group planting terminology

bonsaiTOM

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I don't see many recent posts on group planting. Having decided that this would be my year to create a few new projects centered around 'groups' I have been acquiring some material. And it is time to get my feet wet. Got some nice trident saplings from Bill Valavanis and larches from Pauline Muth and David Easterbrook. Some were workshop trees.

I'm spending weekends in April assembling my groups and I came up with this question : "What defines a clump-style?, or a grove?, a forest?" Is it simply the number of trees used?...the proximity of the base of the trunks? The density? I wonder because when discussing these I want to call them by their correct names.

Can't see the forest thru the clump! :D
Sorry - I can't post any pics.
 

jk_lewis

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In a clump, the tree bases are all more or less "stemming" from the same point: \|/.

A grove is (generally) fewer trees than a forest, but more than a 2 or 3 tree composition.

But there's really not much difference between a grove and a forest. If you can creat distinct groupings of trees, you may have a grove. If you can't see the forest for the trees, you may have a forest.
 

cquinn

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Get Saburo Kato's book before you really get going. There is ALOT of knowledge that goes into creating wonderful forests. Alot of Japanese Masters consider it the pinnacle of the art, and that consistently creating great forests is the mark of a master.
 

Bill S

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I'll have to get some pix of my latest, a larch group/forest, I am looking at maybe doing a ficus grove, anyone know a reason to not do ficus this way??
 

bonsaiTOM

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Heck no, do it. I've seen some really cool ficus forests, some in shohin size, some bigger. As always the key is to get some maturity into the design to make it 'believable'. That takes time.

BTW I did order the Saburo Kato book (I think its name is Forests, Rock Planting and Ezo Spruce Bonsai)

Appreciate the responses, and can't wait for the photos.
 
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jk_lewis

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Also, if you can find the old Brooklyn Botanic Garden booklets on Bonsai, the two non-indoor ones have some good articles in them about groups -- with emphasis on composition.
 
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