25. Huntington Library Bonsai Collection

San Marino, California


This olive was donated to The Huntington in March 1995 by John Yoshio Naka, considered to be the Father of American Bonsai and the person credited with introducing this ancient art to most of the western world.  John collected this tree from an olive orchard in Fontana, California, in 1958.  He designed the tree and developed it until he presented it to The Huntington in the 1990s.  Beyond that lineage, this tree is significant in it’s age. Estimated to be over 120 years old, what comprises the tree is most likely secondary basal sprout growth that was able to gain dominance over the original tree, which was lost due to unknown causes.  The weathered core of the original trunk, highlighted by the remnants of many concentric rings, is clearly visible from the front and framed by old rolled bark which bears a fine rugged texture throughout that also indicates the length of time in training, which is ancient for an American bonsai.  


European Olive / Olea europaea

Estimated Age: 110 years old
Time in Training: 57 years
Origin: Collected by John Naka from an Olive Orchard in Fontana, California in 1958
Container: Chinese
Stand: Chinese