by Terry Erasmus April 12, 2017 2 Comments

One of the joys of keeping deciduous bonsai trees is that every year they mark the passing of the season with autumn colours.

Good autumn colour depends on a number of factors including how you fed earlier in the season, the ambient temperatures and of course the species of tree. In fact regarding the last variable even within a single species such as trident or Chinese maple, you can have genetic mutations some of which can produce better colouring than others.

Anyway the purpose of today's blog is not entirely educational, rather to share with you some of my photographs of trees in Autumn.

Chinese quince bonsai

Image caption. The beautiful colours of a Chinese quince. Note the amazing colour contrast between the leaves and the shallow, light blue container. Photo was taken in Master Kimura's garden.  

Chinese maple bonsai

Image caption. A really great, mature old Chinese maple root over rock at the peak of its autumn colour. The cream coloured container is very complimentary also. Photo taken at Shunkaen, Master Kobayashi's bonsai museum.

Chinese maple bonsai tree

Image caption. A trident maple a little past its prime colours but nonetheless very emotive and expressive. Photo taken in Kyoto, Taikan-ten, 2014.

Persimmon tree bonsai

Image caption. In autumn the persimmon tree bears fruit. Without leaves the bright colours of the fruit are even more enhanced. Photo taken in Kyoto, Taikan-ten, 2014.

Shunkaen bonsai trees

Image caption. View through a window at Shunkaen. I wouldn't mind that view, would you?

Chinese maple bonsai root over rock

Image caption. Another trident maple a little past its prime. Quite a famous tree in Japan, looked after by the very capable staff at Mansei-en, Omiya. Photo taken in Kyoto, Taikan-ten, 2014.

Chinese maple root over rock bonsai

Image caption. The photo of this tree does not do it justice. It is big and makes quite an impact when seen in person. Photo taken at Shunkaen, Master Kobayashi's bonsai museum. 

Japanese zelkova bonsai tree

Image caption. The amazing buttery yellows of the Japanese zelkova in Autumn leaf. Photo taken at Fuyo-en, Omiya. 

Firethorn bonsai tree

Image caption. The vividly orange berries of this Firethorn contrast beautifully with the green leaves of this evergreen tree in Autumn. Photo taken in Kyoto, Taikan-ten, 2016.

Flowering quince bonsai trees

Image caption. The Chinese flowering quince is a very popular bonsai subject in Japan. Without leaves the colourful flowers of this shrub become even more pronounced. This specimen has already lost many of its flowers but those which are left become that much more singular. Photo taken in Kyoto, Taikan-ten, 2016.

Japanese maple bonsai tree

Image caption. This rather famous Japanese maple is cared for by Shinji Suzuki. Photo taken in Kyoto, Taikan-ten, 2014.

Hornbeam bonsai tree

Image caption. I am not entirely certain but I believe this is a Hornbeam. It has beautiful yellow leaves which have a serrated edge. The very interesting, light grey contorted trunk and the yellow leaves contrast perfectly with the lilac coloured container.  Photo taken in Kyoto, Taikan-ten, 2016.

Root over rock japanese black pine

Image caption. Well of course this is not a deciduous tree, it is an evergreen conifer, most likely a Japanese black pine. However I have included it here as it is a beautiful tree and the manner in which it clings to the rock is truly captivating. Pines have long been appreciated for the feeling of timelessness which they present to the viewer, in contrast to the deciduous trees which portray passing seasons. Photo taken in Kyoto, Taikan-ten, 2016.

Shishigashira bonsai maple

Image caption. This is a deservedly famous Shishigashira or Lion's Mane Japanese maple. It retains its autumn colour the longest of all the maples. Photo taken in Kyoto, Taikan-ten, 2016.

Crabapple bonsai trees

Image caption. Apparently tremendous skill is needed in order to time the fruiting of this crabapple tree just right, or to even get it to fruit in autumn at all. Photo taken in Kyoto, Taikan-ten, 2016.

Chinese quince bonsai tree

Image caption. Another amazing Chinese quince, such beautiful colours not only of the leaves but of the trunk too. Photo taken in Kyoto, Taikan-ten, 2016.

Contorted Japanese pine bonsai trees

Image caption. I just love this pine. Not sure if its a black or red pine but its most likely a Japanese black pine. The very compact and intertwining trunk is fascinating to me.  Photo taken in Kyoto, Taikan-ten, 2016.

Red leafed japanese maple bonsai

Image caption. The unbelievable red colours of this maple can really only be appreciated properly in person. Photo taken at Fuyo-en, Omiya, Japan. 

Autumn is also very symbolic of death. As the green chlorophyll in a leaf breaks down the green is replaced by yellows, oranges and some cases reds. The leaf is dying. As we near this very important and sacred time on the Christian calendar, Easter, I would like to quote the writings of John: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." May each one of you have a Blessed Easter and remember that there is much more to this religious holiday than chocolate eggs and bunnies.

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Terry Erasmus
Terry Erasmus

Author


2 Responses

Jean Martens
Jean Martens

April 16, 2017

Thank you so much for sharing these pics. Quite made my day!

Les Lonsdale
Les Lonsdale

April 13, 2017

Beautiful trees!! So inspirational. And THANK YOU for reminding everyone about the TRUE meaning of Easter!!!!!!

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