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With practice one can create a bonsai; no complicated modification of the DNA in a high-end lab required. The bonsai will even beget bonsai fruit.

What I am curious about is - if such bonsai fruit is planted again, will it give rise to a normal, or a bonsai tree?

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

No, seed from a bonsai tree will not automatically produce another bonsai tree. Bonsai are dwarfed due to restriction of root growth in their small containers - unless the offspring are also grown in environmentally dwarfing conditions, they will tend to grow normally.

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Could you toss in any reference material on the subject please? – Everyone Jul 5 '12 at 17:41
However, non-scientific sources will confirm my answer, for example the wiki page: "Bonsai does not require genetically dwarfed trees, but rather depends on growing small trees from regular stock and seeds." – Richard Smith-Unna Jul 5 '12 at 18:10
Well ... according to another question on this forum I understand a sapling relies upon the food contained within the seed for it's initial growth. I assume then - for bonsai fruit to grow to average size then (a) it must exhibit a growth spurt and improved quality of tissues+chemical processes or (b) each bonsai fruit would have at most a single seed of the normal size or (c) the bonsai fruit/seed would in turn give rise to a similarly stunted plant. What am I missing? – Everyone Jul 5 '12 at 18:36
Small seeds do not necessarily lead to stunted plants, but they will contain less resources for germination. Provided the seeds have enough resources to complete germination, which is quite likely if you are cultivating them deliberately, they will grow to similar final sizes regardless of the seed size. They might have different rates of growth during their early development. – Richard Smith-Unna Jul 5 '12 at 18:40
@Everyone: In any case, I'd assume that a bonsai tree, if allowed to bear fruit, would produce normal-sized fruit and seeds, just very few of them. At least that's what seems to happen with naturally stunted trees growing e.g. in cracks in rock. – Ilmari Karonen Jul 6 '12 at 9:18

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