Bay Island Bonsai held their 12th annual exhibit last weekend at the Alameda County Fairgrounds. The show was a big success, drawing several hundred bonsai enthusiasts from around the country.
Each year a handful of trees receive Members’ Choice Awards. Here are the 2011 winners.
Ogata (large) conifer bonsai – Western juniper
Ogata deciduous or broadleaf bonsai – Ficus benjimina
Chuhin (medium) conifer bonsai – Japanese black pine
Chuhin deciduous or broadleaf bonsai – Corkbark elm
Kifu (medium-small) conifer bonsai – Japanese white pine ‘Myojo’
Kifu deciduous or broadleaf bonsai – Olive
Shohin (small) conifer bonsai – Japanese black pine
Shohin deciduous or broadleaf bonsai – Flowering quince ‘Chojubai’
Bay Island Bonsai members have been judging their exhibit trees from the first exhibit to the present. While the details may change a bit from year to year, the basics remain the same:
- Members vote for their top choice in each category
- Winning trees are not eligible to win again for five years
As our teacher, Boon doesn’t get a vote, and his trees are not eligible for voting. To help the rest of us identify winners, Boon runs practice judging exercises throughout the year. We use a simple judging form for these exercises with the following categories:
- Trunk (10 pionts)
- Roots (5 points)
- Branches (5 points)
- Pot (5 points)
- Overall aesthetic (5 points)
By evaluating trees on the above criteria, we can refine our skill at recognizing excellence in each category. I’ve always enjoyed the exercise, and I found it useful this year as there was strong competition in several categories.
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William N. Valavanis says
Great photos of great trees! Thanks for sharing.
Which bonsai did Kondo select for his special award?
Wish I could attend this premier event!
Thanks Bill – I’ll post pics of the Kondo award winner Tuesday.
Paul Stokes says
I love that BIB gets their members involved in the judging of the trees on display. It would be interesting to me to see the differences between the actual judges and members scores and winners.
Hi Paul – That would be interesting. As all BIB members judge the show by selecting their top choice in each category, we end up with a simple tally rather than points. Some categories were very competitive, others had clear winners. When we practice judging in meetings we review our scores publicly. And while there is some variation, the majority of scores falls in a fairly narrow band.
Wow. Great Pictures!
Who ever wins, there all master pieces to my opinion…
Thanks for sharing
All the best to you Jonas
Janet Roth says
Paul, the members ARE the actual judges. We used to each review the entire show, assigning points on each aspect and adding them up to get a score for each tree (just like in class).
We figured out from that mainly that there weren’t enough hours in the day! We finish setup close to 9 pm on Friday as it is. Trying to do that kind of judging and still get out of the room and lock it up was impossible. So now Boon preselects 3-4 trees in each category that he thinks are the best of the group and we choose from within those.
Most of us are using the scoring methods in our heads as part of our side-by-side evaluations of the trees.