This magnificent old yamadori Shimpaku, with its self framing deadwood has to be one of the most outrageously unusual bonsai we’ve ever posted (ever seen, for that matter). It’s from Taisho-en in Japan. I originally found this image here.
Trees as unusual as the one above are often controversial. I think some of this controversy is a human tendency towards orthodoxy. We get used to things a certain way and next thing you know we’re defending that way as the correct way.
All three photos shown here are of trees that live at Taisho-en. Here’s a short discription I lifted from Bonsai in Japan: “Taisho-en is a working nursery in Shizuoka (the foot of Mt. Fuji). It is run by Mr. Nobuichi Urushibata and specialises in Shohin bonsai. That being said there were numerous examples of fine medium and large bonsai as well.”
Another magnificent old Shimpaku. Unlike the tree above, it has a classical bonsai shape. Still the deadwood is magnificent. One thing that is unusual about this tree is how the live vein is completely hidden (at least in this view). This photo is from Bonsai in Japan.
Another classical bonsai shape, but if you look at the negative space you’ll see something unusual going on. This photo is from the Taisho-en website.