There’s a big difference between shopping for bonsai at Green Club and buying bonsai at Green Club. I’m happy shopping – the quality is often outstanding – but it doesn’t stop me from imagining I’m in the market for trees like this. Maybe I’m looking for a large pine with great bark – show ready right off the shelf.
Large pine bonsai
I imagine the tree isn’t cheap, and keep looking. Maybe a pine with an unusual characteristic – something that sets it apart from other pines in the room – catches my attention. I give it a closer look.
Pine with unusual first branch
But before I can fully appreciate the age of the tree or the fun I could have trying to bring balance to such an intriguing trunk line, a rugged white pine calls to me. Good age, but less refined – a great project tree.
95 man – almost 1 million yen, or roughly $12,000. Not bad. But what’s this? Nice silhouette and spectacular roots for a white pine – this tree could really keep my interest.
White pine – neat roots
Wiring might be a chore (see Peter Tea’s Simple does not mean easy). The foliage is on the yellow side, but what roots! Scanning the room I notice a wonderfully green white pine. It’s a very pretty tree.
Stately white pine
So many upright trees – a cascade might be nice. Here’s a nice one, and a reasonable size too.
Cascade white pine
What’s this – a bargain? It appears the twin trunk white pine is offered for a mere $1,500. Why not?
Twin trunk white pine
If only the pine below were offered at that price. Wow!
A pine above the other trees
I see a tree that has been carefully detailed. The wiring makes me look more closely to see if the tree’s owner is trying to distract me with detail work. I’ll have to look closely at this one.
White pine and plenty of wire
So many pines to choose from. Maybe tosho’s the thing. I have no experience with the variety and am curious if the needles hurt as much as folks say. This one sure looks nice.
Well-manicured needle juniper
I haven’t seen many needle junipers with more of a bunjin feeling – I could be the first on my block to own one.
Tall needle juniper
I feel like I’ve been neglecting the deciduous trees. I would really appreciate a nice Japanese maple. With great roots. And branches. And anything else I could think of. Time to brush up on my bargaining skills.
Multi-trunk Japanese maple
A smaller maple might be easier to carry to workshops – and such a shallow pot!
Japanese maple – nice pot
Of course, I’m a sucker for blossoms, and choujubai quince and ume have long been favorites of mine.
Choujubai quince and ume
I still remember the first choujubai bonsai I saw in Japan. I had glazed over the few photos I’d seen in books, but when I stood next to the small trees, glowing orange flowers and all, I instantly fell for them. They’ve been a favorite ever since.
Choujubai – roughly $5,000
Choujubai respond best to time – maybe there’s not as much I can do to work with tree along the way. A deciduous project could be fun, especially when the project is well under way.
A very good start
Shopping for trees like these isn’t much different from attending any great exhibit – the main difference is the visible price tag. What fun. This is the last of the photos Boon Manakitivipart took on his trip to Japan this past February. I’ve really enjoyed sharing them – I hope you did too!