Nice categories, but placing trees within them is still as subjective as argueing who has great taste; "Bud light or Miller light"
Not really Al, buy using the trees themselves in the judged shows as a gage, the artists, the judges, and our peers determine eventually which class a tree belongs to. Our work, like the work of other artists, is judged by our peers, we categorize them and although you and I may see the same tree differently, the majority eventually wins and the tree is judged to be world class or club class with our without our approvals.
The final category also gives the distinction of " receiving recognition as being on par with the top trees shown."
Does this mean that those trees that do not receive recognition have not measured up? Just who decides this? If I am invited to Ginkgo, an invitational exhibit, and my tree is not recognized as being on par with the rest, does this make it insignificant. It is my understanding that Danny Use hand picks all the trees for Ginkgo and it is a privledge to just be chosen. I would think that they might all be "World Class Trees" in that context.
No one said they had to win Al, what was said is that they have to be "on par" with the top trees shown. If your tree is not recognized as being on par with the rest, it isn't, sorry, that's the way of the world. In the case of the example of the Ginkgo Show, they are all personally selected, if you are selected the tree is indeed world class, the winners are the best of that category.
This is not uncommon. The editors at AoB deal with world class trees and artists on a daily basis, we are often put into the position of having to select a few from a large stockpile to showcase, as we did with our World View of Bonsai Gallery in 2006
in which we attempted to show the state of bonsai from many countries in that year. We turned down many entries for this gallery...but how did we judge, how did we decided which ones to use? We took the best submissions and used them as a Gage to measure the rest with. Those measuring up were deemed suitable, those falling short were rejected. We are currently repeating the process for the 2007 gallery.
On a larger scale our galleries at AoB
consist mainly of world class artists showing world class trees. Sure, we may have fell short here and there but for the most part, we succeed. These galleries are by invite only and have come to be respected by bonsaists from all over the world. So if a world class tree is subjective, how can a few people consistently select which are and which are not?
We can all name world class artists, how can we do this consistently if world class is subjective? The answer is we can because it is not subjective at all, quality and talent shines a bright beacon for those who take the time to look.
The above examples were used only because AoB deals with quite a few world class trees on a regular basis, we constantly are working with them for galleries, contests, and other venues. We literally see hundreds of them a month and we are always in the position of having to decide which measure up and which do not. My own trees do not measure up yet, some other editors trees do, many do not, yet we can recognize world class trees, even if we can not create them.
Subjective? I think not.