Improving Young Root Over Rock Pines

Posted by on Feb 4, 2020 | No Comments
Improving Young Root Over Rock Pines

at any time I probably have at least a half-dozen young trees in training with auxiliary soil retention mechanisms in place to ensure that the roots make it into the main container, and can eventually be exposed to enhance the value of the composition.

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 […]

P. monticola Meets Matt Reel

Posted by on Nov 9, 2015 | 10 Comments
P. monticola Meets Matt Reel

Pinus monticola, or Western White Pine, is native to the Sierra Nevada mountains, Cascade Range and the Pacific Northwest. The tree has a typical slender white-pine family needle with a somewhat more muted coloration than many of the striped white-pine family members. The needles are beautifully soft and seem to end up anywhere from 1- […]

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 […]

Windswept Whitebarks

Posted by on Jul 27, 2015 | One Comment
Windswept Whitebarks

Krummholz is the German name that naturalists use for the form of trees that is so contorted by wind, snow and ice that they no longer form an upright tree but rather a matt or bush of foliage. They normally occur at very high elevation or other inhospitable locations where the wind is constant and […]

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 […]

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, […]

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, […]