Man has world’s biggest collection of smallest trees

By Xuan Ngoc   January 16, 2021 | 09:00 am GMT+7
With a collection of over 5,600 penjing pots, Nguyen Van Phung, 59, has the world’s largest collection of miniature bonsai trees.
In his 4,000-square-meter garden in Phuoc Dong Commune, Nha Trang beach town, central Khanh Hoa Province, Phung displays thousands of bonsai pots in different sizes, from normal to tiny pots of only 5-10 cm.For the past 30 years, he has been growing mini bonsai pots and other plants out of passion.After learning and caring for many big trees, I want to create small plants with its own shapes and am fascinated by its beauty, he said.

In his 4,000-square-meter garden in the beach town of Nha Trang in central Khanh Hoa Province, Phung has on display thousands of bonsai pots in different sizes, from normal to tiny ones that are just 5-10 cm. This has been a passion that he has pursued for the past 30 years – growing mini bonsai pots and other plants.
"After learning and caring for many big trees, I became fascinated with the beauty of smaller ones and their shapes," he said.

The varieties that he chose to make tiny bonsai such as willow, apricot blossom, fir ..., but most are fir tree because the small leaves, flexible branches, can survive in inclement weather and you can zoom out to create an image.Tiny bonsai pots made of fir trees are created by artisans falling on a ceramic vase just a few centimeters.

A tiny bonsai pot with a rubber tree in a ceramic vase just a few centimeters in diameter.
Phung said he picks different species to make the tiny bonsai. However, he favors "sam huong" (rubber plant) the most because of its small leaves, flexible branches and ability to survive in inclement weather, which make it ideal for miniature bonsai.

Phung shared the baby rubberplant are planted according to the extraction method and cut the scene to get the seedlings to create a tiny bonsai. Many other trees are in the same way, but each tree has different characteristics, so growers must regularly monitor the plants development and care.

Phung said he uses "branch extraction" and "leaf reduction" methods with the rubber sapling to make tiny bonsai. While similar methods are applicable for other flora species, each tree has different traits and growers must regularly monitor its development.

Phungs penjing featuring a monk carrying a tiny bonsai. It took him three years to shape the bonsai plant to its current form.

A penjing has a monk supporting a miniature. Phung took three years to care and shape the tree to its current form.
Creating a tiny bonsai pot can take up to 2-5 years to complete since the artist has to start all over again if the removed branch dies after being extracted from the original plant. Forming its outer shape is a meticulous and painstaking process requiring regular monitoring of the growth to prevent them from attracting pests or growing too big.

His tiny bonsai collection is diverse with many different floral types, shapes, ages and sizes.The most challenging part of making penjing is forming its roots and trunks because it is too small to take great care, neglecting to water or leaving it in the sun for many hours, the tree will wither. then die.

His collection of miniature bonsais is very diverse with many different flora species of many different shapes, ages and sizes.
The most challenging part of making a bonsai is forming and caring for a sapling’s roots and trunks because they are very small and fragile. The bonsai will wither and die if one neglects watering it or leaving it out in the sun for too long.

He uses different objects, including shell of a snail or old tire, as the pot holders.

Phung turns different objects, including tiny bowls, snail shells and old tires, into different kinds of pot holders.

He can also turned a statue of a Vietnamese woman wearing traditional ao dai into the base of the penjing.

He has also turned the statue of a Vietnamese woman wearing a traditional ao dai and a conical hat into the base for a penjing.
Depending on the age of the bonsai and the look of the penjing, the price of a bonsai miniature can range from VND500,000 ($21.65) to over VND10 million.

He shared that the worthiness of the mini bonsai depends on how the collector perceives its values in their own eyes since each person has different tastes.

Phung said that the value of a mini bonsai depends on how the collector perceives it, since each person has different tastes.

Phung spent about 2 billion to invest in this tiny bonsai garden. The value on the market today averaged 5-6 billion VND, but he did not intend to sell but to satisfy his passion.Many people enjoy coming to learn or taking pictures to make memories.With this collection, Mr. Phung achieved the world record when the number of bonsai was the most when it reached more than 5,6000, surpassing India with more than 3,300 trees. In the near future, I will bring my pots to the Provincial Museum to display for everyone to admire, said Phung.

He said he has invested about VND2 billion in this bonsai garden, but estimates the value of its products at around VND6 billion based on current market prices. However, he has no plans to sell his garden.
With his collection of over 5,600 pots, the World Records Union (WorldKings) certified Phung as the owner of the world's largest collection of miniature bonsai trees and penjing landscapes in December last year, breaking the record of a person in India who has owned a collection of more than 3,300 pots.
"In the near future, I will take my pots to the provincial museum so that everyone can admire them," he said.

 
 
go to top