Man’s ‘Pride and Joy’ Bonsai Worth Thousands Stolen From His Garden

The producer, a 68-year-old man from Mount Albert, is "sorry" have lost their plants.


The grower, a 68-year-old man from Mount Albert, is “heartbroken” to have lost his plants.

An Auckland man has lost ‘years of his heart and soul’ after more than 40 of his bonsai trees were stolen from his Mount Albert home.

The man’s son, Nick Yu, appeals to the public to help find the miniature trees, which are worth thousands of dollars to buy, but worth even more to the dedicated and heartbroken grower.

In a public Facebook post, Yu, who lives in Melbourne, Australia, said 29 plants were stolen in the early hours of Sunday morning. The thieves returned the next day and took about 15 more.

Yu said his 68-year-old father had been “a keen student of the art of bonsai for over 30 years.”

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“He cared for these miniature trees on a daily basis as if they were his own children. Watching them grow inch by inch and slowly carve them over the years.

“He displayed them proudly around the house and invited friends and families to enjoy them.

“They were his pride and his joy, masterpieces that took him decades to grow. They had also brought him joy and [a] sense of accomplishment in these difficult times of covid lockdowns.

The owner's son says his father


The owner’s son recounts that his father “maintained these miniature trees daily as if they were his own children”.

Yu said his parents were not materialistic people.

“The house has been broken into several times, and they don’t think about it,” he said. “But these trees mean a lot to my father. I am absolutely heartbroken for their loss.

He said the thieves knew exactly what they were looking for and chose the most prized plants.

The Mount Albert man has been studying the art of bonsai for over 30 years.


The Mount Albert man has been studying the art of bonsai for over 30 years.

It was “years of his heart and soul taken overnight because of someone’s senseless greed”.

“My dad is a person who lives half full – he always teaches me to look on the bright side. He said to me, ‘At least they didn’t take it all’ and showed me some beautiful plants that have remained.

Moira from the Auckland Bonsai Society said theft was a “real problem for all bonsai growers”. She did not want to give her last name for security reasons and advised other growers to make sure their plants were not visible from the street.


Forty-six bonsai plants, along with pots and pumps, were stolen from a Christchurch garden center on Boxing Day.

“We feel so bad for him,” she said. “It will be his life’s work. He took care of them for 20, 30 years.

“I really hope someone is good enough to return them to good condition.”

New Zealand gardener Jo McCarroll, editor, said bonsai “regularly change hands for hundreds or even thousands of dollars”.

“”It’s terrible to think that someone just walked away with all those years of meticulous care.”

Police confirmed they had received a burglary report and were investigating.

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