Visit to Vancouver Island, Canada

My recent trip to Canada led me to visit the bonsai yards of Anton Nijhuis and Peter Wilson, who have extensive collections of trees collected from Vancouver Island over the years. Thanks to both of you for letting me visit! (And for letting me take a few photos in your backyards…)

I found this napkin dispenser in a cafe on the Vancouver Island ferry.

Anton Nijhuis’ hemlock. This is a very large tree, or a ‘two-person’ tree as those of us who have lifted a few know them as.

This good-sized hemlock was in the yard of Peter Wilson. ‘Good-sized’ is a remarkably accurate term for anything between two inches and eight feet. This one was somewhere in-between.

A huge hemlock at Peter’s. ‘Huge’ as in other applications means ‘hernia-sized’. Don’t lift without machinery, step way back to take the photo, etc.

Very nice bunjin shore pine, Pinus contorta contorta, in Peter’s yard…I thought this specimen was very successful in living up to its scientific name. Contorted to heck by something in the wilds of Canada. Nice trees, guys! Thanks for the visit-


  1. Chris Cochrane says:

    Nice to see good friends gather. How are Anton, Marcie & their son? Is Anton still collecting/distributing Vancouver Island ‘scholars’ rocks’?

  2. Dan W. says:

    Impressive trees! And it looks like a great trip. 🙂

  3. Steve Moore says:

    Wow! They’re getting some fabulous specimens among their own indigenous trees. 🙂 Thanks for pictures!

  4. Dan W. says:

    I have several ‘good-sized’ trees 😉

  5. Dan Robinson says that the peat bog contortion happens because the extreme acidity of the water there prevents the tree from properly integrating nitrogen, this depriving it of the strength to grow strong and straight. After the tree is removed and fed a normal diet, the wood acretes differently and begins to harden.

    • crataegus says:

      I think Dan may be right about the chemistry.

      It’s also amazing how weak the root systems are on bog trees, they literally fall over when only a couple feet hight.

  1. […] think this contorted little gem makes for a suitable Halloween bonsai. The photo (by Michael Hagedorn) was taken in Peter Wilson’s backyard on Vancouver Island. Here’s what Michael has to […]

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