Shade Cloth: Not Just for Sun

Shade Cloth: Not Just for Sun

We’ve talked before about shade cloth and its utility in protecting bonsai during hot summer weather. There’s one other protective measure that it provides, though… Hail. Hail of various sizes tends to start falling in the spring. Some is so small it was called ‘sleet’ where I grew up, diminutive ice balls around the size of […]

A New Public Bonsai Display: Portland Japanese Garden

A New Public Bonsai Display: Portland Japanese Garden

This has been a very special project to be a part of. It’s hard to find a more beautiful, peaceful place, for one thing. The Portland Japanese Garden is one of the most stunning and iconic gardens outside of Japan, with its setting in a hillside forest of Doug Fir and a view of Mt. Hood. It […]

How do We Deal with a Dead Topped Azalea?

How do We Deal with a Dead Topped Azalea?

It seems so very common, azaleas that lose their tops. A stressed out azalea will often give up what it cares about least, which is its crown. But then it can be troublesome to recreate what was there. This tree came into the yard recently with just this problem. If anything, it was a severe […]

Shore Pine…on a Metal Post…

Shore Pine…on a Metal Post…

For a few years I didn’t know what to do with this tree. I’d collected it with Anton Nijhuis on Vancouver Island, Canada, and remembered all too well the long, thick, stick-like root that would make putting it in a small pot one of forcing it to be there. Which isn’t a happy solution. So it […]

Old Project Revisit and New Project Teaser…

Old Project Revisit and New Project Teaser…

This massive Ponderosa pine was repotted this week into its first bonsai pot. It had been in a box for about 6 years so the root growth was pretty impressive. We’d grafted it with Black pine a few years back. This photo is from 2015, perhaps some of you remember this, it was a graft […]

Bonsai Fundamentals Course—Now Available for Viewing-

Bonsai Fundamentals Course—Now Available for Viewing-

My year long project with Oscar Jonker of Bonsai Empire is finally (whew!) available. This was really a lot of fun to do. Last summer we went to Japan to film at my teacher’s garden, so there are some really eye-bugging trees in it, and then I also spent months crafting the three hours of […]

Trailer for the Bonsai Fundamentals Course-

Trailer for the Bonsai Fundamentals Course-

Here’s the trailer for the educational bonsai course that Oscar Jonker and I have been working on for a year, filmed at Shinji Suzuki’s bonsai garden in Japan… Very excited the 500 discount coupons for the Bonsai Fundamentals Course have been snatched up only hours after we opened! However, you can still get a 30% […]

Live Q and A with Michael Hagedorn-

Live Q and A with Michael Hagedorn-

This is a worldwide question and answer video that I did with Bonsai Empire today, we covered all sorts of bonsai questions, answering them in real time as they came in. It’s a 45 minute video, and by the time we were done it had over 2,200 views—so thanks everyone from all over the globe for tuning in, […]

A super easy way to improve the health of your bonsai…

A super easy way to improve the health of your bonsai…

…and sometimes it’s buried. In the pot. And it’s not a magic particle. Or fertilizer. It’s all about gas exchange. When we recognize that roots respire, we know that they need oxygen. And if they need oxygen, then a solid pot wall is one impediment to that, and a clogged drain hole is really shutting the […]

Hemlock Clump First Styling-

Hemlock Clump First Styling-

This tree has been sitting quietly in the yard for several years now. It’s an old plant, the bark is warty and thick and that indicates great age for a hemlock. Mountain hemlock, Tsuga mertensiana, come from the upper forest zones of the Pacific Northwest, and are often the last tree standing the higher elevations. […]