This is a dead bonsai tree. It’s a Japanese maple and a very special birthday present I got 2.5 years ago. We called the tree ‘ki-chan’ which means something along the lines of ‘little tree’ (‘ki’ means tree; the -chan is usually added at the end of a child’s name). Ki-chan was 25 years old when we got it. That’s not really old age for a bonsai but for us it felt ancient.
Our responsibility now was to keep it alive for at least another 25 years. The tree came with a whole page of care instructions and we followed those religiously. It even went so far as to bringing the tree to a bonsai babysitter service when we went on holidays. I got it in the summertime. When autumn came ki-chan’s leaves turned straight to brown, rather than the typical dark red. We were surprised at first but then decided to not think too much of it. The following springtime when green leaves started to show again everywhere ki-chan’s few branches were still bare. We thought it just needs a little bit of extra time. A few more months went by and we had to accept that we managed to kill a bonsai in less than a year.