Auction Bonsai of the Month - July, 2007

Bonsai Nut

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Five Needle Pine, Yahoo! Auction Japan
 

Bonsai Nut

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An interesting White Pine

To start off our new "Auction Bonsai of the Month" feature, here is an interesting White Pine from Takamatsu city in Kagawa prefecture. The most obvious feature of this fine tree is the amazing nebari. How can you develop nebari like this on a white pine, whose roots are notoriously weak? What do you think about the rest of the tree? There is little other information available on the tree aside from its dimensions (and the fact that the owner will not ship internationally) The opening bid for this tree is 100,000 Yen (approx. $810) on Yahoo! Auction Japan, though I am sure the tree will sell for more.





 

Vance Wood

Lord Mugo
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Of course I am just voicing what I think from what I can observe, so take that for what its worth. First of all I suspect the tree is grafted, but not in the usually scion/stock type relationship where the top of the tree is grafted onto a JBP stump where the difference between can be clearly discerned by the different bark and the large ledge between the two halves of the graft. I believe this tree was cultivated trunk and branches as a Black Pine (due to the nature of the bark) and the White Pine foliage was grafted in at the secondary branch level, leaving a predominantly Black Pine trunk with White Pine foliage. Yoshimura mentions this technique but I have not seen it done or demonstrated in many years. Aside from that the tree is an artistic masterpiece and a cultivational wonder.
 
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I think Vance hit this one squarely on the head. The plated bark goes almost to the crown of the tree, which indicates to me that it's the same material. As a cross graft, I don't know what that will do to the perceived value of this tree, but for me it's more valuable than the typical swollen stump and change of bark characteristics we have all seen.
 

Tachigi

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I agree with Vance that its a graft. I would say the branches were grafted vs. the foliage. The branch bark is far to smooth to be a black pine. Which is most obvious in the upper portion of the tree. The lower branches show some age and maturity. Some plating can be seen which is not uncommon with Zuisho white pine that have begun to mature. I believe the graft material is Zuisho based on the foliage size color and configuration. I think that you may even see the branch graft marks on the 1st and 2nd branch left hand side bottom picture, wish the picture were larger to confirm this.

This has been done around here by a couple of different people that have a study group dedicated to pine bonsai.
 

Bonsai Nut

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I agree with Vance that its a graft.
Even assuming it is a graft, how would you get that nebari - even on a black pine? The flare at the base of the trunk is insane. Is there a secret to it? It almost looks like the pine was planted on top of a flat tile or something to force the spread.
 
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It may well have been, or it may have been a collected tree. I think the nebari is good as shown in photo 2, but have my reservations about 1 and three, where it looks too high at the edges and clunky. And no, I don't have any trees with a nebari as good as that one, so shut up.
 

BONSAI_OUTLAW

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Good Lord...I wish we had trees like this here in the states for sale at 810 dollars.
 

Graydon

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Thanks for the new feature BNut. I am always happy to salivate over photos from Yahoo Japan auctions. Darn shame that it would be illegal to have some of those plants shipped to the US without going thru customs and quarantine, would not want to bring the dreaded pine wood nematode back to the US after we stupidly sent it to Japan after the end of WWII.

Anyhow in my opinion Vance hit the home run with the first at bat on this one. I can agree with everyone that it does look like a nice JBP trunk adorned with JWP branches, and a good job to boot. I am fascinated with the notion of taking a nice stump and deciding where the branches will go, completely ignoring what is currently on the tree. I would like to see this used more often as I see nice trees that have branches far too large for the finished tree, or branches that ascend the trunk that are nearly the same caliper.

I can't say much about this tree, the base is spectacular, perhaps a bit too spectacular as I can't stop looking at it. I would consider trying to plant it a smidgen deeper so that the base seemed to be a bit more in proportion with the rest of the tree and not sitting under the tree like a circus freak (sorry if we have some circus freak members, did not mean to offend you).

Thanks again!
 

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