Eucalyptus as a Bonsai? Stay Tuned!

Posted on March 30, 2017 by Ed Coughlin

Many people think a Bonsai is a specific species of tree like a maple, oak, or eucalyptus. Not so. The word Bonsai is a Japanese term which, literally translated, means “planted in a container”.

The ultimate goal of growing a Bonsai is to create a miniaturized but realistic representation of nature in the form of a tree.

 I was first bitten by the Bonsai bug when I saw Mr.  Miyagi in The Karate Kid practicing the art form and trying to teach Daniel San about inner peace.

I would mess with them back in early 2000 when I owned Walnut Creek Nursery.  It was fun to cut back on a small, pot-bound Crape Myrtle or pull a Juniper with potential and just start pruning.

 I wish I could take credit for the Juniper or any of the pictures in this blog, but these works or art were stumbled upon at a roadside Bosai garden in Cottondale, FL.  You can't miss the billboards on Interstate 10, west of Tallahassee, announcing "Bonsai by Dori".  And yes, if you are any kind of plant person or artist, it's well worth a visit. 

 Before I show you some of my favorites, I have to report on some of my findings.  Trees with smaller leaves, contorted trunks, and interesting bark make great specimens.  Japanese Maple, Elms, Ficus, and, why not, Eucalyptus meet that criteria and thus make great Bonsai!  Recommended Southern Eucs varieties are:

Eucalyptus parvula 'Funky Monkey'

Eucalyptus stellulata 'Sheila'


Eucalyptus nicholii 'Angus' (seen below in Bonsai form)

Experts say that the many qualities of Eucalyptus trees transfer well to larger 2-4' formed Bonsais.  Can't wait to get started!  Until then, a few of my favorites from Bonsai by Dori. 

Ficus Retusa
Age: Unknown
75+ Years Old
Chinese Elm
Just under $7,000
Trident Maple
80+ Years Old


Posted in