Bonsai Tree Orlando – There are many different kinds of artists. Take a second and think about the different types of musicians: guitarists, flutists, saxophonists, trumpeters, violinists and singers just to name a few. Painters paint on different types of materials, use different colors and have a variety of styles that differ from each other. Overseas-based Paul Pikel has taken a childhood curiosity on a journey to become an artist which may not be the first form that comes to mind when describing the term “artist.”
“Well, I think my first impression or my first time seeing a Bonsai, of course, aligned with a lot of people, and that was in the (movie) ‘Karate Kid’ a long time ago. Mr. Miyagi was a magician. My thoughts were: “How to do it? What kind of tree is it? What is so beautiful about it? Why am I so attracted to it? said Paolo.
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Many years later, in 1998, Paul visited the National Arboretum in Washington, D.C. with his sister. There he discovered the complex beauty and art of Bonsai. The Arboretum had a large collection of trees of many different types and species. Also, Paul learned that the art of Bonsai was not limited to Japan. Many of the trees on display were owned by artists from many different places.
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“We go out there and when I walk in I think a Bonsai is maybe 12 inches tall, a little sapling. I had no idea but when I walked into the National Arboretum these trees were huge. I mean there were trees that were four feet tall There were trees that weighed 100 or 200 lbs. I watch this go, “What the hell?” It was just amazing, and it wasn’t just “Mr. The Miyagi tree wasn’t just a juniper. There were elms and pines and all kinds of trees. Half the stuff I didn’t even know what I was looking at, myrtle crepes and all kinds of stuff.”
“It’s so beautiful and it’s so perfect, the trees are so well done they don’t even look real. I’ve never understood it. I’ve photographed as many trees as I could look at these names, and for some reason many “The names weren’t Japanese, they were just American names. It was amazing,” Pikel said.
After returning to Orlando, Paul found himself at the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival and felt much of the same feeling when he stumbled across a very similar bonsai exhibit in the Japanese pavilion. He again he noticed that the names of the artists weren’t Japanese but American. This motivated Paul to explore Bonsai further and to attend a meeting of the Central Florida Bonsai Club.
Seeking guidance from the many skilled artists who made up the Central Florida Bonsai Club, Paul brought in his own Florida maple tree that he had purchased from someone else. There he met Mike Rogers, who made it clear to Paul that his tree did not promise to become a successful bonsai. Mike gave Paul two options to improve the tree, air layering, which he had no idea about, or cutting the top. With a decent enough understanding of option two, Paul decided to cut and grow a new top. Without hesitation, Mike grabbed his stones and amputated most of the tree. Now what used to be an 18 inch tall tree was six inches tall with no more branches or leaves, just a stump.
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Paul said, “I thought, ‘What the hell just happened?’ I came home and showed it to Marcie (his wife), and she said, ‘What happened to your tree?’ I said, ‘I don’t know. It would probably be my first and last fight, I’ll never learn it. If I didn’t want to learn it, I would never have gone back.”
Eventually Paul returned to the club. With guidance from Mike and other members, he began to understand the art of bonsai, which he describes as both a noun and a verb. He learned that you can bonsai many different types and species of trees. As long as the leaves are in proportion, the trunk is made up of woody bark and if cared for properly, it can make a good bonsai.
“There are some trees that do well as bonsai. In Japan, they do a lot of black pines and white pines. In Florida, we have a really good variety because we can grow trees that are a little deciduous and then we can grow some that are a little tropical without causing too much trouble to the tree and still perform quite well. For example, a maple, a maple tree, we can make Florida maple, we can make a trident maple, and even though the leaves are a little bit longer, maybe three and a half inches to four inches. Normally, when we continually pluck the leaves, they get smaller, says Pikel.
Over the years of development as a bonsai artist, Paul has achieved many successes and several awards. From the beginning of March to the end of May (this year March 2 to May 30) we have the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival. Paul has served on the festival committee since 2002 and has been its president since 2007. Every two years, in Rochester, New York, USA. National Bonsai Exhibition. There are hundreds of bonsai trees on display and award winning. In 2014, Paul entered a 125-year-old Buttonwood tree and won the All American Award for Best American Species in an American-Made Pot and Stand. Additionally, one of Pikel’s trees is on display at the GuideWell Innovation Center.
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“I was recently contacted by the Pacific Bonsai Museum in Seattle about my Buttonwood that was exhibited at the Artisans Cup last year (www.theartisanscup.com). They knew I was looking to donate the tree to a public collection and have stated that they would keep it as part of their permanent collection. This tree will be there and be cared for for many years to come. For me, this is the most prestigious level I could imagine reaching in my career. The tree will make the journey during the next few months, and as much as it hurts to let go of a tree after caring for it for over 14 years, I know this tree must be for the public. Bonsai has never been about me, just trees.” Paul said.
If you want to know more about Bonsai, you can share Paul’s experience on his YouTube channel OrlandoBonsaiTV. He has over 20,000 subscribers and 3,000,000 views. This is one of the most recognized bonsai in the world. Bonsai master John Naka created his own forest of 11 trees, one for each of his grandchildren, and named them after
Bonsai created from trees harvested from the wild start with a thicker, more mature trunk. Before pruning, this bonsai was a 23-foot tall tree.
Forest-style bonsai trees are often planted on a slab of rock with the soil held in place by moss. This creates a natural hilly environment.
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Although bougainvillea is a vine, it can be grown as a bonsai by continuously pruning the long growth.
This bonsai is bred in the cascade style, where the tree is trained to mimic those growing from the side of a cliff. Instead of growing upward towards the sun, the trunk and branches are pulled downward by gravity.
, “Silver Phoenix”, was because, like the mythical bird rising from the ashes, even the ugliest tree can become a majestic bonsai in the hands of a master.
Buttonwood is a native American species from the swamps of Florida. Its naturally twisted stems make it a popular material for tropical bonsai.
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The artist created the unique twisted trunk of this bonsai by modeling it with wire when it was still a seedling and very flexible. When the tree has matured, the wire could be removed.
Tufted bonsai are trees that have multiple trunks originating from a single base. Ficuses are good trees for bonsai beginners because they grow quickly.
This juniper native to the California mountains is one of the most popular trees to collect for bonsai. California juniper grows slowly, usually over hundreds of years, and has interesting dead wood.
This tree was designed to look like a lone tree that gets struck by lightning, resulting in the death of the top. It was a style popularized by famed American bonsai master John Naka.
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This dwarf type of juniper came to the United States from England around 1900 for use in gardens; but its small size soon made it a popular choice for beginner bonsai courses.
Bonsai artists created the dead wood on this nursery tree to look like an old juniper harvested from the mountains.
Bonsai artists prefer crabapples to regular apple trees because their smaller fruits are more in line with the scale of a bonsai tree.
Originally created from a 20-foot tree, this bonsai achieves the appearance of great age partly through the hollow trunk, which in nature usually indicates
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