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  • Writer's pictureTom Lau

Santa Anita Bonsai Society 52nd Show

During Memorial Weekend Holiday, the Santa Anita Bonsai Society had their 52nd annual show and exhibition. This show is one of my favorite spring shows because all the trees are in their full glory. Every tree either has full pads, fully flowering, or full of juvenile fruits. Talking to Dave Miles, President of Santa Anita Bonsai Society; he says this year has been the largest showing of trees from their members of all time 47 trees. He also mentioned that the visitors so far enjoyed the variety of trees shown. Which is not typical of other clubs which are heavy showing a single type of genre of plants. He also did mention we did have an even spread of tropical, evergreens, board-leaf evergreen, deciduous, shohin and chuhin trees. If you are in town during next years show drop by you will not be disappointed.

Each year the Santa Anita Bonsai Society votes for a theme type of tree to show. This year the club members voted for a bunjin or literati style. Traditionally Literati bonsai have trunks that twist and turn in multiple, often dramatic curves, usually have slender trunks which have no lower branches to speak of, and have an obvious lack of Nebari in most cases. Closer to an informal upright than any other style, it escapes from classification as such because of the lack of Nebari and lower branches. But there is something else, the foliage of a Literati often is purposely sparse, just enough to sustain the tree and keep it healthy. John Naka once said of this style, "It is a dream, an abstract. It is an extremely advanced, significant bonsai design." These words of John's capture the essence of the Literati Style Bonsai.

Judy Anthony - Juniper

June Nguy - California Juniper

Peter Macasieb - Chinese Elm

Marge Blasingame - Japanese Maple

Michael Jonas - Grape

Up-close photo of grape bonsai

Louis Camerota - Kaho Satsuki Azalea - Best in Show Award

Joyce Gibbs - Shohin Display - Best Shohin Display Award

Tom Vuong - Japanese Black Pine - 21st Century Award

Joyce Gibbs - Dwarf Crape Myrtle

Peter Macasieb - Shohin Display

Peter Macasieb - Shohin Display

Ray Blasingame - Needle Juniper

Up-close of Ray's Needle Juniper deadwood

Joyce Gibbs - Shohin Display

Mike Bullington - Ficus

Jim Barrett - Prostrata Juniper

David Miles - Shohin Display

Gary Lai - Itoigawa Shimpaku Juniper

Marge Blasingame - Shohin Display

Elaine Jeche - Chinese Elm

Frank Yee - Liquidamber Orientalis

Gary Lai - Boxwood

Judy Anthony - Juniper

Frank Yee - Jade Cactus

Gary Lai - Japanese Black Pine

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