I’ve always enjoyed visiting bonsai exhibits as they’re both fun and educational. I study the trees I like to see what makes them work. Later, when I’m back in the garden, I try to make use of what I’ve learned.
Here are some of the characteristics I liked about a selection of trees on display at last weekend’s Bay Area Suiseki and Shohin Show in Oakland, California.
What I liked about a willow leaf ficus:
- Great roots
- Great trunk
- Full, healthy canopy
Willow leaf ficus
What I liked about a very small coast live oak:
- Great density for a very small tree
- Healthy foliage
- Lots of slender branches
Coast live oak
What I liked about a shohin black pine:
- Unbelievably healthy for such a small pot!
- Huge trunk for such a small pot!
- Good color and even density
What I liked about a trident maple:
- It looks like a larger tree
- No major scars on the trunk
- Good surface roots
What I liked about a shohin shimpaku:
- It’s one of very few small trees I know of that successfully evokes a larger juniper growing in the mountains
- Deadwood is in scale with the tree
- Fantastic movement in the trunk
What I liked about a princess persimmon:
- The ripening fruit indicates the season
- The style is a good match for the shape of the trunk
- The blue pot is a great match for the tree
What I liked about a small hinoki:
- The miniature foliage is a great fit for a small tree
- The canopy is full and dense
- Despite the tree’s small size, there are lots of branches
What I liked about a black pine:
- The shape of the silhouette is a great match for the trunk
- The needle size (last year’s needles) is good for the tree
- The tree is impressively healthy for a mature shohin in a small pot!
Up next: photos of shohin displays.
Dates Set for Upcoming Bonsai Development Intensives
After hosting a session focused on deciduous bonsai and pine technique last month, I’ve added dates for future Development Intensives:
- Summer: August 9-11
- Fall: November 1-3
- Fall: November 15-17
For more information and the complete schedule through 2020, click here.
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