More Prolific Bonsai Brilliance

Suthin10

Always nice to lead with a little color. This cheerful full fall color Trident maple belonged to Suthin Sukosolvisit when we first showed it way back in 2009. I don't know who the lucky owner is now.

Continuing with yesterday’s fully fledged admiration of Suthin and his bonsai, here are a few choice trees dug out from our archives.

Continued below…

A great sale ends tonight

Bonsai Aesthetics Wire Sale

25% to 30% off 500 gram Bonsai Aesthetics Wire
Wire32-500x1591

25% off 2-5 rolls (10.12 each)
30% off 6 or more (9.45 each)

this sale ends tonight, Sunday at 11:59pm EST

plus another 10% off orders 100.00 or more
and FREE Shipping on U.S. orders 50.00 or more

suthinjwp

 

hinokihalfshellThis Tsukomo cypress-on-a-half-shell is was offered for sale at Suthin's big sell-down-most-of-his-bonsai sale (so he could spend more time with his grandkids) that took place last year.

 

st31Coiled Shimpaku snake. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen another full cascade bonsai quite like this one.

 

suthin6

Another Suthin Shimpaku juniper. I think this one is quite famous by now.

As long as we’re on Junipers…

Special 2 Days Only

b1jun-2Our famous Masters Series juniper Book

list price 29.95
SPECIAL ONLY 18.00
this special ends monday at 11:59pm

 

shohinpine

A bonsai is hand is worth more than two in most collections. It's a Japanese black pine.

 

shohinsuthin

One of Suthin's prize winning Shohin displays from one of the U.S. National Bonsai Exhibitions.

Suthin’s Small, Strong & Sweet Japanese Pines

stjwp

This sweet luminous little Japanese white pine belongs to Suthin. A total winner, right down to the perfectly pitched pot and the vivid yellow-green moss. Even given the fresh scar where a branch was just removed, it's still simply superb (must be alliteration day today). Another reminder of Suthin's bonsai vision and skills.

I don’t usually pour it on quite so thick, but there’s something about Suthin* and his prolific bonsai brilliance, that brings out my adolescent star struck nature. And I’m not the only one. Go to any show where Suthin is vending and watch the bonsai devotees gather round. Each one Suthin’s best friend (in my experience, Suthin treats everyone like a close friend).

All three photos in the post are from Suthin’s facebook photos

Continued below…

Another great sale is about to end

Bonsai Aesthetics Wire Sale

25% to 30% off 500 gram Bonsai Aesthetics Wire
Wire32-500x1591

25% off 2-5 rolls (10.12 each)
30% off 6 or more (9.45 each)

this sale ends tomorrow night, Sunday at 11:59pm EST

plus another 10% off orders 100.00 or more
and FREE Shipping on U.S. orders 50.00 or mo

suthinjwp

Another small strong Japanese white pine. I had to double check to make sure it's not the same tree as above in a different stage of development.

While we’re discussing pines…

Special 2 Days Only
B1PINE605-500x6473

Our famous Masters Series Pine Book

list price 34.95
SPECIAL ONLY 19.95
this special ends tomorrow, Sunday at 11:59pm

 

jbp3

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

*Sukosolvisit is Suthin’s family name. But I’ve never heard anyone refer him as anything other than simply Suthin (pronounced Su tin)

Two Superb Japanese Tool Sales

25% off Koyo Bonsai Tools
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25% off Okatsune Bonsai & Garden Tools
OKATSUNEset4Plus an extra 10% off orders 100.00 or more

Magnificent Monster Scot’s Pine

pscu

This magnificent monster yamadori Scot's pine (Pinus sylvestris) belongs to Andres Alvarez Iglesias. I cropped it for a closer look. The original is below

Andres Alvarez Iglesias sent the photo above to the Bonsai Focus Golden Concave contest (see the poster just below). Judging from what I see here, there are some other very good trees (including several that we’ve featured here on Bark). They’ll need to be very good to hold up to this one.

Continued below…

Two New Excellent Japanese Tool Sales

25% off Koyo Bonsai Tools
Tools-Koyo1-500x303and…

25% off Okatsune Bonsai & Garden Tools
OKATSUNEset4Plus an extra 10% off orders 100.00 or more

 

GF

 

ps

The original with companion

Another great sale is about to end

Bonsai Aesthetics Wire Sale

25% to 30% off 500 gram Bonsai Aesthetics Wire
Wire32-500x1591

25% off 2-5 rolls (10.12 each)
30% off 6 or more (9.45 each)

this sale ends Sunday at 11:59pm EST

plus another 10% off orders 100.00 or more
and FREE Shipping on U.S. orders 50.00 or more

Hanging Out Somewhere on Planet Earth

cliff

Unknown type tree on an unknown cliff somewhere on planet earth

I found the amazing photo above on Kuanghua Hsiao’s facebook feed. From there I was led to Jorge M. Suzuki and finally to Jean-Christophe Nef’s Arbres et plantes exceptionnels. None of these people and places yielded anything about what, where or who, though Mr Nef’s  Arbres et… did yield some other astounding photos (below).

Continued below…

Two Brand New Japanese Tool Sales

25% off Koyo Bonsai Tools
Tools-Koyo1-500x303and…

25% off Okatsune Bonsai & Garden Tools
OKATSUNEset4Plus an extra 10% off orders 100.00 or more

 

cliffsagain

More cliffs and more stubborn old trees

 

cliff3

Vertigo anyone? This one looks very familiar. I wonder if we've already featured it. We found all three photos in this post on Jean-Christophe Nef's Arbres et plantes exceptionnels

Another great sale is about to end

Bonsai Aesthetics Wire Sale

25% to 30% off 500 gram Bonsai Aesthetics Wire
Wire32-500x1591

25% off 2-5 rolls (10.12 each)
30% off 6 or more (9.45 each)

this sale ends Sunday

plus another 10% off orders 100.00 or more
and FREE Shipping on U.S. orders 50.00 or more

Daring Combinations

ornate

You don't see pots this ornate everyday. Our source offers no information on the type tree or the artist. At least in English; what text there is, is Vietnamese. Speaking of, you may not know that Vietnam most likely has more bonsai per capita than any other country. Here's some evidence from a 2014 Bark post. I found this photo while on my daily Facebook adventure. It was posted by Bonsai Nguyen Van Sau.

You don’t see that many ornate or colorful pots in the West or Japan. The aesthetic seems to be one of restraint, where the artist is careful that the pot doesn’t compete with or distract from the tree. But some other non-Japanese parts of Asia have no problem with colorful and ornate pots, especially with deciduous and other broad leaf trees. To my eye at least, most of the best of these more daring combinations work just fine. Beyond that, we’ll let you be the judge.

Continued below…

Bonsai Book Sale ends tonight

25% off our already discounted prices

plus another 5% off orders 100.00 or more
and FREE Shipping on U.S. orders 50.00 or more
Bonsai Books August 2016all this adds up to great savings
on our already discounted books
This Sale Ends tonight, Wednesday, March 1st at 11:59pm EST

tai7Heres’s a colorful pot from Taiwan. In this case we know the artist – Yang, Kuo-Yin – and the type tree – Malpighia glabra. I borrowed the photo from a 2016 bark post.

Continued below…

NEW SALE

20% off Bonsai Embroidered Clothing
EMCAPSAprons, Baseball Caps and T-Shirts
each with a powerful embroidered bonsai

 

tai2

Another exceptional (if a little more subtle) Taiwanese pot. The tree, a Hibiscus tillaceus, isn't half bad either. Wu, Tung-Tai is the artist. The photo is from the same 2016 Bark post.

You can always use more bonsai wire…

Bonsai Aesthetics Wire Sale

25% to 30% off 500 gram Bonsai Aesthetics Wire
Wire32-500x1591

25% off 2-5 rolls (10.12 each)
30% off 6 or more (9.45 each)

plus another 5% off orders 100.00 or more
and FREE Shipping on U.S. orders 50.00 or more

Fertilizing, Back-Budding & One More Hornbeam

Carpinus-coreana-shohin-Mario-KomstaThis shohin Carpinus coreana* (Korean hornbeam) by Mario Komsta has appeared here before. As a companion plant no less (see below). No problem though. Any tree this good deserves to be shown more than once. As a companion or by itself.

A few days ago I mentioned we were starting a series on the Hornbeam genus (Carpinus). There are approximately 40 species of Hornbeams on the planet and many, if not most of them are suitable for bonsai. In this case we’re showing just one by Mario Komsta.

Unrelated to Hornbeams, but also by Mario is a piece on the influence of fertilizing on back-budding. The photos and some of the the text here are from a post we did in August 2015.

Continued below…

Bonsai Book Sale ends tomorrow

25% off our already discounted prices

plus another 5% off orders 100.00 or more
and FREE Shipping on U.S. orders 50.00 or more
Bonsai Books August 2016all this adds up to great savings
on our already discounted books
This Sale Ends Wednesday, March 1st at 11:59pm EST

 

If you’ve been trying to get certain types of trees (especially most conifers) to back-bud with limited or no success, maybe this post will shed some light on the subject.

mario-komsta1

This instructive photo by Mario Komsta on back budding, a lesser known benefit of fertilizing, is something he cooked up. I don't remember where I found it but we originally featured it here on Bark in October, 2010.

Fertilize!
Many, if not most people under fertilize their bonsai. I imagine it’s laziness on some people’s part and ignorance on others (they’re related). There’s nothing we can do about the laziness, but, maybe we can help with the ignorance.

First, we’ll state the obvious: fertilizing helps keep your bonsai healthy. Plants need a range of nutrients to sustain themselves, stay beautiful, help resist pests and disease and so forth.

Second, you don’t starve bonsai to keep them small. Bonsai are kept small by pruning (top and roots) and by growing in small containers.

Third, fertilizing encourages growth and growth is critical in developing quality bonsai. You want trunks to thicken, branches to develop, nebari to develop, and so forth. Unhealthy plants don’t grow much, or worse, their growth is leggy and weak.

Fourth, ample fertilizing can encourage back-budding (budding on old wood). Some trees, especially some conifers don’t back bud easily (if at all) so they need some encouragement. In the photo above, Mario points out a bud that popped up on eleven-year-old wood (on a pine no less!). He attributes this uncommon occurrence to fertilizing.

For a different view, here’s a comment from the original post by someone named Mark: “It doesn’t seem like 11 year old wood. And that’s exactly why the bud came out. Had the growth been strong, the wood would’ve mature and those sleeping buds would’ve had inactivated (for lack of a better word) long ago. Bottom line: it’s not an absolute age that’s the decisive factor. It’s all relative: one has to take other factors (besides age and fertilizing) into account.”


105-1511A great companion for a famous Red pine. The main tree in this display by Mario Komsta is a Japanese red pine (Pinus densiflora: Akamatsu in Japanese) and the secondary tree is the Korean hornbeam (Carpinus coreana* - Iwashide in Japanese) you see at the top of the post. The photo originally appeared in Bonsai Today issue 105 under the title; Dreams of Kokufu-ten - A Western Bonsai Artist Exhibits at Japan’s Most Prestigious Show.

 

OR-3FERTS

Three of our favorite fertilizers
Green DreamBonsai ProMaruta Rape Seed Cakes

Here’s a very important fertilizing tip from our friend Michael Hagedorn. Feed young trees generously in the spring and through the summer and avoid feeding old well-developed specimen trees until the summer (fertilizing too early on old trees can force rapid growth and cause them to start looking young again).

*Wikipedia and some other sources list Korean hornbeam as Carpinus turczaninowii, rather than C. coreana

You can always use more bonsai wire…

Bonsai Aesthetics Wire Sale

25% to 30% off 500 gram Bonsai Aesthetics Wire
Wire32-500x1591

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30% off 6 or more (9.45 each)

plus another 5% off orders 100.00 or more
and FREE Shipping on U.S. orders 50.00 or more

Somewhere North of Magnificent

 ficushsieh-shun-chin1-500x3913I'm running out of superlatives. How about 'somewhere north of magnificent?'  My only question is; could the pot be a little bigger? It's a Ficus by Hsieh, Shun-Chin.

This is at least the third time we’ve featured the ‘north of magnificent’ tree above. My guess is we’ll show it again before we chuck it all in.

Though the Taiwanese aren’t alone, a large dose of creative bonsai energy seems to be emanating from that unique island. And it’s not just Min Hsuan Lo and Cheng, Cheng-Kung, they have plenty of talented company. If you want some evidence, check out the 2008 Taiwan Bonsai Creators Exhibition. There are plenty of other more recent examples of Taiwanese bonsai, but the photos in this one are a good place to start.

Continued below…

You can always use more bonsai wire…

New Wire Sale

25% to 30% off 500 gram Bonsai Aesthetics Wire
Wire32-500x1591

25% off 2-5 rolls (10.12 each)
30% off 6 or more (9.45 each)

 

lo-min-hsuan-500x430A little change of pace. The tree on the right (Elaeagnus Pungens) has the mark of Min. At least the Min Hsuan Lo many of us have come to know. The Crape myrtle (or is it a lilac?) in full bloom provides a touch of wildness, freedom and color. From the 2008 Taiwan Bonsai Creators Exhibition.

 

prem-yang.-chun-cheng-500x430Powerful, unique and full of movement, though knowing our audience, I imagine some may feel that the foliage is overly groomed. Premna microphylla by Yang, Chun-Cheng.

Bonsai Book Sale ends soon

25% off our already discounted prices

plus another 5% off orders 100.00 or more
and FREE Shipping on U.S. orders 50.00 or more
Bonsai Books August 2016all this adds up to great savings
on our already discounted books
This Sale Ends Wednesday, March 1st at 11:59pm EST

A Golden Opportunity to Refine Your Bonsai Skills and Deepen Your Understanding

BF

This striking shot was lifted from Bonsai Empire's video on Bonsai Fundamentals, an upcoming course by Michael Hagedorn.

This post is to unreservedly and enthusiastically encourage you to take Michael Hagedorn’s upcoming Bonsai Fundamentals Course.

Here’s some copy borrowed from the host of the course, Bonsai Empire: “Bonsai Fundamentals is an online tutorial offering unique insights into the fundamental concepts of Bonsai design and techniques. It provides important but often neglected instruction of plant-physiology and Japanese aesthetics, deepening your understanding of the living art of Bonsai. Available from March 11th.

If you know Michael Hagedorn you don’t need any more encouragement. But just in case you don’t know him, keep reading for a few observations about Michael and his way of bonsai…

I spent a very enlightening week studying bonsai with Michael Hagedorn a couple years ago. Aside from my own fumbling (and sometimes embarrassing) attempts at bonsai technique, there were several things that impressed me about Michael’s approach to bonsai.

Continued below…

hagportfolio

Michael Hagedorn's Mountain Hemlock (Tsuga mertensiana), winner of the Finest Evergreen Bonsai at the recent 5 U.S. National Bonsai Exhibition.

One of these is Michael’s devotion to technique. Attention to detail, rather than being a means to an end, is, for the best artists and craftspeople, an end in itself. And I can say with confidence that Michael is no exception. And though I don’t remember him saying this, I’m sure he would agree that without some effort to learn technique, you and your bonsai will stay stuck at the beginner’s level.

Continued below…

BFMAIN

Another shot from the video

Something else that stood out is Michael’s respect for his bonsai lineage and the Japanese bonsai tradition (Michael was an apprentice in Japan for three years). Every morning before we started we would look through Japanese bonsai albums (Kokufu) with an eye to determining what makes a tree worthy, and to understanding something about a sensibility that’s difficult to put into words (this sensibility part is completely subjective on my part, but I don’t think it’s far fetched at all).

Perhaps best of all, Michael is a friendly and kind teacher with a contagious, playful sense of humor and a distinctive laugh that you will not soon forget. Another good reason to take his Bonsai Fundamentals Course

michael-hagedorn

Your instructor Michael Hagedorn,
a Bonsai professional who apprenticed under
Bonsai Master Shinji Suzuki in Obuse, Japan

And now a couple words from the kind people that work tirelessly to make Bonsai Bark possible…

You always need more bonsai wire

Brand New Wire Sale

25% to 30% off 500 gram Bonsai Aesthetics Wire
Wire32-500x1591

25% off 2-5 rolls (10.12 each)
30% off 6 or more (9.45 each)

 

Good Bonsai Books will fill in the gaps in your knowledge

Bonsai Book Sale

25% off our already discounted prices

plus another 5% off orders 100.00 or more
and FREE Shipping on U.S. orders 50.00 or more
Bonsai Books August 2016all this adds up to great savings
on our already discounted books

Bonsai Art… As Art

BA5

Bonsai Art Magazine living up to it's name...

Not many words today. We’ll just show you some covers of Bonsai Art (and some of our sales, of course). As far as the aesthetics of bonsai goes, it’s my favorite magazine.

Continued below…

As long as we’re on the topic of quality bonsai magazines…

This may be your last chance for certain issues
we have run out of some issues and many others are down to ones or twos
though we occasionally buy them back from people
this stream seems to be drying up

……….

BA2

Here's what a professional wiring job looks like (and what a professional photo looks like)

Speaking of bonsai wire… As you no doubt know
you can never (well, almost never) have too much wire

Brand New Wire Sale

25% to 30% off 500 gram Bonsai Aesthetics Wire
Wire32-500x1591

25% off 2-5 rolls (10.12 each)
30% off 6 or more (9.45 each)

……….

BA1

If you look closely, you might notice that Bonsai Art (with the exception of its name) is in German.

 

BA3

How would you like to look out your back window and see this? No bonsai, but close enough for my taste.

Here’s your chance to upgrade you Bonsai library…

Bonsai Book Sale

25% off our already discounted prices

plus another 5% off orders 100.00 or more
and FREE Shipping on U.S. orders 50.00 or more
Bonsai Books August 2016all this adds up to great savings
on our already discounted books

……….

BA4

Not as sure about this one...

All the covers shown here are from Bonsai Art’s facebook photos.

Walter’s Massive Forest & Other Hornbeam Bonsai

walter

This massive Hornbeam forest belongs to Walter Pall. Walter doesn't mention the variety in his gallery section (you might be able to hunt it down on his blog), but given that Walter lives in Germany, You might guess that it's a European hornbeam (Carpinus betula), but I wouldn't take it to the bank.

The other day someone asked if we would do something on Hornbeams, so here it is, the beginning of a series on the Hornbeam genus (Carpinus). And in case the person who asked is actually reading this (or anyone else is interested), our archives contain several Hornbeam articles.

We’ll start with a couple quotes from our long time friend Bonsai Mary… “Hornbeams, with their showy fall color, alternating leaves and interesting ‘flowers,’ make great bonsai subjects. They are deciduous and  by their nature they grow straight.  Therefore, they are best suited to formal and informal upright styles.

Continued below…

 

NEW WIRE SALE

30% – 40% off 100 gram Bonsai Aesthetics Wire
wire30% off 1-9 rolls (only 2.77 each)

 Hornbeam-bonsai-forest-w-WPThis should give you an idea of just how large the Hornbeam above is. That's Walter by the way. I borrowed the photo from Mary.
 Bonsai Mary goes on to say… “The European hornbeam (Carpinus betulus), Japanese (Carpinus japonica) and American (Carpinus caroliniana) are all popular as bonsai. Overall the Carpinus genus has approximately 25- 30 species.  So it shouldn’t be surprising to find many good hornbeam bonsai throughout the world’s temperate zones.”
Continued below… (I loath this -strong expletive – program when it jams everything together like this and nothing I do can fix it)
Hornbeam-bonsai-winter-500
This Hornbeam resides at the U.S. National Bonsai and Penjing Museum. This photo is also borrowed from Bonsai Mary. There's no mention of the species, and I'm on deadline, so you'll have to do your own research (though I know if Felix Laughlin reads this, he'll let me know).
Mary continues… “The wood of the Caprinus is very hard (it was used for structural beams) and almost white and resembles animal horns.
You can read more about Hornbeams (and everything else bonsai) at Bonsai Mary.
korean-hornbeam-bonsai-WV
This is not the first time we've shown this magnificent full fall color Korean hornbeam (Carpinus turczaninowii or coreana*). Actually, I suspect we've shown all the photos in this post before, I'm just too lazy to hunt them down. We originally borrowed the photo from Bill Valavanis' blog.
*Some sources use turczaninowii and other use coreana, though Wikipedia lists only turczaninowii.

Bonsai Book Sale

25% off our already discounted prices

plus another 5% off orders 100.00 or more
and FREE Shipping on U.S. orders 50.00 or more
Bonsai Books August 2016all this adds up to great savings
on our already discounted books

Continue reading Walter’s Massive Forest & Other Hornbeam Bonsai