Mark Arpag’s Dwarf Hinoki cypress is the third place winner in our Bonsai from Scratch Contest. Mark’s prize is a $150 gift certificate to Stone Lantern. See below for before photo.
“Nice crown, I like the way wire is used at the top. Wire could be used on lower branches on the right to the same effect.” Excellent; some confusing foliage/branching between the trunks; also, subdivide low branch pad on the small trunk, it’s too large for the trunk size.” “Couldn’t tell what we have from looking at the stock. Nice outcome.” “Great overall flow. Could reduce the top left branch on the second trunk that grows into the main trunk.”
I like the overall movement, the crown and the way the branching on the main trunk helps create a sense of balance. I think that balance is thrown off a bit by the overly heavy branching/foliage on the right side of the second trunk. In fact, I think the whole second trunk presents problems, though in the long run, keeping it is probably the right choice. It will just need some serious work over time.
Third, forth & fifth places
We’ve already presented our first place and second place finishers. This post presents the third, forth and fifth place finishers. Stay posted for some honorable mentions to come.
Dan Burke’s Chinese juniper finished fourth. Dan will receive a beautiful Nick Lenz pot that was donated by Todd Hansen of Sanctuary Bonsai.
“Very nice – most creative. Top is a little heavy.” “Well done; bring more foliage forward in the top third to hide the circular bend near the top of the trunk.” “Nice shari/jin just above the base. An excellent transformation of a stock plant with several difficult challenges; including weak lower branching, poor taper and a difficult top section. Good job!”
Nice feel. I like the overall shape, the shari/jin near the base and the wiring job. It will be interesting to see if some taper can be developed on the trunk over time and if some of the weaker branches can also be developed. I’ll also be interested to see how Dan deals with the heavy bend near the top. Overall, I think he is off to a very good start.
Ferry Freriks Pfitzer juniper finished fifth. Ferry will receive a $75.00 gift certificate from Stone Lantern. Before photo is below.
Very good; key branch could be lower; jins a bit long perhaps.” “Handled very nicely. Strong and beautiful.” “Highly creative transformation. Bottom jin is a little distracting.”
This one struck me as one of the most creative solutions of all (one judge ranked this tree highest and it came in third for most improved). Based on the comments and my observations, what held it back is the over-reliance on jins; especially the bottom one, which I find quite daring, but also quite distracting (it looks unnatural, like it is just wedged into that tight spot created where the trunk doubles back, and it keeps drawing my eye away from the tree and down to the lower right corner of the photo). When I imagine it without that long jin and with more restraint on the other jins (a little cleaner foliage too), I see a most excellent and very sweet, compact, well balanced tree.
Before photo of Mark Arpag’s Dwarf Hinoki cypress that finished third.
Before photo of Dan Burke’s Chinese juniper that finished fourth.
Before photo of Ferry Freriks Pfitzer juniper that finished fifth.
Source: Bonsai Bark