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 Types of Plants that can be used to create Bonsai Trees

 By Erik A. Olsen

Regardless of the type(s) of Bonsai you want to create, the plants and trees that can be used for bonsai need certain necessary characteristics to enable them to become truly stunning and achieve that classic "old" bonsai look. Utilizing the established bonsai practice/technique of restricting normal root development by using a small pot or container. Eventually, growth will diminish and slow, and leaves will stay smaller.
In the cultivation of "new" bonsai trees (i.e. those less than 20-30 years old),  only a few plants have all the characteristics necessary for true Bonsai. The ideal bonsai trees should have a trunk growing thick and woody in a short time. Its leaves or needles small enough to be convincing and the roots should be clearly visible with major surface growth. They cannot be sensitive to regular, structural pruning. Seasonal blooms or fruits should not be so large that they distract from the total appearance of the bonsai trees.

The types of bonsai trees and plants that are most often utilized for the beginning to advanced bonsai gardener are evergreen, deciduous, flowering and fruit-bearing plants. Plants may be found in the wild, from garden centers and even grown from seeds. In addition,  Bonsai plants may also be created from cuttings, air laying and grafting (although for a beginner, the best way is to start with an established plant for your first foray into the bonsai world).

Here is a list of some suitable plants that make good bonsai trees.
Alberta spruce
American bald cypress
American cypress
American juniper

Beach pine
Blaauw's juniper
Black spruce

Californian juniper
Canadian hemlock
Canyon oak
Chrrystone juniper
Chinese elm
Common juniper
Douglas fir

Ezo spruce

Five-needle pine
Flowering quince Golden cup oak
Japanese beech
Japanese black pine
Japanese cedar
Japanese cypress
Japanese hornbean
Japanese larch
Japanese maple
Japanese red pine

Loblolly pine
Lodgepole pine
Long-leaf willow
Long-needle pine

Montezuma cypress
Mountain laurel
Mugo pine

Needle juniper
Norwegian spruce

Olive Pitch pine
Prostrata juniper

Rock cotoneaster

Sargent juniper
Scarlet maple
Shore pine
Silver-blue Atlas cedar
Swiss mountain pine

Trident maple

Utah juniper

Wax tree
Weeping willow



About the Author: Erik Olsen is an avid Bonsai gardening enthusiast, and the author of the best selling eBook "Bonsai Gardening Secrets", available online at

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