A Bonsai Festival to Get Excited About – We Hope to See You There

Marc Noelanders posted this composition during last year's Bonsai Namaste Convention in Pune India. I don't know any details, but you might assume he and perhaps others put it together during the convention

Continuing with yesterday’s post on the Mid Atlantic Bonsai Spring Festival (April 12th – 14th) and Marc Noelanders who is one of the headliners at the Festival. We’ll be there and we’re already laying the groundwork to offer items that you’ll never see on our website . We look forward to seeing you there
Continued below… 

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When was the last time you saw a man in a bonsai tree?  It's Marc Noelanders by the way, and the tree is a Taxus baccata (European yew) that was collected from a hedge. The photo on the right is the same tree after Marc styled it

Continued from above…
Here’s your link to the Mid Atlantic Bonsai Spring FestivalYou can also take a look at yesterday’s post on the Festival and one we put together last month

Meanwhile, we’re in the process of upgrading our Stone Lantern website from the 20th to the 21st century with a newer more current and much better platform. So as you might imagine, we’re up to our ears here. We hope to have our new site up and running by the weekend. Once this happens and the alligators have been chased back to the swamp, we’ll be back to our normal selves. Meanwhile, we’ll be relying on our photos from our archives for most posts. Wish us luck!

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Two Major Bonsai Events & a Regal Rock Planting

This is the after photo from a before and after of a planting by Marc Noelanders, a headliner at the upcoming Mid Atlantic Spring Bonsai Festival (see below). No mention is made of the type tree or what the rock is made of. If you've been following Bonsai Bark since at least December of last year, or you follow Marc on fb, you’ve already seen this masterpiece. If not, I’m happy you can see it here

Continuing from yesterday with two barn burner bonsai conventions coming up this spring.  They are the Mid Atlantic Bonsai Spring Festival and the American Bonsai Society (ABS) Convention.  Unfortunately, they’re both on the second weekend of  April, so you’ll have to choose. Today we’re focusing on the Mid Atlantic Spring Bonsai Festival . Yesterday it was the American Bonsai Society (ABS) Convention in Houston
Continued below…

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Here's a before and after photo of Marc's planting

Conitnued from above…
Taiga Urushibata, Jennifer Price and Marc Noelanders are the headliners at the upcoming 2019 Mid Atlantic Bonsai Spring Festival. Today we’re focusing on Marc. I hope to have photos of Taiga’s and Jennifer’s bonsai soon. Oh, and least I forget there’s an added bonus; a special Bonsai Inspirations Critique by Jim Doyle

There will be six demonstrations by the headliners and the six trees will be raffled. There will also be three workshops and an extensive Vendor Area (we’ll be there!)

Though it has been years since I’ve vended at, or have been to the annual Mid Atlantic Festival, word on the street has it that it’s one of the best. I hope to see you there

 

mabsmaincu

We featured John Kirby's 2018 prize winning Japanese white pine (Pinus parviflora var Kokone)in a post last month about the Mid Atlantic Bonsai Festival

This is also from last month’s post on the Festival…
If you haven’t already planned your weekend at the 2019 Mid Atlantic Bonsai Spring Festival, there’s no better time than now. We’ll be there, enjoying the action while vending some of our Bonsai essentials (including some out of print gems and other items you’ll never see on our website). We hope to see you there!

 

mabslead

The uncropped original of the tree from above. The stand is by David Knittle. Though I haven't seen a list of vendors, I imagine David and his masterpiece stands will be at the Festival

Two Major Bonsai Events Part 1 – Where Will You Be the Second Weekend of April?

This shot of a Tsukumo cypress(Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Tsukumo') is from one of Bonsai Boon's famous Which Pot Would You Choose? posts. Boon is one of the headliners the upcoming 2019 American Bonsai Society (ABS) Convention, April 11 - 14
Boon Manikitipartit       Ryan Neil         Enrique Castaño 
Headliners at the upcoming ABS Convention in Houston

We’ve got two barn burner bonsai conventions coming up this spring.  They are the 2019 Mid Atlantic Bonsai Spring Festival and the 2019 American Bonsai Society (ABS) Convention.  Here’s the rub, they’re both on the second weekend of  April, so you’ll have to choose

Today we’re focusing on the American Bonsai Society (ABS) Convention in Houston. In the next day or two we’ll post about the Mid Atlantic Bonsai Spring Festival 

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Closeup of a Rocky Mountain juniper from Ryan Neil's Bonsai Mirai

 

Buttonwood by Enrique Castaño de la Serna, from a post we did last year on Enrique's bonsai

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More Kokufu Bonsai, but Still Just Scratching the Surface

Full cascade Shimpaku (Juniperus chinensis Sargentii) at this year's Kokufu Exhibition. I like the meandering play of the deadwood with the living vein. Something that works especially well with Shimpaku bonsai. This and the other photos in this post are courtesy of Bill Valavanis

We’ve got some more of Bill Valavanis’ photos from this year’s Kokufu Exhibition. We’ll just scratch the surface and encourage you to visit Bill’s blog for more great shots

Here’s a quote from Bill about the omnipresent Masahiko Kimura (The Magician) and his influence on Kokufu… “I saw Mr.  Kimura and asked him how many bonsai has he worked on. In 2011 he was represented by 70 to 80 trees. This year he had 20 in Part I and 26 in Part 2.

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Dwarf Stewartia with its characteristic exfoliating bark and strong nebari

 

 

Here's Bill's caption for this Shimpaku... "Sargent Juniper, which way do I look?"

 

Shohin display

 

One of several colorful companion plantings that Bill photographed

 

An unruly Japanese red pine, just in case you think Japanese bonsai is too stylized

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Before & After Bonsai – Japanese Red Pine

marcoba1Here's a before and after of a Japanese red pine by Marco Invernizzi

Following up from yesterday, we’ve a couple more Japanese red pines (Pinus densiflora) for you, including this before and after by our friend Marco Invernizzi. We’ve featured Marco’s bonsai going way back to early days of Bonsai Bark and before that in several issues of Bonsai Today

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A llttle fuzzy, but I wanted a closer look at the after shot

 

Want to improve the quality of your bonsai? Try wiring all the way out to the tips of the smallest branches. You'll be amazed at the results. The photo is from Bonsai Today* issue 1. Back issues of Bonsai Today are now 3.75 with our 25% off Site Wide Sale on orders 25.00 or more

 

redpine4
This is not our first time for this Japanese red pine. The photo turned up on Michael Bonsai back in 2012

*Kindai Bonsai photos in Bonsai Today are courtesy of Bonsai Focus

 

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For Every Highly Stylized Bonsai, There’s One that Breaks the Mold

kokuredpin

For every highly stylized Japanese bonsai, there's one like this that breaks the mold. It's a Japanese red pine from Japan's 80th Kokufu Bonsai Exhibition (2006)

Yesterday we featured several trees from this year’s Kokufu Exhibition, including a couple Japanese pines (Black and White). Today we’ve got some Japanese Red pines (Pinus densiflora) from the 2006 Kokufu Exhibition. All the photos are courtesy of Michael Bonsai

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kokuredpinbark

Closer up for a better look at the bark

kokuRedPine2

 

kokuredpine3

 

kokuredpine4It's easy to see how the Red pine got its name

 

kokuredpine5Here's a unique tree, especially if you like eccentric trunks. If you look at the branching, this one is even less stylized than the one at the top of the post

 

kokuredpine6Saving the best for last. If I had to play favorites, I'd chose this one and the one at the top of the post. BTW: Have you noticed how almost all the trees in this post are in reddish pots? I suspect that's no coincidence

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Kokufu Bonsai! It’s that Time of Year Again

Dwarf Kumquat. Even though there are more dramatic trees to choose from, I picked this one to start with in part because of the pot. The tree isn't so bad either with its muscular little trunk and profusion of tiny Kumquats. This photo and the rest shown here are from Bill Valavanis's Bonsai blog

It’s Kokufu time! and Bill Valavanis is back in Japan shooting photos for all of us who can’t make the trip. I’ve grabbed just a few that I like. There’s more where these came from at  Bill’s Welcome to My World Bonsai blog

 

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We've been featuring forests lately and this one fits right in. It's Tsuyama Hinoki forest that won a People’s Choice award. And no wonder. with it's near perfect natural, uncontrived look

 

 

Here's Bill's caption for this one... "Mr. Saito displayed one of his many bonsai, a past Kokufu Prize Trident maple"

 

Japanese Black Pine. I like small trees with powerful trunks that almost completely fill the pot. Especially when they're this well done
Camellia in bloom

A piece of a mystery tree. You'll have to visit Bill's blog for a photo of the whole tree
Japanese Five-needle Pine, aka Japanese white pine (Pinus parviflora)

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Bonsai Before & After – Three Year Progression

A three year progression on a Himalayan juniper (Juniperus squamata) by Josef Burschi

We’ve got new Before & After for you. This time with an intermediate stage between the before and after. There is a small caveat however. The tree is a Tanuki* (Phoenix graft).  I think most Japanese bonsai artists frown on Tanuki, or at least they don’t value them as much as other bonsai. But the tree looks good, so I don’t think it’s a big deal. You can see this tree and some other good ones on Josef Burschi’s fb timeling

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After

 

Cropped for a better look at the trunk

 

Cropped even more. In addition to the deadwood, you get a good look at the living vein

 

More deadwood

The artist at work

*Tanuki (Phoenix graft) is when you attached a living plant to a piece of deadwood in an attempt to make it look as though it’s one plant. When it’s well done, it can be difficult to tell a Tanuki from other bonsai with deadwood

 

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Bonsai Forest Rock Plantings

That's Ryan Neil's hand (Bonsai Mirai) posing for a professional photo with a very large root-on-rock planting. Here's his caption: "In the studio today with @hornbecker shooting for the Artisans Cup promotional material" (from 2015). He doesn't say what the tree's are. If you'd like to see the uncropped original, it's here

We’re on a bonsai forest binge these days, so let’s keep going. Though it’s questionable if you’d call these rock plantings forests, they do share the multiple tree and some of the landscape features you’ll find with more conventional bonsai forests

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juniper-bonsai-rock-omiyaThree robust Shimpaku junipers on a rock. From the Omiya Bonsai Museum

 

buxifolia-luisa-alfaro

Empire Bonsai's caption says "Buxifolio Bonsai forest, planted on a rock, by Luisa Alfaro." The Buxifolio part is a bit of a mystery. Buxifolia (with an a) is a species name, but without the genus, it could be any number of things. The leaves look tiny, so we'll try Neea buxifolia.

 

Juniper penjing

Juniper penjing

I borrowed this photo from a Bonsai Tonight post on Penjing. As usual, I'm impressed with the choice of material and the quality of photos on Bonsai Tonight and this one is no exception. For more detail, there are several very good closeups just a click away.

Thief Steals Over $100,000 Worth of Bonsai* Including a 400-year-old Shimpaku Juniper

This rare 400-year-old Shimpaku juniper was due to be entered in a Japanese competition this month

Theft of anything is always shocking and doubly so when the missing objects are irreplaceable, one of a kind living items. When and if they are ever found, missing bonsai might be badly damaged or even dead. And the chances of ever finding them are often slim

Here’s an except from  our source WENY News (courtesy of  Eugene Sekulow) …
A bonsai thief has stolen seven… trees worth at least 13 million yen ($118,000)* from a garden space in Saitama prefecture near Tokyo.

“The loot included a rare 400-year-old shimpaku tree, a star of the bonsai world, which was due to be entered in a Japanese… competition this month…” 

“The prize shimpaku alone was worth over 10 million yen ($90,000), according to Fuyumi Iimura, wife of the bonsai master who crafted the trees.

Here’s a link to rest of the article and here’s a google link to several pages of articles on stolen bonsai.

*I’m always a little wary of precise value placed on bonsai (especially if insurance claims are about to be filed). No bonsai has a fixed value. At least until someone buys it. When that happens, you could say the purchase price is  the tree’s value at that moment