This article has some fantastic photos of potential pine bonsai growing in the ground in the Kinashi Bonsai District in Japan.
I think every bonsai grower should have a pine. They seem to be the pinnacle of the art and at the heart of the bonsai’s history. I had hesitated for a long time on getting a pine, because their care is much different than a decidous tree. After my recent trip to Bonsai Northshore though, a group of newly grafted japanese black pines caught my eye and I had to have one. The variety is Koto Buki (Pinus thungbergii ‘Koto Buki’), one of the very few true dwarf varieties of Japanese Black Pine, so the maintenance schedule should be much easier than keeping a standard JBP in bonsai shape. It is very young, but I think I will enjoy the final product a lot.