Mega Black Pine Rewire

This massive black pine was part of the Pacific Bonsai Museum, now owned by a client of Andrew Robson’s. Here’s a video of me wiring this big black in 2021 (partly on a ladder), followed by before and after photos of the past year’s work.

Music courtesy Hapasan: Taiko Cave


Wiring by ladder? Sure. Better than hanging from the ceiling.



Back on earth.


Here’s a shot after pruning, but before wiring.


After wiring.


And in September 2022 showing the regrowth, a year from last year’s pruning and wiring. Only 20 strong shoots were decandled this spring, the rest left to grow. After a big year of work (and a repot the spring of 2021), this old tree was asking for a break. 

September 2022 Bulletin Board 

  • Have September 24-25th free? Join us for the Seasonal-lite series! Our fall program caps the 2022 season, covering conifer and deciduous fall techniques, a deep dive into design  (including 4 traps to avoid), fine tuning your foliage pads, winter care, and much more. We’ve had folks from all over the world join us for these sessions (a few brave Australians have obliterated their early morning hours…definitely easier for our European participants.) For more info please look here, and to reserve a spot, send me an email at
  • Book Signing at the Pacific Bonsai Expo! If you’ve not yet got your copy of Post-Dated (a memoir about my apprenticeship) or Bonsai Heresy (an offbeat educational guide to bonsai), visit my booth at the show. Buy a copy for a friend in desperate need of a bonsai book (we all have such deficient friends). I’ll be there both days, November 12-13, 2022 in Oakland, CA. Happy to chat bonsai, too! Bring your puzzlements, predicaments, triumphs. See some cool trees, chat bonsai, run home with books—what could be better?
  • Post-Dated is on its second printing! And I’ll have those fresh-off-the-press books at the Pacific Expo…along with the (still fresh) books from the second printing of Bonsai Heresy

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  1. Stephen Liesen says:

    Beautiful black pine. The aged, plated bark is exceptional. This is obviously an old and venerable if not historic tree, so is it unheard of to change the planting angle. The tree rises from the ground straight vertical. Or is this part of its distinction and charm. I’m sorry for being a details-man but, what are the dimensions, age, and origin if you can? Thanks for the blog.

    • crataegus says:

      True, very hard at this point to change the planting angle by more than about 5 degrees. I did tip it slightly to the right, to try to mitigate this a bit. The tree is nearly 5’ tall, is about 60 years old, and is from Korea I believe.

  2. RAY NORRIS says:

    It’s a beauty Michael, looks very healthy

    Sent from my iPhone

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