Training miniature bonsai is a challenge! The goal was to create a the smallest possible bonsai in the banyan form with aerial roots. Creating a lot of detail requires plants with extremely small leaves. I selected a Dwarf Snowrose (Serissa microphylla) with natural sized leaves only 1/8" long and these reduced to most being less than 1/16" long!
The overall height above the pot is about 3 1/2". The oval pot measures 5 1/2" long x 4 1/2" wide x 13/16" high. If you measure the photo below, you'll have a fair idea of the size of the actual bonsai!
- To complete the display, a thin stand is needed. Michael Imaino crafted this one out of Ponderosa Pine. The stand measures, 7" long x 5" wide x 3/16" thick.
Serissa normally have very thin hair-like roots. To create the illusion of a banyan tree, the roots were exposed and the thin roots continually removed to allow the heaviest roots to slowly be exposed. The tree has been in training since about 1983 when Hiroshi Ikeda gave me this pot as a gift upon his return from a Japan trip.
Although the tree doesn't seem to change, every six months or so, I take a magnifying glass and try to do more detailed pruning to improve the fine branch ramifications. It's possible to create much smaller bonsai. Simply prune of a section that has a lot of character, trim the cutting as you would a bonsai, and root it directly into a tiny bonsai pot.
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