Nebari development in Siam

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Recently we have been discussing nebari development in tropicals, and I wanted to share some amazing photos from Thailand. Apparently at least one large grower is turning out quite a few large bonsai with amazing nebari. I have almost no information because the site was completely in Thai, but the photos are self-explanatory.

First, a series of trunks in development, after rather dramatic trunk chops and/or removal of large branches. They defoliate the trunks completely to get heavy back-budding.

neb14.jpg


neb3.jpg


neb4.jpg


neb5.jpg


Next, they start to develop an entirely new branch structure - letting the new shoots develop quickly while wiring for shape and angle.

neb7.jpg


neb8.jpg


neb9.jpg


After the branch lines are developed, the branches are again cut back very hard, to start to thicken the bases and develop dramatic taper.

neb10.jpg


neb11.jpg


neb12.jpg


End result - a tree that anyone would be proud of :) I have no sense of the time required since these are tropical trees and can grow more or less year-round in Thailand. However there are quite a few trees in development - a sign that bonsai is very much alive and well in SE Asia in countries that don't get as much easy online contact with the West. I was also surprised to see that these use very traditional designs - not at all like some of the other bonsai I see coming out of SE Asia.

neb13.jpg
 

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Wow I thought at least someone would comment :) The issue is probably that people have trees like this stacked up in their back yards :)
 
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I was just going to ask you to post a link to the website! Looks like a pretty good little tutorial.

Chris
 

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Here it is:

Siam Bonsai

I downloaded some of the photos because sometimes these sites don't stay around very long. As it is, the site doesn't appear to have been updated in two years and many of their links are dead. At least if I host some of the photos I know they won't disappear. I was not able to read or translate anything - the comments about the sequence of the photos were inferred from what I saw.

There are some great sequence photos here:

Series One

Series Two

If anyone can read Thai and can translate this content, please let me know!
 

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Holy smokes!!! What is that red stuff?
 

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Attila Soos

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It's hard to comment when you are speechless.:)

My main question: is the nebari developed mostly in the groud, or is it entirely grown in container?
 
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Nut,
Try opening translate.google.com and pasting in the URL to translate from Thai to English.

Chris
 
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Grammer and syntax, but that's just nit picking ;)

At what point dooes nebari defeat the purpose and become over bearing?


Will
 

RyanFrye

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Grammer and syntax, but that's just nit picking ;)

At what point dooes nebari defeat the purpose and become over bearing?


Will

I can't say when it becomes overbearing. But if you're implying that the nebari on this tree is, I would say that wide nebari ("oil slick" nebari as I have seen it referred to) is typical of ficus trees. So, if you're into matching bonsai to their cousins in the wild, I would say in this case it makes for a good imitation.
 

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At what point does nebari defeat the purpose and become over bearing?

I think it comes down to the design and balance of the tree and pot. The last picture I posted was my favorite from the site - the nebari was excellent and seemed more understated than on other trees. The individual roots appeared smaller and the root flare was lower on the tree. I also thought that the nebari was appropriate for the scale of the tree and the mass of the foilage. I agree with your general point however that there are some trees (including some on the site) where the premium appears to be placed on "size" over "design". Size is only important to the extent that it furthers the design - and is not an end in itself.
 
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I agree with you. I also agree on the last tree and the nebari on it.

The dinner plate nebari sometimes seems too "man made" to me and often distracts from the "whole" image. such as a bad choice of pot would, or apex branching that was too thick....I guess it becomes a liability instead of an asset after a certain point.




Will
 
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I agree with you. I also agree on the last tree and the nebari on it.

The dinner plate nebari sometimes seems too "man made" to me and often distracts from the "whole" image. such as a bad choice of pot would, or apex branching that was too thick....I guess it becomes a liability instead of an asset after a certain point.




Will

I think in the case of most of the other photos on the site, the main difference is that the trees shown are in early development of ramification as opposed to a "finished" state. That last tree shows the aesthetic sense of the artist. The other photos show process, and in the end may be as balanced as the final tree.

It's hard to critique a tree in such early stages of development.

Chris
 
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It's hard to critique a tree in such early stages of development.


Not really, the fused "dinner plate" nebari can be compared to the trunk thickness, which is unlikely to change noticeably in a pot environment. Many times this results in a surreal image, which isn't all bad by itself, but can be if the nebari becomes the main focal point, causing a sense of unbalance.

In example, let's think of an inverse taper on a tree that still needs ramification, would we say that the new foliage might "balance" the tree which is in process? No, I think the tree, even with ramification, would still have the inverse taper.

While viewing trees that are in advanced states and which have the "dinner plate" nebari, I have found that in many cases, the nebari over powers the tree. Yet, as in the case of the thick trunks on Sumo bonsai, sometimes it works, other times it is just too distracting.


Will
 

JasonG

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Not really, the fused "dinner plate" nebari can be compared to the trunk thickness, which is unlikely to change noticeably in a pot environment. Many times this results in a surreal image, which isn't all bad by itself, but can be if the nebari becomes the main focal point, causing a sense of unbalance.

My take on it would be that developing bonsai you first focus on the trunk and nebari....you spend years to develop them and get them to where they need to be, branches aren't even really thought about , its all trunk and roots. When it goes into a pot then you start seeing branch work and balance work starting to happen. Everyone likes the last pic best, that is because it is the most developed tree of the bunch which brings the nebari in balance. Strip this tree of its leaves, cut the branches back to little nubs and then the nebari will be out of place like the rest of them. But once branches meet the development of the trunk and roots everything comes to a nice balance.

In this sense Chris is right, you can't really crituqe a tree in such a undeveloped state because the artist's vision is not seen yet. Once it is seen then I would be willing to bet that the plate roots vs. trunk thickness vs. branch development vs. canopy size and shape will bring everything into a perfect balance in which everyone would love like the last tree. Make sense?
 
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Not really, the fused "dinner plate" nebari can be compared to the trunk thickness, which is unlikely to change noticeably in a pot environment. Many times this results in a surreal image, which isn't all bad by itself, but can be if the nebari becomes the main focal point, causing a sense of unbalance.

In example, let's think of an inverse taper on a tree that still needs ramification, would we say that the new foliage might "balance" the tree which is in process? No, I think the tree, even with ramification, would still have the inverse taper.

While viewing trees that are in advanced states and which have the "dinner plate" nebari, I have found that in many cases, the nebari over powers the tree. Yet, as in the case of the thick trunks on Sumo bonsai, sometimes it works, other times it is just too distracting.


Will

If the nebari in question were grotesque or misshapen I would probably agree with you. However, I believe in taking each tree as it is rather than making blanket assumptions with regard to style or "cookie cutter"-ness. One of the facts of bonsai is that it is an art of nuance. So in the case of any of these nebari, I don't find any of them offensive or overpowering, there's just no way to know what the finished product will be, unlike inverse taper or some other obvious generally accepted flaw.

Surely there is some room for differing taste in the subject?

Chris
 

king kong

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I have found a good grower in Australia who also has a nursery in the Orient. I am trying to find out the system and technique used for developing this type of root system. If he is willing to divulge, I will spread the word.
 
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My take on it would be that developing bonsai you first focus on the trunk and nebari....
I agree. My point was and still is that things can be over developed to the point of distraction, as some of the nebari shown are in danger of.

You said everyone likes the last tree because it is developed, I differ, look at the nebari on that tree compared to the "dinner plate" nebari on some of the others, there is a huge difference.

In this sense Chris is right, you can't really crituqe a tree in such a undeveloped state because the artist's vision is not seen yet.
What? This is done all the time, on a daily basis here and on other sites. You most certainly can critique a tree based on the balance of the nebari, trunk movement, texture, etc if that is all you are critiquing.

However, there was no critique at all here, the question I posed was simply, "At what point does nebari defeat the purpose and become over bearing?"

Is there a point?

If the nebari in question were grotesque or misshapen I would probably agree with you. However, I believe in taking each tree as it is rather than making blanket assumptions with regard to style or "cookie cutter"-ness.
No one made "assumptions with regard to style or "cookie cutter"-ness" here.


Surely there is some room for differing taste in the subject?

As always. But "At what point does nebari defeat the purpose and become over bearing?"


Will
 
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johng

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As always. But "At what point does nebari defeat the purpose and become over bearing?"


Will

I am not sure but maybe pics of trees from a couple of Japanese masters might help you answer the question for yourself

Mr. Iwasaki
MVC-673S.JPG


Mr. Kobayashi
MVC-211S.JPG


MVC-172S.JPG


From the 2000 Taiken Ten show
MVC-533S.JPG

See the pictures behind the tree below? This tree was displayed with the other former winners. I guess someone like the "dinner plate" nebari...
MVC-554S.JPG


I would hate to leave anyone out...here are a couple of Kimura's dinner plates
MVC-085S.JPG

MVC-075S.JPG
 

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