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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 9:44 am 
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Location: Lorton, Va.
I agree that winter exhibits are excellent and I agree they aren't as numerous as they should be. I think, however, this is more an effect of simple weather (at least here on the East Coast of N.A.) than of some misconstrued plot hatched by club-wielding bonsai oafs ;-).

The National Arboretum in D.C. has held a "winter silhouttes" exhibit for several years now. It's gotten some reasonable publicity in the Washington Post during that time. Getting listed, or having a short article, in the newpaper's garden events and weekend sections generally produces throngs of people for many other events-not for the winter exhibit, though, from what I've seen.

That's because it's in February. People, in general (bonsaiist excluded), don't want to look at bare trees in February. They've had enough of them and of winter and are looking to spring. That mindset is a difficult thing to get around.

Show organizers want people to come to their show. That's the reason for having them. Winter shows don't draw enough general attendance to support them, regardless of how many "bonsai cognescenti" show up.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2005 3:29 am 
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To me, looking at a deciduous tree in leaf is only half the story.

Sorry, Jerry, but that kind of statement always makes me grin. If the "deciduous tree in leaf is only half the story", than surely the denuded tree is "only" the other half?

Nonetheless, I see the point of this article. 'Integrity' comes to mind: the essential tree is displayed, without any chance of disguising flaws or faults.
And yes, perfectly styled, denuded trees are very much worth pausing for, admiring, and studying. I'm not entirely sure, but I think I would learn more from a bare tree than from one in full leaf.

OK, that's one half.

Now the other:

Quote:
A bonsai that looks good without leaves will also look good with leaves.


Rob, I thought the same, but after some reflection I came to the conclusion that this is not necessarily so. A very symmetrical crown could produce a rather boring silhouette in Summer.

It seems to me that with Winter displays, there is a greater emphasis on technique rather than on aesthetic appeal. although the aesthetic part is not missing. Maybe it leads to ignoring the heck of a lot of knowledge it takes, both of horticultural and bonsai techniques, to get a beautiful head of foliage. This involves (sometimes) the defining of tiers, the judging of the amount of branching that should be visible, and having the leaves all healthy, evenly sized and placed, so as to fit in with the image of a miniature tree.

The latter is easier to evoke with a denuded tree!

Isn't therefore a deciduous tree in full leaf the epitome of bonsai?

Lisa


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2005 1:11 am 
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Location: Toronto
Rob Kempinski wrote:
A bonsai that looks good without leaves will also look good with leaves.

The point of this discussion though, as I understand it, is that the reverse is not necessarily true.
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One has to recognize that this is the natural process of the tree and there is beauty in both stages.

I fully agree. But the bonsai quality of the tree is best judged in its bare state. A pleasing canopy can easily be achieved with hedge trimmers.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2005 1:35 am 
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Location: Toronto
Lisa Kanis wrote:
Quote:
To me, looking at a deciduous tree in leaf is only half the story.

Sorry, Jerry, but that kind of statement always makes me grin. If the "deciduous tree in leaf is only half the story", than surely the denuded tree is "only" the other half?

LOL
Quote:
I'm not entirely sure, but I think I would learn more from a bare tree than from one in full leaf.

I am entirely sure. You learn nothing from a tree in full leaf. That is not to say anything about its value as a bonsai. But the proof of a deciduous bonsai is in its bare state. That is what best shows off the skills of its owner.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2005 3:53 pm 
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Location: Melbourne, Florida USA
Reiner Goebel wrote:
But the proof of a deciduous bonsai is in its bare state. That is what best shows off the skills of its owner.

I can think of several decidious species that require much more skill to look good when in leaf as when bare - Bald Cypress being one of them. Without leaves, its easy to make them look good. In leaf they are a handful. Take a look at the flat top style BC at the Weyerhauser exhibit as an example. David Degroot does a skillful job keeping it good looking when in leaf. This same sitution applies to crab apples, plum, and any other large leaf species.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 2:11 am 
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Rob Kempinski wrote:
Reiner Goebel wrote:
But the proof of a deciduous bonsai is in its bare state. That is what best shows off the skills of its owner.

I can think of several decidious species that require much more skill to look good when in leaf as when bare.

Well, if one knows how to make a deciduous tree look good in its bare state, I don't see how one can have a problem with making it look good fully clothed. After all, it's in its fully clothed stage that the groundwork is laid for its attraction in nudity


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2005 11:02 am 
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Reiner Goebel wrote:
Well, if one knows how to make a deciduous tree look good in its bare state, I don't see how one can have a problem with making it look good fully clothed. After all, it's in its fully clothed stage that the groundwork is laid for its attraction in nudity

Two word - compound leaves.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2005 11:16 am 
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Location: Michigan USA
Reiner Goebel wrote:
I am entirely sure. You learn nothing from a tree in full leaf. That is not to say anything about its value as a bonsai. But the proof of a deciduous bonsai is in its bare state. That is what best shows off the skills of its owner.


Well put.

I would venture to say that it is easier to make a bonsai attractive in full leaf than without foliage. Foliage can and does hide a lot of flaws, compound leafs or not.

In the bare state there is no hiding, do disguising, no camouflage, it is all tree and technique, there is nothing else. It is the ?Naked Truth.?

Will Heath


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2005 1:54 pm 
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Location: Orange County NY
I'm wondering if part of the reason that Americans tend to display deciduous trees during the growing season rather than in the winter is simply because they like the green, and don't appreciate the artistic value of a finely ramified tree. For many, winter is a depressing time and not a season to be celebrated as something of value. Here in New York, for instance, people whine about winter, how cold it is, how much they hate snow, etc. Trees without leaves are just another reminder that it isn't spring.

So, it might be a matter of education. This may also beg the "art vs. horticulture" viewpoints. From an artistic standpoint, a bare, dormant deciduous tree is a work of art. From a horticultural standpoint, it's dormant--that's it.

Craig Cowing
NY
Zone 5b/6a Sunset 37


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2005 10:33 am 
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Location: Huntersville, NC USA
Wow, I just had an epiphany. That @#$%*& elm I lost, I can just put some nice moss on it, clean up the pot and display it next month (May) as "defoliated". Brilliant!!!

Seriously, I see the value of defoliated displays since the branch definition cannot be hidden, still I cannot say I prefer it. I do sometimes wonder how pines fare in competition inundated with defoliated specimens of other species. Seems like they would be at a disadvantage, since they cannot accept the same treatment.

If I had to choose the "ideal" time to display most decidious species, I still have to go with fall/autumn at optimum leaf color change. This is the most appealing to me. Full leaf and completely defoliated tie in second, in my opinion.

What wonderful options we are provided throughout the year! Isn't it a great "problem" to have?

John


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