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"And the LORD God made ... trees that were pleasing to the eye ..." Gen. 2:9, New International Version.

"Bonsai isn't just something I do; it's part of what I am." Remark to my wife and daughter.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Mid-America Bonsai Show 2013, Part V. Temperate broadleaves.

     Maples are probably used for bonsai more than any other non-conifers, in the planet's temperate zones. And the trident maple (Acer buergerianum) is, I think, the maple used more than any other. (Tho a couple of others give it competition.) In this part of the USA, I don't think anyone is more known for his work with trident maples than Matt Ouwinga of Kaede Bonsai En. Two of Matt's trident maple bonsai particularly got my attention.

Acer buergerianum works superbly well for root-over-rock compositions: its roots seem to almost mold themselves to the rock, filling in the fissures. And I've never seen one that did that more dramatically than this tree!

Root-over-rock trident maple, Acer buergerianum. Matt Ouwinga, owner and artist

Here's a closer view of the tree's base.

The tree and rock appear to have been well cleaned for the show, too.
Bjorn Bjorholm, in the Exhibit Critique, betrayed a bit of surprise at the size of this tree's leaves. I suspect that it was a case of the tree's overall health taking precedence over a show schedule.

Another of Matt's trident maples got a double-take out of me. No offense to Matt, but I almost expected it to slide slowly across the moss under its own power, like Jabba the Hutt! The spidery look of the stand no doubt contributed to that. (It wouldn't surprise me if Matt chose the stand with that whimsy in mind.)

This clump is obviously grown from a root cutting.

Here's a close-up of the base.

Trident maple is also know for the impressive basal plate it can produce.

This Japanese maple (Acer palmatum) was just starting to change color.

Nice general image.
While the base is well-developed, the branching still has a way to go.

Potentilla (Potentilla fruticosa,) a.k.a. cinquefoil, is widely planted in the landscape. But it also can make a good bonsai, especially when in flower. (This one wasn't quite yet.) Developing a respectable trunk takes some time and some patience.

Because of the soft wood, potentilla lends itself easily to cascade styles. Good choice of pot color here, too.

Some bonsai artists in the US are starting to experiment with not-quite-traditional ideas for display, and as long as the results are artistically pleasing, I'm all for it. Here's an example, as the final picture of this post.

Elm (presumed Chinese) sharing a wooden slab with the accent plant.
Next post: a few tropicals and suiseki.

:-)  :-)  :-)

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