"Tiny Trees," from The Mercury

      "Tiny Trees," (1900), although this short eleven paragraph article is found in a Tasmanian paper, the event described took place in London:

       A forest in miniature was sold tree by tree at Willis's Rooms.
       There was a large attendance.  Many went out of curiosity, some to buy, whatever the cost.
       Quaint and wonderful as the dwarfed Japanese forest trees are, they have not reached the same height of popularity here as in America.
       Some of the trees were very ancient veterans.  A Lari Leptolepsis [sic] was the most remarkable tree of its kind that has been seen in this country.  It is 180 years old, and its two gnarled branches spring from a trunk 5in. high.
       Another tree, 85 years old, was sold for 20 guineas [21 pounds].
       Along one side of the room was a line on which were suspended some quaintly-shaped ferns, twisted into various forms, such as double circles, chains, a ship, and a monkey on a bicycle.
       The tiny trees were all growing in china pots, beautiful in colour and design.
       In America fabulous sums have recently been given for similar trees, but the craze is waning a little, particularly as the trees, when away from the peculiar treatment of the Japanese gardeners are apt to either die or grow larger in a manner inconsistent with their dignified age.
       The authorities at the Royal Botanic Gardens have their own little theories as to devices employed in the Far East to stop the growth of trees.
       They say that the secret consists in doing everything possible to restrict the circulation of sap, and they hope to show that they can go several better than the Japanese.
       Apart from the collectors, the trees are bought as novel decorations for the table. 1


1     From The Mercury (Hobart, Tasmania), 1 August 1900, pg. 5, under the column heading of "Science & Invention."  Also, an auction of bonsai would take place at Sotheby's that November (see June 17 listing).

Home  > Bonsai History  >  Pre1945 Biblio  >  The Mercury 1900