Bonsai make great friends.

Bonsai have big personalities in small packages. Their characters burst out of their small containers, beaming with pride. They respond to gentle care with exuberant growth. They are always here for you offering calm, patient beauty.

Now, more than ever, our bonsai need friends to see them, to hear their stories, and be there for them, too. The collection is here for you to enjoy, and so, they live for your attention and affection.

Find your friend.

Step 1: See the five, new, befriendable bonsai pictured below. Click on the image of the bonsai to read more and watch a short video.

Step 2: Select the bonsai you want to befriend (for yourself, as a gift, or make a tribute in honor of, or in memory of, someone special) by clicking on ‘Let’s Be Friends.”

Step 3: After you find your friend, you can decide the amount you would like to give. You can give a one-time gift or spread out your giving over the year! Each giving level comes with special benefits and gifts to keep you connected with your bonsai throughout the year, that you can review below.

Creeping Juniper

Juniperus horizontalis
Original Artist: John Naka
A Bonsai Since: 1957

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I am a Creeping Juniper bonsai. I’ve been in training since 1957 when ‘Father-of-American-Bonsai” John Naka created me from a Juniper plant that he bought in a nursery. (You can find my journey documented in Mr. Naka’s famous book, Bonsai Techniques II.) He made me into a “raft” style bonsai by laying me on my side and training my ‘literati’ style branches upward. My branches are trained to look’ like individual, windswept trunks as if a tree growing in the constant breeze of a coastal environment. I’m planted into pockets in a Mexican volcanic “Wonder Rock” which makes me a “rock planting” and I’m covered with mosses and cute ferns.

Watch a Short Introductory Video

Blue Atlas Cedar

Cedrus atlantica ‘Glauca’
Original Artist: Bill Hatashita
A Bonsai Since: 1969

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I am a rare, Blue Atlas Cedar bonsai. I’ve been a bonsai since 1969. Artist Bill Hatashita grafted me from a plant he found in a SoCal nursery. Blue Atlas Cedar is one of only a few species of true cedar in the world. I have unique, blue needles. Since I moved to Pacific Bonsai Museum’s collection in 1989, I’ve been had several ‘makeovers.’ In 2011, Ryan Neil gave me my slant to show off my best assets: an interesting trunk line, a wide base, and my appealing branch structure. Then, in 2015, Neil dramatically loped off several big branches on a livestream! My big, left-side surface roots provided all the visual weight I needed, and losing the branches on the right accentuated my lean. What new look will they give me next? I’m a living work of art!

Watch a short introductory video

HINOKI CYPRESS

Chamaecyparis obtusa
Original Artist: Hal Mahoney
A Bonsai Since: 1983

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I am a Hinoki Cypress bonsai. Artist Hal Mahoney recognized my potential among a shipment of 5-gallon nursery plants in 1983. He spent the next six years doing “clip and grow” training on me and then I was ready for a bonsai pot. Hal kept up his dedicated work to cultivate me into a bonsai with a perfect taper. See how my trunk goes evenly from fat at my base to thin at my top? This was no easy task! Attentive trimming, thinning, and wiring gave me my good proportion and grace. My well-balanced rootage gives me my gravitas. I look so wise and stable for my young age. See what you can achieve with dedication and cultivation? I’m a textbook case of average-turned-spectacular.

Watch a Short Introductory Video

Japanese Maple Forest

Acer palmatum
Original Artist: Warren Hill
A Bonsai Since: 1970

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I am a ‘forest’ bonsai made of 53 tiny Japanese Maple #Acerpalmatum trees. My trees have been growing together like this since 1970. Artist Warren Hill, a student of the famous bonsai artist John Naka, created me. He placed each tree carefully, one by one, until I looked like a perfectly natural forest. It helped that all of my trees were propagated from the same parent plant, so we look like a family all together. My trunks were arranged to be tallest at the front so the viewer feels immersed in a forest.
The artist named me “Yama Uta” or “Mountain Song” after the Japanese name for maple (“momiji” or “mountain maple.”) I look beautiful in all seasons — tiny, red buds in spring, lush green in summer, fiery orange in fall, and delicately silhouetted in winter.

Watch a Short Introductory Video

 

Mountain Hemlock

Tsuga mertensiana
Original Artist: Mary Corrington
A Bonsai Since: 1995

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I’m a Mountain Hemlock bonsai created by artist Mary Corrington in 1995. Mary spotted me in a nursery and immediately recognized my potential. But before the nursery, I was growing in Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains. Snow had bent my small trunk and broken my branches, but I bounced back, like any good Mountain Hemlock would do. When Mary took me home, she removed 7 feet off my trunk and gave me a new top, then refined my foliage to create a pleasing visual rhythm. I’m potted in what is technically called a “crescent moon” pot but a lot of people think it looks like an egg. From a dinosaur? All bonsai are representations of nature in miniature, but I’m an example of an abstract representation. Abstract art — it’s not just for painting.

Watch a Short Introductory Video

GIVING LEVELS

Budding Friends

Benefits

  • Postcard from your friend
  • High-resolution, digital image of your bonsai friend
  • Bi-annual photos and updates on your bonsai friend
Budding Friends

Benefits

  • Postcard from your friend
  • High-resolution, digital image of your bonsai friend
  • Bi-annual photos and updates on your bonsai friend
  • Complimentary 1-year Fan Membership to PBM
  • Pack of 10 befriendable bonsai postcards
Budding Friends

Benefits

  • Postcard from your friend
  • High-resolution, digital image of your bonsai friend
  • Bi-annual photos and updates on your bonsai friend
  • Complimentary 1-year Fan Membership to PBM
  • Pack of 10 befriendable bonsai postcards
  • One copy of our hardcover, A Gallery of Trees book, OR a display-ready photo of your friend
  • Special, behind-the-scenes bonsai experience, either in-person or virtual

Questions?

Send an email to Shayla Miles.