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Walter Pall’s Embarrassment of Bonsai Riches


“What a monument of naturalistic bonsai art you have Walter - a charismatic ajan spruce —- like a walk in a microcosm of enchanted trees - a place to linger for a fraction of eternity” This quote is by Frank Krawiecki from the comments about this tree appears on fb. It’s an old (estimated over 300 years) Ezo spruce (Picea jezoensis) that was originally collected in Japan. The artificial rock is by Avicenna. 

Walter Pall’s bonsai collection is so rich, varied and astoundingly numerous, that we could feature one of his bonsai every day for a year and still have only scratched the surface. All this without sacrificing any quality. Not even one whit.

Almost all of Walter’s trees fall into what you might call Naturalistic bonsai. A term used for bonsai that look like they’ve been barely touched by human hands, even though this natural look requires a high degree of skill and human involvement with the entire process. Especially in the case of the top quality trees shown here. Or really, shown wherever you find Walter’s trees.

The other side, this time with a grey backdrop.

There can be no doubt that Walter likes spruce and ditto here, especially Walter’s spruce. In this case, it’s a Picea abies (Norway or European spruce). This photo appears in Bonsai Today issue 106 (Nov/Dec 2006). 

Speaking of Walter Pall and Bonsai Today magazine, here’s Walter’s naturalistic Scot’s pine on the cover of issue 104. Unfortunately, both 104 and 106 (see above) are sold out. But the good news is that we still have quite a few back issues in stock.

We’ve been featuring Walter’s bonsai for over ten years and I’m pretty sure this is the first tropical variety of his we’ve seen. One thing that stands out about this tree is how natural it looks. More like a tree than a bonsai, which is something Walter might say. This photo is from Walter’s fb timeline.

This Grape vine (Vitis vinifera) was originally collected in a vineyard in Croatia. It’s around 40 years old and stands 55 cm high (approx 22”).

A small piece of Walter’s garden taken this August.

A massive naturalistic Trident maple that was originally imported as raw material from Korea. The pot is by Tom Benda.

Natural and relaxed. This one has Walter’s naturalistic style written all over it. Here are some specs (from Walter’s website): Norway spruce. 75 cm high. Around 150 years old. Pot by Derek Aspinall. From a tree which was collected in Switzerland in 1998.

This European beech (Fagus sylvatica) was collected in Germany in 1995. It’s 50cm high ( about 20”) and its estimated age is around 70 The pot is by Lubos Skoda.

I’m not sure you’d see this tree in a top flight bonsai show. It’s too rough and the branches need some time to catch up to the trunk. Still, if you put aside preconceptions, Walter does it just right with this Japanese maple’s scarred old trunk and its contrasting smooth flowing movement. 

Just rediscovered this in Walter’s fb photos from last winter. Also discovered that I had left a comment at the time… “So natural… a gift!” There’s no information with the photo (if you wanted to work your way back through Walter’s timeline, you might find it). It looks like a single species Spruce forest with trees of varying ages, but that’s just a guess.

FInally, a great tree enhanced by a wonderful Lubos Skoda pot. It’s Mugo pine (the tree, not the pot) that Walter says is about 100 years old. It was collected in Austria in 1995. It’s 40 cm high (about 16”).

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