This very beautiful small tree is a native of Japan, China and Korea. It is a naturally very variable species and that together with the fact that it has been cultivated by man for centuries has resulted in the existence of several hundred varieties. For bonsai the straight species is very often chosen although many different varieties are also to be seen coming from the far east as bonsai.
The species is very happy growing in UK conditions. It was introduced here in 1820. Like many fairly early flushing species spring frosts will always be something to watch out for. Otherwise it is quite easy to grow and keep as bonsai. It does have phenomenally good growth characteristics for bonsai. It responds great to pruning which helps the rapid development of branching. Like any number of deciduous species the branches are quite brittle requiring great care if wire is used. Happy in a pot with the correct care and treatment of roots. A must for any bonsai collection.
This example would appear to be the variety called Katsura, but we cannot be certain about this. It looks as though it might be quite an age from the colour of the bark on a good part of the trunk. Summer images with the tree cloaked in leaves are not good for showing the branch structure but it is certain that, although this bonsai can be seen to have well developed primary branching, much more can be done to develop both more primary and secondary branching and then of course the ramification. At least though you are not spending years growing a trunk ! The tree measures 65cm in height with branches spreading to 65cm. As the roots enter the soil the measurement across is 16cm. and above this the trunk diam. is 6cm. It features a good buttress flair with reasonable nebari [ radial root spread ] showing some interesting character. It is potted in a Mica round drum bonsai training pot 32x8cm. The future development of this bonsai is essentially a growing and pruning exercise and will provide a great deal of enjoyment in the process. We purchased it, in the Lake District, as part of a small collection of bonsai when the owner sadly died.