I remember one of the first times I flipped through Kindai Bonsai, the Japanese bonsai magazine. Not being able to read a word of Japanese, I studied the photos. What struck me was how similar the black pines looked. I’d grown up with an appreciation of pines and could see that they were different, but not different in ways I found meaningful.
Years later, I found it easier to recognize and appreciate the subtle, and not so subtle, differences between them.
Black pines displayed at the 2011 Gomangoku exhibit in Okazaki, Japan
This memory came back to me when I browsed through photos of the 2015 ABFF event in Ho Chi Minh City. I found that many of the wrightia looked similar and that the differences between them were not meaningful to me the way differences between pines now are. I’m curious if with greater familiarity I’ll achieve greater understanding and appreciation of the trees. Only time will tell.
More flair at base
Less flair at base
Discrete foliage blocks
Less discrete blocks of foliage
Trunk splits in three
Even foliage density
Dense foliage blocks
Tight curving trunk
Loose curving trunk
Key branch points left
Very subtle right-to-left movement
Wrightia photos courtesy Trung Hồ Hương – thanks again Trung!
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All of these are truly beautiful, thank you for sharing..
Take care and happy blogging to ya, from Laura~
Andreas Deutscher says
I think this is great trees, but too uniform for me, it is similar to National Taiwan bonsai exhibition. Great, perfectly shaped trees, but major mart of trees looks very similarly the other ones. One and all. I can´t say I don´t like them, but looks little bit boring for me at all. But I recognize these are wonderful trees.
John Romano says
Interesting subtle differences you point out Jonas. I appreciated your views and interpretations. It is the subtle things that gives us new emotional reactions to bonsai.
Patricia Tatich says
These trees, together with your comments, provide insightful study elements. Noticed that the bottom branches varied to the degree that they either lined-up with the pots’ edge or extended over it on one side or both. The pot styles while different, had a realtively similar profile, considering the style of the trees. Just thoughts…thank you for the photo comparisons.
William N. Valavanis says
Great analysis! Also, take a look at the apex in relationship to the bottom of the trunk. Most are directly above suggesting stability, but the apex of first tree is different and shows more movement than the others.
Wah Hung Wong says
IMHO, we tend to adopt silhouettes of temperate plants with the tropicals which is a major flaw. Most plants are almost identical; seen one seen all.