Other Green Worlds


Bonsai is a traditional method of stunting, wiring and pruning the roots and branches of trees so that they become miniature copies of imagined, idealized, full-sized trees in nature. The process of creating one is labor intensive and often takes decades. If the bonsai artist is successful the trees possess a deep meditative beauty, but there is also something unsettling about them: green lives turned into exhibits in a tree museum. The miniature size of these creations allows one to view the trees in their entirety: the form, texture, and every tiny detail are there to be scrutinized, but one is somehow denied the lived experience of a tree. They speak of a poetic and disturbing human desire to shape, perfect and possess nature, a desire that can transform things in unexpected ways.


These photographs were taken in Weyerhaeuser Pacific Bonsai Collection on the grounds of the company headquarters in Kent, Washington. These photographs were taken and printed by permission of the Weyerhaeuser Company.