Bonsai Tonight

Displays at REBS’ 31st annual show

Posted in Exhibits by Jonas Dupuich on August 29, 2014

For the past couple years, Redwood Empire Bonsai Society has done a great job showing off their large trees. Often difficult to display on standard sized tables, the large trees at REBS’ recent show were set on extra-deep tables.

European beech

European beech

The extra space these tables offered provided breathing room between displays and helped visitors appreciate each on their own merit.

Shimpaku

Cascade shimpaku – winner, National Bonsai Award at the 1st US National Bonsai Exhibit
(The 4th National Bonsai Exhibition is happening in two weeks – hope to see you there!)

White pine

White pine

I appreciated seeing large trees like the semi-cascade Sierra juniper below displayed high up as it provided good views from above, from below and from at least two sides.

Sierra juniper

Sierra juniper

Deadwood detail

Deadwood detail

Japanese maple

Japanese maple

The occasional suiseki provided a break between the trees – a nice touch.

Suiseki

Suiseki

A large ginkgo survives with just the outermost part of but half its trunk.

Ginkgo

Ginkgo

Trident maple and Sierra juniper (in training 4 years)

Trident maple and Sierra juniper (in training 4 years)

Suiseki

Suiseki

Crabapple

Crabapple

Screens added variety to selected displays.

Winterberry

Winterberry

Black pine - 30 years

Japanese black pine

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Redwood Empire 31st Annual Show

Posted in Exhibits by Jonas Dupuich on August 26, 2014

Last weekend the Redwood Empire Bonsai Society held their 31st Annual show in Santa Rosa, California. Following recent tradition, it was their best show to date. What stood out to me? Many things! Above all else, I’m impressed by how much effort has gone into creating the trees on display. The cork oak below is a good example – it was developed from acorn for 46 years!

Cork bark oak - 46 years from acorn

Corkbark oak

The trunk has good taper and movement, the silhouette is full, and no significant scars distract the from the overall effect – it’s a well-developed bonsai.

Other trees developed over much longer periods of time in nature but have developed quickly as bonsai. The Sierra juniper grafted with shimpaku foliage below is a good example. While the branches are relatively young compared with the trunk, the foliage creates an interesting effect and the tree is full and healthy. As time goes by these branches will develop more and more character and make a great compliment to the natural deadwood.

Shimpaku grafted on Sierra juniper - 500 years

Sierra juniper grafted with shimpaku foliage

Deadwood detail

Deadwood detail

It’s this kind of effort that increases the total number of trees in the community and keeps exhibits interesting – for this, thanks REBS!

The show also featured a number of the club’s namesake coast redwoods. While redwood bonsai doesn’t always – or often – represent miniature versions of large trees, the variety is good at exhibiting characteristics like interesting deadwood that we often prize in bonsai.

Redwood

Coast redwood – great deadwood

The show also featured a number of trees that made me think about balance. The prostrata juniper below was one of my favorites because the trunk and foliage design make for a dynamic composition.

Prostrata juniper - 72 years

Prostrata juniper – 72 years

Likewise the shimpaku below. The tree points unambiguously left but provides both interest and movement.

Shimpaku - 18 years in training

Shimpaku – 18 years in training

The cedar below points in the opposite direction. It’s age is starting to show in a good way in that fissures are opening up along the trunk and main branches.

Atlas cedar

Cedar

As another reminder of the locale, the REBS show featured a large Zinfandel vine over 100 years old. The trunk evokes great age and the fruit indicate the season. And somehow the foliage looks fresh and new – quite a feat for late August.

Zinfandel - over 100 years

100+ year-old Zinfandel

Among the more playful trees in the exhibit is the shimpaku below. I couldn’t find a straight branch on the tree. It’s also a great example of the basic design principal of course to fine. From the base of the trunk to the ends of the branches the wood gets thinner and thinner with good movement along the way. And as the foliage is still relatively young, these branches too will become more compelling with time.

Shimpaku

Shimpaku

It was easy to appreciate the large deciduous specimens – a good counter-balance to the many conifers in the exhibit.

Trident maple

Trident maple – 50+ years

And these were just a few of my favorite trees from the exhibit – more from the show coming soon!

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Deciduous and broadleaf bonsai at REBS’ 30th annual show

Posted in Exhibits by Jonas Dupuich on September 6, 2013

I’m always happy to see flowering and fruiting bonsai at exhibits. Maybe I appreciate the contrast – or maybe I’d simply like to see more of these trees in my collection. Either way, flowering and fruiting bonsai sprinkle a show with color and provide good variety.

Pyracantha - 30 years

Pyracantha – 30 years

Ilex serrata

Ilex serrata

Japanese snowbell - 10 years

Japanese showbell – 10 years

Although not in bloom, two great satsuki azalea made an appearance.

Satsuki azalea, korin - 30 years

Satsuki azalea, korin – 30 years

Satsuki azalea, kozan - 35 years

Satsuki azalea, kozan – 35 years

Variegated varieties can also provide contrast to the usual green at exhibits, like the trident maple below.

Trident maple - 42 years

Trident maple – 42 years

Accent

Accent

Corkbark elm

Corkbark elm

Alder - 104 years

Alder – 104 years

Ginkgo

Ginkgo

Wisteria - 20 years

Wisteria – 20 years

Chinese quince - 42 years

Chinese quince – 42 years

Accent

Accent

I really appreciate the signs indicating time in training as this can be fairly unguessable to untrained eyes.

Escallonia - in training since 2012

Escallonia – in training since 2012

Corkbark elm - in training since 1996

Corkbark elm – in training since 1996

Korean hornbeam

Korean hornbeam

Deciduous tree

Shohin

Zelkova

Shohin zelkova

Olive

Olive

Chinese elm - 13 years

Chinese elm – 13 years

Accent

Accent

Deciduous tree

Deciduous variety

Trident maple - 35 years

Trident maple

Pomegranate - 42 years

Pomegranate

Accent

Accent

Trident maple

Trident maple

Pomegranate - 79 years

Pomegranate

Vine

Vine

Accent - lewisia

Lewisia

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Conifers at REBS 30th annual show

Posted in Exhibits by Jonas Dupuich on September 3, 2013

For those of you haven’t had the opportunity to visit the Redwood Empire Bonsai Society’s annual show – as you walk in the front door, you’re greeted by redwood bonsai on the left and on the right.

Redwood

Coast redwood

Redwood

More redwood bonsai

Redwood

Large and small redwood bonsai

It’s fitting for the club to lead with their namesake variety. Inside the main doors lie even more redwood bonsai nestled among a great mix of varieties.

Coast redwood - 36 years

Coast  redwood

Shimpaku - trained since 1996

Shimpaku – trained since 1996

I’ve included variety names and age or years in training as indicated on the displays and have guessed at the rest.

Juniper

Juniper

California juinper

California juniper

Black pine

Black pine

California juniper - collected 2004, styled 2012

California juniper – collected 2004, styled 2012

The prostrata below was one of my favorites at the show. Good deadwood and strong movement in a compact tree is hard to find.

Prostrata juniper - 70 years

Prostrata juniper – 70 years

Corkbark black pine

Corkbark black pine

Japanese white pine

White pine

Western juniper

Western juniper

Sierra juniper

Sierra juniper

Procumbens juniper

Procumbens juniper

Mendocino pygmy cypress - 23 years

Mendocino pygmy cypress – 23 years

White pine - 30 years

White pine – 30 years

Juniper

Juniper

Spruce

Spruce

The shimpaku below is well known to REBS visitors. I’ve included a few shots from different angles to offer a better idea of what the tree is like in person. One of these views revealed a surprise.

Juniper

Shimpaku – front

Juniper deadwood

Deadwood from the front

Juniper

From the back corner

And this was the surprise.

Juniper

View from other back corner

If you look at the base of the trunk, the tree appears to be floating, or held aloft by narrow runners. Such a delicate view of the trunk would not make a good front for the tree – it was a smart decision to select a side that hides the gap.

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