Bonsai tree: Bonsai the Natural Way and the Hand of Man

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Bonsai tree: Bonsai the Natural Way and the Hand of Man


My best guess is that this powerful old tree is a needle juniper (Juniperus rigida), though I can’t be sure. Whatever it is, it seems to posses an extraordinary number of separate live veins and a massive amount of deadwood to boot. It’s from Gyozan Nakano, Sakai: A 35 Year Anthology (not available in English).

Nature and the hand of man

Though the tree above is quite powerful and leagues above most bonsai, still, you might fine the busyness around its base (and other places) a little distracting. I’m not sure I’d do anything about it, as attempts to improve on the work of natural forces that took hundreds of years shouldn’t be done lightly. But then, the hand of man is obvious in this tree (and most bonsai) and it’s almost certain that the deadwood has been refined.

Dan Robinson’s bonsai

Speaking of the hand of man, Dan Robinson’s bonsai (Gnarly Branches, Ancient Trees) may be the best example around of trees that appear almost completely natural and uncontrived.


This Mountain hemlock expresses Dan Robinson’s respect for how nature does it. Not that he doesn’t add his touch; he does, but it’s masterful and not at all obvious. Photo is from Gnarly Branches, Ancient Trees, by Will Hiltz.

Source: Bonsai Bark


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