Members’ Choice Awards
Bay Island Bonsai held their 12th annual exhibit last weekend at the Alameda County Fairgrounds. The show was a big success, drawing several hundred bonsai enthusiasts from around the country.
Each year a handful of trees receive Members’ Choice Awards. Here are the 2011 winners.
Ogata (large) conifer bonsai – Western juniper
Ogata deciduous or broadleaf bonsai – Ficus benjimina
Chuhin (medium) conifer bonsai – Japanese black pine
Chuhin deciduous or broadleaf bonsai – Corkbark elm
Kifu (medium-small) conifer bonsai – Japanese white pine ‘Myojo’
Kifu deciduous or broadleaf bonsai – Olive
Shohin (small) conifer bonsai – Japanese black pine
Shohin deciduous or broadleaf bonsai – Flowering quince ‘Chojubai’
Bay Island Bonsai members have been judging their exhibit trees from the first exhibit to the present. While the details may change a bit from year to year, the basics remain the same:
- Members vote for their top choice in each category
- Winning trees are not eligible to win again for five years
As our teacher, Boon doesn’t get a vote, and his trees are not eligible for voting. To help the rest of us identify winners, Boon runs practice judging exercises throughout the year. We use a simple judging form for these exercises with the following categories:
- Trunk (10 pionts)
- Roots (5 points)
- Branches (5 points)
- Pot (5 points)
- Overall aesthetic (5 points)
By evaluating trees on the above criteria, we can refine our skill at recognizing excellence in each category. I’ve always enjoyed the exercise, and I found it useful this year as there was strong competition in several categories.