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Superior Bonsai Deserve a Superior Turntable

GTSat

Everything looks good on a Green T turntable and this luscious azalea in full flower is no exception (it will look even better on with the new green rims - see below). Here's part of the caption that the folks at Green T wrote with this photo... "@bonsaiwarsaw loves azaleas! This variety of bonsai require lots of special care and dedication and we are glad that such a young innovative bonsai artist is trusting Green T to do his best!" I cropped the original photo to feature just the tree. The uncropped version is below. 

Just in case you missed it, we’re going to feature our famous Green T  Turntables again (with some new photos for your pleasure). The time is always right for you to own and enjoy your own Green T Turntable (Basic or Plus models) while enhancing your bonsai enjoyment

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A few Good Reasons to join the hundreds of Bonsai Lovers
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and ownership of your own Green T 
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suthingreent

One of North America’s favorite  bonsai artists, Suthin enjoying his Green T

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BjornGTThat's Bjorn Bjornholm contemplating a tree that we featured just two day ago. Here's Green Ts caption... "@bjorn_bjorholm_bonsai is giving his touches to this beautiful scoth pine styled during a demo for @takibonsai! Another quality work done on a quality turntable! Coincidence? 

 

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The Magician with one of his famous rock plantings and another omnipresent Green T at this summer's World Bonsai Convention

 

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Here's the uncropped version of the photo from above. The artist is Marcin Gajewski

 

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One example of why the Green T Basic is the turntable for large bonsai

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The Tallest Trees in the World Brought Down to Bonsai Size

rmaincuCloseup of a California Coast redwood from Bonsai Mirai's collection. It's interesting that most Redwood bonsai tend to be so stocky, given that that they are the tallest trees in the world. You can see the photo of the whole tree below

Continuing from yesterday with Bonsai Mirai,the home of what must be the largest and most impressive collection of collected bonsai (yamadori) in the country. Today it’s California’s Coast redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens)

There are so many iconic North American trees. In fact, and at the risk of just a little chauvinism, our rich array of trees just might be the most impressive in the world
Continued below…

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red6

This one and the others shown here are all Coast redwoods

Continued from above
Especially the ones you find from the Rockies out to the Pacific ocean. You could start with the tallest trees in the world (Coast redwood – Sequoia sempervirens) and move to the largest trees in the world (Giant sequoias –  Sequoiadendron giganteum) and then, staying on the West coast, through several others that are among the tallest, largest and most magnificent anywhere.

Fortunately, many of these monsters lend themselves to bonsai. Not the least of which is today’s  Coast redwood.

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A quote from Bonsai Mirai’s website… “Bonsai Mirai creates trees that connect people to their culture, natural surroundings, and to the spirit of the individual. Led by bonsai professional Ryan Neil and his collaborators from around the world, Bonsai Mirai is pioneering the movement to create bonsai reflective of the vast array of American landscapes.

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This one is rangier. Perhaps a little more like what you might expect from the world's tallest tree

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The original photo of the tree at the top of the post

 

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Cross Country Bonsai Wagon

bmmain

One of several bonsai recently posted by Bonsai Mirai. No varieties were given for any of the trees shown here (on social media*), but we do know that they belong to Ryan Neil. If you'd like to know more about these trees and you have time, you can sort through the Mirai website. Even if you don't find all the ones shown here, you'll see many of the very best American yamadori (collected from the wild) trees. *Bonsai Mirai's fb timeline

Just in case you forgot, this post can serve as another reminder about the rapidly approaching 6th U.S. National Bonsai Exhibition. It’s the one bonsai event not to miss, and it only happens once every two years. Your destination is Rochester, NY, and your dates are September 8th and 9th. If you haven’t already made your plans, there’s no time like now.
Continued below…

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wagonThe cross country covered wagon full of bonsai is coming soon. Here's a quote from Bonsai Mirai...  "Need trees shipped for the National Show? In the first week of September, the wagon will ride from Portland, OR to Rochester, NY, stopping en route to drop off* goods. Our professionally driven transport system is the safest and most sure way of getting your trees, pots, stands, and soil from point A to B. Please inquire to reserve your spot."

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Just in case you want a closer look at the tree above (please pardon the fuzz, it's all my doing)

 

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Another Mirai mystery tree that was posted on fb

 

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And another

 

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One more.... a great funky old pot!

 

6th

See you there!

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we just added some more items
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All ProductsOur inventory is simply too long
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Bonsai at the Intersection of Environmental Art, Durational Art, Performance, Architecture, and Design

PACIFICBMCU

There's more than the tree to bonsai. This photo with the brilliantly conceived pot and stand - and the way they both emphasize and elevate (literally) the tree - perfectly illustrates this point. It's from a special event flyer posted by Pacific Bonsai Museum titled LAB, Living Art of Bonsai. The date is August 4th. The rest of the details are here

This event looks and sounds so compelling that if it weren’t for previous unbreakable commitments, I’d be making my reservations right now. But perhaps you can be lucky!

Here’s part of the copy from the Pacific Bonsai Museum about the upcoming LAB
In a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home on the outskirts of Seattle, Pacific Bonsai Museum presents the exclusive first performance of the LAB (Living Art of Bonsai): an experimental collaborative pushing the limits of bonsai design. Guests explore the intersection of environmental art, durational art, performance, architecture, and design, as they witness the creation of a living sculpture and watch as three renowned artists–Ryan Neil (bonsai artist), Ron Lang (ceramicist) and Austin Heitzman (furniture maker)–resequence traditional bonsai practices under the influence of a work of an iconic American architect….” The rest of the copy and essential event details (including the date, August 4th)  are here

PACIFICBMHere's the original photo from the Museum

This is not the first time the Pacific Bonsai Museum
has conceived and executed such ground breaking events…

10mhThis photo presents a piece of a Mountain hemlock planting by Michael Hagedorn's with a painting of Mt Rainer. It was part of the Pacific Bonsai Museum’s Strikingly Beautiful Mix of Bonsai & Paintings  that took place last year

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Bonsai Pioneer Mas Ishii & Michael Bonsai

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Here's Michael's (Michael Bonsai) caption for this tree... "I was “craving” to style my 80 year old Masaru-Ishii grafted juniper. I’ve never been really happy how it was prior styled. - This is the first time I really like the outcome, because I styled it myself and was motived after a long stretch of engineering and work and not being able to do “hands on” bonsai." I cropped Michael's photo (see below) for a closer look

I’ve long appreciated the quality of Michael Bonsai’s photos. And his trees. This one originated with Mr Masaru Ishii (now deceased), grafting master (especially on Shimpaku junipers) and one of the pioneers  of American bonsai. Mr Ishii’s son Gary, is now running Chikugo-en. the Ishii family bonsai nursery. A stop worth making if you’re in the L.A. area

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Michael's original photo. More room to breath

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Close up by Michael

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Another of Michael's closeups

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One more...

geek

Michael's facebook photo and a painting of Bodhidharma, 
a famous monk who lived in 5th or 6th century China

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NLY 14.95 EACH FOR 10 OR MORE ROLLS


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Heavenly Bonsai, an Old Larch, a Tree that Never Gave Up & a Terrific Subtext

nick

American Larch (Larix laricina - aka Tamarack) by Larch Master Nick Lenz (from our archives). This brings us to the 6th U.S. National Bonsai Exhibition (September, 8th and 9th in Rochester). We will bring some field grown larches of our own. Nothing like this masterpiece. Just some rough stock, mostly 15 to 25 year old that originally came from a friend's land. We have been digging some every year and growing them on here at my place, for the last 14 years or so. We've been pruning for taper, so we've got some pretty good trunks. We'll try to have some decent photos soon

Sometimes I think I’m getting dull (duller?) I’ve been doing this for almost ten years and I’ve barely changed the format. My comments haven’t evolved all that much either. I’ve become a little more selective in what I chose to post, so that’s something. And the images are larger too,  which also counts for something. But that’s about it. I’ve picked all the low hanging fruit, I’m not tall enough for any higher and I forgot where I put my ladder anyway

So, as I see it, it’s time to shake things up a bit and try something we haven’t done for a long time (if that doesn’t scare you, nothing will). A post without a single theme! (there is a subtext, but I haven’t figured out what it is)

Before we go on…

Due to the Trade War Tariffs
It’s time to raise Wire Prices

We’ve hung on as long as we can while taking it on the chin
So tomorrow we will raise Bonsai Aesthetics Kilos 1.00 each
and our 500gm rolls .50 each

We will continue our special 2.00 off
for 3 or more Kilos

and 2.00 off for 5 or more 500 gram rolls

now is your chance
to order at pre-tariff prices

 nandinaYou don't see that many Heavenly bamboo (Nandina domestica) bonsai (it's not a real bamboo). Though I understand why Miguel put his name on it, with so many people 'borrowing' photos and putting them up without attribution, still it is a little distracting
  raftNature's raft (. "It fell a long time ago, but it never gave up." (Keith Anderson's caption).  This can only happen if some of the roots are still in the ground after the tree falls. Then gradually, roots start growing from the fallen trunk and the branches become new trunks and you've got a raft (Ikadabuki) style bonsai... or in this case, a full size natural raft

valavanis_cotoneaster_horizontalis2

Here's a sinuous root raft bonsai where the original trunk is almost completely buried. It's a Rockspray Cotoneaster (Cotoneaster horizontalis) in splendid fall color, by Bill Valavanis of International Bonsai. Speaking of the 6th U.S. National Bonsai Exhibition (see above), Bill is the man

 

wild

This wild child belongs to Sandro Segneri. Sando has a very long caption (poorly translated from Italian by a machine) that starts... "A tree before entering the shop must have spent a reasonable period of time to stabilize the force, develop growth..." (here's your link to the rest)

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Backyard Bonsai 14 – “A Little Bit Above Average”

dolan4

Bird's eye view of Dan Dolan's backyard.
It's Monday Monday and I've been at work since 7:00am, mostly answering emails and putting out small fires. Given that time is of essence, we'll get out our tools and dig back into our archival mine. This one, Dan Dolan's backyard, originally appeared in September, 2015. It fits well with our recently resurrected backyard theme

Dan Dolan sent along some of his thoughts on bonsai and bonsai display… “Unlike many enthusiasts who heed the remonstrance of American bonsai masters to acquire only the best material upon which to work…… I take only the least promising and strive to make them a little bit above average.”
Continued below…

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Dolan
Dan, continued from above… “As a previous Board Member of the Midwest Bonsai Society at the Chicago Botanic Garden, I spoke often on the subject of bonsai display. My theme was to encourage our members to invest at least as much on the environment in which they grow, develop, refine and present their trees in training (99% of our trees are in training, as Walter Pall acknowledges) as they do on the material, containers, tools and supplies.”

 

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Japanese wisteria (Wisteria floribunda) showing off.

 

dolan6Dan's Bonsai Today library

Speaking of…

BTbanner3

What’s left of our back issues of Bonsai Today are now 5.00 each
We are down to ones and twos of some, so don’t wait around too long

OUR BEST EVER BONSAI WIRE SPECIAL

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we are going to continue our Kilo Special
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KILO ROLLS 16.95 EACH
ONLY 14.95 EACH FOR 3 OR MORE ROLLS


500 GRAM ROLLS 9.95 EACH
ONLY 7.95 EACH FOR 5 OR MORE ROLLS

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Bonsai Folk Art

frog

Bonsai folk art. There's so much that's unusual and delicious about this one, that I won't bother to say much, except that the tree looks like an Olive (talk about asleep at the wheel, and thanks to a couple astute readers, we're going have to revise this to Rosemary), I love it and  Juan Antonio's caption says... "Otro listo. Romero Palaui." I don't know who Romero Palaui is, but his name comes up on Pinterest a lot. The World Cup Finals start in about 80 minutes, so we'll save researching him for another time

Continuing with our newly discovered Juan Antonio Pérez (see yesterday)…

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frogpot

Closeup of the pot and deadwood.Frog too

 

tall comp

No caption with this one, so your guess is as good as mine

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Closeup. Interesting pattern

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Grape Bonsai, in a League of Its Own

grape

We don't see grape bonsai that often and of the ones we have seen, this one is in a league of its own. Even if it weren't a grape, the well-tapered trunk with its powerful base, beautifully carved deadwood, undulating live vein* and long cascading branch present an impressive picture. And then there are the grapes! The artist is Juan Antonio Pérez. He doesn't list the varietal

I’m always a little stoked when we discover a new bonsai artist (new to me and Bonsai Bark, that is). His name is Juan Antonio Pérez and he lives in  El Puerto de Santa María, Spain. The discovery started when I stumbled upon the grape (above) on Magdalena Chiavazza’s timeline. She’s a good resource (she attributes!) and to repeat myself, grape bonsai, let alone such a good one, are few and far between.

Just two trees today. Stay posted for some more by Juan Antonio Pérez tomorrow

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olive

Juan Antonio's caption... Seguimos con la faena. “Hermes”. (We're still on the job, "Hermes"**). When I first glimpsed this bonsai, I thought it was a Buttonwood (Conocarpus erectus). But then I noticed the leaves were too small and remembered that Juan Antonio Pérez lives in Spain, where there are no native Buttonwoods, but where Olives abound and such strong trunks are common. I'm not sure if I've ever seen a bonsai that includes so many new shoots growing from the roots and base of the trunk (they could be sacrifice branches, but then the nebari is already so thick, so why bother?)

*Could this be a Tanuki (Phoenix graft)?

**Hermes Greek messenger of the gods, god of trade, thieves, travelers, sports, athletes, border crossings, guide to the Underworld


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Revisiting the Great Bonsai Debate

dmain

A naturalistic Norway spruce (Picea abies) by Walter Pall (from Bonsai Today issue 106)

A blast from the past. This post originally appeared here in July, 2009, our 6th month Barking (this means we’ve been doing this for almost ten years). I don’t know if the topic is still relevant to any of you, but there was a time when it created a bit of a buzz and I think many of us can learn something by reading what Walter Pall has to say about the topic (below). As always with reruns, I’ve made a few changes. 

In the expanding galaxy of accomplished Western bonsai artists, Walter Pall’s bonsai skills and dedication to teaching and promoting the art of bonsai make him one of the brightest stars. Walter is also one of the most prominent proponents of what he and some others call Naturalistic Bonsai 

The quotes below by Walter are from an article entitled A Naturalistic Scot’s Pine that appeared in Bonsai Today issue 104. The other two photos in this post are NOT Walter’s trees, rather two examples of naturalistic bonsai by other artists

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b1northcarapellalarch1

This sinuous root American larch (Larix larcina) by Harvey Carapella, appears in North American Bonsai. It was published by the American Bonsai Society and was compiled and edited by Martin Schmalenberg (now out of print). At first glance you might think it has only four trunks (were it so, would it be a problem?), but if you look closely, you can see a small piece of the fifth trunk just to the left of the trunk on the right.

Quoting Walter Pall…
“A traditional bonsai is ideal; it is abstract. A naturalistic bonsai is realistic, but never totally realistic. There’s always a certain degree of abstraction. But never going as far as many modern bonsai, which are very groomed, very refined, and often look almost unreal. They certainly look like a human being, not nature, has made them. Naturalistic bonsai is the opposite of this development (which has gone a bit too far in many cases, in my opinion)”

Walter goes on to say… “A lot of people think they understand this, and let nature do the styling of their tree in a pot. They think that naturalistic styling is just letting a tree grow and styling here and there. This is wrong. It is called naturalistic because it NOT natural. The trick is NOT to leave the stock as is and let nature do the styling. ‘Naturalistic’ means that the end result, the finished tree in a pot, conveys the feeling of an impressive natural tree that has not been touched by man. It does not matter how this is achieved, but in most cases it is done very artificially – not by nature!

“Naturalistic bonsai has nothing to do with method, but only with result. Clip-and-grow without using wire is an old method for creating bonsai. Many think this is naturalistic bonsai styling. It is not, but it could be. A hedge is created by clip-and-grow method; and it can hardly be called naturalistic…

“Naturalistic is not an excuse for lazy people. It is not about untidy looking trees. It is not a shortcut. I think it is even more labor intensive than traditional styling…”

b1lenzp75jun

Ground juniper (Juniperus horizontalis) by Nick Lenz, from Bonsai from the Wild 2nd ed. (Stone Lantern Publishing - now out of print).

OUR BEST EVER BONSAI WIRE SPECIAL

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ONLY 14.95 EACH FOR 3 OR MORE ROLLS


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NEW SPECIAL
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