A Shohin Cascade Black Pine

Posted by on Oct 28, 2014 | No Comments
A Shohin Cascade Black Pine

This little pine is from my 2009 batch of seedlings. It was one that my friend and traveling companion for my 2008 visit to Kokufu-ten has been caring for for quite some time. While I was in Japan I bought a couple bags of seeds from a guy at the Green Club who sold mostly […]

A Redwood with Two Fronts

Posted by on Oct 18, 2014 | No Comments
A Redwood with Two Fronts

When I started in bonsai one of my first teachers was Tim Kong. Tim is a nice guy, and crazy about collecting both in the urban environment and in the coastal mountains. He never had much interest in the high mountain trees. His passion could have centered around redwood trees; he had many others but […]

Eleven Years’ Progress

Posted by on Oct 14, 2014 | No Comments
Eleven Years’ Progress

I had a recent comment asking what I was up to when blogging back in 2003. I had some bonsai back then but I was worrying mainly about remodeling my house. But, some of the photos from my 2003 blog are the only photos that I have remaining after a computer crash in 2005 that […]

A little “Arroyo Willow”

Posted by on Oct 3, 2014 | No Comments
A little “Arroyo Willow”

Some trees are big and powerful, some are small and subtle. Some trees are established bonsai species and then some just accidentally happen. This little tree volunteered in a pot in my yard a few years back. At first I thought it was a weed, but as it grew a little I realized that it […]

Deadwood Details

Posted by on Sep 25, 2014 | No Comments
Deadwood Details

In the mountains, the details in juniper and other deadwood that you find on trees can be really incredible. It’s a good place to take some inspiration for how to treat the deadwood on a bonsai. These examples were all taken near Sonora pass in the Sierra Nevada mountains north of Yosemite National Park. Perhaps […]

A small Monterey Cypress

Posted by on Sep 11, 2014 | No Comments
A small Monterey Cypress

From the batch of Monterey Cypress that I started in 2007 I have only 6 trees that I’ve kept up to the present day. I wired some of the trees to be small, and others to be large. For the small trees the movement in the trunk was much more dramatic than the movement put […]

Black Pine Creation

Posted by on Sep 1, 2014 | No Comments
Black Pine Creation

It’s a common thread on bonsai forums that someone gets some young pines or seeds and wants to start from scratch to grow some trees. How many of these attempts actually produce good bonsai is an interesting question. When that question was posed a few years ago on BonsaiNut I posted some progress photos of […]

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, […]