Fourth Annual Fresno Ugly Tree Contest   2 comments

Don’t ask me why, but who wants to be the winner of this contest?

Six people did, and they showed up with their trees just like I did. I find it odd but I look at each tree with the interest of wondering what I might do to make the trees better. Could I wire it and improve it, could some grafting improve it? As I looked at the trees I had the winner picked out in my head. Mine was not a winner since this Thursday the tree will be the subject of a demo on buying inferior material for a large tree, but may be great material for a small tree. My ugly tree already had a future but it is ugly none the less.

This year marked the first with a great prize. Previous years garnered a pot of fertilizer or another tree, which was sometimes donated back for the raffle. This year a kind lady embroidered a crying towel with all the pertinent information on it that needs to be said about the perfect contest. This year, Steve DaSilva and his….I don’t even know what it is, but its ugly as Hell. May even qualify for being Fugly.



This years judges are the same as in previous years. Ray Theime and Howard Latimer. Howard is a retired Professor from Fresno States Botony Lab.




This Juniper is especially ugly, having died back leaving only some green at the tips of three branches.


I brought this elm which has been dead for two years and then mysteriously began shooting green foliage from the middle of the trunk.


This boxwood was deemed too good to be in the running and was actually pretty good as a pre bonsai.


This ume was pretty damn ugly. It had a layer removed from the large trunk leaving a straight sawed trunk. It lived and the judges thought that with some great carving it could become a decent shohin. Personally I think all the trees they think have promise should be required to go home with the judges and show us how good they are by bringing them back the following year in much better shape?




Once again this elm had far too much potential to be in the running.


The large juniper is given the once over again.




Howard picks up my tree.


They can not figure out what it is… Cotoneaster…no…who owns this? what is it….Elm..No can’t be.


Howard is convinced this may be the winner. Ray is not so sure…they debate….


They study the whatever it is…


With a gleeful smile they decide..yes this is the ugliest tree.


The tree is owned by Steve DaSilva and to him is the rag of shame.


Some much needed closeups of this …tree?









Posted January 10, 2015 by California Bonsai Art in Uncategorized

2 responses to “Fourth Annual Fresno Ugly Tree Contest

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  1. I think this tree had the most potential – with a little carving and wiring it would be a killer shohin bonsai. I think the ume stump bonsai absolutely had no potential – I am not prejudiced – lol – as the ume was mine!

  2. Once again, the ume was pretty damn ugly. I think both should have shared the win equally since they were pretty much bookends.

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