Further pics and footage of beautiful trees on display at the World Bonsai Convention in Saitama, Japan…
The famous Hiryu, or, Flying Dragon, the tree that greeted attendees at the entrance.
The famous juniper above was both the logo tree for the convention and the entrance tree. Hiryu is estimated to be over 1000 years old, collected from the Mountains behind Itoigawa City in 1983. I first saw Hiryu in Sabaro Kato’s garden a few years back before it had been fully styled, and it was incredible. It was fantastic to see it again, with it’s design fully realised. It was difficult to get a shot of it as there were masses of people gathering in awe of it throughout the entire convention.
Hiryu posing for the endless cameras at the entrance.
Naoji Ito (left) after collecting the tree, and Saburo Kato, working on it in his garden, Mansei En. These photos give you a better idea of the massive size of the Flying Dragon…
Top section of the tree. Beautiful interplay between foliage and deadwood.
Trunk detail, with it’s marvellous twists and deadwood.
Juniper and White Pine…
A glimpse down one of the many rows of incredible trees.
The juniper above has some incredibly fluid deadwood, like wood flowing as water…
A twisting shoulder of deadwood.
The wave-like flow.
The tree and display above was particularly impressive. The lightning strike of the scroll on black added to the dark and imposing mood of the tree. Tosho are one of my favourite species, both due to the incredible pad detail that can be achieved, casting light/dark areas throughout, and perhaps the best deadwood of any tree species.
The base, just look at that deadwood.
A shot from the left hand side to give you a better idea of the scale of this masterpiece….
An elegant ‘Mother & child’ juniper.
Video of another stunning juniper, giving you a better feel for the detail you often can’t convey in stills.
A famous Juniper rock planting.
Elegant large juniper.
Awesome Juniper from the Funayama Collection.
Beautiful pad positioning.
One of the (many) things I studied on trees at the WBC was grafting. It is always so well done that it can be very hard to spot. Always trying to improve our own junipers, I’m looking to where and at what angles the grafts are positioned. Below you can see where a graft was placed to create a pad at the bottom front of the cascading branch, helping to break the line of the deadwood.
Detail of old graft union.
Awesome wave-like cascade.
Video footage of the juniper above, it’s a great tree! Those foliage pads are so dense, and so vibrant, it made the tree stand out from the other end of the display…
Closer shot of the mid-section.
A couple of Ezo Spruce now… The footage of the one above is a famous old tree, while the vid below takes you through the details of another fantastic ezo.
Ezo Spruce buds.
A fine old Yew with it’s vibrant spring shoots.
Saburo Kato’s famous Ezo forest!! Check the vid below for a better feel for it, and for scale…
Detail of Hinoki rock planting. These cypress looked sooo old on this rock.
And the lower section.
Crazy big spreading Satsuki azalea. The branch structure is incredible.
Looking in and upward.
Beautiful spring yew foliage.
Video of an incredibly well ramified Beech!
Right hand side.
Love the sharpness to Beech buds in winter.
A massive Ezo spruce. The trunk was bigger than the width of my waist… Looking at the photo you’d never guess the size of this beast.
My favourite variety of maple, a huge Shishigashira. Very impressive!
Next up, some amazing trees from the trade stand section of the WBC in Saitama, cheers!