Winter is an excellent time to make careful lists of the year’s bonsai blunders, stapling them to our New Year’s resolutions with a similar intent to forget all about them when things begin growing again. More productively, it is a good time to look for good or more appropriate pots for your trees. To dream of accent plants to assemble. To wonder about stands… and then to call up one of our wonderful stand makers and order what you’re wondering about. 

Buy wire. Organize and sift soil. Remember what worked. Make notes. If you don’t have a bonsai yearbook, there’s a stocking stuffer for you. If you don’t snowboard, start. You can create a lot of shari on a slope in just a few hours. Otherwise stay home, turn up the heat, and make notes.

Given last weeks’ wintery blast, it might be a good time to buy new woolen hats and mittens too…


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  1. Al Polito says:

    I have a Subalpine fir that I bought at Tsugawa Nursery, which has some distinctive shari on the trunk. They told me it probably came off of Mt. Hood. Based on Michael’s suggestion, I’m guessing it was snowboard shari! Mystery solved. 🙂

    Who are the people who make stands around here in the Portland area?

  2. crataegus says:


    Yes, a snowboard sure beats a knife and is good exercise as well…

    Nobody near here… but Sean Smith is on the east coast and does excellent work, as does Tom Colby from California.


  3. Jelipe says:

    Any ideas of what a bonsai yearbook include?… any examples of the one you use?… is a simple book, a software, a spreadsheet file?

    • crataegus says:

      An interesting question about the spreadsheet calendar. I don’t have one, just go by my memories and also what the weather and trees are saying. you could get close with a calendar, but really it’s not learning bonsai. it is just doing what books do so well, which is oversimplify problems to the point that we have no ‘knowledge’ only inadequate ‘guidelines.’

      ok, I’m off my soapbox.

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