May 13, 2013 7:06 pm

A look at the centuries old art form of bonsai


It is an art form that dates back more than a thousand years with its origins in China.

In Japan, though, bonsai – the growing and shaping of trees in pots – is an indelible part of the culture.

There are bonsai clubs all over the world.

More than a hundred members belong to the Toronto Bonsai Society.

David Johnson, a local member/artist of the organization, was bitten by the bonsai bug 25 years ago and has an extensive inventory that includes beautifully shaped pines, spruces, dogwoods and maples. Right now he has a 35 year old wisteria that has burst into spectacular bloom.

Bonsai maintenance is fastidious work: Daily watering is required during growing season and the rest of the time is spent pruning, pinching, wiring and repotting.

It is certainly not uncommon for properly maintained  trees to outlive their owners and survive for a hundred years or more.

Dave Gerry met with one of the local member/artists who may have the city’s largest collection.

© 2013 Shaw Media

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