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Excellence Tree Award Criteria

by Vance Wood (Approved by Board 4/1/1995)

This compilation of trees and shrubs is intended to reflect representatives of the native flora usable for bonsai within the MABA environment. The reason for the document is to serve as a guideline for those who may be called upon to judge a showing of bonsai within the sphere of influence of the Mid-America Bonsai Association. The intention is to create a list of approved plant material acceptable solely on the grounds of their being an indigenous species. It is from this list that the recipient of the MABA Award for Excellence in Bonsai is to be chosen.

This is not to rule out other trees as acceptable for showing at a MABA function or being ruled out for awards such as best of show. The idea is to draw special attention to those species that are native to our particular areas and in turn encourage development of this unique local material. It is the purpose of MABA to encourage and develop not only local talent but to develop local material. MABA should not become simply a reflection of the rest of the country in our view, cultivation, and material, but instead, where ever possible, to establish a regional identity valid in its own right, with its own unique contributions to the art of bonsai as important as the California juniper, the Florida buttonwood and bald cypress. The list, nation wide, is quite large except for here. It is our purpose to change that view.

There is no question that there are many imported species of trees and shrubs that are delightful, beautiful, and traditional subjects for bonsai that are represented in the many MABA member collections. These trees should be recognized for the skill needed to develop them. The accomplishment of developing any tree into an extraordinary bonsai should be acknowledged and awarded, less we run the risk of taking on some other form of bonsai fascism.

However the creation and distribution of this unique and special award should follow strictly the guidelines set forth and approved by the board of directors for the sole purpose wherein it was set forth: A special recognition and award for cultivation of native material as defined. The purpose for this list is to assist both judges and exhibitors in determining what species are eligible for the award in discussion. The problem is that there are in cultivation many named cultivars allowable on that basis. It is possible that a grower has a plant to exhibit that would be eligible but goes unrecognized due to ignorance of the heritage of the material used. This becomes a particular problem with junipers. Many of us have a tendency to think of most juniper cultivars sold in the nursery trade as being Asian in origin. It is not uncommon to find Wilton's blue rug juniper listed as Juniperus Chinensis Wiltonii. This infers that this tree or shrub is a cultivar of a Chinese juniper, which would disqualify it for the MABA award. However Wilton's juniper is in reality Juniperus Horizontalis. It is our hope that this list will help to relieve some of the confusion.

The best effort possible has been put forth to complete the most accurate list possible. It is more than possible that there are errors of omission especially in the area of the malus species, considering that Dr. Michael A. Dirr is not able to weed out of the cultivars and their sources, domestic and foreign. In this case the basic wild flora are the only ones included in the list. Additions and deletions from this list are welcomed with appropriate proof and references. The changes proposed to the list are to be approved by the board or it's designate.

References:
Manual of Woody Landscape Plants by Michael A. Dirr
Trees of North America by Dr. C. Frank Brockman, Professor of Forestry Emeritus
College of Forest Resources, University of Washington

PINE PINACEA

Eastern White Pine Pinus Strobus
Compacta
Contorta
Fastigiata
Fastigata var. glauca
Minima
Nana
Pindula
Prostrata
Pumila

Jack Pine Pinus Banksiana
Uncle fogy

Red Pine Pinus Resinosa

Short Leaf Pine Pinus Echinata

Virginia Pine Pinus Virginiana

Pitch Pine Pinus Rigda
Sherman Eddy
Little Giant

LARCH LARIX

Tamarack Larix Laricina

SPRUCE PICEA

Black spruce Picea Mariana
Doumetii
Nana
Ericoides
White Spruce Picea Glauca
Albertiana
Conica
Densata

HEMLOCK TSUGA

Canadian Hemlock Tsuga Canadensis
100's of cultivars all of which are Canadensis

FIR ABIES

Balsam Fir Abies Balsamea
Hudsonia
Nana

BALD CYPRESS TAXODIUM DISTICHUM

Monach of Illinois
Pendens
Shawnee Brave

YEW TAXUS

Canadian Yew Taxus Canadensis
Stricta Pyramidalis

CEDAR - CYPRESS CUPRESSACEAE

Northern White Cedar Thuja Occidentalis
100's of cultivars
Aurea
Canadian Green
Douglasii Aurea
Emerald
Globosa
Little Gem

JUNIPER JUNIPERUS

Common Juniper Juniperus Communis
Compressa
Depressa
Depressa Aurea
Green Carpet

Eastern Red Cedar Juniperus Virginiana
Canaetii
Cupressifolia
Glauca
Globosa
Kosteri
Pyramidalis

Creeping Juniper Juniperus Horizontalis
Admirabilis
Bar Harbor
Blue Mat
Emerald Spreader
Hughes
Plumosa
Plumosa Fountian
Wiltonii Blue Rug

WILLOW SALIX

Pussy Willow Salix Discolor

BIRCH BETULA

Paper Birch Betula Papyrifera
Yellow Birch Betula Alleghaniensis
River Birch Betula Nigra

OAK QUERCUS

White Oak Quercus Alba
Bur Oak Quercus Macrocarpa
Chesnut Oak Quercus Prinus
Swamp White Oak Quercus Bicolor
Chinkapin Oak Quercus Muehlenbergii
Northern Red Oak Quercus Rubra
Black Oak Quercus Velutina
Pin Oak Quercus Palustris
Northern Pin Oak Quercus Ellipsoidalis
Shingle Oak Quercus Imbricaria

HOP - HORNBEAM OSTRYA

Eastern Hop-Hornbeam Ostrya Virginiana

HORNBEAM CARPINUS

American Hormbeam Carpinus Caroliniana

BEECH FAGUS

American Beech Fagus Grandifolia

ELM ULMUS

American Elm Ulmus Americana
Slippery Elm Ulmus Rubra
Rock Elm Ulmus Thomasii

HACKBERRY CELTIS

American Hackberry Celtis Occidentalis

WITCH - HAZEL HAMAMELIS

Common Witch-Hazel Hamamelis Virginiana

APPLE MALUS

Sweet Crabapple Malus Coronaria
Prairie Crabapple Malus Ioensis

CHERRIES & PLUMS PRUNUS

Black Cherry Prunus Serotina
Pin Cherry Prunus Pensylvanica
Common Chokecherry Prunus Virginiana
American Plum Prunus Americana
Canada Plum Prunus Nigra

SERVICE BERRIES AMELANCHIER

Allegheny Serviceberry Amelanchier laevis

HAWTHORNS CRATAEGUS

Frosted Hawthorn Crataegus Pruinosa
Scarlet Hawthorn Crataegus Pedicellata
Cockspur Hawthorn Crataegus Galli
Downy Hawthorn Crataegus Mollis

REDBUD CERCIS

Eastern Redbud Cercis Canadensis

MAPLE ACER

Sugar Maple Acer Saccharum
Black Maple Acer Nigrum
Red Maple Acer Fubrum
Striped Maple Acer Pensylavanicum
Mountain Maple Acer Spicatum
Silver Maple Acer Sacharinum

HORSE CHESTNUT AESCULUS

Yellow Buckeye Aesculus Octandra
Ohio Buckeye Aesculus Glabra

DOGWOOD CORNACEA

Flowering Dogwood Cornus Florida
Alternate-leaf Dogwood Cornus Alternifolia
Rough leaf Dogwood Cornus Drummandii
Red-Osier Dogwood Cornus Stolanifera

TUPELO NYSSA

Black Tupelo Nyssa Sylvatica

LAUREL KALMIA

Mountain Laurel Kalmia Latifolia

RHODODENDRON RHODODENDRON

Rose bay Rhododendron Rhododendron Latifolia

PERSIMMON DIOSPYROS

Common Persimmon Diospyros Virginiana

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