Here is a list of some of the common tree species used in Bonsai.

The information is presented as a guide to help, however it is important to consider the climate that you are located in, as this will have an effect on your tree’s success. We will be adding more trees over time and if you have any requests please let us know.

  • Common Name: Atlas Cedar
  • Scientific Name: Cedrus atlantica
  • Type: Evergreen conifer
  • Location: Full sun, allow soil to dry a little between watering.
  • Fertilising: Once a fortnight from start of spring.
  • Repotting: Every 3 to 4 years in early spring.
  • Propagation: Seed, cuttings and grafting. Softwood cuttings in spring and hardwood in autumn.
  • Details: A popular species for bonsai cultivation. They are slow growers and do require thought out styling due to lack of back budding on old wood.  New growth can be pinched back to encourage grow in the inner branches however.
  • Common Name: Blue Atlas Cedar
  • Scientific Name: Cedrus atlantica glauca
  • Type: Evergreen conifer
  • Location: Full sun, allow soil to dry a little between watering.
  • Fertilising: Once a fortnight from start of spring.
  • Repotting: Every 3 to 4 years in early spring.
  • Propagation: Grafting.
  • Details: Very similar tree to the normal atlas cedar however they have a blue foliage and are also a popular species for bonsai cultivation. They are slow growers and do require thought out styling due to lack of back budding on old wood.  New growth can be pinched back to encourage grow in the inner branches however.
  • Common Name: Chinese Elm
  • Scientific Name: Ulmus parvifolia
  • Type: Deciduous tree
  • Location: Full sun. Protect from frost.
  • Fertilising: Once a fortnight from when new leaves appear until the start of autumn.
  • Repotting: Every 1 to 2 years when young. Early spring just before buds break. Do not allow soil to dry out.
  • Propagation: Soft & hard wood cuttings during early summer. Air layering in spring. Root cuttings before next growing season.
  • Details: One of the classic and popular species of bonsai. They respond extremely well to bonsai techniques and can look great at a variety of different sizes. They have an upright growth pattern with roots that can be made part of the feature.Chinese Bonsai Elm
  • Common Name: English Box
  • Scientific Name: Buxus sempervirens
  • Type: Evergreen shrub, used as hedges in general gardening.
  • Location: Full sun/shade. Protect from frost.
  • Fertilising: Once a fortnight from spring to autumn.
  • Repotting: Every 2 to 3 years in spring.
  • Propagation: Cuttings during summer.
  • Details: A naturally small plant, that can make an interesting bonsai subject. A cream coloured bark, small leaves and quite a slow grower.

box-species-guide

 

  • Common Name: Japanese Black Pine
  • Scientific Name: Pinus thunbergii
  • Type: Evergreen tree
  • Location: Full sun. Protect from frost.
  • Fertilising: Every 3 to 4 weeks from spring to winter.
  • Repotting: Every 2 to 4 years when young in early spring. Allow soil to dry out a little (not completely) and then water well.
  • Propagation: Seed mainly. Cuttings with difficulty (need right equipment)
  • Details: A species that is a bonsai classic. Still very popular today. They have needle foliage that is grouped in pairs and interesting rough bark. They tend to suit more aggressive styling and suit medium to large sizes. It is important to learn how to style and balance these trees to get great results.

 

  • Common Name: Japanese Larch
  • Scientific Name: Larix kaempferi
  • Type: Deciduous conifer
  • Location: Full sun but protect from extreme summer heat. They like cooler temperate areas. Keep soil moist.
  • Fertilising: Once a fortnight from spring to autumn.
  • Repotting: Every year during early spring.
  • Propagation: Seed, cuttings and air layering.
  • Details: A popular species used in bonsai. It has needle like foliage, that changes colour and falls off in autumn. Responds well to bonsai cultivation and suits many styles.

Japanese Larch

 

  • Common Name: Japanese Maple
  • Scientific Name: Acer palmatum
  • Type: Deciduous tree
  • Location: Full sun. Shade during hottest times of summer sun and protect from frost.
  • Fertilising: Once a fortnight after new leaves appear and slow to a stop towards start of autumn.
  • Repotting: Every 2 to 3 years when young. Early spring just before buds break. Do not allow soil to dry out.
  • Propagation: Seed in winter. Soft cuttings in summer. Air layering in spring.
  • Details: An extremely popular species of tree for bonsai; one of the classics. It has many varying cultivars. They tend to suit more graceful and delicate styling. A tree that responds well to bonsai cultivation.
 Japanese Maple Tree
 
  • Common Name: Japanese White Pine / Japanese five needle pine
  • Scientific Name: Pinus parviflora
  • Type: Evergreen tree
  • Location: Full sun. Protect from frost.
  • Fertilising: Every 3 to 4 weeks from spring to winter.
  • Repotting: Every 2 to 4 years when young in early spring. Allow soil to dry out a little (not completely) and then water well.
  • Propagation: Seed. Grafting onto Japanese black pine (very common to graft, white pine to the more vigorous black pine roots).
  • Details: White pine is another classic bonsai species. They have needle foliage that is grouped in five and the tree suits a number of different styles.
  • Common Name: Olive
  • Scientific Name: Olea europaea
  • Type: Evergreen tree
  • Location: Full sun, suited to warmer climates. Need protection for temperatures under 5°C (41°F)
  • Fertilising: Every 2 weeks during summer.
  • Repotting: Every 2 to 3 years. Keep soil moist, especially in summer.
  • Propagation: Seed and cuttings.
  • Details: Olive trees are very hardy and can have an incredible life span. They make a good bonsai subject and respond well to the clip and grow method. Wiring can be used on younger trees and branches, however older wood does become brittle and prone to breaking.

 

  • Common Name: Silver Birch
  • Scientific Name: Betula pendula
  • Type: Deciduous tree
  • Location: Full sun. Protect from frost, can cause die back.
  • Fertilising: Once a fortnight a few weeks after new leaves appear, until late summer.
  • Repotting: Every 2 to 3 years. Early spring just before buds break. Keep soil moist.
  • Propagation: Seed in late autumn to early winter. Soft cuttings in summer.
  • Details: A resilient deciduous tree with silvery white bark. Responds well to bonsai techniques. Green leaves that turn a golden colour in autumn.

silver white bark

  • Common Name: Trident Maple
  • Scientific Name: Acer buergerianum
  • Type: Deciduous tree
  • Location: Full sun. Protect from frost.
  • Fertilising: Once a fortnight after new leaves appear and slow down to a stop at start of autumn.
  • Repotting: Every 1 to 2 years. Early spring just before buds break. Do not allow soil to dry out.
  • Propagation: Seed in late autumn to early winter. Soft cuttings in summer. Hard wood cuttings in late winter, early spring. Air layering in spring.
  • Details: A classic bonsai subject with a characteristic three lobed leaf. Great colour displays towards the end of the growing season. Tend to suit the upright styles and are a good strong grower.
 acer buergerianum

Japanese Maple Leaves

Trident Leaves
  • Common Name: Swamp Cypress, Bald Cypress
  • Scientific Name: Taxodium distichum
  • Type: Deciduous conifer tree
  • Location: Full sun through out year and slight shade during summer.
  • Fertilising: Once a fortnight a few weeks after new leaves appear, until late summer.
  • Repotting: Every 2 to 3 years. Early spring just before buds break. Keep soil moist.
  • Propagation: Seed, cuttings and air layering.
  • Details: A deciduous tree that is native to America and likes swamp areas. It is tolerant of water saturated soil and the bonsai pot can be left in shallow water during the warmer months. The bark darkens with age but is a reddish colour when young.

Bald Cypress

Photo © Ragesoss
 swamp cypress foliage
Photo © Derek Ramsey
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