"How It Is Done"
"A new horticultural fad, which very few but the wealthy can indulge in, is being
introduced into this city from Japan, and is meeting with great favor by the owners
of private conservatories. This is the accumulation of dwarf evergreen trees,
ranging in age and size from a plant one hundred years old and two and a half feet
high to a plant five years old and two inches in height. These miniature trees
are perfect in shape and detail, with knotted trunks and twisted limbs, and to the
lover of art are strikingly beautiful. The dwarfing of these trees could be done
in this country as well as in Japan, if the horticulturists were possessed of the
proper amount of patience. When a Japanese gardener starts out to dwarf a few
trees he plants several hundred seeds, and as soon as the green sprout appears above
the ground the patient gardener starts to cut away a couple of root tendrils by
probing beneath the ground. This is done with every plant. Many of them
die, but those that survive are still denuded of their tendrils as fast as they can
stand it. Oftimes [sic] the work of dwarfing a crop
properly lasts twenty years and the task is handed down from father to son.
Perhaps out of the whole crop not over a dozen will survive the heroic treatment, but
the plants that do live are rarely beautiful and correspondingly costly. -- Philadelphia Record"
1 Brooklyn Daily Eagle,
December 1, 1898, pg.