From Wild to Wild – Another Before & After Bonsai

9 months ago Nebby 0


After. This distinctive European spruce, aka Norway spruce (Picea abies) was collected in Switzerland in 1993. It's now 25cm (10") high and around 100 years old. The strikingly naturalistic pot (by Mateusz Grobeiny) and those little plants (succulents?) growing around the trunk and flowing down side of the pot add a strong natural touch. So natural that you might imagine stumbling upon the whole planting while hiking in the Alps. The artist and owner of the tree is Walter Pall. You can view the before and after together if you scroll down.

Too much going on here today, so we’ll take our short cut. This post –  another before and after – originally appeared last September (with some major reconfiguring and rewriting today).

Often with before and after bonsai, the progression is from wild to styled and sophisticated. Walter Pall’s trees often progress from wild to still wild, but transformed into compelling natural looking bonsai.

Continued below…


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Before and after together. From semi to full cascade. The new planting angle represents a dramatic shift from before. This must have entailed considerable reworking of the roots.

There used to be a bit of debate about naturalistic vs more stylized bonsai, but that was long ago. Now that our bonsai tastes are maturing, we are more inclined to evaluate trees individually, rather than in relation to other trees. Or in relation to conventional notions of style.

All the images featured in this post are from Walter Pall’s facebook photos.


Before. A closer look. This shot was taken well after the tree was collected and had been styled some.



An intermediate stage. This almost looks like a different tree. The U shaped curve that is so prominent here, has disappeared in the after photo at the top of the post. And what happened to trunk's swollen base? It must be hidden in the little plants that grow around it (again see the photo at the top).

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