Case Study: Selective Decandling and Cutback of a Japanese Black Pine

Posted by on Jul 13, 2016 | 2 Comments
Case Study: Selective Decandling and Cutback of a Japanese Black Pine

Decandling Japanese Black Pines is a relatively straight forward process. If you have any questions in your mind about it you should check out the article that I published “Nine Things You Might Not Know About Decandling Japanese Black Pines. With many bonsai, uniform application of technique can cause you to spin your wheels rather […]

Large Japanese Black Pine – Fall Cleanup

Posted by on Dec 18, 2015 | 6 Comments
Large Japanese Black Pine – Fall Cleanup

Sometimes I wonder how many mature trees a person can have and properly maintain as bonsai before they are a full-time practitioner, if not a professional. I took this tree off my bench a week ago convinced that if I left it any longer it would not be good for the lower and interior buds. […]

Boon’s Black Pine Baseline

Posted by on Nov 26, 2015 | 5 Comments
Boon’s Black Pine Baseline

When I was only a year or two into doing bonsai I learned of this guy named Boon who lived in the East Bay and was good at working with pines. I attended the BIB show and saw for myself that the show was filled with great trees that exhibited a level of work that […]

A Golden Moment in the Garden

Posted by on Sep 15, 2015 | 4 Comments
A Golden Moment in the Garden

One of the nice things about having a yard that faces the San Francisco bay and the rising sun is that occasionally there are moments when the lighting is just amazing. They don’t happen every day, but they are more frequent in fall and winter than during the summer. A few days ago I glanced […]

Decandling Decisions

Posted by on Jun 25, 2015 | 2 Comments
Decandling Decisions

Decandling a Japanese Black Pine is one of the techniques that allows for long term containment of established bonsai and establishment of younger trees as bonsai. The process of removing all the spring growth is well-documented and there are multiple techniques that are used by different people to good effect. Much of bonsai learning comes […]

Sacrifice Branch Reduction

Posted by on May 31, 2015 | 6 Comments
Sacrifice Branch Reduction

There may be a reason that many people who are interested in bonsai have no interest in growing bonsai stock. For me the two things are one and the same. Among other goals, I want to grow a bonsai from start to maturity and see how well I can do it. My original batch of […]

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 […]

Black Pine repotting

Posted by on Jan 12, 2015 | No Comments
Black Pine repotting

Repotting season is here in Northern California and I’m getting started with some of the trees that I own that are most in need of repotting. Normally, I would start with deciduous material in early January and then work on conifers later in February and even early March. For San Francisco, the winter season is […]

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 […]