Stands are not an essential part of bonsai, but they do serve to display your tree to best advantage. When a tree is brought into
the house, placing it on a stand or mat will show it off to better advantage. When displayed in a show, a stand or mat is an essential
piece of the display.
Finer trees deserve to be shown on nice stands, though it is clear that none of us who have substantial collections of trees will
own all of the different types and sizes of stands to show all of our trees to best advantage.
The Japanese and Chinese stands shown here are nice stands that will complement nice trees. The planer Japanese stand is
more appropriate to rugged-looking, masculine conifers while the more ornate Chinese stand is more appropriate for displaying a
flowering tree or a tree having a more feminine style.
These fine stands can be expensive, but mores simple stands can be quite effective for displaying trees. The four shown here
include a simple home-made stand, a traditional curved wood stand, a relatively modern design and a stand routed from a single
piece of wood.
Stands for cascade trees will generally be taller than normal stands to let the tree flow down
below the base of the pot.
When displaying the small shohin or mame trees, multiple stands
are often employed. The big stand to the left is designed to show
multiple small trees. Each individual tree in the display has its own
small stand. The entire display is set off by being placed on a very
simple goza mat stand as a base. There is a small slab under the
Smaller, simple stands are available from some kitchen
stores like Bed Bath and Beyond where they are sold as
cheese or fruit boards. Boards with small feet that have been
designed for serving sushi in upscale restaurants are
particularly nice. Recently, boards composed of plies of
bamboo have become available as serve quite nicely for
Getting even more simple, bamboo place mats can be used to set
off displays. These mats are available from Pier One, and larger
sizes are available from several sources online.
It is possible to purchase goza mats (goza
mats are the visible outside layer of tatami mats)
from Asian stores. These may be used to make
stands by cutting them to the desired size,
mounting them on plywood, and framing them.
The frames are usually either black or a blond
natural wood. One goza mat will make many
stands of various sizes.
Finally, accent plants and other small
pieces can be displayed on burl slabs or
even slices of trees. The first of these is
a manzanita root and the scond is a
maple burl that I affectionately refer to
as my “boar burl.” (You can even
confirm that he is a boar.)
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educational purposes. If large portions are copied, we would appreciate attribution. We welcome links to this site.