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Species (2) Zoki: Azalea Most Popular of Fruit Tree

November 15, 2013

 The bonsai except Shohaku (pines and Chinese junipers) is called Zoki. There are some kinds such as trees with flowers, ones with fruits, and ones with beautiful leaves like maples. Compared with Shohaku which is evergreen, Zoki has many kinds and changes with four seasons. Hiroyoshi Yamaji, Sanshoen bonsai garden in Takamatsu's Kokubunji town, told us the attraction of Zoki.

Various beautiful changes in four seasons

 Yamaji grows not only Shohaku but also Zoki like mountain maple, azalea, maple, and beech. He makes a deal with fanciers in Europe and the United States, and sometimes they want to buy those kinds.

 In winters, most trees except evergreen ones fall the leaves and they are just with branches. Yamaji tells about Zoki's attraction, "It has the good atmosphere. Now that someone looks carefully, the new buds are ready to come out. So we can feel the power of life. The tender greens bud in springs and the leaves change color in autumns. There are four seasons in a pot. The various beautiful changes are perfect for a picture."

 Zoki can be grown the big trees like maple, Japanese maple, Japanese zelkova, tall stewartia, wax tree, and beech in a pot. This is an character of Zoki.

Mountain maple having Kabudachi (multiple trunks) associated with a forest in winter
Mountain maple having Kabudachi (multiple trunks) associated with a forest in winter

Many Exhibitions in May

 There are many fanciers of azalea in Japan. Some azalea exhibitions are hold in various places in May. For the exhibitions, they choose a favorite tree among 800 kinds and take much care of it.

 The prides of Yamaji are "Chinzan" whose height is 55 centimeters and "Kozan-no-tsuki" whose height is 35 centimeters. Both masterpieces are over 50 years old. Chinzan has a good appearance with the Nebari and Edajun. Kozan-no-tsuki is an azalea and the branches can keep the thickness. The trunk like a bamboo shoot and the shape are very beautiful. Except azalea, there are some popular fruits trees as Japanese plum, Japanese quince, and Chojubai quince.

Beautiful trunk like bamboo shoot of Kozan-no-tsuki
Beautiful trunk like bamboo shoot of Kozan-no-tsuki

Elegant shape of Chinzan
Elegant shape of Chinzan

 The popular kinds of fruit tree are the traditional ones such as Chinese quince, Japanese winterberry, crab apple, and Pyracantha. In addition, Diamomd-leaf persimmon is getting popular these days.
(By Shigeo Hano)


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