These are the bonsai that are currently on display at Longwood Gardens. This is always my favorite exhibit because I’ve been coming to see them for so long, and they are always the same, the steady continuity of them is somehow comforting. The oldest tree is the Ginkgo which began training in 1909, and the Pomegranate following closely at 1910. Which makes the oldest tree over 106 years old, and about two feet tall. The year noted as “began training” is not the year they sprouted, it just means that was the first year they were pruned and wire trained for bonsai. In incredible that even though the Pomegranate tree is so small it produces several full sized pomegranates every season (see below taken October ‘14).
My favorite is the Bald Cypress; which is a species renowned for its longevity and height, some growing well over 100ft tall. The oldest known Bald Cypress, located in Bladen County, North Carolina, is over 1,620 years old, making that individual one of the oldest living plants in eastern North America. To think that this tree is a perfect miniature of a full sized tree shows the incredible patience and discipline that is put into training these plants over, in some cases, generations.
Below is the info on each tree, going from left to right and downward in case you cannot read the tags below each tree:
- Loose-Flower Hornbeam (Carpinus laxiflora) - Japan & Korea; Birch Family; Training began in 1991.
- Japanese Black Pine (Pinus thunbergii ‘Kotobuki’) - Japan; Pine Family; Training began in 1975.
- Azalea (Rhododendron) - Garden Origin; Heath Family; Training began in the 1970′s.
- Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) - China; Ginkgo Family; Training began in 1909.
- Pomegranate (Punica granatum) - SW Asia; Loosestrife Family; Training began in 1910.
- Bald-Cypress (Taxodium distichum) - SE United States; Cypress Family; Training began in 1988.
- Crape-Myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica) - S & E Asia; Loosestrife Family; Training began in 1994.
Japanese Black Pine (Pinus thunbergii) - Japan; Pine Family; Training began in 1949.
- Hinoki False Cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa) - Japan; Cypress Family; Training began in 1930.
- Trident Maple (Acer buergerianum) - China; Maple Family; Training began in 1990.
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