Unfortunately our local club has no such rules, and I think our overall display suffers as a result. I believe we should do our best to display the best of the club to promote good bonsai to the general public. However, with our local club, anyone that shows up with a tree in hand gets a spot in the display. This sometimes means trees with little or no training make it into the show. Not everyone is aware of the time and effort that some take to prepare their trees for a show.
- At the very least pots should be clean (and perhaps lightly oiled where appropriate) and the soil free of weeds and other debris.
- Wire, if present, should be neat and not distracting.
- Dead branches and dead leaves and foliage should be removed.
- I enjoy a good top layer of moss, but this is a step that not everyone is familiar and/or comfortable with.
- Appropriate stands, slabs, or other separators should be used (these should also be clean and free of dust, dirt, and other debris).
- Accent plants, companion plants, and/or stones should be selected to compliment the main tree on display.
- Having a "Show Prep" workshop at different times throughout the year is a great way to get everyone on the same page.
- DO NOT OVERCROWD THE DISPLAY! It would be great if each tree/display were to get 4-6', but this is not always possible.
A good show chair and/or committee should be able to gather a set of criteria for the club display, and even organize who shows what where.
Good luck with the show.