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
Japanese showbell – 10 years
Although not in bloom, two great satsuki azalea made an appearance.
Satsuki azalea, korin – 30 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
Alder – 104 years
Wisteria – 20 years
Chinese quince – 42 years
I really appreciate the signs indicating time in training as this can be fairly unguessable to untrained eyes.
Escallonia – in training since 2012
Corkbark elm – in training since 1996
Chinese elm – 13 years
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.
More redwood bonsai
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.
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.
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
Corkbark black pine
Mendocino pygmy cypress – 23 years
White pine – 30 years
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.
Shimpaku – front
Deadwood from the front
From the back corner
And this was the surprise.
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.
I’ve often heard, and likely repeated, that the most important part of a bonsai is the trunk. An impressive trunk shows character and age. It establishes movement and sets the foundation for whatever style the rest of the tree follows. I would be hard pressed to identify good bonsai with mediocre trunks.
I found myself appreciating the trunks of a number of trees on display at last weekend’s Redwood Empire Bonsai Society’s 30th annual show. REBS is well known for hosting the largest exhibit in Northern California, if not in the entire western US (anyone know of a bigger exhibit?). Such size allows REBS to display trees of many different sizes and varieties.
As you browse the photos of trunks below, see if you can guess the variety, the size, and the style of the bonsai to which they belong. Some varieties are easy to guess, others less so. The size and style of the tree can be trickier. Can you guess them all? Any surprises? Click on the images to see the rest of the tree.
I was very impressed by the broadleaf and deciduous bonsai on display at REBS’ recent show. These often difficult to develop and maintain bonsai are in great shape – strong evidence of good bonsai care.
The trees are also evidence that broadleaf bonsai can be powerful.
Bougainvillea – about 45 years old
Korean hornbeam – about 73 years old
As it’s getting late in the season, most, but not all, of the deciduous trees were in leaf. A pair of tridents offered a view of each approach.
Trident maple – about 82 years old
Trident maple – about 35 years old
Other tridents were quite a bit larger.
Trident maple – about 80 years old
Trident maple – in training since 1980
A pair of live oaks showed two approaches to styling oak.
Cork oak – about 30 years old
The oak below was one of my favorite bonsai in the show. The trunk has a good root base, good movement, good taper, and good age.
Cork oak – in training since 1966
As always, the show included a good mix of varieties – some common, like satsuki, others less so, like dogwood and pepper. Variety can add a lot to an exhibit, and it can make larger exhibits like this one feel less overwhelming.
Satsuki azalea – about 37 years old
Dogwood ‘Cornelian Cherry’ – in training since 1990
Twisted Pomegranate – in training since 2008
Ume – trunk and moss
Cork bark elm – about 30 years old
Pryacantha – in training since 1991
Of course, I’m always a sucker for fruiting and flowering bonsai – thanks, REBS, for including these!
Crabapple – in training since 1998
Tamarix – in training since 2012