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
Bonsai exhibits are a great opportunity to see different styles and varieties at their best. As such, my visits to exhibits tend to trigger a lot of questions. Finding answers isn’t always easy. Some questions are simple matters of horticulture that I have yet to learn. Others are matters of opinion – food for thought. Here’s a sampling of the questions that popped into mind as I visited REBS’ recent show.
Where can I get a tree like this? (I actually know the answer to this one – from Jim Gremel)
Blue atlas cedar
How long does it take to develop cedar branches from scratch?
Blue atlas cedar – about 25 years old
How could rearranging foliage near the apex downplay the section of the trunk that moves to the left?
Blue atlas cedar – about 44 years old
Do pygmy cypress require a lot of maintenance?
Mendocino cypress – in training since 1993
What is the ideal pot for this cypress?
Mendocino cypress – in training since 1992
What will it take for us to develop more nice white pine bonsai in California?
Japanese white pine
How can rearranging the foliage downplay the section of the trunk that points to the right?
Japanese black pine – about 60 years old
How far should the first branch reach to the left?
Cork bark Japanese black pine – in training since 2000
What is the ideal front for this juniper
Procumbens juniper – in training since 2010
Procumbens juniper, side view – alternative front
How long does deadwood last on Coast redwood?
Coast redwood – in training about 31 years
What is the ideal pot shape for a tall redwood?
Coast redwood – about 50 years old
Is reverse taper a problem when the deadwood is great?
How long before this demo tree appears in an exhibit?
Coast redwood – demo tree
The recent Redwood Empire Bonsai Society’s Annual Show boasted a healthy complement of multi-trunk and grove bonsai. Special considerations come into play when multiple trunks are present – should the trunks point the same way, should some be bigger than others, and how can balance be maintained between trunks? The more trunks that are present, the more complex the questions. Of groves we might ask, how great can the difference be between trunks, how important is the styling of individual trees, and where does the largest tree belong? When done well, bonsai with more than one trunk are a treat to behold. Here are some of the standouts from REBS’ 29th Annual Show.
Bartlett Pear – in training since 1983
Olive ‘Skylark’ – in training since 1995
Crape Myrtle – about 92 years old
San Jose juniper – in training since 2000; custom stand by David Knittle
Cork Elm – in training since 2005
Yaupon holly – about 52 years old
Japanese maple grove – about 40 years in training
Japanese maple grove
I’m happy to share with you today some of the junipers on display at the Redwood Empire Bonsai Society’s 29th annual show in Santa Rosa, CA this past weekend.
The Sierra juniper below belongs to Deadwood Bonsai’s Ned Lycett. Lycett is an active collector, responsible for some of the really good junipers in the area. This Sierra is a beauty.
Sierra juniper – in training since 2005
Trunk – deadwood detail
Collected Sierras tend to have significant trunks. The Sierras at this show were no exception.
Sierra juniper in training since 1995 – great balance
Sierra juniper – informal upright
Sierra juniper – in training since 1995
California junipers were also well represented at the exhibit. The tree below is very characteristic of the California growth habit with its strong twist and deadwood “fin” leading to a full array of smaller branches.
Somewhat less common are Californias with a lighter feeling like the specimen below.
California juniper display
Rarer still are small, powerful California junipers.
Mighty California juniper – in training since 1985
Many, but not all, of the shimpaku in local shows are grafted specimens. As such, they can take a variety of forms.
Old shimpaku – in training for 40 years
Large cascade shimpaku
Shimpaku – in training since 1989
Shimpaku grafted on prostrata juniper – in training since 1994
The exhibit also included several procumbens junipers, including the older specimens pictured below.
More trees from REBS’ show coming soon!