How much do bonsai trees cost?
Asking how much do bonsai trees cost is a bit like asking how much a painting costs. Age, rarity, size, health, provenance and quality all affect the price. Some bonsai trees are incredibly expensive, while other costs very little.
The age of a bonsai affects the price
Older bonsai trees tend to be more valuable than younger bonsai trees. Sometimes it is possible to work out the age of a bonsai tree, though not always. When you know who grew the bonsai tree, it is possible to know the age. Often though, older trees have passed through many hands in various parts of the world. It isn’t easy to know how old a bonsai tree is just by looking at it. Just because a tree is still fairly slender, it doesn’t mean that it is not old. Some of the bonsai trees that I started off twenty years ago as still quite thin, while others are very thick. Roughly textured bark is a sign of age. A good nebari (root buttress) can also be a sign.
The rarity of a bonsai affects the cost
Unusual species of tree can fetch higher prices. Bonsai are grown all over the world. Some species are not often seen in the UK. The novelty factor can increase the price, as many bonsai fans like to have one of each species of tree that they can find. In addition to this is the style that a bonsai have been grown in. Root on Rock style, Windswept style and Raft style bonsai trees are seen less often, so sometimes are more expensive.
The size of a bonsai tree can increase the price
Bigger bonsai trees can be more expensive than smaller ones, though this is certainly not always the case. We often have metre tall bonsai trees which are much less expensive than other smaller trees.