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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