History of a Bunjin Scots Pine

Grown from seed by Northwest artist Ron Yasenchak, this Scots Pine is about 25-30 years old. It was purchased by a client of mine who has an eye for the unusual, and who takes the long view in reaching a goal.

It’s been about 6 years since it was restyled, with the front turned around. Designs with the back branch being the lowest are relatively more common in bunjin than in other bonsai styles.

The container, incidentally, was made by me in the early 2000’s. I can roughly tell the period because I lived in Arizona at the time, and would throw decomposed granite from a nearby wash (dry stream bed) into the clay, which made spots of melted feldspar in the fired piece.


Scots Pine in 2007.


Scots Pine, 14″, in 2016. The tree made an appearance in the 2016 U.S. National Exhibition, where it won the ‘Finest Natural Bonsai.’

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  1. Tony Tickle says:

    I championed this tree, superb work and great presentation.

  2. ceolaf says:

    It’s a very intersting tree, but I was struck by the the chosen front and have a question about.

    With this front, the second bend is nearly invisble, taking the treat directly away from the viewer.

    Can you comment on why this was selected, as opposed to a front just slightly to the right or left?

    • crataegus says:

      Sure, it’s a good question. If I had shown several photos around the tree it might have been clearer why this one was chosen. The part of the trunk that drops from the big bend then comes toward the viewer a bit from the chosen front, not away from the viewer.

      Either way could have been made to work with adjustments. I was more intrigued with showing off the back branch of the tree, rather than having that branch be a front branch. Honestly I think a good tree could have been made with either front.

  3. john says:

    Excellent work again Michael! Thanks for the post and sharing this trees provenance.

  4. Graham says:

    Simple elegance, while indicating a struggle to survive ……….it’s characteristics are very similar to our shore pine….gives me some great inspiration for some recently collected yamadori.

  5. carol ebreo says:

    I just love this tree. I have a pine Pinus ridgita from the cape as it as not as graceful as yours!!

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