Ryan Neil’s “Unbridled” Show @pdxjapanesegdn

Posted by on May 23, 2016 | One Comment
Ryan Neil’s “Unbridled” Show @pdxjapanesegdn

I got the chance to attend the first day of Ryan Neil’s new bonsai show at the Portland Japanese Garden. At Bonsai Mirai I spoke with Ryan about the show for a few minutes to get his thoughts. The show is inside the Japanese Garden and runs now through June 19th, 2016. It contains 5 […]

Spring Cleaning on an Elm

Posted by on May 16, 2016 | 2 Comments
Spring Cleaning on an Elm

With good spring growth going on this elm things were starting to look a bit overgrown. The tree was looking nice over the winter but the spring growth revealed that some of the smaller interior twigs had died off. I tend to think of elms as cyclical trees, you can get them looking good with […]

Staggered Defoliation of Fuji Cherry

Posted by on May 7, 2016 | 3 Comments
Staggered Defoliation of Fuji Cherry

From time to time I like to test out techniques that are different from what I have been taught previously. Particularly with deciduous species where I am unfamiliar with the fine budding and growth characteristics it’s fun to push a healthy tree to see what it can do, or can’t do. With this cherry I […]

Minor Spring Tasks

Posted by on Apr 17, 2016 | One Comment
Minor Spring Tasks

This time of year, it seems like there is a lot to do, but much of it is small steps. The timing in spring can be quite critical for many tasks. In the last week working on bonsai I’ve undertaken a variety of things to move along young trees and older ones alike. This spruce […]

Incremental Progress – Trident Maples

Posted by on Apr 7, 2016 | 9 Comments
Incremental Progress – Trident Maples

If you want to have really good deciduous trees and can’t stand the thought of compromise, then you’ll most likely be spending 20-30 years carefully developing trees from scratch. It’s not easy and I can’t say I’ve mastered all the elements, perhaps half of them if I’m lucky. But, if you don’t try you can’t […]

Matt’s Tree Tie-Down

Posted by on Mar 22, 2016 | 2 Comments
Matt’s Tree Tie-Down

While working on a few trees recently I was lamenting the habit of my bunjin pines to fall over, sometimes even in a slight wind. We’ve had some pretty good winter storms here in the Bay Area this year, and trees falling on one another has been the cause of more than one broken branch […]

Suzuki’s Ume Grafts

Posted by on Mar 4, 2016 | 2 Comments
Suzuki’s Ume Grafts

Perhaps the greatest difference between high-quality bonsai and bonsai that are just potted trees is the correct application of technique in the correct circumstances. It sounds so simple to make a plan and execute it using the best techniques available; but, the difference is all in the details. While visiting the nursery of Shinji Suzuki […]

Ezo Spruce and Analogies

Posted by on Feb 27, 2016 | No Comments
Ezo Spruce and Analogies

Here in Northern California, spruce is not a particularly common tree to see in bonsai shows. The weather being hot and dry in much of the state probably has something to do with that. I have one spruce in my own yard which got a tinge of needle burn on it during a hot spell […]

Ume in Japan

Posted by on Feb 21, 2016 | 3 Comments
Ume in Japan

After the BIB show in late January it was only just over a week before I took off for ten days to visit Japan. I’ve travelled to Japan three times previously, each time during February to coincide with the Kokufu-ten bonsai show in the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum in Ueno Park, Tokyo. Traveling to a […]

Impressions from the BIB Show – 2016

Posted by on Jan 29, 2016 | No Comments
Impressions from the BIB Show – 2016

Every year for the past few years, I shoot the formal show photos at the Bay Island Bonsai show. They are used by magazines and for the show books. The setup is really nice, and the photos are recordings of the moment in time for the trees. We typically shoot the entire tree and container […]