Information on Bonsai Trees


A traditional bonsai tree is a deciduous or evergreen tree like maple, juniper and pine. Careful pruning, training, potting and care help maintain the tree's dwarf size and shape. The objective of bonsai trees is to mimic nature by training them to resemble old, weathered trees.


Bonsai trees are usually kept between 10 and 30 inches tall. This is accomplished by restricting the growth of the tree roots, which keeps the tree top small.


The art of bonsai originated in China around 200 A.D. Bonsai was then brought to Japan by Chinese monks during the Heian Period between 794 to 1191 A.D.


Growing a bonsai requires annual trimming, re-potting in the same pot with new soil, trimming of branches and shape training.

The Facts

Bonsai trees are traditionally grown outdoors because they are temperate trees that must have a dormancy period during the year. Non-traditional trees are from the tropics and are usually indoors since they do not require a dormant period.


Bonsai trees are grown in five different styles: formal upright, informal upright, slanting, cascade and semi-cascade.


  • Ohio University: Bonsai
  • PennState: Bonsai -- The World of Little Trees
Keywords: bonsai trees, dwarf trees, art of bonsai

About this Author

Karen Carter has spent the last three years working as a technology specialist in the public school system. This position included hardware/software installation, customer support, and writing training manuals. She also spent four years as a newspaper editor/reporter at the Willapa Harbor Herald.