Bay Island Bonsai members were happy to entertain a visiting bonsai professional from Japan at their recent exhibit. Akio Kondo was in Northern California to visit the exhibit, to work on client trees, and to teach. While at the exhibit, Kondo selected a tree for a new award, the Akio Kondo Bonsai Award. The winning tree was a Korean hornbeam.
Korean hornbeam, Carpinus turczaninovii, 16″ – Raho pot
I was very happy – and surprised! – to learn that my hornbeam had won the award.
Kondo presenting the award
On January 15, 2011, at the annual bonsai exhibit of Bay Island Bonsai, this award was given to the owner of the bonsai deemed most worthy of the award in this year’s exhibit according to Akio Kondo.
The award included a Japanese bonsai pot and an autographed copy of the 2010 Sakufu-ten show book – an event at which Kondo took the second most prestigious prize for exhibiting a beautiful hinoki he has worked on since 2005.
I have worked on this hornbeam since 2002. The trunk was in good shape when I acquired the tree but the branches lacked character so most were removed or pruned severely, as was the previous apex. Nine years later, the tree is starting to develop a more mature silhouette. Here is the tree as it was displayed at the exhibit.
As displayed with small shimpaku and accent
I am very honored to accept this award and I hope I can continue to improve the tree as it ages.