Who has never dreamed of cultivating their own apples... but in miniature size? Abel Cocaña perhaps dreamed it, or maybe not, but he can say that he has his own Lilliputian apple tree. That and sixty other bonsai make up one of the largest collections in Asturias.
Recently, he finished fifth in a contest organized annually by the Spanish Bonsai Association in Madrid with a Juniperus chinensis.
One of the most frequent questions from the inexperienced is whether such trees belong to a special variety, or they are common trees whose growth has stopped. "There is no such thing as a bonsai species; they are normal trees that don't get bigger because they do not have enough room in the pot, or wherever they have their roots," says Abel. There are also wild bonsai, which manage to grow in very difficult conditions, in small rock holes, or on cliffs, for example. That same difficult environment must be reproduced to get an olive tree that doesn't become more than half a meter tall.
Fruit trees are very striking examples, but in reality, they are not usually allowed to develop. "Their apples or fruits are removed as soon as they start to appear. In some cases, you can leave one or two, so you can take them to an exhibition. It causes the trees to lose lots of strength, and since they are so small, they are more delicate," he says. But apples the size of peas are "perfectly edible."