Arizona Alder in Unusual Presentation-

This planting was originally composed by Oregon bonsai artist Greg Brenden. The container is a concrete water meter cover, stretching the boundaries of what might hold a plant. We’ve been encouraging a kusamono-like wildness to its style since acquiring it some years ago.

The meter cover does have a rectangular hole straight through the center of it, which at one time held the majority of the roots. We did one repotting of this years ago. It was…an alternative procedure, to say the least, but we managed to lock the tree in. Now the majority of the root system is crawling over the top surface of the concrete, and I think no more repotting is feasible. We might trim some of them now and then, like mowing a lawn.

Alders are phenomenally thirsty plants, being riparian plants that have their toes dipping into a high water table year round. This one gets as much water as our Wisteria. It’s about 42″ high.

Arizona Alder, Alnus oblongifolia, planted in a concrete water meter cover

September 2020 Bulletin Board:

  • We’ve added yet another session to the Fall Seasonal-lite online course. Whether you live here, there, or everywhere, please join us for a deep dive into fall work on our bonsai—Oct. 24-25 (full), Nov. 7-8, or Nov. 14-15. For more info, to watch our trailer, and to sign up: The Fall Seasonal-lite

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  1. Boy Howdy !!! Sure would like to see some close-ups of that container and base ! 😉

  2. Jeffrey says:

    Every time I am in your garden Michael I alway gravitate to this bonsai. I absolutely love it. Always have. Something about it just captivates me whenever I am in its presence. Its stunning.

    • Skipp Serrano says:

      Always look forward you your next offering. Glad to see native trees that are ignored by other Bonsai artists.

  3. Bryan Carrick says:

    I have a large European Alder that sits in water in summer. On a warm to hot day it will drink 5 liters of water early!

  4. Looking good Michael! Do you have any other tips or pointers on the development of Alder? I have a friend here with a very nice piece of stock that we’re going to begin work on this spring.

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