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How Expensive Are Bonsai Trees
Bonsai is an art form that requires years of training and centuries of dedication. At the 2012 international bonsai convention, the tree sold for 100 million yen, just under a million dollars.
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And many of these trees are considered absolutely useless. So what makes bonsai so expensive?
Bonsai is the art of dwarfing native trees to create a perfect miniature representation of nature in a small pot. It has a long history. Historically in China, the practice of creating small trees and landscapes appeared as early as the sixth century.
The tree’s growth is limited by years of pruning, wiring, repotting and grafting, and the plant must be checked and watered frequently every day. The skills required to grow these trees are a factor in their value.
They are often bent and twisted into shapes, around stones or even placed with other trees to simulate a small forest. Many of these techniques take years to master, and any mistake made can permanently damage or even kill plants that have been growing for centuries.
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Chiako Yamamoto is a fourth generation bonsai master in central Japan. He has been producing and selling bonsai for the past 51 years and one of the most important skills when growing these plants is patience.
The time and dedication to this process doesn’t have to be like almost any art form. Although the work is almost a sculpture, plants are living things and will always make themselves.
This exceptional weather will take time to mean that there simply aren’t many trees around. Some of the most important bonsai are over 800 years old, so the stock will not grow continuously.
Other factors can affect the price. Bonsai containers and tools are often handmade and can cost thousands of dollars.
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Some types of trees are difficult to grow or require certain techniques and may command a higher price. But, more than anything else, these trees are valuable works of art for their beauty and the artist’s vision. People have been planting bonsai trees for centuries. In fact, few bonsai trees around the world are over a thousand years old!
The most expensive bonsai tree is the priceless Yamaki pine. It is hundreds of years old and is the only tree that survived the bombing of Hiroshima. However, an old Juniper bonsai sold for $2,000,000 in 1981. Adjusted for inflation, that would be about $6,000,000 today.
Let’s dig deeper to find the most precious little trees! We will also explore the reasons why bonsai trees are so expensive. If you’re looking to get into the bonsai landscape, one of our top trees is definitely a good investment.
Before we reveal the most expensive bonsai trees in the world, it is important to take some time and think about the reasons why bonsai trees are so expensive.
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Many of the world’s most famous bonsai trees are hundreds and sometimes thousands of years old. As a result, these trees have lived countless lives, making them a timeless treasure.
A hundred-year-old bonsai seems to have an important history. It is also a form of history, as well-maintained bonsai trees seem to outlive their new owners, able to survive for many generations.
As you can imagine, being able to add your name to the historic list of collectors doesn’t come cheap. Because of this, the most expensive bonsai trees appear to be hundreds of years old. These trees can be larger than the average bonsai.
Bonsai trees grow very slowly, with some species only adding about two inches in height each year. For this reason, the size of the bonsai tree often affects its value.
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The bigger the bonsai, the bigger it should be. And as we said above, age is one of the most important factors affecting the value of a bonsai tree.
Large bonsai trees also tend to be valued for their beauty. They make a memorable addition to a home or well-kept garden.
Similarly, some of the most expensive fish in the world are priced according to their size. But the value of a bonsai tree above average does not depend only on its age and weight.
Caring for a bonsai tree can be a lifelong process. Not only can bonsai trees live for hundreds (and possibly thousands) of years, but they are very sensitive to environmental changes.
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Ensuring that the bonsai tree remains healthy requires deep agricultural knowledge and good hands. Many bonsai tree enthusiasts may inadvertently kill their prized trees when transplanting into a large container.
These trees also need daily watering and occasional pruning. The best bonsai trees receive both maintenance pruning and standard pruning.
Some of the most expensive bonsai trees are also the result of grafting, allowing them to share the characteristics of various bonsai plants. But the grafting process is particularly time-consuming and can cause damage to the bonsai tree.
The skill required to care for a bonsai tree is incredible. Many bonsai experts around the world have dedicated their entire lives to cultivating and maintaining these beautiful trees, improving their utility in the process.
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Some bonsai trees are even passed down from generation to generation. Therefore, this plant is not the best choice for novice gardeners.
The time and energy that goes into creating a special bonsai also contributes to its overall value. For example, a skillfully pruned century-old bonsai will cost anywhere from $5,000 to $1,000,000.
Compare this to a new bonsai (seven years or less) with no art, such as a simple miniature Spruce bonsai. These plants usually only cost between $30 and $50.
The Japanese Black Pine bonsai tree may not be the prettiest bonsai, but it is one of the most expensive. This type of tree has a curved body and bright green needles, making it a special bonsai tree.
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Older Japanese Black Pine bonsai trees have a beauty you won’t find in newer specimens. Although immature plants sell for $1,600, mature trees can sell for much more.
Due to its age and cultural importance, Japanese Black Pine bonsai can be expensive. However, these trees can reach a height of over 20 feet, making for very large specimens.
Did you know that a bonsai tree can produce small flowers? Flowering bonsai trees are popular, especially among intermediate bonsai gardeners.
But the Flowering Chinzan Azalea bonsai may be the most expensive flowering bonsai tree. It produces pink flowers that bloom in summer. However, don’t be surprised to see these trees sell for $2,500 or more!
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This bonsai tree will not grow to a large size, but it is one of the most beautiful types of bonsai flowers. In addition, well-maintained Flower Chinzan Azalea bonsai trees can live for hundreds of years, making them a worthy investment for anyone who cares.
Have you ever dreamed of having a coniferous tree on your couch? If so, you might fall in love with the Hinoki dwarf cypress bonsai tree.
The green-blue leaves of this bonsai plant are undeniably captivating. Dwarf Hinoki Cypress bonsai is also one of the rare bonsai trees, which makes it very expensive. These trees typically sell for between $2,000 and $4,000.
The main reason the Dwarf Hinoki Cypress bonsai is so expensive is its rarity. Although this tree is quite common in Southern Japan, it does not appear to be native to the rest of the world.
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Like all large trees, the Trident Maple bonsai tree has leaves that change color as the seasons change! Of course, this bonsai is best when kept outdoors.
Trident Maple bonsai is prized by gardeners and bonsai enthusiasts for its color-changing leaves, heavily shaded trunk, and natural drought-tolerant properties. But this bonsai is more expensive than the world’s most expensive train, with a typical price tag of $15,000 or more.
Bonsai gardeners are always looking for unique, valuable trees to add to their gardens. And the Trident Maple bonsai tree is one of the most unique and outstanding choices.
Its shiny, color-changing leaves make it a valuable resource for bonsai tree lovers. The more expensive Trident Maple also has an umbrella-like canopy and no lower branches.
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Ficus trees may be house plants, but the Ginseng Ficus bonsai is special. One of the amazing features of this tree is its root system.
Unlike other bonsai trees, the roots of the Ginseng Ficus tree grow above the ground, forming finger-like branches that lift the tree up. Therefore, these plants are considered some of the most beautiful bonsai trees. They usually sell for $60,000 or more.
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