question for Bonsai growers

what happens to bonsai trees if they are allowed to “go wild” again?
I mean, say theres a bonsai thats over a 100 yrs old, and someone just sticks it in the ground and leaves it alone.
Would it return to its natural growing form, size, etc? Or would it be permanently stunted?

IANABG (bonsai grower) so this is speculative but I would think it would eventually continue a normal growth pattern. The stunting is a result of trimming the roots and the branches and if that trimming stopped I would guess that nothing would get in its way of growing normally. If the stunting had been induced by chemical or genetic means then the story might be different.

IAABG. Most of my plants are specifically dwarf varieties of normal plants, and so, while I would expect them to get bigger, they shouldn’t get that big. A 100-year-old bonsai tree is pretty substantial (as far as bonsais go) already, so I’m not sure how much bigger they would get.

Many years (centuries or more, probably) have gone into genetically selecting for small plants. A dwarf cypruss, or whatever, is not going to turn into a full-blown tree if left alone. The difference is genetic.