bonsai redwood tree (9)

 

 

13. Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens)

bonsai redwood tree (2)

 

 

14. Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) – 87 years old

bonsai redwood tree (7)

 

 

15.

bonsai redwood tree (13)

 

 

 

 

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