Very Large Mtn. Hemlock Clump-

Very Large Mtn. Hemlock Clump-

This is one of those trees I’ve had in my yard a long time, and never done a follow-up post about. For one thing, it’s so large it’s hard to photograph. For another, I just didn’t get around to it. All of the trunks come from one base; it’s one tree. The snows are so […]

Historic Ponderosa Pine Restyling-

This sweet little pine has been in the Puget Sound (Northwestern USA) area since 1989. It was collected by John Muth. Some of you might remember it from the 1992 cover of Bonsai Clubs International. I remember seeing it in a bonsai exhibition years ago in Seattle, sitting off in a corner, looking quite distinguished. […]

The ‘Helix Root’ Limber Pine Styling-

The ‘Helix Root’ Limber Pine Styling-

Until a couple of years ago, I’d never worked with Limber Pine, one of our North American white pines. It’s growing on me. Buds back well, nice short needle, strong. Has a nice name, Limber Pine, which comes more trippingly off the tongue than Loblolly Pine, for instance. And it has great deadwood features. This […]

Whimsical Ponderosa Pine Styling-

Whimsical Ponderosa Pine Styling-

Ponderosa is a controversial North American tree. Mostly the debates swirl around the long needles, and their size being a problem with bonsai. I’m of two minds with this. For one, Ponderosa ramifies rather well over time, and needle length comes down pretty good. My misgivings are that for very small trees, ponderosa foliage doesn’t […]

A bunjin Ponderosa pine gets a new look-

A bunjin Ponderosa pine gets a new look-

Here’s a photo essay of a Ponderosa pine styling that we did last month with a few Seasonal students- The pine after some cleanup on the deadwood, but before doing anything else. The next three photos are each turned another 90 degrees. This was our favorite front. Avoiding the long slow curves, the trunk comes […]

Compacting the Apex of a White Pine

Here’s one for the nerds of bonsai—‘How to create an apex’ is unlikely to raise the ardor of those with a passing interest in bonsai. But hopefully those who are dangerously close to being nuts about bonsai will appreciate the following photos: Next Post: Photos from my teaching trip to Johannesburg, South Africa!

The Bonsai Work of Matt Reel

As those of you who know me well are aware, I’ve a tendency to find nicknames for people. I met Matt Reel briefly before he started apprenticing with Shinji Suzuki. At the time he’d just finished high school, and I started to call him ‘Young Reel’. Well, now it’s seven years later and I’m naturally […]

Vine Maple… Tower… Experiment?

Vine Maple… Tower… Experiment?

I had no idea how to title this one. Just as I had no idea, really, what exactly I was doing with my March Seasonal students the day we put this thing together. Which must instill a lot of confidence in my students. Seasonal veterans are familiar with me taking a left turn sometimes. But […]

Rocky Mountain juniper cascade styling–

I had a comment on another juniper post this month that the finished tree looked like a pronghorn antelope… which was pretty apt I thought, and yet that name could well go for this one, too. It’s a Rocky Mountain juniper collected a few years ago by Randy Knight and purchased from Ryan Neil, and […]

Special Rocky Mountain Juniper Styling-

Special Rocky Mountain Juniper Styling-

This tree is special for two reasons. The first is because my friend Troy Cardoza collected it. I like having trees that link me to other people. And it’s also special because it’s quite small for its age, with some great sinuous lines. Troy collected this Rocky Mountain juniper early last year, and it grew […]