Some Recently Acquired Shohin

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Some Recently Acquired Shohin

Post  robert nocher on Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:03 pm

Hi All,

I was bitten by the shohin bug, when I saw some for the first time at a local show in Glasgow about I year ago. I think it was the charm they projected when displayed as a group which first appealed to me. When I got home I immediately started to re-evaluate all the pre-bonsai material I had collected over the years with a view to reducing them to shohin proportions in the spring. This task is well underway and I now have about 60 uncut gems primed and prepped to deliver their potential in the coming years.

After a trip to the British Shohin Association’s show in March of this year, I was in awe at the quality of the trees and the standard of display that I saw there. I left feeling rather deflated that it might be many years indeed before my little treasures were sufficiently developed to grace those benches.

Undeterred, I have continued on my quest to seek out better quality material and to improve the trees that I have. On that note, I thought that I would share a few pics of some that are looking quite presentable at the moment. All have been acquired in the past year from bonsai nurseries in the north of the UK.

The first is a little cork barked elm, potted in the spring in this nice green glazed pot by Erin. This guy grows like wildfire and I have rooted several cuttings from it already.


The second is a shimpaku juniper; this tree was great value for the money IMO. The first picture shows the tree just after I bought it and the second after a bit of pruning, wiring and a re-pot into a fantastic Stone Monkey pot.



The third is a corkscrew itoigawa juniper. I love this tree. The first picture shows the tree as it looked when I got it home. The foliage in the apex sat too far forward of the trunk axis to be useful in the final design so it had to go. The second picture shows how the tree looks at the moment after some pruning, wiring and a slight change of planting angle. I have a lovely pot by Peter Krebs to transplant this into next spring. I was slightly disappointed when I read in another post on the forum that corkscrew junipers are considered by some people in the UK as “fun” but “common”, I would love to know what that means.



The fourth is an Acer palmatum Shishigashira. I transplanted the tree as soon as I acquired it in the spring into this rectangular glazed pot by Walsall Ceramics. At 23cm. it may be considered a little large for a shohin.


And finally, a Punica Granatum. I haven’t done a thing to this tree yet other than the occasional prune. I am not sure how it will perform in our cool damp climate and I don’t expect I’ll see it flower or bear fruit but it has a nice trunk and primary branches which hopefully will produce a nice winter image when it fills out. The pot is a Tongrae glazed oval; I am hoping to find a better one soon.


I hope that you like the trees. As a shohin novice, all constructive comments and advice will be greatly appreciated.

Regards
Robert Nocher

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Re: Some Recently Acquired Shohin

Post  Orion on Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:48 pm

Excellent collection!

I'm deeply jealous of the junipers; I've always had an affinity for them. One of the nice things about shohin is less relative cost for nice pieces, plus the space issues. Put up more pics. if you have them, they're a joy to look at.

Thanks for posting.

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Re: Some Recently Acquired Shohin

Post  stagz on Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:24 pm

great work! they look awesome and have a bright future ahead of them. im jealous affraid

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Re: Some Recently Acquired Shohin

Post  fiona on Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:34 pm

Looking like good candidates for the next BSA show, Robert.

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Re: Some Recently Acquired Shohin

Post  Orion on Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:53 pm

Robert,

I saw in your post you had a question regarding "corkscrew" junipers sometimes viewed as "fun" or "common". What happens frequently is that the effect is too predictable and looks more like a barber pole and not something seen naturally occurring.

Depending on where you live this style may be more prevalent/available. It is a type that is commonly seen with Japanese or Chinese imports; sort of like the "S" curve elms. I think in European bonsai circles it has been seen as overdone simply because you folks have had more apparent access to these imports. I don't know to what degree bonsai aficionados in the U.K. continue to cultivate junipers in this manner, but I've seen quite a few.

In America they are far less common. Generally, it's something that has to be cultivated from very thin stock over time, so over here there is more "wow" factor.

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Re: Some Recently Acquired Shohin

Post  fiona on Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:08 pm

There were a couple of posts going back as far as 2009 about how these shohin sized corkscrew junipers had acquired "cookie cutter" status as they were all pretty similar and I think there was an element of truth in the contention that the bonsai nurseries in Japan etc were producing them to a formula as a sort of upmarket S-shaped Chinese Elm. However, I think that level of commonness has all but gone and we are now seeing more individually styled ones coming through the shows - a number of them truly excellent and outstanding trees. Although not perhaps in either of those categories, I have two of them in varying stages of completion and I am trying to make them as different as their initial shaping allows. Yours is well on its way to being an excellent tree too. I look forward to seeing it in its Peter Krebs pot as well.

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Re: Some Recently Acquired Shohin

Post  AboveBeyond on Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:19 pm

I I love your maple!

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Re: Some Recently Acquired Shohin

Post  Poink88 on Tue Aug 28, 2012 12:12 am

I love them all!!! cheers

Please post more.

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Re: Some Recently Acquired Shohin

Post  storm_snows2006 on Tue Aug 28, 2012 8:13 am

I like it, please post picture more

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Re: Some Recently Acquired Shohin

Post  Andrew Legg on Tue Aug 28, 2012 11:38 am

Robert,

You ask for advice. Here's mine. Box them all back up and send them to me. cheers

Cheers,

Andrew

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Re: Some Recently Acquired Shohin

Post  Brett Summers on Tue Aug 28, 2012 2:20 pm

Great, thanks for showing.

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Re: Some Recently Acquired Shohin

Post  robert nocher on Tue Aug 28, 2012 3:13 pm

Hi to All,

Stagz, AboveBeyond, Storm, Andrew and Brett thanks you for nice comments, they give me encouragement and are much appreciated

Dario, many thanks also, I will post some more pictures later today

Orion and Fiona, Thank you both for your insights into the status of corkscrew junipers. Fiona, I love the one you have in your gallery. When I think of cookie cutter images, the first thing that comes into my head is the classic shohin JBP that we all covet and drool over, which is always given the pride of place at the top of a shohin bonsai display. Like the corkscrew juniper, it's degree of refinement is unlike anything we would come accross in nature but it doesn't stop us loving it for what it is.

Regards
Robert Nocher

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Re: Some Recently Acquired Shohin

Post  fiona on Tue Aug 28, 2012 3:40 pm

If you're interested my other one was the subject of a thread in 2009. You can find it HERE. I really must get an update on to that thread although the tree is nowhere near completion because of some damage it incurred in the bad weather of two winters ago. But it's on the mend.

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Re: Some Recently Acquired Shohin

Post  robert nocher on Tue Aug 28, 2012 5:13 pm

Fantastic tree Fiona, I look forward to the update

Regards

Robert Nocher

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Re: Some Recently Acquired Shohin

Post  robert nocher on Tue Aug 28, 2012 5:56 pm

Here's a few more pictures of my Pomegranite from different angles before it came into leaf. As you can see, the apex sits very far forward of the main trunk. I know that many people at the moment are suggesting that wherever possible we should have it that way to make the composition more embracing but I am not so sure how effective that would be with a shohin. At the next re-pot I am thinking tilting the tree until the apex is more upright like the virtual in picture 5, I would be interested to hear what others think.

Front

Right Side

Back

Left Side

Virt of potential new planting angle


Regards
Robert Nocher

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Re: Some Recently Acquired Shohin

Post  JudyB on Tue Aug 28, 2012 5:58 pm

Robert, I really appreciate what you've done with these. Do you have any photos of the ones you are downsizing as before and after images? It would be interesting to see a larger tree and how that works into the smaller tree. I think shohin are more difficult than larger trees, all the details have to be perfected to get a realistic feel. But I'm smitten with shohin trees that are done well.
Cheers!

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Re: Some Recently Acquired Shohin

Post  JudyB on Tue Aug 28, 2012 6:01 pm

And I think the new angle is a good plan on the Pom. It looks awkward to me with the forward bend so exaggerated on a smaller tree. Lovely tree, thanks for sharing it.

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Re: Some Recently Acquired Shohin

Post  robert nocher on Tue Aug 28, 2012 6:31 pm

Hi Judy,
Thanks for your comments, most of the trees that I am downsizing are little more than stumps in pots at the moment. It will be another year before any of those are worth showing on the forum.

regards

Robert Nocher

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Some recently aquired Shohin

Post  Bob Bailey on Tue Aug 28, 2012 7:01 pm

Hi Robert

Congratulations some very nice trees in your collection,you have certainly made a great start.
It,s a long journey for you,but ShohinUK next March will be the place to be,we hope to have the top Shohin in the UK there.
(See announcments) Entries are open to everyone.

Good Luck with your trees and well done
Bob

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Love that maple

Post  Sam Ogranaja on Tue Aug 28, 2012 7:17 pm

AboveBeyond wrote:I I love your maple!

Me too!!!! Fantastic little tree!!!
Sam

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Re: Some Recently Acquired Shohin

Post  robert nocher on Tue Aug 28, 2012 7:44 pm

Hi Bob,
Thanks for the encouragement, it means a lot to me, your tree's as well as those of Mark and Rita have been my inspiration. I am very much looking forward to the ShohinUK Event.

Hi Sam,
Thank you for your nice comment, much appreciated also.

Regards

Robert Nocher

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Re: Some Recently Acquired Shohin

Post  Ian Young on Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:21 pm

Hi Robert,

A nice bunch of trees there, I'm very taken with the maple. The BSA Show left me in a similar mood Very Happy
Are you attending the Ryan Neil demo in January? We can have a catch up there.

Ian Young
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Re: Some Recently Acquired Shohin

Post  AboveBeyond on Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:58 am

AboveBeyond wrote:I I love your maple!

Rob, I love your maple so much that I have to ask what size is the trunk? Thanks! Laughing

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Re: Some Recently Acquired Shohin

Post  Chisky on Wed Aug 29, 2012 8:30 pm

I liked the final picture the best. I don't know what kind of tree it is but it is in a pink and blue pot. I'm not too fond of the pot, but then I'm knew so what do I know.

How big were these trees when you started training them?

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Re: Some Recently Acquired Shohin

Post  marcus watts on Wed Aug 29, 2012 9:57 pm

the shishi is the real pick of the bunch - unique and very nice, be very proud of that tree, it is really good

corky elm i'd pot up and get the trunk to flare out a bit over the next few years, then define the branching so there is foliage and spaces maybe?

- Re. the curly junipers....yes I agree - there are hundreds over here and like i said to Peter Snart a few months back I think it is getting a bit familiar in displays (my exact observation / conversation was that the majority of shohin displays seem to have a triangular black pine, a cork screw juniper, and a cork elm or zelkova).... if I was bitten by the little tree bug I would look at the very best full sized juniper bonsai and try to emulate them - not many 24"-36 corkscrews are setting the world of bonsai display alight but i think every bonsai grower should have one - they are fun to play with and do look quite cool . . . . . one day there may be a corkscrew thread..............

have to say once more - great acer - even though at a guess you see the pomegranite as the main tree?? Very Happy

cheers Marcus

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Re: Some Recently Acquired Shohin

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