Bonsai tree: Members’ Choice Awards

Friday, January 21, 2011

Bonsai tree: Members’ Choice Awards

Source: Bonsai Tonight
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.

Western juniper - ogata

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.


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