Virtual Tour

 

Bonsai, like painting, is an art. Bonsai artists take living trees, plant them in pots, and prune and train their branches to create a style of tree—in miniature—that is like one you'd find in nature. This tree is the oldest one we have at the Arboretum. It's almost 400 years old. It was passed down as a bonsai from generation to generation in Japan (its original home), until one of its owners decided to send it to America to be part of the National Arboretum.

Bonsai is pronounced "bone-sigh."

Bonus fact:
Even though a bonsai tree might only be a few years old, it should look like it's a mature tree (in other words, it should look more like an adult than a teenager!). Compare our oldest bonsai with one of our younger ones:

Sargent Juniper                                             Japanese White Pine
       Sargent Juniper: 20 years in training as a bonsai.                             Japanese White Pine: almost 400 years in training as a bonsai.  

(What looks the same? Different?)

Did you know that if you took a tree that's been growing in a pot as a bonsai and planted it outdoors in the ground and left it alone, it would grow into a full-sized tree? Pruning (carefully trimming) the branches and roots of a tree is what helps keep it small enough to be a bonsai.

How to find the Japanese White Pine at the Arboretum:
You will see it as you enter the Japanese Pavilion in the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum.

Scientific name for Japanese White Pine: Pinus parviflora

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Kids Page Map Go to Introduction Go to slide 2-4 Go to slide 5-9 Go to slide 10 Go to slide 11-12 Go to slide 13 Go to slide 14-15 Go to slide 16 Go to slide 17 Go to slide 18 Go to slide 19-20 Go to slide 21 Go to slide 22 Go to slide 23 Go to slide 24 Go to slide 25 Go to slide 26 Go to slide 27 Go to slide 28

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Last Updated   July 10, 2009 9:22 AM
URL = http://www.usna.usda.gov/Gardens/collections/VirtualTours/KidsVirtualTour_04b.html

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