Bonsai Tree Species Guides


Species Guides

There are a large number of different species of trees that can be used for bonsai; nearly all share the characteristic of being able to produce new buds on old wood allowing continual pruning and re-generation to take place. Other preferred qualities for bonsai in a tree species include small leaves or leaves that reduce in size with training, short internodes (the distance between each leaf-joint along a branch) and the ability to withstand root disturbance.

The following guides cover a large range of coniferous and broadleaved, evergreen and deciduous trees that have the potential for use as bonsai to one degree or another. Some species are commonly seen such as the Elms, Junipers and Pines, others such as Grapevines, Tamarix and Hederas may be a rare occurrence but can have their own qualities and characteristics that make them of interest to the enthusiast.

This list is by no means comprehensive; there are many species missing from this list that have great potential for bonsai.

With respect to cultivation notes, this guide is written from European (UK) perspective where Summer temperatures rarely reach above 30°C and winter temps will rarely fall lower than -10°C. For hotter or colder climates, extra care must be taken for the protection of trees against the sun in summer, the frost in winter and also large fluctuations in temperature between day and night.

Heights listed in the guide are based on mature trees growing in ideal conditions in their natural habitat. Leaf-sizes are given based on field or garden trees, with bonsai cultivation it is possible to reduce the size of leaves of most species by a half or even more.


August 16, 2022
month by month guide for the keeping and growing of Satsuki Azalea, primarily as bonsai but also as patio /potted plants.
November 30, 2022
Pines are a classic bonsai species in Japan and the world over, they are not however, easy trees to care for and style without experience.
November 30, 2022
Juniper, a classic species for bonsai!

SEARCH FOR your tree species

April 13, 2023
A classic British deciduous species for bonsai.
April 3, 2023
Chaenomeles is a genus of 3 species of deciduous, spiny shrubs from mountain woodland in Japan and China. They are favoured for their early flowers which appear from early January onwards on bare branches
April 3, 2023
Potentilla fruiticosa is a compact, bushy, deciduous shrub that reliably produces yellow flowers each year.
December 6, 2022
A classic British species for bonsai with sharp thorns, flowers in May and red berries in late Summer onwards.
December 6, 2022
There are many species of Cotoneaster and even more varieties and hybrids suitable for bonsai cultivation.
December 6, 2022
Cryptomeria Japonica is a coniferous tree native to the forests of China, Korea and Japan.
December 6, 2022
Some Ilex/Holly species have small leaves that are very suitable for bonsai.
December 6, 2022
Crassula ovata/Jade or Money Tree bonsai are a very popular indoor bonsai that are easy to keep.
December 6, 2022
The Smoke Tree takes its name from the panicles of flowers it produces which slowly turn to fawn and grey tones resembling smoke.