"In and about the Fair"
by Donald G. Mitchell (1876) includes these paragraphs:
Among the conifers will be noted young plants of that Japanese species
which may be seen under the wing of the Japanese building, -- quaint
pigmies of trees, not three feet high, yet over seventy years old. They
are gnarled and twisted as if they had fought the winds and caught their picturesqueness of form -- as old oaks
catch theirs -- by battling with tempests and wintry storms upon the
hills. And yet these dwarfed trees are thoroughly creatures of art. By
examining closely the specimens in the Japanese ground, you will see
traces of the dwarfing process. The leading shoots have been clipped,
or bent downward; the lateral branches turned in and tied back; lusty
limbs twisted and wrenched into quaint postures; marks of the
torturing-pins, and bands and cuts are still observable; it is a
crippled dwarf of a tree, made quaint and picturesque by its years of
struggle against the toils of the gardener.
Mitchell, Donald G. "In and about the Fair" in
Scribners monthly, an illustrated magazine for the people,Volume 13, Issue 1, November 1876, pg.
"In a box of blue porcelain, with white raised imitations of beets, carrots, etc., on the outer surface, and having porcelain supports of the size, shape and color of turnips, was a stunted cedar tree sixty years old and not more than thirty-two inches in height. The spread of its branches was four and half feet in the widest part. The trunk was eight inches in diameter."