Many of you are now familiar with the prize winners of The Artisans Cup. This week it was found that a fourth tree was a winner as well…scoring the same 50 points as the Third Place winner. Along with Amy Blanton’s Rocky Mountain Juniper, the Japanese White Pine of Konnor Jenson will also be awarded third place.

An accompanying award certificate, plaque, and $3,000 purse will be awarded to both Mr. Jenson and Ms. Blanton. Congratulations to them both!

Konnor Pine Artisans Cup

Sharing Third Place at the Artisans Cup is Konnor Jenson’s Japanese White Pine

This is beyond words. This isn’t a photo essay, as I tend to do, but simply photos. I think that if you were not able to come to The Artisans Cup, seeing many photos of it will give you a sense of the magnitude and emotional impact of the design, lighting, and quality of the trees.

I thank my friend Oscar Jonker for use of these photos. He was there in the first couple hours when the Cup was finished setting up, and then he zipped right to the hotel and blogged about it. I was too tired here in Portland to even think of writing, so I begged the use his lightning fast post from Bonsai Empire. Thanks Oscar for all these great photos! (Only two are mine…the first and the last).






















Not long ago we talked about shade cloth and its benefits to bonsai. Because of our toasty summers here in Oregon, USA, we decided to put up shade cloth for part of the yard—the area of the yard devoted to some tender deciduous and sun-sensitive native Northwest conifers, like Englemann spruce and Mountain Hemlock.

After considering several ideas, we settled on a metal structure. It’s quite a bit more expensive than a wooden one, but the minimal and simple aesthetics were appealing, and that seemed to offset the cost. It also helps (a lot) to have an apprentice who has logged some hours welding…

There are many simpler things one could probably do, but just in case you want more hassle and expense, we offer this option…


So many things start as long straight sticks…


Matt Reel barely needs a ladder to reach the top of this 10′ riser.


Matt’s long arms were also very useful when we over-filled one of the holes and had to remove some gravel.


Long straight sticks in need of shortening.


Our ringer, Bobby Curttright, doing the welding of the top bracing.


The day we put all 8 posts in the ground with concrete.


How we attached the cable in the corners.


All that expense for such a minor amount of shade…this is 30%. Less than that would have been ok, a touch more would have also been ok, but it was the best compromise between the trees that need a little bit and the those that wanted a bit more. 50% shade cloth and more are mostly for understory plants that actually prefer shade, or for climates with very severe summers. 30% will take the edge off in strong sun. The pines and junipers, in our relatively mild climate, are on nearby benches but not under the shade cloth.


The full structure with shade cloth attached. It needs a few 45’s in the corners, but otherwise it’s complete. The grommeted shade cloth was simply ziptied in place. We’ll need to take it off for winter to avoid the random snowstorm.

My friend Stephen Voss has embarked on a great and beautiful project, a book of fine art photographs of bonsai. He’s running a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the book, and he’s got a really great video on it that has so much more in it than simply trying to give birth to a book. It’s a video that quietly teaches. Please take a moment to see it, and if you feel so moved, contribute to his efforts to bring us another book into the bonsai library:

To see the campaign: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/131074671/in-training-a-book-of-bonsai-photographs

Stephen generously donated several of his prints to our Portland Bonsai Village Indiegogo campaign, and helped make it a grand success. Let’s do the same for him.

A Shore Pine reworked-

This pine has been an enjoyable project for some years now. Shore pine is one of our Northwestern USA native conifers, tending to grow not far inland.

Last year we had a terrific hailstorm in June in my small neighborhood (the rest of the city was untouched), which dropped 1/2″ hail on my yard and stripped all the newly growing needles off many pines. The tree regrew buds, but as expected they did not open and grow new needles (like a black pine would). This spring the pine flushed with growth as normal, after being supported for two years with the same old needles.

So, a sigh of relief that this tree has regained its momentum. And yesterday we rewired it. That’s really what I meant to offer here…photos of the reworking…not the hailstorm story…


My apprentice Bobby Curttright adjusting wire on the Shore Pine. This image gives some idea of the scale of the tree for the next 15 photos…


Our front, after reworking. We shot a lot of details of the tree ‘in the round’, from many sides, to get a feel for the entire experience of the tree rather than one front. It’s a very interesting tree in its branching, which is the tree’s main attraction. The trunk is actually rather simple.


Moving to the right…turning counter-clockwise around the tree for the next four photos.




Side view…with the long back branch. This design choice was to have a very dynamic front to back depth, which in photos sadly is rather lacking and doesn’t communicate… Sigh. I promise you this is an interesting tree. Take my word for it?


This and the following photos are detail shots of the branching.




Crown branch, that supplies all the shoots for the top of the tree, wired with a compact bend years ago.





And our front again. Notice the cones here and there throughout the tree, I tend to leave them as they add a unique feeling to a pine. Come and visit…it’s, well, definitely better in person…

At long last…we have a website.

Thanks to so many of you who donated to our Village Indiegogo campaign, you played a huge role in funding this thoughtfully designed, scrolling website. It was dreamed up by Kathy Wu, who has done a lot of work for some major brands like Nike, Intel, Bridgeport Brewing, Jenny Craig, and the LA marathon. The Village website was definitely a sideline project for her, and we were very, very lucky to catch her interest. She was a delight to work with, three cheers for Kathy!

Also we need to thank our great photographers, Anna Harris and Kozue Takagi. Photography was really important in this particular website, and they really came through with some beautiful images.

Check it out:

Portland Bonsai Village


And finally, thanks to all the volunteers who put their passion and love into this grassroots enterprise, it would not have happened without you.

There’s a blog on the Village website, and so the doings of the Village will be found on that blog, not this one. Going forward the Crataegus Bonsai blog will be primarily about bonsai, and less about community. It’s been running in both directions for a while now, thanks for your patience…

Thanks everyone! Although getting some of our Village programs up and running will take a while, we’re finally rolling…

Michael Hagedorn

A few weeks ago I did an in-depth interview about the Portland Bonsai Village with Bonsai Empire. I had a lot of fun with this, do take a look:



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