Seeds: Feel the Peace of the Bonsai with EDH's Scott Chadd
While coping with a pressure-cooker work environment, Scott Chadd discovered inner peace while tending little trees.
"I was leading a high-stress, fast-paced life," recalled Chadd, former director of public works and transpo bonsai rtation for El Dorado County. "I foundwas a wonderful escape from all that stress."
Chadd started work on his first bonsai tree 40 years ago. Today he is an accomplished bonsai teacher and has his own nursery, Lotus Bonsai near Placerville.
This week, he's busy coordinating an exquisite miniature forest in Sacramento's DoubleTree Hotel. Hundreds of artfully manicured and trained trees will be on display during the 35th annual Golden State Bonsai Federation convention.
"Statewide, we have 78 clubs with more than 10,000 members," said Chadd, the show's co-chairman. "We also have affiliates in Oregon, Washington, Nevada and Arizona."
With four active clubs, Sacramento has long been an epicenter of American bonsai. The nation's oldest bonsai organization, the Sacramento Bonsai Club, co-hosts the convention with the American Bonsai Association of Sacramento, Bonsai Sekiyu Kai and the Satsuki Aikokai Bonsai Association.
The show will honor Harry Hirao, a 94-year-old bonsai master who still teaches, collects and styles trees. Hirao's specialty is California junipers. His work inspired a major display for this show.
"We'll have a display of all California native trees," Chadd said. "Almost all of them were collected from nature.
"For the first time, we'll have a judged show with $1,500 in prizes," he added. "They do it in Japan, they do it Europe; why not do it here? It's a great stimulant to improve your product."
More than 200 bonsai enthusiasts are expected to attend the four-day convention, which opens Thursday. The event includes ...