Setting the Record Straight

2 months ago Nebby 0

Source: Bonsaibark.


If you think you've seen this tree before, it might be because we featured it a couple weeks ago. However, this photo is not identical to the one we used then, but is rather a photo we just received from Bill Valavanis. See if you can tell the difference (to make it easy for you, the two photos are together just below).

Bill Valavanis (our recent Hall of Fame inductee) just sent me the photo above (along with some comments – see below). The photo original photo that we used a couple weeks ago was borrowed from Micheal Bonsai (it’s the one on the top just below). The tree is a sinuous root Five needle Japanese pine, often call Japanese white pine. Either way it’s Goyomatsu in Japan and a Pinus parviflora in Latin.


Here are the two photos close together for easy comparison. Can you see the difference? It's a little subtle for sure, but once you see it, the improvement is obvious. Hint, the improved version is the one on the bottom.
Here are Bill’s comments…
Goyo means five needles. That’s why the correct common name for Pinus parviflora is Japanese five-needle pine. It’s also called Japanese white pine in common horticultural writings in English. I wrote an entire book on this species. Since Japanese five-needle pine is closer to the common Japanese name, that’s the name I use. It came out at $10, now $650, if you can find it.
Continued below…
Bill’s comments continued…
The bonsai is not multiple trunk, its a sinuous style. If you carefully look two branches or trunks have been laid down with curves to create depth. If the trunks on the ground were straight it would be called raft style. Most of the bonsai in this form are sinuous, not raft. But raft is used because its easier to say. By the way, this species is rarely used to create a forest from individual trees. The needles vary tremendously and it would be quite difficult to find two trees with the same needles characteristics.
This bonsai is beautiful, but I fail to see a distinctive eye movement the way its positioned in the container. The distance from the lip of the container to the first tree are the same on both sides. I don’t know where to look first, left or right. The tree was symmetrically positioned in the container. I think an asymmetrical position would improve the total aesthetic impact of this beautiful bonsai.Look at my changes. Now the tree has eye movement right to left.”

And while we’re at it, here’s another correction, also on a Japanese five needle pine. And also thanks to the keen eye and quick mind of Bill Valavanis

The lead tree from our post a few days ago titled Multi Headed Monster & Other Brilliant Bonsai
When I posted the tree above, I said that it and the others shown in the same post, reside at Bonsai Plaza in Delft, Netherlands. My mistake. They live in Japan. However, in my defense it says the following on Bonsai Plaza’s site … “The bonsai webshop is online with all exclusive imported Bonsai from Japan.” So you might see where I was coming from, though on reflection, I’m not sure that either the judge or the jury are buying it.
And because I enjoyed reading Bill’s note in spite of the egg all over my face, I thought you might enjoy it too…
Bill’s comment…
By the way, those images from Bonsai Plaza in The Netherlands are still in Japan, or at least they were a few weeks ago. Check out my blog on the Genkokai Exhibit, I wrote about that literati Sargent juniper and Morimae gave us a mini-lesson on its display. So it WAS in Kyoto on November 18th. Perhaps they have super quick shipping? It belonged to a private collector too, not Morimae, who only displayed it. Don’t know where that information came from… don’t care either, just wanted you to know.”



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