The National Arboretum in Northeast Washington has a bonsai tree which was recently discovered to have survived the Hiroshima nuclear attack of 1945.

The tree has been alive since 1625, making it 390 years old. It's survival of the blast was not discovered until 2001.

The tree was donated, ironically, to the Arboretum by bonsai master Masaru Yamaki as part of a 53-specimen gift to the United States in 1976 to celebrate the country's bicentennial.

The tree lived at the Yamaki nursery during the time of the blast. photographic evidence reveals that that tree was up against a wall during the moment of explosion. Although the nursery was two miles from the site, it was just distant enough to endure it. 

The tree will be moved to the Japanese Pavillion next year in honor of its 40th anniversary.

Facts about bonsai trees:

 Bonsai cultivation is nearly 2,000 years old and involves a very delicate balance between light, water, and time.

 It is believed that bonsai cultivation has its roots in China and begun around 600 AD.

 Any tree that develops woody stems is a potential candidate for bonsai. Popular species include junipers, pines, maples, and tea plants.

Cover image: Wikimedia Commons