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Floating Mountains with Trees

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Floating mountains with trees. I originally thought the trees with their tiny leaves might be boxwoods, but upon closer inspection, I think they are probably Serissas. This photo is a closeup from the photo just below.

This unusual and creative arrangement was posted by Aus Bonsai on facebook. It would be nice to know who the artist is, but Aus makes no mention of the artist or even provide a link to their source. If this were the first time, we wouldn’t mention it, but Aus Bonsai often fails in this regard (it’s one thing to not be able to hunt down the artist, but a whole other thing to not even provide a link to their source)*

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I like the way each planting looks like it could stand alone, and the way they all work together (even given the one with the mismatched rock).

 

A closer (fuzzier too) look to try to determine what the tree is. Is that a flower and some buds? Could it be a Serissa?

*This does beg the question of why we would bother to pass this along without attribution or even a link to original source. This is an ongoing issue when you try to post everyday and you find distinctive bonsai (like this one) worthy of sharing. Beyond that, I feel strongly about the importance of attribution, or at least links, and use Bark as an opportunity to bring the issue up from time to time. 

By the way, I did a google image search, but came up with Aus Bonsai and Bonsai Bark. Not much help

 



More Great Boxwood Bonsai

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Aside from being a phenomenal tree and a great pot, there's a relaxed in-synch feeling, like the pot and tree are old friends. This might have something to do with the color, texture, soft lines and aged look of each. The color and feel of the stand fits right in too, while contrast is provided by its sharp rectangular lines. All together an excellent bonsai. The artist is François Gau (pot by Greg Ceramics). All three photos in this post are from Parlons Bonsai (I took the liberty to crop all three to bring the trees closer).

We featured Kingsville boxwoods a couple time this week, so continuing the theme (except for the Kingsville part). This post is from one we did on the 2013 European Bonsai San show.  We’ve done some editing and have added a paragraph about wintering boxwoods.
Continued below…

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box4This wild old tree is little more rough and rugged than the one above. That ruggedness and the long stretch of trunk without foliage, leans a little toward literati, though the lush foliage and deep pot betray that definition. If this were your tree, would you remove the strange branch on the left? Or maybe eliminate the inward growing foliage and create a jin? The artist is Raymond Claerr (pot by Isabelia).

The three trees shown here all have at least three things in common: They are all Boxwood bonsai (Buxus sempervirens). They all appeared in a 2013 bonsai show in Saulieu France (European Bonsai San Show). And, they all have powerful trunks.
Continued below…

 

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When I first saw this tree, my eye went straight to the large hole at the base of the trunk and the jagged wood that frames it. It took a few moments and a more relaxed gaze to take in and appreciate the power of the whole tree. The artist is once again François Gau. The pot is Chinese and looks a lot like it might be Yixing.

I’ve had luck wintering boxwood indoors. I think it works best if you leave them out on a covered porch in the fall until night temperatures are well below freezing so they can experience at least a short period of dormancy (how cold depends on which type boxwood), and then bring them into a coolish place with plenty of light for the winter (old farmhouses often have rooms that aren’t heated and with adequate light… modern houses that are heated to 75F aren’t so good). If you live in a climate that has real winters but doesn’t get too cold, you can leave most boxwoods on a covered porch or in an out building all winter. If you live in a place with very mild winters, you can leave them out in the open

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Celebrating Bonsai & the Arrival of Our Bright Sun

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This brilliant Deshojo Japanese maple (Acer palmatum  var. Deshojo) and the equally brilliant rising sun scroll belong to Bill Valavanis.

All the photos shown here were borrowed from Bill Valavanis’ timeline. Here’s Bill’s caption… “Alcove display for tonight’s Introductory to Classical Bonsai Course. Deshojo Japanese maple displayed with a ripe strawberry accessory. Although the rising sun theme hanging scroll is generally only used once a year in Japan on New Year’s Day, it was used tonight to celebrate the bright sun and 85F weather we enjoyed during the day.”

By the way, Bill Valavanis is, in addition to being a highly respected bonsai artist and teacher, the founder and primary force behind the U.S. National Bonsai Exhibitions
Continued below…

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BCU

Great close up

It’s time to remind you about the 6th U.S. National Bonsai Exhibition. It’s the premier North American celebration of bonsai. The one event you don’t want to miss and it’s only four months away (Sept 8th and 9th). We look forward to seeing you there!

 

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Bill's display alcove (Tokonama in Japanese)

 

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Strawberries anyone? This sumptuous companion is a perfect fit with the rest of the display

 

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The three main elements

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Sweet Trees, but They Grow Microscopically…

boonkingYou can tell this is a genuine Dwarf Kingsville boxwood by the tight tiny leaves. This planting by Boon Manakitivipart was the winner of the Certre Award at the 2010 U.S. National Bonsai Exhibition.

Continuing with Kingsville boxwoods and with Boon (see above), we’ve got three more Dwarf Kingsvilles today. Sweet trees, but they grow microscopically, so don’t expect fat trunks any time soon.

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rodmainThis has to one of the most perfectly conceived and executed Kingsville boxwoods you'll see anywhere. It belongs to Rodney Clemons, who wrote the following... “I am feeling honored I received word this week that two of my trees have been accepted for the 2018 US National Exhibition. I think they just really love to travel. Photo by Joe Noga, Container by an unknown Chinese artist, Stand by Charlie Clemons.”

 

1071A great pot and the finishing touches that the moss and soil present, don’t hurt this sweet little bonsai at all. This photo originally appeared on the cover of Bonsai Today issue 107. The tree belongs to Michael Persiano (co-editor of our Masters’ Series Pine book). You can see and read about its earlier stages of development in Bonsai Today issue 97.

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Seven Pots for One Tree – What’s Your Choice?

BOON WHICH POT

Seven choices for Boon's Kingsville boxwood. One stands out as by far the best choice for me, but I'm pretty sure we won't all agree. Which pot would you choose?

Boon Manakitivipart is at it again. Boon regularly posts his which pot? questions and we regularly borrow them. Judging by the response, it’s one of our most popular type posts, so as long as Boon is willing, we’ll keep putting them up. If you would like to share your choice, you can go to our facebook comments or you can go directly to the source (that would be Boon). Or you can do both.

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Pot #1

 

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Growing Pine Bonsai – Bonsai Books 50% & 30% off

001pineOne of the most famous Japanese white pine (Pinus parviflora) bonsai in the world. After restyling by Masahiko Kimura (aka the Magician). This photo is from the White pine gallery in our Masters’ Series Pine Book.

Continuing with our growing Pine bonsai theme… If you would like to grow pine bonsai, a good place to start (and continue) is with our Masters Series Pine book. Especially now with 50% off our Stone Lantern Publishing books.

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01pine

Pine Book Table of Contents
Introduction to Japanese White Pines
Kimura Transforms a semi-cascade using energy balancing & more
Cultivation Balance – Energy balancing and needle reduction
Goyomatsu – Balancing and redesigning
Kimura Plant Positioning – Nine possibilities, an in depth study
The Primary Branch – Selecting the best one
Multiple Trunk Bonsai – Three bonsai, three perspectives
Rock Planting – From to zuisho
Jewell to Whirlpool – Transforming famous old bonsai shari
Gallery of Japanese White Pine
TOC continued below…

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0001Illustration

Table of Contents continued
Introduction to Japanese Black Pines
Development of Short Needles – Balancing growth & needle size
Creating a Cascade – Styling, balancing & needles
Choosing a Pot – Accentuating a tree’s best features
Transplanting and Nebari Development
Pine from Seed
Restyling an Old Tree – Challenges & rewards
Gallery of Japanese Black Pines
Glossary of Bonsai Terms
Glossary of Japanese Bonsai Terms

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Plucking & Pinching Some Extraordinary Pines

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Not only is this an extraordinary cascading bonsai, but there's a story being told by the way the candles are strongest on the bottom third of the tree. Normally on apically dominant trees (like pines), you would expect the most vigorous candles at and near the top of the tree. My guess is that some of the upper candles have been pinched (shortened) and/or some have been plucked (removed) in order to control growth.

Disclaimer: I am not an expert on controlling and balancing energy on pines. I’ve done my best here based on what I’ve picked up over the years, but fear that I am oversimplifying what can be a complex process, with differences based on the type pine.  For a more thorough look at candle plucking and pinching and energy balancing in general (and much more, you might want to take a look at our Masters Series Pine Book.

All the pines shown here were posted by Luis Vallejo. I imagine that all reside at Luis’ Museo de Bonsai in Alcobendas, Spain. Because we’re focusing on the candles and how they are managed in order to control and balance energy, I don’t say much about just how powerful and beautiful these trees are. But then you’ve got eyes, so we’re not too concerned. No varieties are given by Luis.

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In this photo, the strongest candles are at the top of the tree. This is what you might expect if the candles haven't been plucked and/or pinched (yet). Conversely, but much less likely, the candles on the lower reaches have been plucked and/or pinched and those on the upper reaches have been allowed to grown unrestrained in order to strengthen the apex. The reason this is much less likely is that the upper reaches are almost almost always the strongest and the lower reaches almost always need strengthening or they will eventually weaken and even die. Just like you see on old trees in nature with dead lower branches and their strongest growth near the top.

 

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Later, after the candles have opened

 

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It looks like most of the candles on this one have been pinched and/or plucked in order to maintain an already well-balanced tree.

 

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It looks like Luis (or whoever is working this tree) wants to strengthen the lower right section

 

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Another one after the candles have opened.

 

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Mystery Bonsai Artist – Koyo Tool Special Ends Tonight

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Here's what a machine translation from Japanese to English looks like... "70 times with kuromatsu stone, and the 77th Chinese National exhibition. 85 million yen. 15 years ago, when I was 32 years old, I applied for the first time in Japan's National Exhibition, and I was elected, and I was very jealous of this kuromatsu, and I was very good at it, so I was very good at it. I feel strange about what I have to do  I have a sense of time becoming a successive goshinboku " BTW Kuromatsu is Japanese black pine. In this case, it's a root-over-rock.

Continuing with Japanese bonsai (Hiroshi Kuni’s tiny trees yesterday) here are some trees that belong to an artist who’s name is a mystery (mystery to me anyway). I took a screen shot from their facebook page (just below) so that those of you who can read Japanese might be able to tell us who the artist is. If youknow, please email me <wayne@stonelantern.com> or better, put your answer in our Bonsai Bark facebook comments.

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Here’s the screen shot from facebook. I hope I’m not missing something too obvious. In my defense, I just spent about thirty minutes in a failed effort to track down the romanized version of the artist’s name.

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Here's the translation for this one... "Tsuyama Cypress ?? 110 cm ?.  — feeling entertained.I believe Tsuyama is a variety of Hinoki cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa

 

j1

"Japan National Exhibition of 92 times. 38 million yen feeling relaxed." Looks like a field grown Shimpaku juniper

 

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"It was a spring day today ??feeling relaxed." Another field grown Shimpaku?

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"W? yè s?ng. 38 million yen. Height 100 cm, for exhibition ??feeling happy."  Is this a Japanese five needle pine?

Hiroshi’s Bonsai Beans

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This little Trident maple (Acer Buergerianum) is just 10.8cm tall (4.3"). It was started from seed twelve years ago. Hiroshi is a potter, so you might assume that the pots shown here are his, though I couldn't make much sense of the translations provided with the photos. Hiroshi refers to the pots as a Maru Bonsai Bowl / Guó Jing Masako. Maru simply means round and I couldn't find anything when I searched Guó Jing Masako, though if you search Masako pottery you will get some results (where's Ryan Bell when you need him?).

We can’t stay away from miniature bonsai for long. This time Hiroshi Kuni’s tiny trees. If the name it familiar, it might be because we featured Hiroshi’s bonsai just four weeks ago. And just in case you’re wondering about the title, Mame a common name for miniature bonsai translates as ‘bean.’

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This one is a Buttercup winter hazel (Corylopis pauciflora). The Japanese name is Hyuga mizuki. The tree is 12.5 cm tall (5"). The information provided on the pot is the same as the information provided on the Trident maple pot above

 

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This Chojubai flowering quince (Chaenomeles speciosa var Chojubai) is just 9.5 cm tall (3.75"). See the Trident maple above for information on the pot.

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A broom style Japanese zelkova (Zelkova serrata) in a training pot. The tree is 10.3 cm tall (4")

 

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No variety, size or any other information is provided with this brilliant little Japanese maple.

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A Little Bonsai History

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This famous Chinese elm (Ulmus parivflora) planting is by Zhao Qingquan, reknowned penjing artist, teacher and author of two best Penjing books in the English, Penjing: the Chinese Art of Bonsai and Literati Style Penjing

Yesterday we featured a couple of events and photos from the Pacific Bonsai Museum. So, just for the fun of it, I thought we’d go back and find our earliest PBM post. It’s from April 21st, 2009, almost exactly 9 years ago. Way back in the day when it was owned by Weyerhauser and called the Weyerhaeuser’s Pacific Rim Bonsai Collection.

The two photos shown here  were sent to us by David De Groot, who was the collection’s curator at the time. David is, among other things, the author of Principles of Bonsai Design, the most complete bonsai design book we’ve seen in over 25 years.

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korean-yew-pac-rimThe two bonsai in this post, including this remarkable Korean Yew (Taxus cuspidata), are from  Weyerhaeuser's Pacific Rim Bonsai Collection (now the Pacific Bonsai Museum).

 

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