How Old is The Oldest Bonsai Tree: Revealing the Age of the Ancient Art

How Old Is the Oldest Bonsai Tree: Revealing the Age of the Ancient Art

The bonsai tree, because of the process of miniaturization, tends to last longer than normal trees, no matter if they’re maintained inside or out in the open. It is not unusual to come across bonsai plants that have a lifespan of more than 500 years. in age. How old is the oldest bonsai tree? How to tell age of a tree?

The oldest bonsai plant that exists is one called a Ficus bonsai tree at Crespi, Italy that is thought to be more than 1,000 years old. The tree is the main tree in Crespi Bonsai Museum. Crespi Bonsai Museum where it is preserved.

What other bonsai plants have the longest lifespan that are still in existence? What can you do to make your bonsai tree last for longer? Read on to learn more!

How Old is The Oldest Bonsai Tree
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History of Bonsai Trees

Bonsai trees, with their exquisite beauty and meticulous care, are not just miniature trees in the world confined to containers. They serve as living witnesses to the passage of time, carrying with them the rich cultural heritage and history of their origins.

The history of bonsai trees dates back centuries, with ancient examples found in various parts of the world. Notable historical indoor bonsai trees in the world include the ancient azalea bonsai from Mansei-en Bonsai Nursery in Japan, which survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in 1945, and the ancient Bristlecone Pine bonsai tree from Harvard University believed to be over 700 years old.

Certain bonsai tree species are known for their impressive longevity. The ficus, maple, and azalea are among the long-living varieties, with some specimens exceeding 800 years. However, as bonsai trees in the world age, they enter a declining stage where they require delicate and specific care to maintain their health.

The age of a bonsai tree can greatly impact its lifespan. Older trees may have experienced more stress and may require extra care to ensure their well-being. How long does It take for a tree to grow? As such, bonsai tree enthusiasts learn to appreciate the beauty and significance of these ancient trees, understanding the importance of preserving their cultural history while providing them with the utmost care and respect.

In a world of ever-changing landscapes, bonsai trees stand as a testament to the enduring art form and the passage of time. How long does it take to grow a bonsai tree?


What is the Oldest Bonsai Tree
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What is the Oldest Bonsai Tree?

The art of bonsai trees has a rich history spanning centuries, and enthusiasts have nurtured and admired these miniature trees for their beauty and symbolism. Among the many bonsai trees found around the world, one particular specimen stands out as the oldest known bonsai tree.

  • The title of the oldest juniper bonsai tree goes to the Ficus retusa Linn, commonly known as the Crespi Ficus. This extraordinary tree is estimated to be over 1,000 years old and is proudly exhibited at the Crespi Bonsai Museum in Milan, Italy. This ancient marvel has captured the imagination of juniper bonsai tree enthusiasts and visitors alike, showcasing the incredible longevity and resilience of these living works of art.
  • The Crespi Ficus has witnessed countless generations and witnessed the passage of time. It serves as a testament to the meticulous care and dedication required to keep bonsai trees thriving for centuries. The Crespi Museum not only preserves this ancient bonsai treasure but also honors the legacy of the art form itself.
  • As bonsai enthusiasts continue to explore the depths of this ancient practice, the Crespi Ficus stands tall as a living testament to the sheer endurance and beauty of these remarkable trees in the world. Its age serves as a reminder of the connection between humanity and nature and the importance of preserving these living legacies for generations to come.

Plant Breed

Average Lifespan

Japanese Maple Over 100 years
Chinese Elm Over 100 years
Ficus 20 years in the wild / over 100 years for bonsai
Bodhi Tree Average 100 years with species living for thousands of years
Common Beech 300 – 1000 years
Boxwood 20 – 30 years reaching 100 years for bonsai
Juniper 200 years
Jade 70 – 100 years
Crape Myrtle 50 years
Fukien Tea 100 years
Pine 500 years

The Rose Garden

The Rose Garden
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The Red Pine Bonsai in the Akao Herb and Garden is truly a remarkable sight to behold. This ancient bonsai tree is known to be one of the bonsai trees in existence. With an estimated age of over 500 years, it has stood the test of time and embodies the essence of resilience and longevity.

What sets this particular famous bonsai gardens apart is not only its age but also its impressive size. Standing at over three feet tall, it commands attention and showcases the grandeur that can be achieved with proper care and cultivation. Despite its larger size, it is still considered a bonsai because of the container in which it is planted – a carefully crafted and meticulously maintained pot.

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To support the weight of its branches and maintain its shape, the Red Pine Bonsai is carefully tied and secured. This support system, known as a bonsai wire, ensures that the branches remain in the desired position and do not hinder the overall visual appeal of the tree. This technique has earned it the nickname “Pine of the Phoenix,” as it symbolizes the tree’s ability to rise from adversity and thrive against all odds.

The Akao Herb and Rose is honored to house such a magnificent specimen of bonsai artistry. Visitors can marvel at the beauty and intricacy of this tree while also appreciating the exquisite surroundings of the garden. The Red Pine Bonsai serves as a testament to the rich history and tradition of bonsai cultivation and reminds us of the enduring beauty and power of nature.

Imperial Palace Japanese Forest Connection

Imperial Palace Japanese Forest Connection
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The Imperial Palace Japanese Forest Connection is truly remarkable, with the Tokyo Imperial Palace being home to the National Bonsai of Japan, a tree that is an astonishing 510 years old. This ancient bonsai is prominently displayed in an exhibition within the palace grounds, drawing in visitors from all over the world who are captivated by its beauty and history.

What makes the National Bonsai of Japan even more significant is its lineage and connection to the imperial family. Passed down from one emperor to another, this magnificent tree has been cherished and cared for by generations, adding to its allure and mystique.

It serves as a tangible link to the past, symbolizing the reverence and respect for nature that has been deeply ingrained in Japanese culture for centuries.

The history of the National Bonsai of Japan can be traced back to Shogun Tokugawa Iemitsu, a powerful and influential ruler during the 17th century. It is said that he was captivated by the art of bonsai and played a key role in its development and popularity, fostering an appreciation for miniature trees that continues to this day.

The connection to such a renowned figure further enhances the significance and cultural value of this 510-year-old tree.

In conclusion, the Imperial Palace Japanese Forest Connection is an awe-inspiring experience that showcases the National Bonsai of Japan, a 510-year-old tree that has been passed down in generations. Its presence within the Tokyo Imperial Palace exhibition not only highlights the artistry of bonsai but also commemorates the rich history and cultural heritage of Japan.

1) Ficus bonsai tree (Italy) 

Ficus bonsai tree
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In the previous paragraph, it’s without doubt the most sought-after title, as it’s the oldest bonsai tree in the world. It is one that is a thousand-year ancient Ficus Retusa tree found in the world-renowned Bonsai Rose Garden located in Crespi, Italy. Crespi Museum, which is situated in Crespi, Italy.

Maybe you’re wondering about the reasons why the tree that is 1,000 years old made it to Italy?

There is no doubt that the Ficus Tree was the topic of many talks over a decade between Italy and China.

The tree’s distinctive container is the result of an old-fashioned.

The pot is made from a single solid piece of wood that, to make it the largest bonsai juniper pot for trees.

How Has This Tree Managed to Live for So Long?

The oldest tree in the world needs assistance to obtain its title. Careful post-care, including watering, repotting, lighting, pruning, and wiring, is provided to help the tree grow. Specialist artists are hired to maintain the trees.

Little, incremental changes are made to the tree’s temperature, style, and appearance. This allows the tree to gradually adjust its dimensions, shapes, and locations. Drastic changes all at once could be disastrous for an old tree. Bonsai masters take care of the tree daily. Shotaro Kawahara was the manager of the tree for its first 10 years in Italy.

Crespi Lavazza and Alberto Lavazza have been responsible for the tree for years and refuse to delegate the task to anyone else. The tree is now the main attraction in the Crespi museum, greeting visitors inside the main pagoda.

2) Juniper bonsai (Japan)

Juniper bonsai
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More than Chinese Elms or Fig trees in this list of the most ancient oldest bonsai trees. This list includes the longest evergreen trees. Evergreens such as those of the Juniper bonsai are widely utilized.

The historic Omaiyan Bonsai Village, it is home to a majestic thousand-year-old Juniper which offers its related the Crespi Ficus an jolt to the money.

The tree was saved directly from the forest Omiyaand has been carbon-dated, and is more than 1,000 years old.

The Juniper is located situated in the Mansei famous gardens of bonsai and is cared for by the renowned Kato family.

How has this tree managed to live for so long?

The tree managed to live to the age of 1000 years, and this is for a very compelling reason.

Family Kato Kato family.

It is evident that the Omiya bonsai tree community was first opened to the public in 1925. However, they’ve been caring for bonsai throughout the years, having private famous bonsai gardens from well in the early 19th century.

The tree was ripped straight from the forest, which is believed to be in the vicinity of the village’s current location.

The care of the tree was passed on over generations while its surroundings have been reminded of this of the.

In addition omiya bonsai village Juniper is not as maintained as the other trees in this list.

It’s deadwood in bright white sticking across the trees.

It means less maintenance or opportunities for damage to the tree will be present which helps to sustain its time.

3) Shunkaen twin bonsai trees (Japan)

Shunkaen twin bonsai trees

The next thing is that I’m not merely providing only one juniper bonsai tree age to offer you, but rather two twin bonsai master tree plants within the Shunkaen Bonsai Museum in Tokyo Imperial Palace Collection, Japan.

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The estimates suggest that both these trees are between 800 and 800 years old. They have become a major drawcard to the museums they’re situated as of 2002, when they were first introduced.

They have also won many awards, but the most notable was the Premier Minister award from Japan four times!

How Has This Tree Managed to Live for So Long?

Although a significant portion of the story behind these trees is gone to the dustbins of time, over more than 30 years one thing that has kept this tree thriving is the work of famous bonsai tree artist master Kunio Kobayashi.

Additionally, there is a massive deadwood, artificially produced via the use of lime sulfur or created manually by processes such as Jin.

So, the maintenance of the tree may not be as extensive as if the tree’s branch and the trunk were left to develop naturally, thereby helping this tree grow older.

4) White Pine (Tamatuso, Japan)

White Pine

A majority of the species on this list will not be sold.

They are usually handed through generations with a significant amount of sentimental value and a rich history associated with them.

In the event that an older tree will eventually be sold, it could fetch record sums – and make national headlines as part of the protest.

The same was true for the 800-year-old White Pine bonsai tree which was auctioned off during the eleventh Asia-Pacific Bonsai and Suiseki Convention & Exhibition earlier in the year 2011.

If inflation is calculated today, this tree may fetch more than $7 million.

How has this tree managed to live for so long?

The tree was able to survive for so long, mainly due to the tireless work done by S-Cube.

S-Cube is a special bonsai store/museum located in Saitama Japan and has worked in the creation of one of the highest-priced and well-maintained oldest bonsai trees anywhere in the world.

The current inventory is around 2000 trees therefore having a tree that has a value of well over one million dollars shows the quality of attention given to this tree.

Additionally, the fact that this is quite large, it is not adorned with many sharp cuts, Sabamiiki, or jin methods, allowing the tree to grow in the most organic manner as it is.

5) Japanese Juniper (Omiya, Japan)

Japanese Juniper

Their second appearance on the list is The Omiya Bonsai rose garden once again with an impressive display of a 700-year-old, Juniper bonsai tree.

Its age may be not clear because there are no tests conducted on this particular tree, the tree is 63cm high and 83cm in width, proving with evidence that the size of the tree may not necessarily correlate with its age.

One of the most striking aspects about this tree is the fact that, unlike others on the list, the only method to attain the unique trunk is via a considerable amount of exercises that were completed during the nearly 700 years of the tree’s existence.

Additionally, it is worth noting that the Japanese Juniper (also frequently known as Garyo or the dragon that reclines in the collection) is kept to a tiny size cutting and taking care of the trees on a regular basis in order to preserve its distinctive form.

How Has This Tree Managed to Live for So Long??

The points that we made about the 1000-year-old Omiyan Juniper represent this 700-year-old Juniper.

The long-standing tradition of maintaining oldest bonsai trees has played a role in the tree’s being around for this long.

Contrary to earlier Juniper However the tree kept up with its regular care through trimming and pruning bonsai tree, to ensure it stayed at this site. This helps it prepare to last for a long time.

The Tree has also been custom instructed by the bonsai expert and one of the members of the Kato family, Kato Takahiro with an influence on the development of the tree.

6) 500-year-old five-needle Pine (Tokyo, Japan) 

500-year-old five-needle Pine

There are more than Junipers that are included in the evergreen oldest bonsai trees which live the longest.

In the Tokyo Imperial Palace collection of bonsai trees, it is the most valuable of the collection.

This bonsai tree is different from those listed here and is named – The Sandia Shogun no Matsu.

It is named for Shogun Tokugawa Iemitsu at the time this tree was only 200 years old. this tree is the crown jewel of the palace’s collection of oldest bonsai trees.

How has this tree managed to live for so long?

The primary reason why the Sandai shogun no Matsu has been alive for so long is due to the connection to royalty the tree shares with the royal family.

This tree is extremely prestigious it was given by Emperor Japan’s shogun no Matsu more than 500 years in the past.

In this way, it has been passed down over time, from generation to generation the emperor’s name to the emperor this beautiful bonsai is passed down through the generations with much attention to detail.

In this way, unlike many other trees listed that are on the list, this one has the support of a team of old bonsai tree enthusiasts to keep the plant healthy.

Additionally, Pine trees as well as Scots Pine oldest bonsai trees that are left in nature can last for as long as 700 years so this tree has more than 200 years of life left.

Taking into consideration that the oldest Bonsai trees last longer than normal trees, you can be sure that the ancient tree may not have reached the halfway point of its existence with a lifespan of 500 years.

7) Black Pine Bonsai (Japan)

Black Pine Bonsai

Although the ficus bonsai trees that are in his collection are famous there are some that are treasures that are lost to the echo of the bonsai museums.

A bonsai of this kind is a black 500-year-old Pine bonsai trees in Japan’s renowned shrunken bonsai museum located in Tokyo, Japan.

This particular tree was the subject of a fascinating piece in 2018, when Live Japan editor Timothy was able to compare the tree with an alternative tree in order to establish its real value.

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The black pine is estimated at 1 million dollars. The tree is renowned for its stunning natural deadwood, which covers the entire tree.

How Has This Tree Managed to Live for So Long??

While the exact information on the maintenance of this particular tree is extremely limited and it is part of a renowned indoor old bonsai trees institution like the Shunka-en Bonsai Museum, we are able to assume the tree is cared for very well by a few of the most renowned bonsai artists around the globe such as Jin-san. He was mentioned in the article.

Add to the mix the fact that this tree is a Pine species, and like we mentioned earlier, can live for longer than most trees in the world.

In addition, the tree contains lots of deadwood that is natural.

This implies that it is not a result of a manual process but rather a result of the natural habitat for trees.

We can conclude that there were no chemical or excessive cutting has been applied to this tree, which adds to the tree’s age.

8) Shimpaku Juniper (Japan) 

Shimpaku Juniper

On a more sad note, it is the 400th anniversary of Shumpaki Juniper.

While it is impressive that the tree was able to get 400 years old, the tree was the subject of headlines for all the wrong reasons in 2019.

Seiji Iimura, along with his companion Fuyumi who owned the tree, unfortunately were able to steal it, making the news on a global scale.

The tree is believed to be worth 91,000 dollars and is likely to be offered for sale for sale on the black market

Four years later If this tree still exists, it’s more than 400 years of age, however, there’s no method of verifying the condition of the tree at present.

How has this tree managed to live for so long?

The reason that the tree has lasted many years is because of Seiji Iimura as well as Fuyumi.

The couple evidently has an obsession with the juniper bonsai tree as evidenced by Fuyumi herself admitting that when the tree was taken away, the only thing she wanted was the person who took it to take care of the tree. She also stated that:

“It will live on forever even after our departure. It’s my wish for the person who bought the picture to ensure that it’s well-watered.”

The tree was within Saitama. It is a small town just outside Tokyo with a very prominent bonsai community. It ensured that the tree would be taken care of all through its lifespan.

9) Yamaki Pine (USA)

Yamaki Pine

We come to a 393-year-old Yamaki pine bonsai, which currently is in the US National Arboretum in Washington.

The tree is characterized by an intriguing history, but it wasn’t brought by the public until in 2001.

As its real background has been revealed, it is undoubtedly one of the most popular bonsai tree species throughout history.

The tree was later given by Masaru Yamaki, Japan to the US at the time of its donation in 1976. an offering to celebrate the nation’s Bicentennial.

In the absence of all those in the story, it is revealed the tree is located in Hiroshima on the date that the first nuclear bomb was dropped in Hiroshima on the 6th of August 1945.

The tree was discovered nearly 30 years later when the tree was given by the Arboretum.

The children of Umaki came to visit and see what the tree was up to and also to provide additional information regarding the history and history of the tree. They informed them about the footage from the news about the tree. The footage was shot at the time of the attacks, and directly from the tree mansei en bonsai nursery in which it was kept.

In conclusion, the age of the world’s oldest bonsai tree is a testament to the artistry and dedication of the individuals who have nurtured these miniature masterpieces throughout the centuries. As we marvel at the wisdom and majesty that these ancient bonsai trees live and possess, let us be inspired to cultivate our own inner patience and resilience.

The age of the second oldest bonsai tree may be a mystery, but the timeless beauty it embodies will continue to captivate and inspire generations to come.


What is the oldest bonsai tree alive today?

The oldest of the oldest living bonsai trees live that is recognized is “Ficus Retusa Linn” located inside the Italian Bonsai Museum. It has a total population of more than 1000. Luigi Crespi was the founder of the Crespi Museum trying for more than 10 years to acquire the ownership of his bonsai master up to 1986.

How much is a 400-year-old bonsai tree worth?

On the black market the bonsai master that are stolen could be sold in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, Seiji Iimura said.

Where is the oldest bonsai tree in the world?

This is a good example: Ficus sansai trees in Crespi Italy – more than 1000 years old! The Ficus can be estimated to be more than 1000 years old and is one of the oldest Bonsai plants on Earth. It is also the largest plant in the Italian Bonsai Musee Crespi.

What happened to the 400-year-old bonsai tree?

The trees came from the family’s home located in Saitama near Tokyo and are estimated to have a value of 155,000 dollars. Fuyumi Iimura the wife of the bonsai artist claimed that the tree is worth $120,000.