Floating Clouds

Hsiu77Here's an unusual tree for your enjoyment. Or, for your criticism if you feel the profusion of small foliage pads (floating clouds) is unnatural. Personally I don't have a problem with it. It's rich and full of energy, with all those intriguing little pieces that hang together so well. The kind of tree you could look at for a long time and still see some feature that you missed. It belongs to Hsiu Yang, one of Taiwan's many great bonsai artists. It's obviously a Juniper, but no species is given.

Just one tree today. I borrowed the photo above from a post we did in September, 2012 and then chopped it up for closer looks.

BOOK SPECIAL ENDS SUNDAY

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ON ALMOST ALL OF OUR BONSAI BOOKS*
Bonsai Books August 2016

SPECIAL ENDS SUNDAY at 11:59pm EST
*we cannot discount Gnarly Branches, Ancient Trees
there are 3 other books that are discounted less than 30%
all the rest of our large selection are 30% to 70% off

Hsiucu

Trunk. Apologies for the fuzz

 

Hsiucu2

The right side. The one little branch is low enough (just below the bottom of the pot) to be considered a full cascade, though because the it's just one small feature in a tree with most of energy flowing upward, I don't think anyone would ever think of this tree as full cascade.

Hsiucu3

Top

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Before & After Root-Over-Rock Black Pine Bonsai

suthinB&ARoot-over-rock Japanese black pine by Suthin Sukosolvisit. No major restyling, but what a striking improvement. Sutin's caption reads simply... "Japanese black pine 2011-2013" The original before and after photos are from Suthin's timeline

A big part of learning about bonsai involves transforming rough stock into beautiful, or at least passable bonsai. However, it’s equally important to do the periodic work necessary to keep a bonsai beautiful, or soon enough it will return to its rough state (or worse). Allowing a tree to just grow on its own for a while is essential to its health, and bringing it back into shape after this period of unrestrained growth is also essential. And of course, each time you bring a tree back into shape, it’s done with a eye to continued development and improvement.

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before

Before. This was taken after a period of undisturbed growth. For most types of trees (especially temperate zone trees), allowing new growth to remain undisturbed is necessary for maintaining health. This new growth is where the vigor of a tree is most concentrated, so continually cutting it back will sap (no pun intended) the tree's vital energy.

 

after

After. What a difference an expert hand and eye can make.

 

scu

I cropped this one to get a closer look at the trunk and rock

BONSAI BOOK SPECIAL

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ON ALMOST ALL OF OUR BONSAI BOOKS*
Bonsai Books August 2016

we cannot discount Gnarly Branches, Ancient Trees
there are 3 other books that are discounted less than 30%
all the rest of our large selection are 30% to 70% off

A Second Look

shim1Fluidity and power. If you're not into the highly styled look, then you're probably not crazy about this tree. But it might be possible to take a second look with some effort to relax any notion of what a bonsai should look like. When I do this I see an impressive work of art (in this case at least), though admittedly you'd never see a tree in nature that looks quite like this one. It's was posted on facebook by Minoru Akiyama, one of Japan's many outstanding bonsai artists. No species is given, but Shimpaku juniper is probably a safe guess.

Archive time. This post originally appeared her in October 2012. I’ve made a few little edits and changed the name, but otherwise it’s pretty much the same

BONSAI BOOK SPECIAL

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ON ALMOST ALL OF OUR BONSAI BOOKS*
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we cannot discount Gnarly Branches, Ancient Trees
there are 3 other books that are discounted less than 30%
all the rest of our large selection are 30% to 70% off

 

mario5This is what can happen when good stock ends up in talented hands. Mariusz Komsta has an excellent series of photos on facebook that shows how he got to this tree from a rough looking Juniper that was dug from the garden. The grafted on foliage looks like Shimpaku. The original plant had rough foliage that look liked San Jose juniper or maybe Prostrata. Here's Mario's caption... "pot is ready as well but needs to wait till spring and this left skinny jin is bothering me a lot, cut it?"


andolfo3In a post titled Lavori in Corso, Michele Andolfo calls this tree an Abete rosso. This translates as Red spruce (Picea rubens), which is one of three spruce varieties that grow in the northeastern U.S. and eastern Canada. I don't think I've ever seen another Red spruce bonsai and if I have, certainly not one this powerful. The illustrations below show how the design was arrived at.

BTbanner32-500x221Bonsai Today back issue now only 5.00 each

 

drawings

 

We don't feature suiseki very often, but just couldn't pass on this one. It's called Vampire and was posted by Hirotoshi Ito on facebook.

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$100.00 Bonsai Detective Contest

SHIM

Tree number 1 in our Bonsai Detective Contest

Here’s a simple contest to amuse you while you wait for the spring growing season

The prize
The prize is a $100 gift certificate to Stone Lantern and recognition of your brilliance here on Bonsai Bark

What you have to do to have a chance to win 
Provide the species and owner (and/or artist) and a link to your source for at least 8 trees (better to have all 10 if you can) email me wayne@stonelantern.com with Bonsai Detective in the subject and with your well organized answers listed in the body of the email. Be sure to put BONSAI DETECTIVE in the subject line.
Continued below…

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LILCRAB

Tree number 2

Continued from above…
Determining the winner and the deadline

The first person who provides all the information requested for all 10 trees, will be the winner. If no one provides all the info requested by the end of the contest (January 31st) then the person who came the closest wins

Don’t do it wrong!
Don’t email me if you don’t have at least 8 trees identified with links. If you send fewer, you will be disqualified even if you send the rest later. Don’t forget to put Bonsai Detective in the subject line

Don’t expect me to answer your emails
It’s not that I don’t love you, just that I can’t keep up as is. Only the winner and maybe a couple who came close will hear from me

Good luck!

pine

Tree number 3

 

NEBARI

Tree number 4

BONSAI BOOK SPECIAL

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ON ALMOST ALL OF OUR BONSAI BOOKS*
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we cannot discount Gnarly Branches, Ancient Trees
there are 3 other books that are discounted less than 30%
all the rest of our large selection are 30% to 70% off

fuzz

Tree number 5. Apologies for the fuzz
forest
 Tree number 6

 

UPRIGHT

Tree number 7

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rock

Tree number 8

 

port

Tree number 9

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snow311

Tree number 10

 

The following photo will only come into play if we have a tie

PERSIMMONART

We'll call this one photo number 11. We'll only use it as a tie breaker. If you want, just provide whatever information you can and send the link or links.

Order your Green T Turntable now
and enhance you bonsai enjoyment
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and by the way, we’ve got two models now

the Green T Basic model and the New Green T Plus
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Freeze Damage in Bonsai & Other Woody Plants

NCsnowThis now famous bonsai planting resides at the North Carolina Arboretum. The photo was put up on the Internet Bonsai Club forum by Arthur Joura. The caption reads "This planting is one of a small handful in our bonsai collection that consists entirely of plant material that can tolerate the extremes of winter, and so it remains on the bench, on display in the Bonsai Exhibition Garden all through the year." The statement 'can tolerate the extremes of winter' makes sense if you live someplace like North Carolina, but less so if you live someplace like Vermont.

Thanks to a tip from Elandan Gardens, I came across an Evergreen Gardenworks’ article by Andy Walsh that was adapted from an Internet Bonsai Club post. It’s titled ‘Freeze Damage in Woody Plants.’ This post is originally from December, 2014. BTW, the temp here in northern Vermont this morning was -20F (-29C)
Continued below…

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Goshinsnow77

John Naka's famous Goshin, fully adorned. The Needle junipers are winter hardy in Washington DC where the tree resides at U.S. National Bonsai & Penjing Museum.

We’ll just show you the beginning of the article and encourage you to visit Evergreen Gardenworks for the rest.

Freeze Damage in Woody Plants
by Andy Walsh

Evergreen Gardenworks’ Introduction
“This article is adapted from an Internet Bonsai Club post. In it, Andy discusses the physical and chemical changes involved when plant stems and roots freeze. This kind of information is crucial to constructing cold weather protection for many areas of the country. Some slight editing has been done to make it more readable in this context.”

The Three Stages of Freezing
First off, several times here writers have stated that their trees are frozen in the winter and survive. It’s clear to me that there is great misunderstanding around what some people think when they say a plant is frozen. If a plant truly freezes it dies. The formation of ice within the cells of a plant is invariably fatal. What I think many people see in winter is the soil of their trees frozen and they equate this with the plant being frozen. This is not the case.
From my readings, there are basically three stages of freezing that can be observed with, and have significance to, a Bonsai:

“The freezing of the water in the Bonsai’s soil.
The freezing of “inter”-cellular water in the plant’s tissues.
The freezing of “intra”-cellular water in the plant’s tissues.

Here’s your link to the rest of the article.

 

snow31

You can leave hardy bonsai out in the open here in northern Vermont for quite a while, but sooner or later they'll need some serious protection. The tree under all that snow, is a Japanese five needle pine that's sitting on the railing of my office deck. It was an early snow and still relative warm when this shot was taken a couple few years ago

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wire

NCRoan Mountain landscape again with its Alberta spruce and azaleas. Fortunately, winter will end someday.

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Two More Reasons to Visit the 6th U.S. National Bonsai Exhibition

rodmain

This has to one of the most perfectly conceived and executed Kingsville boxwoods you'll see anywhere. It belongs to Rodney Clemons. We first featured it and Rodney's Winged Elm (below)just over a year ago in a post titled There's No Better Time... The other two bonsai shown here are new to us.

The other day I rediscovered the Kingsville above (facebook of course) along with this quote by Rodney Clemons… “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.”

I’d like to congratulate Rodney and I’d also like to remind you that now is a good time to start planning your trip to Rochester for the 6th U.S. National Bonsai Exhibition this coming September. If you never been, you owe it to yourself. If you’ve been, you’ll understand why.

this & our other current specials all end tomorrow night

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rod1

This rugged,exceptionally horizontal yamadori Pond cypress (Taxodium ascendens) is new to me. Here's Rodney's caption... "My collected Pond Cypress from the 2017 Winter Silhouette Show. The photograph was taken by the one and only Joe Noga, container by Bob Wiles, stand by Michael Livingston and ceramic slab was created by Ross Adams." By the way, Taxodium (Bald and Pond cypresses), Larix (Larches of which there are several species) and Metasequoia (Dawn redwood) are the only deciduous conifers in the world (unless you want to count Ginkgo).

rodsago

Ah, if only we could grow these here in Vermont (actually, we can, but they'd have to be indoors for 5 or 6 months and would take forever to develop this much character). Here's Rodney's caption... "My Sago Palm from the 2017 Winter Silhouette Show. Captured with another Joe Noga photograph."

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rod2

This Winged elm (Ulmus atlata) is the other tree that's accepted into the 6th U.S. National. Rodney's caption... "Great photo of my Winged Elm at this years “Silhouette Show” in Kannapolis NC. Photo by Joe Noga, Container by Sara Rayner, Stand by David Knittle"

6th

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The Best Bonsai Deserve the Best Pots

kumquat

I found this Kumquat on Ryan Bell's Japanese Bonsai Pot blog. My apologies for the fuzzy photo. It's cropped from a larger photo that originally came from Bonsai Tonight. The full photo and Ryan's caption are below.

It has been a while since we borrowed from Ryan Bell’s Japanese Bonsai Pot blog.  As you might expect, it’s a great photo source for some of the best bonsai pots in the world. We’ll offer a glimpse of a few here, with and without trees. If you’d like to enjoy a whole lot more, I suggest you pay Ryan a visit.
Continue.d below…

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twotrees

Here's Ryan Bell's caption: "The bonsai on the right is in a Tofukuji pot. The left bonsai is a kinzu(kumquat) and you may recognize it from Bonsai Tonight, Jonas Dupich’s wonderful blog." I just searched Kumquat on Bonsai Tonight and though I did find a lot of brilliant photos, this one didn't turn up.

This post originally appeared here on Bark in April, 2016

pot3

Ryan's caption: "Another traditional style painting, of Ume in bloom.  The single offset bloom to the right of center creates an assymetry that makes the pot stand apart(and gives direction and flow to."

The pot just above and the two below were created by Kiyoumine Ogurayama. Here’s a little history courtesy of Ryan Bell: “Karahashi Homiyabi was born September 5, 1920, in Kyoto.  Before bonsai pottery, he helped with the family business making traditional Kyo-yaki ware.  He started his earnest apprenticeship as a potter/painter in 1970 under Heian Matsumoto, and gained his independence in 1975, whereupon he built a hybrid gas/electric kiln and took the potter name “Kiyoumine Ogurayama”.  Ogurayama entered his first big bonsai pottery exhibition, the National Masterpiece Kobachi, in 1981, and took the Grand Prize.  Since then, he’s won numerous awards and medals for his work.  He is now retired, and his son is the Ogurayama.

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pot2

Ryan's caption: "Ogurayama creates some of the best winter scene painted containers I’ve seen, from any painter.  This piece is sublime, with just enough color to focus the attention on the figures crossing the bridge.  The demon feet are a great touch, and show his carving work in addition to excellent painting."

 

pot1

Here's an unusual pot and here's Ryan's caption:  "A really unique piece.  The top a very highly detailed 5 color figure painting, and the base a gold overglaze enamel. Astounding contrast."

 

pot4All the pots shown here (and many more in Ryan's Ogurayama post) are excellent, but I think this one is my favorite. Here's what Ryan has to say: "This piece throws me for a loop.  Sitting under a tree, we are looking out on a landscape, rather than looking in.  Like the finger crossing the frame in the previous piece, this shows something entirely different and more artistic in meaning and purpose than we see from most painters of bonsai containers.  Very different…. "

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Beautiful Bonsai – Before & After Scots Pine

martinPineB&A

It takes a lot of experience and strong sense of design to effect a transformation as good as this one. The tree is a Scot's pine (Pinus sylvestris) and the artist is Martin Bonsai Kolacia.

I don’t read a word of Czech, so aside from figuring out that Martin Bonsai Kolacia lives in The Czech Republic (it’s the cz at the end of his url that gave him away) and that he has inserted Bonsai into the middle of his name, there’s not too much more I can say about him. If you’d like do your own research here’s your link to his fb page and here’s his website.

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pinebefore

Before. If you don't mind, stop for a moment and ask yourself if you could see the potential that Martin saw in this tree. If you can and have the skills to execute a transformation as compelling as his, please send us some photos of your trees

 

pine3

Getting close. That's rebar, by the way. There's also some guy wire. Both are about taming the helter-skelter, flying off in all directions mess you see in the before photo and bringing it down and together into a coherent whole

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pineafter

After some more wiring and trimming. Natural beauty

pineaftercu

Apologies for the fuzz, but I wanted a closer look at the trunk. Particularly its base

pineaftercu2

And just in case you missed it... this section could be a cascading bonsai by itself

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WNV-CHANGE-1

Japanese white pine on a Yoshiaki Bonsai Turntable. If you think you've seen this tree before, it might be because we featured it a few weeks ago. Courtesy of Bill Valavanis.

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Heavy Duty Bonsai Turntable by Yoshiaki 13″

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Mighty Mouse Bonsai Turntable by Yoshiaki 8″

small but strong – great for small and medium trees
list price 45.00
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Yoshiaki All Weather Turntables

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Rectangular  All Weather Turntable 16″ x 12″

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More Bonsai Berries & a New Year’s Resolution

berry

Pyracanthas are prolific bearers of berries and this one is no exception. It's from a post we did in 2012. I don't know who the artist or owner is, but my guess is the tree is in Japan (more about this just below)

Continuing our berry theme from yesterday… But first, my New Year’s Resolution. NO MORE UNATTRIBUTED TREES on this blog (uh… except for the one just above).*

Bonsai Aesthetics Tool Special

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this applies to all our Aesthetics tools including kits & sets
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a small sampling of your large selection of Bonsai Aesthetics Tools

 

haru31

From the many to the few. It's another Pyracantha. It belongs to Shohin master Haruyosi.

 

capitalbosaiNepal Firethorn (Pyracantha crenulata), in training since 1966, donated to the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum by Yee-Sun Wu.

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bonsaimike-500x408

Flowers come first, so maybe we should have started with this sweet little Bonsai Mike Pyracantha that we originally featured way back in 2010.

*the fine print… occasionally we may come across an unattributed tree that is so astounding that we simply can’t ignore it. These are usually Japanese trees, where language or other issues make research difficult if not impossible. When this happens we will at least list our source

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