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Artificial Bonsai Trees

I know many bonsai artists cringe at the words “artificial bonsai trees.”

However, if you or someone you know is not good at growing bonsai trees, or any other kind of plants for that matter, they are a consideration. 

At one time, the only false bonsai trees available were obviously plastic and not very attractive. 

Today there are silk, plastic, clay and preserved trees that are much more realistic looking.

Some are good imitations, others are lame commercial attempts at tradition. Still others are actually pieces of art.

Types of Artificial Bonsai


In recent years, the preserved  tree has come into popularity.  According to the manufacturer, the bonsai have real tree foliage preserved using “a 100% natural process.”

They are then attached to trunks from real plants and placed in bonsai containers.  (Usually mounted in foam or resin.)     Many even have realistic looking moss. 

Silk plants have also gained popularity, and often have very life-like flowers. 

Why "Phony" Bonsai Trees?

Phony trees may be the perfect answer for offices, hotels, restaurants ... and especially for the person who insists on a “coffee table bonsai” in a dark room.

If you have a corner that is crying out for plant … consider a preserved tree, even silk or a beautiful piece of bonsai art.  No watering, no trimming, no pests – guaranteed!

Not Just Indoors

Today, outdoor window boxes, patios and even trellis can be seen with artificial plants. When they are of high quality, you can mix them with live plants and it's doubtful anyone will ever notice.  If you're looking for an artificial outdoor bonsai, be sure the description reads  ... 'Indoor/Outdoor and UV resistant.'

Artificial Bonsai Trees as Art

Jun Navarro is a creative hobbyist. His bonsai hobby led him to an additional pastime of creating another type of little trees. 

He and several other artists and their work are on the wire tree sculpture page.

Artificial bonsai by Mark ReedIs It Real?

Another artist creating unreal bonsai is Mark Reed, Park Forest, Illinois. Mark's trees (a hobby of 20 years) are artificial and very unique. He told me he was first influenced by Deborah Koreshoff's book Bonsai: Its Art, Science, History and Philosophy

The stands are also his one-of-a-kind original designs.
Enjoy the Mark Reed pinterest site.

Just for Fun

Over the years there have been a number of artificial bonsai trees as 'joke' gifts.  

The Art of the Bonsai Potato’ was a gift.  It was years before I actually opened the box and read the instructions.  I truthfully expected some type of a con … an attempt to convince me that this was a truly potential bonsai.  Not so!  It is satire, totally tongue in cheek!  

Jeffrey Fitzsimmons has quite an imagination.  Here's an excerpt from 'The Irish Connection' chapter:

The art of the Bonsai Potato survived for almost 1,000 years but was almost entirely wiped out in the mid 1800s as a result of the Great Irish Potato Famine ... ”    

A great gag gift for that overly serious bonsai hobbyist.

Where to Go From Here

wire tree sculptures

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