So, you’re planning to pack your place with lots of plants because you’re adulting like a boss and it makes sense that you would want to showcase your sanctuary on social media, most likely Instagram!
Even if you don’t have a green thumb or are just a beginner, a bonsai garden offers some pretty amazing photo ops.
Of course, photographing these beautiful trees and shrubs is only half the difficulty. You should also learn more about the fascinating history that each plant has before sharing.
If your goal is to advance in your “bonsai as an art” journey, you have surely found the right site. In this article, we’ll talk about interesting bonsai stuff from settings other than Japan that you might want to know about.
Bonsai in the United States
Originally inspired by Chinese penjing art, Japan may have invented the bonsai culture, but the United States is credited with spreading it throughout the west. There are very few states in which you won’t come across some kind of bonsai, whether it be in neighborhood parks, shops, or residences. Of course, the fact that numerous Hollywood productions adore and use them helps a lot.
Bonsai Culture in the United States
The Japanese began cultivating bonsai trees in the 1100s after seeing penjing while studying abroad in China, as you may already know. The new bonsai gained immense popularity when they visited their homeland with a few specimen. From there, the fact that the Japanese invented this kind of art somehow became a legacy.
US soldiers held positions in Japan throughout the 1930s and 1940s, during the combat of World War II. Some of them began to notice the bonsai in the vicinity of homes and schools at that point. As a way of promoting the culture to the West, returning soldiers occasionally brought home some as keepsakes.
Around this time, small clubs began to emerge to support one another and learn, and it was not until 1967 that the formal American Bonsai Association was founded. It established uniform rules and regulations, while a few Japanese specialists stepped in to provide additional instruction. The popularity of bonsai in the US skyrocketed between 1950 and 1968.
Many Americans today either have bonsais in their possession or would like to discover how to cultivate them. There are plenty of organizations, clubs, and institutes, and even Amazon lists a number of trees for sale on its website. Hollywood has also showcased this revered form, with the iconic garden juniper scene from the 1984 film Karate Kid.
Most Popular Bonsai in United States
Many local trees could be kept as bonsai trees, but Americans frequently chase the exotic ones. In this article, we’ll look at some of the more common ones that you may find in homes and online shops, as well as a few rare varieties.
Numerous bonsai shops sell junipers because they grow readily from cuttings and do well in many hardiness zones. They are one of the most popular trees to grow and are primarily indigenous to Asian nations like Japan and China. When you cut the needles, they release a distinct scent, and you may pluck them off with your fingertips.
There are several species that can be used to create bonsai. The garden and the Chinese junipers stand out among them the most. Though they are sometimes mistaken for one another, these two trees are in reality distinct from one another. Additionally, there are several shades of these species, including green and blue-green.
The Japanese Maple is a highly appreciated hardwood bonsai tree. The spectacular red leaves that only appear in the fall serve to highlight its majestic allure in the spring and summer. There are certain subspecies, nevertheless, that still have red leaves in the summer.
In America, its leafy shape is also a well-known symbol. Correct pruning will allow you to grow hundreds of small blades, giving the bonsai a magnificent appearance. The main drawback is that it demands a lot of your daily attention, so be sure you have enough free time to devote to it.
Because they are so simple to shape and wire, Americans adore pine bonsai. While it’s young, the branch’s hardwood can be bent, but as it gets older, you’ll need to exert extra care. When your bonsai tree is ready to start making seeds, you’ll appreciate seeing the young cones because conifer needles are distinctive among their class.
There are certain species that are well-known for bonsai in the US. These include the Scots Pine, Japanese White Pine, Mountain Pine, and Japanese Black Pine. The color of their needles varies from dark green to blue-green depending on the species.
Japanese Flowering Cherry
Beginners may not be familiar with the Prunus serrulata, but skilled bonsai growers adore having one of those in their gardens. Depending on the species, the flowers are either pink or white. As long as you accentuate that foliage, you can cultivate it in a variety of ways.
Because it is flexible and simple to wire and bend, this species is popular among Americans. It can sustain damage without breaking or dying since it is resilient and hardy. Furthermore, it is really ornamental, so be sure to put it where you can plainly see it.
Many nations in the northern hemisphere have growing populations of this tree genus. Even though the United States is home to many species, Americans really like to create international ones. One such is the Swedish Norway spruce, which has become popular in American homes due to its stunning foliage.
In the US, spruce plays numerous important roles besides bonsai. Construction-related wood, pulpwood, food, pharmaceuticals, tone wood, and resin are a few examples. The cones are attractive as home decorations, and some houses use them in place of the conventional cypress as Christmas trees.
Rare Trees Raised as Bonsai in the United States
Although the previous part focused on trees that can be found anywhere, there are several species that are native to the United States that are equally well-liked for bonsai. Now let’s check out a few of them.
If you want to plant a tree that is really American, the hornbeam is the best option. It exclusively grows in North America, from Minnesota through Maine and farther north into Canada. The tree has a sturdy, broad trunk and gorgeous green leaves.
The Hornbeam is rarely offered for sale as a bonsai. But since they are so uncommon, if you can get one to grow, you’ll have something very special. It doesn’t like full shade very much, so you’ll need to place it in the shade. Additionally, it might be helpful to mention that caterpillars adore the leaves of this plant.
Bald American Cypress
It is a cypress tree that is found abundantly in the southern United States. Despite this, they are remarkably adaptable to soil, temperature, and humidity. One of its main attractions is the rusty color the autumnal green leaves take on.
Red cypress is also known by the popular names swamp, white, and tidewater red cypress. These trees can be found in vast woods near rivers and other bodies of water, which is why it’s attractive to gather them as bonsais. If properly cared for, it can live for many centuries.
The US is home to the conifer genus Cedrus, which belongs to the pine family. At least thirteen states, including Texas, Arizona, Utah, and Michigan, have thriving populations of them. It is renowned for its gnarled bark, wide branches, and enormous cones.
Due to the bluish sheen of the foliage, the Atlas Cedar is among the most commonly grown bonsai trees. In US cities, you might see these trees lining broad avenues because many of them are thought of as ornamental. The upright, cascading, and slanting styles are the most widely used, both in formal and informal settings.
This tree, sometimes known as mock-orange, prefers Ohio and the southeastern United States as places to grow. Despite reports of sightings in Florida and Texas, it prefers swampy environments. The Snowbell will flourish in your home if you reside in a humid area because of the excessive humidity.
Although the tree is common in the US, it is an unusual species to have as a bonsai. Even from abroad, some people still look for it to add to a special collection. It features tiny flowers that go well with the emerald-green leaves, giving it a lovely appearance.
One of the most well-known bonsai proponents in the west is the United States. It has a number of clubs and groups that work to promote the culture throughout all the states and is mostly rivaled by Canada and South America.
You’ll find that most of the suppliers are Americans if you look at the miniature trees being sold on websites like Amazon. Many US internet retailers also support the propagation of multiple bonsais in each hardiness zone.