Winter Silhouette Bonsai Show (Six on Saturday #50, December 14, 29)

Last Saturday, we drove over to the Charlotte area to a) shop at IKEA and b) visit the Winter Silhouette Bonsai Show.  The deciduous trees looked especially good because they were naked, displaying their beautiful–or sometimes grotesque–forms without a screen of leaves.

I know almost nothing about bonsai, so I can’t claim that these are the six best trees in the show.  But they are six of my favorites.  I don’t think they need much description; these trees speak for themselves.

1. Acer buergerianum (trident maple)


This maple reminds me of the sycamores that grow on the banks of the Eno river, with their roots exposed by erosion, and their trunks sometimes leaning or horizontal where floods have washed out their support.

2. Ligustrum sp. (Privet) Carpinus sp. (hornbeam)


Update: I have been informed that this is a Ligustrum exhibited by Bonsai West. That will teach me not to post when I’m not sure.

I forgot to record the name of this tree. I’m fairly sure it’s a hornbeam, but there were four or five different species on display.

3. Crataegus phaenopyrum (Washington Hawthorn)


4. Fagus grandiflora (American beech)


5. Ilex serrata (winterberry holly) growing on a rock


6. Ulmus davidiana (Japanese elm)


The propagator is the host of Six on Saturday.  Head over there to see his Six and find links to the blogs of other participants.

Update 12/15/2019: Here is a bonsai blog with many more photos from the show.

12 thoughts on “Winter Silhouette Bonsai Show (Six on Saturday #50, December 14, 29)

  1. Bonsai is a thing I find myself admiring hugely without experiencing the slightest temptation to grow them myself. Like classical musicians, I’m just thankful that a few people will devote themselves to such rarefied pursuits.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I do feel the temptation to grow them, and even have a couple of small potted trees that I have attempted to prune. I guess I’m like the person who has a violin and makes it sound like a cat being tortured, but dreams about playing in an orchestra.


    2. You know, not many people understand that. My Pa happens to be a Bonsai Master in the Pacific Northwest. (Coincidentally, ‘Tomeo’ is pronounced much like ‘Tamayo’, so people are often surprised to find that my Pa is of Italian descent rather than Japanese.) I understand the fascination with Bonsai, and the intricate combination of horticulture and art. However, I enjoy horticulture much more than I enjoy art.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for posting these exceptional bonsai, showcasing the skill and patience required for bonsai of this caliber.

    I love your description – “I guess I’m like the person who has a violin and makes it sound like a cat being tortured, but dreams about playing in an orchestra.”

    Liked by 2 people

  3. These bonsai are certainly works of art and I find the holly to be spectacular. I have one bonsai, a Chinese Elm, which I’ve had since 1993, and I’ve never been able to successfully prune it into shape. It’s sneakily growing bigger and bigger. Perhaps I’m just too faint hearted to do a proper job.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Some Bonsai specimens live longer than their ‘owners’. Part of the work my Pa does with Bonsai involves maintaining specimens for those who have passed away until family members can find appropriate homes for them.

      Liked by 2 people

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