Monday, December 4, 2023
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What Do We Name The Prime Of A Bonsai?

The highest?





And extra importantly—does it matter?


The Japanese name the highest of a bonsai the “atama”, which is head. As an apprentice, gentle bulbs went off after I heard them calling the highest the pinnacle.

A long time earlier than I’d been taught it was the “apex”. Oxford Dictionaries defines apex as: “The highest or highest a part of one thing, particularly one forming some extent”.

I suppose I could have been too literal however for years my bonsai had pointy tops. At all times on the lookout for the subsequent chief on younger bonsai. By no means going for rounded.

A head is rounded. What we would like our mature bonsai to have. Many small shoots filling out a rounded tree head—even when that head may be very small, like on a thin-trunked bonsai.

Now I ponder concerning the energy of phrases, of semantics. Does it matter?

It might.

”Prime” lacks analogy that would give it relatability. It’s a bit imprecise.

”Apex” might have use with pre-bonsai once we’re swapping out leaders to create motion and taper.

“Crown” may be a fairly good phrase for the highest of a mature bonsai, as a crown goes on a rounded head. It provides a picture to wrap our minds round. However the picture above claims the crown because the again of the pinnacle, which muddies issues.

“Cover” sounds good, too. However on wanting up the definition—“the branches and leaves that unfold out on the tops of bushes within the woods”—the cover is excessive, but it surely’s additionally imprecise. A cover would come with the tops of different bushes, if in a forest.

If a mature, rounded high of foliage is desired, “apex”, “high”, and “cover” possibly not the perfect phrases, with “crown” possibly most correct. “Head” feels awkward, because it consists of jaw, cheek, and nostril—however then, given the  complexity of micro-views via the foliage of a mature bonsai, it’s really not a foul choice.

My favourite should be crown, if naming the outer extremity of the rounded high of the bonsai is what we’re after. I like that it it’s not a imprecise time period and has relatability (which helps me bear in mind it). However I think our private preferences and the way we infer these definitions all matter.

Please chime in along with your favorites!

Bulletin Board September 2023

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