Why not Young looking tree

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Why not Young looking tree

Post  Guest on Sun Mar 27, 2011 2:40 am

Hi IBC!

I got a question that I can't answer on my own.

Why do bonsai artists (mostly at least) always aspire for a very ancient or old looking tree as the ultimate goal of creating a bonsai. When I look around I appreciate both old and young trees that seems to be preparing for a very long journey in life. I personally think young trees got some character which is entirely different from that of a matured tree.
I think this also form some confusion on other artists specially those who are doing tropical trees. example of this, is that most of the time the bonsai tree designs here in the tropics got a triangular or pointed apex but the trunk looks very ancient. and the old tropical trees in the natural habitat forms a dome or almost flat canopy when the tree reached its full maturity. It is as if the canopy belongs to a matured pine and the trunk and base belongs to a tropical.
One of the reason I think is that most of the trees that came from Japan and China in the initial stage of bonsai history outside of these two countries are all very old looking trees. thus bias against young looking trees were formed.

I hope other IBC members can post young looking trees in this thread for others to appreciate, I got several of my own that I will post later.

regards,
jun
.
Smile


Last edited by jun on Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:53 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Why not a Young Looking Tree

Post  bonsaisr on Sun Mar 27, 2011 3:14 am

This reminds me of a discussion we had ten or 15 years ago on the old IBC digest. The experts from the Northern Hemisphere (East & West) insisted that the proper shape of a bonsai canopy is a scalene triangle (three different length sides). The triangle points up. The bonsaists from South Africa replied vociferously that it is no such thing, and in the cases where there is a triangle, it points down. There's that old rabbi joke again. We now know that both groups were right. Then there is the Chinese banyan shaped like a mushroom, the Pierneef style shaped like an umbrella, and I was a bit shocked a few years ago to discover that the natural canopy of a Chinese elm is as round as a lollipop (sucker).
Ironically, the traditional Oriental shape of a supposedly aged pine tree is a sharply pointed triangle. Actually that is the shape of a younger pine tree. Many pines, especially our favorite the Scots pine, in old age develop a rounded top.
Iris

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Re: Why not Young looking tree

Post  John Quinn on Sun Mar 27, 2011 4:49 am

I agree with you ,Jun. Here's an image of a young appearing Coral Bark maple, Sango Kaku.


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Re: Why not Young looking tree

Post  Guest on Sun Mar 27, 2011 8:50 am

You are right Jun, you have a good eye...creaters, some times ( or often) create confusion. Bonsaicreaters should not only study trees in exhibitions, but far more often in the nature.
Lovely young tree John.

Kind regards Yvonne

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Re: Why not Young looking tree

Post  Brett Summers on Sun Mar 27, 2011 10:36 am

To me I think of bonsai style the way I think of music. I like most types as long as it is good.
In general the older a tree is the more inspirational/interesting it is. Yet some younger trees can be very interesting the number of amazing 20 year old trees is much less as a percentage to amazing 500 year old trees.
Yet that is no reason to ignore the amazing young trees.
I think that the younger looking trees are harder to make look interesting as bonsai. In a way that makes the great ones as bonsai all the more amazing.
One of Lindsay Farr's WorldOfBonsai series visits a Japanese nursery where there is massive powerful pines one after the other until they become common place which is hard to imagine.
The most interesting thing I found on this episode was when Lindsay asked the head gardener to talk about his favourite tree it was a delicate pine or juniper? Forrest. When I mentioned this to Lindsay he stated he also was surprised but when the gardener explained what he saw in this composition it made every bit of sense.
I am sure if most members here myself included was able to pic one tree to take home it would not have been the head gardeners favourite.
Also I took note in Lindsay's series that the younger delicate tridents where also much more valued than they are here.
A thick trunked tree can easily make an impression. Literati only makes an impression when it is done perfectly. You can work out the rest Wink

I will chase up the WOB episode I am speaking of and link it Very Happy

Edit: That was all too easy I found it first guess Smile
http://bonsaifarm.tv/wob-series-2/wob2-3/
Lindsay has done a great service to bonsai with the WOB series

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Re: Why not Young looking tree

Post  Guest on Sun Mar 27, 2011 12:56 pm

Iris,

thanks for the explanation.

regards,
jun Smile


John,

thanks!
That young maple is as impressive as any other matured looking bonsai...That's precisely what I'm talking about, young but got a different appeal of its own.

regards,
jun
Smile


Hi Brett.

I think the gardener got so many old magnificent trees around him that all became too common for him.

I think you are right. most bonsai designers are all too aware of what ancient/old looking tree looks like, and mostly can easily follow the old yamadori trunk movement to come up with an impressive tree. but designing a young looking but impressive tree will take a different approach and we must control-alt-delete the idea on what a good matured tree looks like and have a total new programing targeted to the young tree design. IMHO Its like having different branch of bonsai education.
The trunk movement would be different, the branch formation would be different, the nebari would be different, the tapering would not be to obvious, the shari and jins would also be different if it is present in the design, and probably the wiring and other growing and grooming technique would not be the same as well from what we are doing in creating an ancient looking tree.
...I think I need to re-study again.

regards,
jun

study

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Re: Why not Young looking tree

Post  JimLewis on Sun Mar 27, 2011 1:21 pm

In Japan -- unlike so many parts of the west -- age is revered, both in people and in trees (or nature). That is, I suspect A reason for old trees (both old in terms of age as a bonsai and age in appearance) being the yardstick against which bonsai are measured.

It needn't be that way, of course -- as John's lovely tree clearly shows.

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Re: Why not Young looking tree

Post  Ravi Kiran on Sun Mar 27, 2011 6:27 pm

Great thread Jun... thanks for starting. I hope this gets the due attention and response it deserves. Sunday night 11 pm is not a good time for me to rattle my brains for a suitable response, hence this quick one. Shall gather my thoughts and post tomorrow.

Ravi

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Re: Why not Young looking tree

Post  Guest on Mon Mar 28, 2011 11:38 am

Thank you Jim and Ravi.

here is a young tamarind...




regards,
jun
Smile

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Re: Why not Young looking tree

Post  Guest on Mon Mar 28, 2011 11:57 am

Young local cherry, sorry forgot the latin name, bought the tree last year because its cheap and got potential, with basic branch formation already just continuing the design of the artist before me.



regards,
jun

Smile

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Re: Why not Young looking tree

Post  Guest on Mon Apr 04, 2011 6:48 pm

jun wrote:Hi IBC!

I got a question that I can't answer on my own.

Why do bonsai artists (mostly at least) always aspire for a very ancient or old looking tree as the ultimate goal of creating a bonsai. ..........
regards,
jun
.
Smile


Right off the top of my head I'd say that "aged" trees (bonsai or not) are more likely to feature several of those sought-after qualities that a young tree hasn't "yet" acquired. Buttressing, developed nebari, taper, blossoms, and the contrast of thick branch base and fine twig tips. It's sort of like shopping for an automobile: Comfort, simplicity, good looks, power, economical to operate, and affordable purchase price. If you can get all of that in one car, why settle for less?

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Re: Why not Young looking tree

Post  Chris Cochrane on Mon Apr 04, 2011 11:45 pm

To taint Japanese interests as only in aged trees is less than accurate. Many show quality trees are judged for a vigorous, long & vigorous primary branch expressing youth balanced by a short, fat & often acutely falling branch lacking vigor to represent age. Such trees suggest a full story of youth and advanced age. What younger or older enthusiast wouldn't smile at the balance branch as well as the primary branch found in tandem. When either is missing or misplaced, it is noticed by serious enthusiasts in Japan. Display of bonsai creates an atmosphere typically balancing age and youth.

Among other Japanese expressing youthful trees, we find "Pop Bonsai" by Lisa Tajima and arguably more serious "Saika Bonsai" by Kaori Yamada-- both have avid students & receive plaudits. One of the most successful bonsai vendors in the Tokyo area is Seiji Morimae; he always displays bonsai with focus on youth in his Ginza shop & encourages a broad range of enthusiasts by offering affordable & evocative, but less age-enhanced, plantings in his shop.

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Re: Why not Young looking tree

Post  NemusStipes on Mon Apr 04, 2011 11:54 pm

I had read somewhere that because it took longer to create the image of an old tree, those were the more sought after trees. And thus a culture was created with the idea that older treas are the only acceptable trees. Again, just regurgitating information.


='-'= -meow

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Re: Why not Young looking tree

Post  littleart-fx on Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:39 am

Hi! All!

As for most artists among us the younger trees are easy to be found...
As for the picture,....a hard working time aged tree does simply more for the mind!

As for example a young couple asks you the way to get somewhere....youre reaction would be different
as it where 80 year olds ....

Its all with the image.....plus is you can shape young trees easier!

grtz Machiel who painted black today........walls they are.....in his own bedroom....

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Re: Why not Young looking tree

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