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:


Those coming to Ryan Neil’s Artisans Cup this September should definitely consider one of the tours being offered then to explore bonsai in the Northwest. Lots of options… There are tours going to Bonsai Mirai, the Pacific Bonsai Museum, and a couple other destinations including Crataegus Bonsai. Sign up for these limited-space tours on this page of the Artisans Cup website:


There’s a lot going on during the Cup weekend, and on this page you’ll find all of the Artisans Cup events, do check it out-


Summertime, summertime… And your Chojubai is losing its leaves. And you are freaking out.

Well, maybe don’t.

In the middle of summer, right around now, your ‘Chojubai’ dwarf flowering quince will yellow and drop off half its leaves. For most things, this would be a weird time of year to lose a lot of leaves, but Chojubai is definitely off the weird shelf, designed to keep us guessing.


Older Chojubai showing typical summer yellowing. There’s also some of the spotty flowering that tends to happen in the warm months.

Please note that this summer yellowing and dropping of leaves is not related to mosaic disease, which is a minor yellowing on leaf edges.


Another older tree showing the same thing. Notice also that the new foliage is larger than the spring foliage.

These little quince are rather oddballs in that they don’t seem particularly interested in the leaves they grow. Fickle, more like it. They’ll use them for a while, then ditch them in nearest compost pile they can find. Shameful, wasteful life forms. But they seem to be happy, and simply grow a second set of leaves in the summer. These are often bigger than the spring set of leaves, but your older Chojubai will still look more sparse in the summertime.

The young plants are a different story. They can drop some summer leaves too, but sometimes not. And in a hot summer year like this one, will keep pushing long shoots…


Young Chojubai throwing long shoots in the summer. These plants have none of the yellowing leaves of the older plants.


Hot summers can push long growth on Chojubai. I measured one that was charging off, currently 33″ long…and still growing!


This month we had the delight to have Young Choe, probably the foremost kusamono artist working in the United States, give a presentation and workshop at Crataegus Bonsai. Young studied with Keiko Yamane in Japan.

Thanks for coming, Young! Everyone left giddy with info and the passion to make their own kusamono.

Here are some photos of the presentation and workshops:





Wonderful pot by Vicki Chamberlain.


In the kusamono mosh pit…




Some kusamono made in the workshops:








Students and the kusamono they created in the first workshop…


…and students from the second workshop.


At the presentation/demo. Thanks everyone for coming and making Young feel welcome in Portland!


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