Branch Flattening for Light Optimization and Taper Control in Juniper Stock

Posted by on Oct 25, 2020 | 3 Comments
Branch Flattening for Light Optimization and Taper Control in Juniper Stock

Refinement and stock growing are often two entirely separate parts of the bonsai process. Whenever we are working on plants from a young age the aim is to create the best tree possible in the shortest possible time. If you find the opportunity to combine parts of the trunk growing or “building” stage of growing […]

Shrinking a Juniper

Posted by on May 28, 2020 | No Comments
Shrinking a Juniper

I recently worked on this small juniper; it seems to be a cutting grown Kishu juniper (J. chinensis “kishu”.) Kishu has a slightly tighter growth habit with more plump tips than the “Shimpaku” variety, and a bit more coarse than Itoigawa, the preferred variety in much of Japan. I’ve discovered that any of these three […]

Big Junipers -Splits, Bends and Grafts

Posted by on Apr 3, 2016 | No Comments
Big Junipers -Splits, Bends and Grafts

I’ve been fortunate to have the chance to study many world-class trees in Japan and the US, giving me the opportunity to think about how they were made. When it comes to making great juniper bonsai out of yamadori material there are a few tricks and complications that can force compromise when you really get […]

Reflections on The Artisans Cup

Posted by on Sep 30, 2015 | 5 Comments
Reflections on The Artisans Cup

I left San Francisco at 7am on the Wednesday morning before The Artisans Cup to drive over to Alameda to meet up with Jonas Dupuich. Among other things we were taking my grafted California Juniper and accompanying pieces up to Portland, Oregon for the show. Both Jonas and I were happy that most of the […]

Too Straight for a Juniper

Posted by on Sep 10, 2015 | 4 Comments
Too Straight for a Juniper

In bonsai, Junipers are supposed to be all twisty and contorted. That’s the rule. So, I guess we should all just ignore the tree that I’ve been working on for the last few years – it’s too straight for a juniper. Check back next time I post something. But seriously, where do the rules come […]

Yamadori Style Kishu

Posted by on Sep 2, 2015 | 4 Comments
Yamadori Style Kishu

I think it was back in 2007 that Jim Gremel did a workshop for BSSF, the somewhat-infamous Yamadori-style juniper workshops where he takes young trees and wires them into crazy shapes. His concept is great, it’s just that the execution takes a long time. I wired a couple trees during that workshop and recall him […]

Juniper Grafts

Posted by on Jul 23, 2015 | No Comments
Juniper Grafts

Road to the Cup – Part 2 If you’re not grafting on junipers that you have in development then you’re likely not making really great bonsai, it’s that simple. While trees grown from cuttings can become really good in time, much of the juniper trunk stock that exists either from old landscape plants, wild trees […]

Material Selection

Posted by on Jul 11, 2015 | 3 Comments
Material Selection

Road to The Cup- Part 1 I mentioned in my last post that the tree that I’ll be bringing to The Artisans Cup was a castoff sales table tree that turned into a keeper. The selection of material to work on in bonsai is the first task for a bonsai artist; it is equal in […]

The Cup

Posted by on Jul 2, 2015 | 6 Comments
The Cup

Some of the most serious bonsai enthusiasts from across the country received an email on June 30th informing them of the status of their entries for The Artisans Cup, Exhibition of American Bonsai. I had some musings after my conversation in April with Ryan Neil, the creator and organizer of the cup. What would the […]

Reel Returns

Posted by on Jun 13, 2015 | No Comments
Reel Returns

For the first weekend in June I had the pleasure once again of hosting Matt Reel for a few days of bonsai work. BSSF did two group workshops with Matt instructing and I worked with him on a few trees privately as well. The great thing about working with a bonsai professional is that you […]