It is believed that the first traces of Bonsai trees date back to the 6th century.Originally from China, the small pot plants have marked their footprints in many different countries, especially in Japan where they were discovered around the 13th century.The plant is so well established in Japan that many falsely assume that it originates from there.
In Chinese, bonsai are also known as “penjing”what literary means potted landscape or potted scenery. The miniature trees gained on growing popularity as they are small enough to be kept at home and last for a long time. The the oldest known Bonsai dates back to the 17th century and is still exposed for admiration in the National Treasures of Japan Museum in Tokyo.
There are no species among Bonsais, every tree no matter how big you see it outside, can be fitted into a pot if you possess the skills and the patience. To keep the the difference between Bonsai and tree, the upper branches are carefully trimmed, shaped and designed. This elements defining a Bonsai are known as Art and Horticulture.
Additionally, there’s also the sometimes very challenging task of maintaining the plant in a good condition. Bonsai are ment to look like aged trees but fit into a tiny container, this can be difficult to achieve.
A Bonsai becomes more valuable with its age and prices can rise to an incredible high amount. In 1999 Sotheby’s in London held a Bonsai auction and sold a 200-year-old Chinese elm for $18,150. A 250-year-old juniper, which was exhibited nationally in 1954, was sold in 1981 for $2 million. As Japan’s economy softened in recent years, prices declined. A Japanese five-needle pine sold two years ago for $600,000. A different tree changed hands in 2005 for $300,000. (Forbes Magazine)
Because of the rising value with age, many suppliers sell Bonsais created from a branch rather than a from a seed. This makes the Bonsai look much older and cheaper. However, the quality is not the same and, considering that a Bonsai should be more than just a plant, it would be a shame to miss the satisfying feeling when the first tree sprouts are in sight.