Show quality trees and how they are shown.

Hartinez

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I’ve wondered this for sometime and thought I’d finally ask the question. Are all show quality trees seen at the National show in particular, but any major show, shown with wire on them? And if not, what percentage of those are? Give or take of course. Ive yet to visit a major show and this is of a curiosity to me. I’d imagine that quite a few of the conifers have some level of wire still applied, but I would think wire on a deciduous would be fauxpas. Is this just a discussion of levels and qualities of wiring? Wiring to set structure vs minimal show wiring.
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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There's no single governing body for "all things bonsai" in USA. So each society or group hosting a show has the option of writing there own rules for exhibits. Most of the rules focus on space allowed, whether electrical outlets are available for lights, whether water features are allowed, who is considered advanced or novice categories, whether scrolls are allowed, required or forbidden. Table height, stands, all details go into the "show schedule" or "show rules".

I'm pretty sure ABS has a suggested show rules somewhere on it's website. Most bonsai societies that are members of MABA follow the MABA show rules guidelines. MABA = Mid-America Bonsai Alliance.

But each show host group has the option of making their own rules.
 

PeaceLoveBonsai

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I just finished prepping a Scots Pine for Nationals with Bjorn. I asked him a similar question. For conifers, at least, he suggested that guy wires be cut, when possible and large wire removed in the front.

As Leo suggested, focus is on keeping the wire neat and tidy and discreet as possible.

Not sure on deciduous.
 

Hartinez

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I just finished prepping a Scots Pine for Nationals with Bjorn. I asked him a similar question. For conifers, at least, he suggested that guy wires be cut, when possible and large wire removed in the front.

As Leo suggested, focus is on keeping the wire neat and tidy and discreet as possible.

Not sure on deciduous.
Thanks for the response. I assumed as much, but could t day without actually being to a big show. My local “show” is hardly what I’d call a “show”. The last 3 years or so has me wiring out more than I ever had and really taking the time to thoughtfully place branches etc. even with slight bite, quite a few branches don’t quite stay out after removal. It only makes sense in a conifer that at least some wire stays to maintain that beautiful silhouette. I’d imagine that deciduous though has to be completely void of wire, especially since so often they are displayed in partial leaf or out of leaf. Not to mention the beauty that a deciduous can halve without the standard pad look that conifers put take on. In particular the winter silhouette show coming up in kanapolis. I’d think there will be little to no wire present at that show. Hopefully I can make it to the next National show to see all this in person.
 

Hartinez

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Most if not all conifers shown at the nationals will have wire on them- some more then others. Deciduous trees won't have wire, usually.
Makes sense, but I couldn’t say for certain. Eearly in my enthusiasm, I had this notion that wire was always so temporary. Then I realized how important it is, now I’m realizing how important it is with as little visual and physical
Impact as possible. Physical as in damage that is. But wiring is as much a part of bonsai as anything in the hobby. My condors in particular have begun looking so much better with that understanding. I’m now trying to figure out how to create that same visual appeal while wire as little as needed.
 

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Keep in mind, copper wire becomes less visible over time. Neatly wire the young branches on a tree for a show several months ahead of time. That way the wire has time to dull and will be less conspicuous. And that is the aim. For most shows it is not the wiring that is the issue. It is the visibility of it. So main structural branches should have set whereas the ramification may be positioned with wire. Most shows I have been to there was no wire on broadleaf trees, and only light "invisible" wire on conifers.
 

Adair M

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Conifers will almost always have some wire. Deciduous, no wire. Or if there is some, it shouldn’t be visible.

In Japan, the biggest, most important shows are held during the winter, when deciduous trees are bare. There should be no wire on them. Spring, summer, and fall shows would have leaves on the trees, and the wire would be hidden. So, it’s possible to “get away with’ having some wire on them, but it’s best not to have any.

On conifers, wire is allowed. It’s best to have as little wire as possible. Visible guy wires are frowned upon. If a guy wire is done very discretely, so that that it isn’t visible, then it’s ok. But “training wire“ where a branch is being pulled down with a guy wire, and the whole wire is visible… is a major fault.
 

leatherback

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how to create that same visual appeal while wire as little as needed.
This is one component of age. As the tree becomes a bonsai, the main structure is set. The branches will not come back up, and even the seundairy and tertiary branches stay fixed. Only fresh growth needs assistance at that point, which can be done with very light wire.
 

Adair M

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Keep in mind, copper wire becomes less visible over time. Neatly wire the young branches on a tree for a show several months ahead of time. That way the wire has time to dull and will be less conspicuous. And that is the aim. For most shows it is not the wiring that is the issue. It is the visibility of it. So main structural branches should have set whereas the ramification may be positioned with wire. Most shows I have been to there was no wire on broadleaf trees, and only light "invisible" wire on conifers.
True. And skillfully applied wire uses a minimum of wire. Branches that look covered in wire are unattractive.
 

Shibui

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Rules vary from place to place according to the mind set of the organizers. In the distant past down here wire was really frowned on if not actually banned from major shows but organizers now seem to realize that wire is part of bonsai and trees with wire are now accepted.
I'm happy to see wire on trees at an exhibition but trees with lots of wire are probably not actually ready for higher class shows. Overly wired trees at an exhibition probably just shows that the owner is trying to rush a tree through before it is actually ready for display.
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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Most local shows will allow wire, as most local shows the trees "are not ready for the nationals". If you enjoy showing, don't let yourself be intimidated by the standards for the nationals. It's a goal to aspire to that standard, but the majority of us won't have a tree that qualifies y the nationals. So don't be intimidated. Key is to enjoy the hobby.
 

Mayank

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I just finished prepping a Scots Pine for Nationals with Bjorn. I asked him a similar question. For conifers, at least, he suggested that guy wires be cut, when possible and large wire removed in the front.

As Leo suggested, focus is on keeping the wire neat and tidy and discreet as possible.

Not sure on deciduous.
Let's see it 😏
Unless of course you're trying to keep it under wraps until the show...
 

PeaceLoveBonsai

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