They are. Bonsai uses entirely normal, existing, recognisable tree species. The top tree is a White Pine, the bottom one a Hawthorne. ‘But we have Hawthorne in Britain!’ Precisely. The Hawthorne in fact is born and bred right here in Wales, though so was the pine!
Bonsai can be made from any tree species. Some are easier to work with than others, but with skill and patience any woody plant can be ‘bonsai-ed’. The English Oak is instantly recognisable across the UK, though this delicate Oak Bonsai is in a more literati style. The taper, graceful off-centre curve and sparse though deliberate branch structure are more evocative of representations of trees in Japanese art, rather than it is of ‘real’ nature.