Skyscraper Bonsai

Skyscraper Bonsai

A couple years back I visited two friends who lived in Chicago. They had their bonsai up in skyscraper apartments, like tree eyries. One had his bonsai up on the rooftop. What a view! But there were two views, actually, two realities. One of the bonsai close up, another of a breathtaking cityscape. And they […]

Summer Heat Spikes and Bonsai–

Summer Heat Spikes and Bonsai–

Every now and then in many locales we can see a blistering heat spike that is 20 degrees higher than normal. Ignoring these spikes, and not making some adjustments to bonsai, is perilous… Tree roots are familiar with an Elysian climate below the soil surface, a moderate one, where roots are protected from damaging heat […]

Learn about Bonsai at the Portland Japanese Garden

Learn about Bonsai at the Portland Japanese Garden

This spring the Portland Japanese Garden unveiled an ambitious expansion, and in that expansion was something new: Portland’s first public bonsai display. I have the delight to work on the bonsai there. While working I chat with visitors, who tend to ask how old the trees are, what I’m doing with them, and why. And after […]

Front Renewed…A Rocky Mountain Juniper Gets a Makeover-

Front Renewed…A Rocky Mountain Juniper Gets a Makeover-

This tree has some history in the garden. We nicknamed it ‘The Fish’ to distinguish it from junipers in the garden that resemble other animals. Last week we changed it to a new front, which had been raised as an option for some years now, and we finally took the bait… The original front of […]

My Pine Needles are Yellowing…Do I Have a Problem?

My Pine Needles are Yellowing…Do I Have a Problem?

Maybe not. In early summer, when new needles on single flush pine species are finishing growing and hardening off, we may see old needles yellowing and falling off. This is a totally normal process of replacement. One can assist the tree by removing these old needles at this time, so that light and air can get […]

Experiment Results: Foemina Juniper Maintained as Japanese Needle Juniper

Experiment Results: Foemina Juniper Maintained as Japanese Needle Juniper

Several years ago I began working with a client who had a Foemina Juniper, Juniperus chinensis ‘Foemina’, of some provenance. The bonsai was created by Shig Miya over 30 years ago from an air layer, and the tree’s only branch was grafted on—a true feat of plant engineering. At the time we began on this […]

What’s Happening on the Accent Plant Bench…

What’s Happening on the Accent Plant Bench…

The accent bench always brings new things each month. Here’s a sampling of June’s offerings: Grass, hawkweed, and fern, 22″/ 56 cm. The balance of the three foliage types looks pretty good this year…last year was a different story. To some degree one can trim for balance. One plant should be the boss. The others […]

Jonas’s 2016 Post about Decandling Black Pines-

Jonas’s 2016 Post about Decandling Black Pines-

Now and then words deserve to be repeated. The Bonsai Tonight blog post by Jonas Dupuich about decandling Japanese Black Pine—of which this is the primary work season—is head and shoulders above nearly anything else you could read (or write) about the subject, in a concise, digestible form. Even if you’ve already read this, try it […]

Rain and Needle Size…

Rain and Needle Size…

You may have noticed that some years we have much longer needles on our pines than other years. Why? We haven’t done anything differently… But the weather has. Those years have unseasonably high springtime rainfall. And what is water to a plant? Food. (Water + CO2 + Light = Dinner) This White Pine is showing […]