Bonsai Trees Draw Fans to Washington

The Goshin Bonsai was begun in 1953 by John Naka.

The Goshin Bonsai was begun in 1953 by John Naka; he is the center of an exhibit at the Washington Arboretum. Petra Mayer, NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Petra Mayer, NPR
Fay Sharer took part in a workshop on pruning and training bonsai.

Fay Sharer took part in a workshop on pruning and training bonsai, working on a California pine. Petra Mayer, NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Petra Mayer, NPR

The fifth World Bonsai Convention is taking place this weekend at the Washington Hilton, and convention organizers say it's the biggest bonsai event ever. Enthusiasts are gathering to display the plants they have pruned, bound and trained into twisted, complex forms.

The event included both showcases and workshops, as the practitioners of a very patient art exchanged secrets and tips. Bonsai creators say a good plant can take a lifetime — or several. One famous bonsai at the National Arboretum was first potted in 1626.

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