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Gilding the Bonsai

satsuki

Gilding the lily. Or more accurately, gilding the Satsuki azalea. You might like this brilliant tree in such a colorful pot when it isn't blooming, but as is... well, you be the judge. I found the photo and the other two shown here on Kuanghua Hsiao's timeline. Mr Hsiao wrote... By Bonsai Addicted, but we know better (Addicted is one of those places that posts a lot of other peoples trees and often doesn't attribute or identify).

Only one of the three trees shown here is attributed to its owner. We try to be honest about our sources and let you know when they’re not the owner or artist. Ideally we would try to find the true source, but sometimes a combination of time pressure and frustration makes hunting them down almost impossible


az2Looks like another powerful Azalea. This time without flowers (its condition about 90% of the year). Maybe we could put it in the pot above. This time the caption says... Shared a photo of Aus Bonsai... but like the photo above, that's no help. Aus Bonsai is not owner or artist and is guilty of the same omissions as Bonsai Addicted.

 

omiya

At last we have a real owner. This Satsuki azalea belongs to the Omiya Bonsai Art Museum.

 

TMRoshi

 


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rmain

I am struck by just how rugged and natural this tree is. A fitting contrast with the way the it is presented; the professional studio photo, the quality stand and pot cleaned and oiled to perfection. As you can see, it's a pine. I won't bother to guess the variety.

Only one tree today. Got up early this morn but circumstances are conspiring and now my schedule is shot. Here’s where I found the tree and here’s the caption… Nippon Bonsai Sakka Kyookai Europe EspañaSAKKA TEN 2012 – PEÑISCOLAFotos de estudio realizadas por Alex Espuny (Studio Photos by Alex Espuny). I would like to offer more, but I think you’re going to have to do your own research this time.

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cu

 

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Itty Bitty Bonsai

sho11Even though the crown is leaning back a bit, I'm going to call this side the front, given that it provides the best view of the trunk and the deadwood. The four photos of this tree are by Haruyosi, as are the tree and the pot.

Continuing with our itty bitty bonsai theme…. We don’t usually show four shots of the same bonsai, but I like this little tree a lot and the shots were just sitting there begging to picked up and shared. It’s a Shohin (you could even say Mame) Shimpaku juniper by Haruyosi. From his numerous great facebook photos. It originally appeared here in March, 2014. Our first of many Haruyosi posts.

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sho10This side is also very good and presents a better view of the crown. But we're going to call it the back. It doesn't really matter, especially since the tree is in a round pot.

 

sho12Close up.

 

sho13Another close up.

 

1939954_580764918686491_814169564_nA little color for you to enjoy. Cherry blossoms, also by Haruyosi.

 

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More Bonsai Beans

sm

The sweet little Japanese maple belongs to Hiroshi Kunii. Hiroshi calls the pot Maru (circle in Japanese).

Continuing with tiny bonsai theme from yesterday…. I borrowed this post from June of last year. It’s definitely worth another look.

The tiniest bonsai are called Mame in Japanese (bean in English) and the little trees shown here certainly qualify. They (including the pots) are by Hiroshi Kunii.

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s9

Here's part of Hiroshi's caption (computer translated from Japanese)... Lesser Spindle (Euonymus Alatus), Shooting date: May 18, 2017, Height: 9.5 cm, Maru Bonsai Pot, Diameter 7.1 cm x height 3.8 cm, It's a cuttings of 10 in mini bonsai

 

s6

Here's part of the computer translation for this one... Crape Myrtles (Lagerstroemia Indica), hundred days Red Bonsai, Shooting date: May 14, 2017, Height: 9.5 cm, Maru Bonsai Pot / Masako: Diameter 7.2 cm x height 3.4 cm. Of beautiful crape myrtles in the sense that the trees are good fun

 

s5

Continuing with Hiroshi's computer translated captions... Boston Ivy (Parthenocissus), Height: 15.3 cm. The Old Fat Trunk Bonsai on the back of the ivy house. The Green has become a little bit darker

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s4

Hiroshi's caption... Beni Rosewood (Cotoneaster horizontalis), Height: 4.4 cm, It is a little bonsai with the roots of Red Rosewood. A little flower has come in bloom

 

s3

This one reads... Elm Zelkova (Ulmus parvifolia), Round Bonsai: 5.7 cm tall. It's a little bonsai for elm trees

 

s2

This one is a Japanese quince (Chaenomeles japonica), so I'm not sure why the translated caption reads... Green G (grass) Bonsai... Height: 5.8 cm, Maru Bonsai Pot / Masako: Diameter 7.4 cm x height 3.6 cm, It is a beans of beans

 

s1

Another Quince and another computer translated caption... White Flower Butterfly Juba Lee-N1, Longevity Mei Bonsai (CHAENOMELES SPECIOSA) 'Chojubai' Bonsai. Height: 5.9 cm, Maru Bonsai Pot. White Juba Juba Juba

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A World of Bonsai Creativity

danymain

Hand held bonsai come in handy (so to speak). Without the hand, it would be difficult to say just how small this tree is. This little gem and the others shown here, look like Shimpaku junipers (Juniperus sargentii Shimpaku)

I just stumbled upon a new one for me. It’s called DANY Bonsai. The translation is… “Danny small works. A world of creativity. Free and carefree.” Not a bad way to view the art of bonsai.
Continued below…

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dany2

Tiny bunjin bonsai. This pot is even smaller that the one above

You don’tsee that many bonsai that are so tiny and yet so well developed. In fact, you don’t see that many tiny bonsai at all. Though some people lump all small bonsai into the group called Shohin, I think these qualify as Mame (Japanese for ‘Bean’)

 

dany3

Twisted! Looks like it might be ready for a bonsai pot that is just a tad larger than the ones above

 

Dany

Danny, free and carefree

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A Perfect Example of Great Bonsai Ramification

wbff2This magnificent Japanese beech (Fagus crenata) received the coveted Kokufu prize at the 88th Kokufu Bonsai Exhibition (the oldest and most prestigious bonsai exhibition in the world). Aside from its unique power and beauty, this tree provides a perfect example of what great ramification looks like (made even more obvious by the bright rusty-red leaf buds). The photo is from the World Bonsai Friendship Federation. Identification and other details were provided by Bill Valavanis.

Yesterday we discussed ramification so we’ll keep going with this post that we last featured in January, 2015.

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BT66decid

This illustration (originally from Bonsai Today magazine) is one of many that we featured in a three part series of posts from 2010 (links provided below). The following text is from the first post in the series...

Ramification literally means branch development, or how branches grow. However, when it comes to the art of bonsai, it has come to mean branch development that displays a couple key features: taper and fine tips. These related features are critical when it comes to developing quality deciduous (and other) bonsai.

Deciduous trees develop rapidly, but they also lose their shape rapidly. With precise pruning and pinching, you can create excellent fine branching in just a few years. But it’s an on going process that requires continued pruning and pinching to maintain… (there’s more here, here and here).

satsukiRamification is not just about deciduous trees. A lot of skilled pinching and pruning is behind this Satsuki azalea’s wild profusion of flowers. The photo, which we featured in another 2010 post on ramification, is from Robert Callaham’s benchmark Satsuki Bonsai book (out of print).

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Deciduous Bonsai & Fine Ramification

elmyoutube

Please excuse the fuzz. I lifted this image from youtube and the fuzz came along on its own (there are some still shots below without much fuzz). It's a Field Elm (Ulmus minor) that belongs to Davide Cardin. The youtube video was shot at the 2016 Bonsai San Show in France.

You can learn a lot about deciduous bonsai in the winter. Particularly ramification (see below).

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fieldelm

Same tree, different pot in this shot from Bonsai Addicted.I'm guessing that this shot was taken later than the one above, based on the ramification.

Ramification refers to branching, particularly how over time branching develops (ramifies). With enough time and skill (and the right type tree) you can develop the branching so that each branch becomes gradually narrower as it grows and multiplies from the trunk outward, until you  have very fine, almost filigreed twigs at the outer reaches of the tree (see below).

 

felmcutrunk

Trunk with sabamiki (hollow). Actually, two sabamiki

 

felmcrown

This closeup of the crown provides better look at the fine ramification

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Bonsai Trifecta

stjwp

This luminous little Japanese white pine belongs to Suthin. It's a winner, right down to the pot and the yellow-green moss.

Continuing from yesterday with Suthin and pines. The three little trees in this post appeared here one year ago (March, 2017) and were originally from Suthin’s facebook photos

suthinjwp

Another strong little Japanese white pine.

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jbp3

This rough little gem is a Japanese black pine. Still a little grooming to do, but all the right stuff is present.

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Before & After Bonsai with at Least Five Names

suthin

Suthin's before and after Japanese five needle pine, aka Japanese white pine (Pinus parviflora aka Pinus parvifolia). This is the only variety tree that I know of that has two common names in English and two botanical names. To further confuse the issue, in bonsai circles it is sometimes referred to as Goyomatsu (Japanese - Goyo = five needle, Matsu = pine)

We never go too long without visiting our friend Suthin Sukosolvisit. If you’d like more, here’s a link to dozens of other Suthin posts we’ve featured over the years.

 

before

Before. A tree in need of styling and a new pot

 

B1PINE605-500x6475

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affter

Another radical transformation! Suthin doesn't say how much time elapsed between the before and after.

 

aftercu

A closer look at the bark and Suthin's carving.

 

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How Not to Water Your Bonsai – This Just Might Be the Most Important Watering Advice You’ll Ever Read

b1junp10This illustration by Kyosuke Gun is from our Masters' Series Juniper book. It is a perfect fit for this post that is borrowed from Michael Hagedorn's  Crataegus Bonsai. Speaking of Bonsai Books, this morning we started a 30% to 50% off Sale on all of our books (see below)

We originally featured this post in June, 2009. It’s one of our earliest and perhaps one of our most important. I don’t think we’ve featured it since 2009, clearly an oversight on our part. Especially considering the importance of the topic and our source. Michael Hagedorn knows more about the inner workings of bonsai and bonsai care than almost anybody, so paying attention to what he has to say is always a good idea.

The following is quoted from Michael…
Before the real summer heat hits, consider how you are watering your trees. Have you ever seen your trees grow through spring just fine, only to get fried leaves at the first onset of early summer? Ever wonder why that happens?
Continued below…

cliff

A Western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla) 'cliff bonsai' from Michael Hagedorns' portfolio

Michael continued from above…
Those trees just don’t have enough roots. Those are the trees that got overwatered, or simply never dried out, in the cool spring months. Their roots were never encouraged to hunt out water, so these trees could survive in the moist cool weather on about three roots. First hot day: bam, they get hit hard as they have a spindly root system, not enough to support their overlarge, over long leaves and shoots on dry hot days. (A bonsai version of a company that has overspent just before a recession…)

“Especially on cool overcast days, if you can monitor them, water each tree only when it is really drying out and not by rote. Watering by a schedule is the surest way to have some really weak trees that show themselves in the hot summer!

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