Tree & Stone of the Month
With your participation, every month, we will publish a Tree & Stone of the Month. Send us your photos and stories that teach, inform, entertain and inspire! The photo will be accompanied by short story describing some aspect of the subject; how the tree or stone was collected or acquired; who styled the tree or carved the base; a story about the pot and trays or the artist that created them; a short monograph on the species or geological material.
BCI Members’ Choice
Tree and Stone of the Year
Every year, BCI Members will vote for their favorite Tree and Stone of the Month. The Tree and Stone of the Year will be awarded a prize and a certificate. Watch for more details.
With your participation, every month, we will publish a Tree and Stone of the Month.
Send us your photos and tell us its story: how the tree was collected or acquired; who styled the tree; a story about the pot and trays or the artist that created them; a short monograph on the species. For stones: how or where the stone was collected or acquired; its mineral composition; a story about the base or the artist that created it; a short monograph on the geological material.
You can make the story as personal as you like. You can also add a link to your website, blog or Facebook page if you like.
Featured photos must be in color, in focus, on a neutral background, about 1000 pixels wide. If appropriate or necessary, additional photos showing a process or a “before and after” can also be submitted.
Both the story and photo will be considered when selecting the finalists. Every member and club is eligible to participate. All levels of expertise are welcome whether you are a novice, an experienced hobbyist or a professional. Trees and stones to be featured each month will be selected by the BCI Editorial Committee.
This is a great opportunity to share your trees, stones and stories with your fellow club members around the world and inspire everyone who visits the website.
Hinoki Cypress, Chamaecyparis obtusa
David DeGroot Collection
“My Hinoki (I call it Walk like an Egyptian) got a new pot recently. The first two right-angle bends were in the tree (but hidden) when I got it from the nursery. When I discovered them I knew I couldn’t fix them, so I decided to go with the flow.”
— A line from my facebook page describing the tree of the month:
I found it in the sale section of a nursery, and thought I had won the jackpot. The base was hidden, B&B (balled-and-burlapped) inside a large nursery pot with soil around it, but I decided to take a chance on this tree with a nice straight trunk and a massive number of small, dense branches radiating in all directions. Its density (plus chilly temperature and a light rain) prevented my getting thoroughly into the upper areas, but I had visions of creating a beautiful formal upright. When I got it home and began to thin branches, I discovered the trunk did not rise in a beautiful taper, but ended abruptly with a right angle turn. As I felt my way out this extension, I found another right angle turn to the vertical, which is what proved deceptive with the dense, wide branching below. I was at a loss, as there was nothing with which to create jin where the trunk turned, and no reasonable way to turn this into the classic formal upright I had envisioned. Then I remembered a demo tree that had been assigned to Ben Oki at a convention in Atlanta many years ago. It was a bald cypress that also had a 90 degree turn in the base. Undaunted, Ben kept the right angle and simply built a little Christmas tree at the end of it. I was charmed by its honesty and simplicity, as well as its uniqueness, and put a lot of tickets in the raffle can, although I failed to win it. Years later, I discovered the “Square Turns” style in Chinese penjing, which also aroused my interest. When I saw what I had with this piece of material, I put the Ben Oki memory and the penjing approach together, then decided “What the Heck”, and carried the idea to its extreme. Despite the fact that many might consider it ugly or not bonsai, as a piece of sculpture it has good proportional flow, firm asymmetrical balance, and a strong sense of internal harmony. Plus, it’s a tree in a pot. Need I say more?
The base was hidden, B&B (balled-and-burlapped) inside a large nursery pot with soil around it,
After the first styling.