This creates the illusion of a tree that has been under a heavy snow load, one that has been shaped by nature rather than human hands. A careful Bonsai artist also takes the time to prune any branches that stick out straight as those are considered ugly; a nice branch will twist and flow like a root. Ironically some of the best trees are made to appear as if they have never been touched by a botanist. There are a wide variety of trees that can be used for Bonsai. Dillion prefers to work with maples and pines, though he recommends that first time Bonsai artists use Chinese elm trees as they “are more forgiving” and easier to manipulate than other species. The Bonsai
Shack sells “pretty much everything you need to get started in the hobby or maintain trees you already have” and also offers already grown Bonsai trees for those simply looking to add their tranquil aesthetic to their homes. One of the biggest appeals of Bonsai culture is that it can be a uniquely collaborative art form. John himself is the proud owner of a Japanese Pine that is over 75 years old; he’s the third artist to work with the tree and may not be the last. Bonsai can live for over a century with different botanists each shaping the tree until it is perfect. Anyone with an interest in this ancient technique should stop by the shack and experience it firsthand.
Rivertown Magazine, April 2019