A Chronology of Dwarf Potted Trees in France




("Essai Sur Les Jardins de Plaisance des Chinois" by Fr. Pierre Martial Cibot published posthumously as an endnote in Vol. XIII of Mémoires concernant l'histoire, les sciences, les arts, les mœurs, les usages,&c des Chinois, par les missionaires de Pe-Kin.)


(Notes of Henri Leonard Jean Baptiste Bertin (1719 or 1720-1792) were published as La Chine en miniature: ou Choix de costumes, arts et métiers de cet empire ... à l'usage de la jeunesse.  Included mention of what would be translated into English the next year as "dwarf-trees.")

(A January, 1847 Horticulturist article, "Chinese Method of Dwarfing Trees" was based on an account of the voyage of "One of the attaches of the mission sent by the French government to China, after the termination of the war, to negotiate a treaty of commerce...")


("Un Grand Arbre Nanisé" by E.-A. Carrière was published in Revue horticole.)


"Essai Sur L'Horticulture Japonaise" by E.-A. Carrière was published in Revue horticoleExposition Universalle, Paris.


("Les Arbres Nains et Monstrueux, Au Japon et En Chine" was published in La Nature.)


"Japonaiseries" by E.-A. Carrière was published in Revue horticole; "Causes phyiologiques...des arbres... japonaises" by Joseph Vallot in Bulletin de la Société de Botanique de France; "Sur les procédés employés par les Japonais..." by Paul Maury was published in Bulletin de la Société de Botanique de France; "Arbres nains du Japon," by Ém. Rodigas in Bulletins d'arboriculture; and "L'Horticulture A L'Exposition Universelle De 1889," was published in Bulletin de la Société d'horticulture de CherbourgExposition Universalle, Paris.


Exposition Universalle, Paris.  1


Les Arbres Nains Japonais by Albert Maumené published. First book entirely about dwarf potted trees published in a European language. (An English rendering six years later includes "...in France M. de Montesquiou has a collection of magnificent Thuyas, which since 1889 [gotten from the Exposition Universalle?] have grown considerably, but which, on the other hand, are models of vigour and grace.")  2

1907 / 1925

Novelist, essayist, and critic Marcel Proust makes mention of Japanese dwarf trees in both a book review and later in a section of his partially posthumous work À la recherche du temps perdu (in English, In Search of Lost Time; earlier translated as Remembrance of Things Past).  (In 1893 Proust had been introduced to poet and art collector Robert de Montesquiou and his celebrated Japanese dwarf trees.)


Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes, Paris.  3


("Forest of Odd Dwarf Trees Grown by 'Surgery'" from July issue of Popular Science Monthly.)


Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne, Paris.  4


       This is an ongoing listing of our researches' discoveries.  It is not the final word on the subject.

1    Giorgi, Gianfranco  Simon & Schuster's Guide to Bonsai, pg. 20.

2    Maumerné [sic] , Monsieur Albert  "The Japanese Dwarf Trees: Their Cultivation In Japan and Their Use and Treatment in Europe," Journal of the Royal Horticultural Society, pg. 68.

3    Popular Science Monthly, July, 1929, pg. 63; Chan, Peter  Bonsai Masterclass (New York: Sterling Publishing Co.; 1988), pg. 154.

4    Kobayashi, Norio  Bonsai -- Miniature Potted Trees (Tokyo: Japan Travel Bureau, Inc.; 1951, 1962, 1966), pg. 131 with b&w photo of Japanese juniper shimpaku which won the grand prize.

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