GadCapital: Bonsai exhibition returns to North Carolina Research Campus.

Small trees are beautiful to gardeners, bonsai enthusiasts, and art lovers. Bonsai growers and dealers from around the nation show nearby. Learn about this project and obtain a tree or materials.

An annual bonsai show in the marbled domed atrium of the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis.

The North Carolina Research Campus, 150 North Research Campus Drive, Kannapolis, has no entry charge and no parking charge. Additional information is available at Masquerade masks will be needed.

More: Do you have to get an inspection?

Demonstrations by masters

Both days, bonsai experts will demonstrate, beginning with William Valavanis of New York at 10 a.m. and Tyler Sherrod at 1 p.m.

At 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, there will be a Bonsai auction.

Rodney Clemons will perform at 10 a.m. on Sunday, followed by Pauline Muth at 1 p.m.

Both newbies and seasoned enthusiasts may attend free bonsai demonstrations/lessons each day.

Also on exhibit are over 50 sets of pre-bonsai plant parts for sale and a demonstration area with qualified instructors. Also available will be unique bonsai pots.

Bonsai is a centuries-old Chinese art form that the Japanese subsequently adopted. In Japanese, bonsai translates as “tree in a container.” The oldest trees in the United States were a gift from Japan to commemorate the country’s bicentennial (1976). One tree, still on exhibit at the National Arboretum, predated Columbus’ discovery of America and was a gift to the United States from the Japanese government on our bicentennial.

What might motivate someone to take up bonsai? It’s a cross between sculpting and gardening. Patience is a virtue. Root cutting is used to keep bonsai trees as small as possible after being wire-styled to resemble an old tree. Allowing these trees to develop to full size is good.

Only tropical bonsai (such as figs) may be maintained inside; most bonsai need exposure to the elements to live. The goal of bonsai is to create the illusion of small aged trees. Individual trees and clusters of trees will be on exhibit, reminding you of previous forest treks.

The Southeast is fast becoming a bonsai center of expertise. Many bonsai masters (many of whom trained in Japan for many years) live and teach in the South (Tennessee, Bjorn Bjorholm in Nashville, Dan Coffey in Charlotte, Rodney Clemons in Atlanta, Owen Reich in Knoxville Tennessee, Arthur Joura in Asheville, and Tyler Sherrod in Hickory).

There are three renowned bonsai exhibitions in the area (this year’s Kannapolis Winter Silhouette Bonsai Show, the Kannapolis Bonsai Show in June, which focuses on smaller bonsai trees, and the annual Asheville show at the North Carolina Arboretum). Bonsai clubs may be found in the North Carolina cities of Asheville, Raleigh, and Columbia.

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