Art of Bonsai Fan Favorites


Tamarack forest bonsai.

First Place:  #32 Tamarack Forest, Larix larcina

Exhibited by Bill Struhar, visitors continue to be captivated by this stunning bonsai forest year after year.  A proven award-winner, the Tamarack Forest just happens to also be our first-place fan favorite from 2023.  Described as the “perfect forest in miniature,” one cannot help but picture a tiny version of themselves “walking through the woods” encountering the woodland creatures among the moss with the trees evoking a peaceful feeling. This dreamy specimen was said to transport the viewer to far away locations, some specifically citing Olympic National Park in the state of Washington as well as Harwick Pines in Northern Michigan. Age 35 years.

Upright Yew bonsai.

Second Place - #39 Upright Yew, Taxus x hicksii (most likely) 

Exhibited by John Cerovski, this majestic bonsai tree, while crafted from a commonly known shrub, held a strong presence at our bonsai exhibition this year.  A giant in the room, relatively speaking, this striking tree reminds us a single trunk bonsai can also capture the hearts of many observers.  Visitors were impressed by the unusual silhouette, shape and development of this tree along with the rich green color of the foliage and wavy texture of the bark noting how it was both “old and wise,” yet “still so full of life.” In training since 2000, estimated age is 75 years. 

Acacia grove bonsai.

Third Place:  #26 Acacia Grove, Acacia spp.

Exhibted by Ellen Veselenak, visitors let us know there was so much to love about this entry noting how they enjoyed the overall distinctive design of this bonsai along with the balance of the form and shape, unique character of the bark, and movement in relation to the pot.  The giraffe adds a cute touch of whimsy, providing scale and inviting visitors to imagine themselves sitting on the mossy underlayer of the grove.  Side note, Ellen also taught the Intro to Tropical Bonsai workshop offered at the Art of Bonsai in 2023 and 2024.  Connect with Ellen, along with her co-owners and other bonsai enthusiasts, at Green Witch Gardens where bonsai trees, supplies and workshops are offered year-round. Age 25 years.


Tamarack forest bonsai.

First Place:  #116 Tamarack Forest, Larix larcina

Exhibited by Bill Stuhar, fans are captivated by this tiny forest year after year for the way it provokes the imagination and a desire to immerse oneself into the landscape. Zoom in to see the very miniature deer that give the exhibit immense scale.
Hinoki Cypress bonsai..

Second Place:  #104 Hinoki Cypress, Chamaecyparis obtusa

Exhibited by Tim Cox, fans are immediately drawn to the vibrant color and robust nature of this specimen. The unique raft style of bonsai emulating the trunk laying along the ground adds to the intrigue. Age 15 years.
Shimpaku Juniper bonsai.

Third Place:  #114 Shimpaku Juniper, Juniperus sargentii 'Shimpaku'

Exhibited by Larry Benjamin, the unique character of the trunk, along with the greenery of the moss and the foliage, add to the peaceful and seemingly wise nature of this stand making it a fan favorite. Age unknown.