Third Annual Ugly Tree Contest   4 comments

Each year in January the Fresno group has the annual ugly tree contest. In past years, the trees have showed up in nursery cans and things like that. This year the trees had to be in bonsai pots. There was great variety in the species and it was rather difficult to make a decision. They were all contenders for ugliest tree…thats for sure.

Its not a ficus, its some kind of succulent. The guy says it freezes back each year but come back in spring with green shoots….too bad.


A Japanese maple. How in the hell can anyone allow a tree to get this bad?



My submission. This small pine. Another contender.


An urban yamadori ash tree. Awesome sling shot style roots.


Wow, a great juniper to round out the band of misfits.


Current Trustee for GSBF after I termed out, Harold Mitchell, and substitute judge,  checking out the apex of the ash tree.


Retired Botony Professor from Fresno State University Howard Latimer. Here he schools the crowd on why these people are brave to even bring these trees to a bonsai meeting….


Howard has comments on the ash tree.


Howard gives my pine the once over. I was surprised, he thinks this thing has a future. I’m not sure what that is or if I even have the skills to get it there. I guess now I have to try.


Howard on the big juniper. It takes many minutes of study to define what makes a bonsai ugly.


Lets have a close up of what it is he has to look at?






The winner! The claw maple from Fresno. A worthy candidate. A few more since I need to make sure you can see that there is not one good side on this tree. It is 360 degrees ugly!









Posted January 12, 2014 by California Bonsai Art in Uncategorized

4 responses to “Third Annual Ugly Tree Contest

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  1. there isn’t even any area worth airlayering,good choice

  2. “Its not a ficus, its some kind of succulent” This is adenium, evegreen, you find a lot about them in web, keep it from low temperatures and waterlogging

  3. Seriously? That maple…ugly? With a little bit of work you can do a very beautiful bonsai tree from it,and that roots,they will thicken over time and make a stunning nebari…

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