What’s Wrong Here? A Blog Quiz-

What’s Wrong Here? A Blog Quiz-

If you see a pine with lushly growing moss on top of the soil media, like the one below, alarm bells should be going off. As pines generally don’t like overly wet soil media, lush moss is a lucky clue to adjust your pine care. And if things are really soggy, you might even see algae […]

2,520 Degree Ponderosa Pine

2,520 Degree Ponderosa Pine

Two years ago I collected this Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) with Backcountry Bonsai. It was tucked under a full sized tree, somehow eking out a very long life. Seven full rotations is 2,520 degrees of twist around the trunk…a bit of an eye boggler. It lay prostrate and un-inspiringly in its box until this fall when […]

Limber Pine First Styling-

Limber Pine First Styling-

Those of you following the threads surrounding the publication of Bonsai Heresy have maybe also noticed a lag in posts this month. With relief I can report the book is off to the designer and my duties are downgraded to thumbs up or thumbs down for a few weeks. In the interim we styled a […]

New Design for an Awarded Ponderosa Pine-

New Design for an Awarded Ponderosa Pine-

This bunjin pine won the Ben Oki award years ago, and then showed up on the cover of Bonsai Clubs International in 1992. The two and a half decades since, under the stewardship of several owners, have proven that Ponderosa does eventually ramify. In the last few years, however, the lower branch has weakened—made worse […]

‘Stampede’ Ponderosa Pine Styling…

‘Stampede’ Ponderosa Pine Styling…

There’s a story about the name ‘Stampede’. The Backcountry Bonsai guys enjoy naming the trees they collect, and having received several with memorable names I asked if this Ponderosa Pine had one. I only got an abbreviated version by text and maybe not the full story, but I gather it involved some galloping extraterrestrials or horned […]

Red Pine / Ponderosa on Rock-

Red Pine / Ponderosa on Rock-

One of the bonsai benefits of living in the volcanic Pacific Northwest of the U.S. is the geology. There are many dark, irregular rocks out there for rock plantings. This pine was originally a Ponderosa, Pinus ponderosa. About seven years ago I grafted it with Red Pine, Pinus densiflora. This spring we were casting about […]

Juniper Jin and Pine Jin-

Juniper Jin and Pine Jin-

A month ago we started talking about pine jin. Here are some photos and thoughts about pine and juniper jin and how they differ. This is a pine jin. It looks cut off, doesn’t it? But it’s never been touched. This is what a dead pine branch will do if left to its own devices, […]

Impressions from the BCI / Asia-Pacific / HWA-FONG / 1st Bonsai Science Symposium

Impressions from the BCI / Asia-Pacific / HWA-FONG / 1st Bonsai Science Symposium

This has been a stimulating, massive, thought-provoking, multiple-organization event hosted in Taichung, Taiwan. Today I’ll just show some images and some initial thoughts, and will do a follow-up post when I’ve had time to compose some further thoughts. Enjoy the photos! I do apologize for the quality of them, they were phone photos and not […]

Shore Pine Design Exercise—Pt. 1

Shore Pine Design Exercise—Pt. 1

During rewiring a tree is a good time to rethink the design and look for ways to improve it. We gave this Shore Pine that kind of scrutiny this past week. This is one of our two-part series, which will conclude next week. Here is the Shore Pine before some changes. Next week we’ll show […]

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 […]