A Halloween monster (trunk, that is). It’s not that often you see a tree with such a powerfully thick trunk, especially when you consider its size relative to the rest of the tree. According to Mareta Marrtell (facebook), it’s a 50 year old Kuromatsu (Japanese black pine ) that was grown from seed.
Mareta says the photo is via sgforums.com. I tried that address, but came up empty. I did find a bonsai gallery at The Singapore Penjing and Stone Appreciation Society as a result of a search using s g forums, but couldn’t find this tree. In any case, my guess is that it’s from Japan rather than Singapore, though no matter where it’s from, it still qualifies as a true monster (in the positive sense of the word, of course).
An accident that spun out of control
My excuse for the Halloween theme is that it was an accident that spun out of control. I didn’t set out to do a Halloween bonsai post. In fact, I had already chosen all three of these photos before I noticed the possibility of a Halloween theme. Now the damage has been done, so I guess I’ll just forgive myself and move on. Hopefully, you’ll forgive me too.
I think this contorted little gem makes for a suitable Halloween bonsai. The photo (by Michael Hagedorn) was taken in Peter Wilson’s backyard on Vancouver Island. Here’s what Michael has to say about this gnarly little specimen “Very nice bunjin shore pine, Pinus contorta contorta, in Peter’s yard…I thought this specimen was very successful in living up to its scientific name. Contorted to heck by something in the wilds of Canada.”
You might notice how small the pot is relative to the tree. I imagine this is because it was growing in very little soil when Peter collected it (I’m guessing that it was collected by Peter) and so it’s perfectly happy to continue growing with very little soil.
I often find the monster nebari that appear on some bonsai (especially Japanese bonsai) to be quite strange (and, admittedly, quite impressive at the same time). This photo of this almost otherworldly Stewartia nebari was taken by Jonas Dupuich (Bonsai Tonight) during his 2011 trip to Japan. The tree belongs to a Mr. Ishii. I’m not sure why we don’t see more Stewartia bonsai in the West. Though most are native to Asia, there are two varieties that are from our North American southeast.