Formative Elm Work

Posted by on Apr 15, 2015 | One Comment
Formative Elm Work

Taking advantage of Spring growth is the name of the game in April and May. When an elm grows well it presents multiple opportunities to improve the structure and fill out the silhouette. San Francisco climate doesn’t encourage the type of summer-long unbridled growth in elms that might happen in hotter areas; but for a […]

One Step Backward

Posted by on Apr 5, 2015 | No Comments
One Step Backward

Sometimes when you’re trying to make a good bonsai you have to take a step backward, or possibly even two. I find it quite natural to analyze a tree that I see on a sales table and mentally delete branches while bending others and adding elements that can be grown in a couple years. But, […]

Root Over Rock Pine #1

Posted by on Mar 25, 2015 | No Comments
Root Over Rock Pine #1

This pine is from the 2006 batch of seedlings and is one of only three root over rock from that batch; it is going to be at least 12-14″ tall as a finished tree, but I have to continue considering the improvement as it develops over the next few years. When I started these I […]

Site Problems

Posted by on Mar 24, 2015 | No Comments
Site Problems

There’s this great thing about having your own website, hosted by someone you are paying and administered by yourself. The great thing is that you’re mostly in control. The not-so-great thing is that other people do things that make your site crash repeatedly. In the last couple months my WordPress install was victimized by some […]

Exposed Root Pine #2

Posted by on Mar 3, 2015 | No Comments
Exposed Root Pine #2

As a prequel to this post, you should probably read my post from last June called “Exposed Root Pine #1″. It contains some more background information about this batch. Like #1, this tree is from my 2006 batch, but this one is possibly my favorite…although I think I said that about #1 too. Making exposed-root […]

Valley Oak

Posted by on Feb 17, 2015 | No Comments
Valley Oak

I have a batch of Valley Oaks (Q. lobata) which I started almost ten years ago on the occasion of my first son’s birth. I had collected the acorns the previous fall in Sacramento from one of the largest Valley oaks I’ve ever seen. In hindsight I can’t say whether selecting the largest tree as […]

Kifu Elm

Posted by on Feb 3, 2015 | 4 Comments
Kifu Elm

I’ve had this little elm for about 8 years now. I bought it from the estate sale of a Bay Island Bonsai member. I’ve never discovered the history before that point but I know that former owner had been a serious enthusiast and his collection was quite good. He very well may have started the […]

Trident Repotting

Posted by on Jan 28, 2015 | No Comments
Trident Repotting

The trident maple from my previous post is one of a few from the batch that I still have and possibly my favorite at the moment. When I was in SoCal I had a lot of problems with root heat (or so I thought) so I started potting everything out of ceramic containers into wooden […]

Trident Over Rock

Posted by on Jan 19, 2015 | 3 Comments
Trident Over Rock

I started this little trident from seed. It’s been an interesting journey. When I first started a batch of tridents, a year or two after I started my 2006 batch of black pines, I also started a bunch of Zelkova, Amur Maples, Monterey Cypresses and some Coast Live Oaks. I no longer have any of […]

Mame Maple

Posted by on Jan 14, 2015 | No Comments
Mame Maple

This little maple has seemingly impossibly small leaves on it during the growing season, more like a small leaf trident maple than whatever variety of momiji it is. Acer palmatum in my experience typically has 2-3″ leaves which can reduce to around 1″ with control of the plant. This one seems to stay around 1″ […]