Small – medium – large

The Danish Bonsai Society – and the local group mainly – did an exhibition over the past weekend. I visited and found some very nice displays. Autumn time is a great time to display especially Shohin that can express the seasons through different species. Also some good deciduous trees was shown. Trees ranged from shohin to large bonsai. But we seldom see the really huge trees around in Denmark.

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Bonsai in China

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Returning to China. From Dec. 7 to 11, 2017, China Penjing Artists Association will be holding “China National Exhibition for Penjing Artists” in Rugao city, Jiangsu Province, China. I will participate with a bonsai demonstration, and I am actually quite exhited to
be back.

It is remarkable what happens in China these years at the Penjing/Bonsai scene, and I am proud to be part of it. A report will, of course, be published later when I am back.

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The bonsai event

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The biggest Danish bonsai event took place Saturday the 6th, may 2017. A wonderful day with great people and small trees. The Danish Bonsai Society has this spring event every year. This year my local group Fuchi Bonsai hosted the event, and it seems at it was well received. Here a few pics of the event. More will follow this week.

Shimpaku upside down

For a number of years I have been growing a small Juniperus Shimpaku, and followed the original position until now. The tree was purchased as a semi-finished piece at the Mansei-en nursery in Omiya, Japan, of late Saburo Kato in 2005, and mainly bought as a memory of the time spent with this most respected bonsai artist. One of a few I could afford.

2005. Original bonsai after purchase at Mansei-en.
2005. Original bonsai after purchase at Mansei-en.

I named the tree “Kato” for the very same reason. To remember a personality and respected artist who as one of a few, deserved to be entitled master. A misused phrase put on too many people nowadays who still needs to deserve this predicate after proving years of dedicated high quality work.

Back to the tree. After a few years of training, a tree in this size usually needs some restoration, some work that brings it back in shape. I originally had to reduce the slightly overgrown canopy after the purchase, and after that I managed to keep it in it`s form for some time. The shari (trunk deadwood) was only worked on sparsely, and I enhanced the deadwood some years ago to add some interest to it. I also extended it a little to make it better.

2005. Working the deadwood to bring in more age and interest.
2005. Working the deadwood to bring in more age and interest.

Time gone, and the tree needed to be reduced a little again in 2017. New growth was developed further back, so I now had the opportunity to reduce the length and keep the size limited. This made me think of a new possible style of the tree. A simple change with a huge effect, with little effort done.

Trying out the new position.
Trying out the new positions.

Where growth was removed new jins (deadwood branches) have been created, and this opened for a new vision of the tree. Same pot, but new position changes the view and expression of the tree. Only rearranging the left part of some roots was necessary. I was able to tilt the tree, so it performs much better now to my taste.

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The repotting was done carefully, not disturbing the roots much. The new inclining position also lifted some older roots to the surface, that in future will be a good visual nebari adding strength to the image when the soil carefully is removed little by little over time.

Mind the gap. When positioning a cascade or semi-cascade bonsai it is of great importance to leave air between the trunk and the pot. A convincing cascade bonsai shows it`s strength only if it is able to hold it self and not supporting it by resting at the edge of the pot. Keeping air between the pot and trunk is therefore an important detail.

Click the gallery below for larger pictures.

Shohin-bonsai India

Do they grow Shohin-bonsai in India? Oh, yes they do. I didn’t really knew what to expect as I travelled to India in November. I was there to teach bonsai but had no idea if Shohin-bonsai was part of the bonsai world in the warm region of Pune. It was a great pleasure to watch how this part of bonsai also was present, and even small Mame-bonsai is developed. In the tropic climate trees are grown from cuttings and seeds, and develops satisfying trunks with speed.

Små træer under bearbejdning.

Small pieces on the workshop.

Especially Chinese Junipers and Shimpaku is grown with very good results. The Chinese Juniper differs from Shimpaku by being lighter in needle colour and softer than the more compact Shimpaku variety from Japan. A tropic variation also was present, but the looser growth and longer needles are better suited for medium and large sized bonsai.

The heat in the tropical environment demands much watering for the smallest bonsai. Therefore they are arranged at tables with pebbles who keeps the humidity up for a longer time. Watering is partly with a sprinkler system and followed by hand watering afterwards, to secure thorough watering. The advantage of the sprinkling system is that the trees are cooled down and leafs kept from being burned by the sun. This does not keep a man with a watering can going through the trees to secure everything is healthy and water evenly.