Shohin Considerations

Posted by on Aug 23, 2014 | No Comments
Shohin Considerations

Shohin trees are those that are in the range about 3″ tall to about 8″ tall. While there are multiple size classification systems, the Nippon Bonsai Association recognizes that Shohin are trees up to 20 cm, which converts to about 8″ for us Americans. It is also commonly accepted that the tree not be too […]

Mendocino Pygmy Cypress

Posted by on Aug 17, 2014 | No Comments
Mendocino Pygmy Cypress

I bought this Mendocino pygmy cypress from Bob Shimon of Mendocino Coast Bonsai. The tree is collected from private land; the age would only be an estimate since they grow very slowly in the harsh soil conditions that cause the pymgy to be added to the name. Outside that soil they are remarkably fast growers, […]

One Monterey Cypress

Posted by on Aug 9, 2014 | No Comments
One Monterey Cypress

In 2007, after having started a batch of pines the year before, I started a batch of Monterey Cypress. I collected the seed from a tree in the Presidio here in San Francisco. Cypress grow very fast, even as seedlings. It takes only a couple years to have a tree that is three feet tall, […]

An Appreciation for Monterey Cypress

Posted by on Aug 9, 2014 | One Comment
An Appreciation for Monterey Cypress

Ever since I developed an interest in bonsai I’ve always had a predisposition toward native trees, or perhaps more precisely trees that grow naturally around me. Having grown up in a rural area of Northern California I was surrounded by beautiful Oaks, Redwoods, Bay and Cypress. The problem I immediately ran into when starting out […]

Stones from the River

Posted by on Aug 7, 2014 | One Comment
Stones from the River

I recently went for a weekend excursion to the southern reaches of the state of Jefferson. (never hear of it?!?) On the recommendation of a friend I was there looking into the river stones, amid having some fun hiking and playing in the water. Camping is a great time for me and mixing it with […]

Rocks for Bonsai

Posted by on Aug 7, 2014 | No Comments
Rocks for Bonsai

When I started a batch of Japanese Black Pine seedlings in March of 2006 I had only some inclination of what I wanted to do with them. When the trees were two years old the critical period of determining the eventual style of the tree came. During this time period in a young pine’s life […]

Always propagating!

Posted by on Jul 19, 2014 | No Comments
Always propagating!

If you think that you can make great bonsai from nursery stock alone then you’re among the many people that will be making mediocre trees. You can spend a lifetime making a bonsai tree, so if you start from a place where you can’t ultimately end up with a good tree then you are robbing […]

Thoughts on Tools

Posted by on Jul 14, 2014 | No Comments
Thoughts on Tools

I’ve had a lot of people ask me questions about what tools to buy after teaching bonsai basics classes. The answer is not as simple as one might hope, so here are some recommendations based on my own experiences. Different people use tools differently so I’d recommend handling tools of people at club meetings with […]

Exposed Root pine #1

Posted by on Jun 27, 2014 | No Comments
Exposed Root pine #1

In February of 2006 I started a hundred ┬áJapanese Black Pine seeds on their way to being bonsai. I had previously started a batch of Knobcone pines the prior spring┬ábut they all ended up dead of pine pitch canker within the first year, apparently all the pines in my neighborhood are infected and the site […]

Yamadori-Style Juniper Projects – details and examples

Posted by on Jun 19, 2014 | No Comments
Yamadori-Style Juniper Projects – details and examples

While the theory behind producing Yamadori-style juniper bonsai is simple to explain, the process takes some time, and perhaps most importantly, perseverance. What if the most challenging aspect of bonsai growing is to remember your intentions eight years after you had the original idea? Luckily, the plant is there to remind us of what we […]