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 […]

Postcards from Portland: Part 2

Posted by on May 4, 2015 | 8 Comments
Postcards from Portland: Part 2

As a beginner at bonsai I became interested in hiking in the mountains to feed my bonsai interests. Hiking around up in the high mountains of California gives you an entirely different experience with tree forms than the trees that grow in a typical residential neighborhood or in the coastal ranges. Among other species, the […]

Postcards from Portland: Part One

Posted by on May 2, 2015 | 5 Comments
Postcards from Portland: Part One

I’ve toured Japan three times in the last ten years to visit the Kokufu bonsai exhibition and see nurseries that grow bonsai. The experience is great both as inspiration for bonsai and as a change of pace and vacation. Japan is delightful in many more ways than just the bonsai, I particularly enjoy the food, […]

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 | 2 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 | 5 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 […]