Postcards from Portland: Part 3

Posted by on May 9, 2015 | 5 Comments
Postcards from Portland: Part 3

If you were to sit in a workshop full of knowledgable bonsai hobbyists in the United States and have a conversation about what species of tree will win the judging at The Artisans Cup in Portland in September you would likely get a consensus that it will be a collected juniper. What exact species, whether […]

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 […]

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 […]

Less is More?

Posted by on Dec 13, 2014 | No Comments
Less is More?

There is a whole school of thought in bonsai that less is more. The idea is that if you eliminate something from a tree you sometimes end up with a result that is more interesting and a better bonsai. On the other hand, it’s also possible that if you go cutting branches off willy nilly […]

John Boyce’s Bunjin

Posted by on Dec 10, 2014 | No Comments
John Boyce’s Bunjin

John Boyce is one of the founding members of the Bonsai Society of San Francisco (BSSF.org), which started in 1960. I’m not sure how old John was when the society started, but he’s got to be in his early eighties these days. When I was a beginner in the club, John was one of the […]

Matt Reel – BSSF Workshop

Posted by on Nov 26, 2014 | No Comments
Matt Reel – BSSF Workshop

The original idea that I had to hire Matt was for a group workshop for the Bonsai Society of San Francisco. I’m the incoming president and have been the show chair for the last couple years; so, I have a personal interest in seeing the group further the quality of its show material. And in […]

Matt Reel – Part 2

Posted by on Nov 20, 2014 | 3 Comments
Matt Reel – Part 2

At the same time that BSSF scheduled Matt for a demonstration for the Thursday general meeting, the club also scheduled him to do a group workshop on Saturday for six participants. That left Matt with nothing to do for Friday stuck in San Francisco. So, after the meeting was over on Thursday I asked him […]

Matt Reel – Part 1

Posted by on Nov 19, 2014 | One Comment
Matt Reel – Part 1

After meeting Matt Reel for the first time in February of 2011 in Obuse, at the nursery of his teacher Shinji Suzuki, I was most struck by the environment that he was studying in. The nursery was immaculate and the trees that were housed there were equally impressive. Here are a few photos of trees […]

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 […]

Black Pine Creation

Posted by on Sep 1, 2014 | One Comment
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 […]