Due to popular demand we have started this series to help Bonsai artists and our loyal customers in their choice of a bonsai container. There are many factors that need to be taken into account when selecting a bonsai pot and we will be diving into the way we select a container for our trees and customers trees.
Masculine or Feminine
The main consideration in choosing a pot is to work out if the tree is masculine or feminine. This is determined by multiple characteristics of each tree, for example the nebari, trunk line, bark texture, leaf density and much more.
A tree that has characteristics of strength, power, formality, harshness, roughness and struggle can be considered masculine
A tree that has characteristics of calm, delicacy, instability, informality and finesse can be considered feminine.
Please note that these are merely guidelines and form a basis on how to break down the elements of tree and pot to help in choosing a correct Bonsai container. Every artist and bonsai enthusiast will have their own opinions and artistic flair which will create a different composition of their own.
Pseudocydonia (Chinese Quince)
Gardiol van Horsten Jnr
Current pot size: 290mm wide
Tree Size: 490 including current pot high
Lets start by listing some of the characteristics of this tree and how they fit into the masculine or feminine approach.
Nebari - Masculine, good taper and shows promise of a good balanced base. In future, development can be done to improve left side nebari flair and even distribution
Trunk line - Feminine, very nice meandering curvature with great taper
Bark texture - Feminine, Smooth bark with lots of interest
Bark colour - Feminine, lightly coloured creamy grey top layer with green and red tones in further layers.
Primary branches - Feminine, delicate branches raise slightly upwards showing a youthful informality.
Ramification - Feminine, Twiggy growth that over time will become denser and denser
Leaf size/density - Masculine, At this point the leaf size being largish in scale with the tree give a much more prominent feel. Over time this may change with size reduction
Leaf colour New/Old - Feminine, The very light green tinge of the leaves helps reduce the visual weight of the canopy.
Other features - Feminine, Flowers, the colour of the flowers will help add to the femininity of this tree.
Masculine 2 - Feminine 7
On the scale below the tree is at no 4 on the masculine side.