Wednesday, October 4, 2023
HomeBonsaiConifers vs. deciduous bonsai: evaluating completely different species

Conifers vs. deciduous bonsai: evaluating completely different species

For this fall’s Pacific Bonsai Expo, we’ve got some judging classes for slim teams of timber (Greatest Massive Conifer is an instance) and different classes (like Greatest Medium Bonsai Show) that embrace a broad variety of species.

For these latter classes, it may be troublesome to check species as completely different as pine and beech.

One motive it may be laborious to check completely different species is that they present age in a different way. Conifers are identified for displaying age of their bark and their deadwood. Deciduous bonsai can have nice bark and deadwood, however they’re extra more likely to present their age, or a minimum of their time in coaching, by department density.

If uncooked age have been an important attribute, conifers would typically win as they sometimes stay longer than deciduous timber in nature and in bonsai cultivation.

White pine

White pine estimated to be over 500 years outdated

Japanese beech

A a lot youthful Japanese beech

When evaluating timber for an exhibition, I contemplate how properly a tree conveys age based mostly on species-specific traits. For pines, I take a look at the bark. For beech, I take a look at the department refinement and density. For junipers, I take a look at the age of the deadwood.

What about when deciduous timber have attention-grabbing deadwood – does this make it OK to check completely different species instantly? Not for me. As an alternative of evaluating juniper deadwood towards ume deadwood, I’ll rating junipers towards junipers and ume towards ume.


Fascinating deadwood on a shipmaku juniper


Deadwood and craggy bark on an ume

I take an identical strategy when evaluating department density. For instance, needle junipers can convey time in coaching properly by their department density. Trident maples are additionally identified for attaining nice department density, however the nature of the department constructions of those two species is completely different sufficient that I don’t evaluate them instantly.

Needle juniper

Needle juniper

Trident maple

Trident maple

The identical goes for comparisons amongst comparable teams of timber. Like trident maples, zelkova are identified for his or her capability to supply dense branching, however I wouldn’t count on to see trident maples with branching as dense as what will be achieved with zelkova bonsai.



The final instance brings up a associated level that though department density is nice, we nonetheless get to resolve whether or not or not it’s aesthetically pleasing.

Our goal in providing a number of awards is to incentivize submissions in several classes as this may make for a extra numerous exhibition.

How this performs out depends upon you as your submissions will set the tone for the occasion. The submission interval is opening quickly (subsequent month) – I’m wanting ahead to seeing your submissions!

Reminder – the BABA exhibit is on this weekend

The Bay Space Bonsai Associates will maintain their fortieth annual exhibit on the Lakeside Park Backyard Heart in Oakland, California, this weekend, January 15-16. The occasion runs from 5pm – 9pm Saturday and 10am – 4pm Sunday. Membership gross sales by the East Bay Bonsai Society and Marin Bonsai Membership each days. Admission is free.

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