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Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Super fat Japanese Maple, seen in last years post on the blog. I have cut it back very hard to induce more back budding as I rebuild the tree.

Crab is flowered out! Smells very nice! What a show.

Linden is coming along nicely. A few more years will give us some good ramification.. I am happy with this tree.

Back view

New Graphics

Recently I had a friend of mine, Jason Treadway make me a nice banner for the blog and also an Avatar for the bonsai forums that I tend to visit. I had an idea of what I wanted then found it was already done by someone else so I kinda let the project idle a bit. Then I get an email from Jason with these graphics done. He did it all on his own and after a very minor tweak this is what we have. Pretty creative, Mt Hood, my big juniper and mug shot! Nice work Jason!

Here is the good part......he will do this for anyone else too and he wants to trade for trees!! It is a win/win! So, contact Jason Treadway via email at: jtreadway[AT] for more details.
Banner at the top of the page and new avatar below.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Collected Vine Maple

I collected this tree a few years ago in the Cascades right before winter. It has since responded well. Many looked right past this ancient tree as it sat on my benches. I guess the trunk was to straight and all the branches were growing straight up or perhaps they didn't see what I was hoping to achieve.

In the wild this tree was growing a very steep hillside and was actually a full cascade. I had to plant it upright to save space and to make sure I had the roots buried in soil. Plus I always saw this tree in it..... even as we dug it off the side of the mt.

This tree has some very cool features to make it a good bonsai. The trunk is very rugged and has many "muscles" throughout, the leaves in fall turn into fire and puts on a wonderful display, the base is huge! Most is buriedi n this grow pot, but the base is a monster, about the diameter of a basketball and very barked up for a maple. I recently read on a forum that native maples can't make good bonsai, leaves are to large and they aren't any good......Wow, glad I am not that lame!
Before any work.....
Front- This is a big tree......
I had an image in my head as to what I wanted to do and what I saw in this tree. It was very fun to work on this tree.
Some progress photos along my journey.
Look at how old this little shoot is....Those are less than 2 inches and have 10+ rings per shoot. Every branch is that way, the longer ones have 40+ rings in 6 inches! This is a gnarly old maple.

Gotta bend this big thick branch...

All business~ Got my Hackin' at the Hilton Bonsai apron, iPod and cold ice-t..... :)
Adding wire while staning on a ladder!
Getting closer..
Apex detail

Fall Color
Finished back
Finished Front
Please view video for 3D images. If for some reason the blooger player doesn't work for you it can also be found on youtube...
For some reason the video is a bit elongated and kinda adds a little distortion to the tree.

This was by far the funnest time I had working on a tree. I think it was because there was such a transformation. I wired every single little shoot, branch and twig, wow that was a ton of wire! More wire then I have used on any tree before, even my big RMJ. Please keep in mind this is the 1st styling, it can only get better from here~ a nice pot, ramafication...the sky is the limit for this very old, rugged and natural looking vine maple. Thanks for looking.

Jennifer's Group Planting.

This is a group planting that Jenn saw at the BSOP Christmas party auction table a few years back. It was looking pretty ok that night, trimmed up, the pot was oiled and overall is was a nice little tree. But I knew what would would end up in my care, loll!!!! The bad part it that it sat on the bench last year whithout getting rotated the on the back side there was little growth due to bieng shaded out.
I don't think it liked the ice storms and cold temps we had.... but the cambium is still nice and green and I think it will respond well. I am 75% sure this a variety of honeysuckle....the previous owner kept good notes that are in my desk somewhere.
Before, a big overgorwn ugly "chia pet"~!!! haha
After~ Back
After~ Front. Basic trimming, some branch selection and also moving some trunks and branches. While not a super great group, it is very cool and in person looks much nicer and I think it is on its way to becoming a nice elegant group. Nice tree Jenn! :)

Chuhin Apple Update.

Here is the apple that I posted a few months back. It has been in a friends greenhouse and is looking very good right now. The pictures are a few days old and I am sure many flowers are open by now. This is a killer tree and super cool to look at right now, the colors are very nice.


I like it.

Shohin Quince

Here is an old flowering quince shohin. The bark is very plated and old. Its a cool tree and you can tell it is about to flower.... The leaves are very small as well.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Austrian Black Pine

This is a little black pine that was given to me by a good friend. It was styled years ago and since has been in California at a bonsai sitters nursery. It found its way into my garden last year in February.
Here it is as I received it.

After thinning of needles and adding wire.

Here is a picture of it today before I started...(the off color is from the florescent lighting.
Top view
And potted up for now. I know this isn't the perfect pot for this tree, but I will find the right pot for the next repot. For now though, it is nice to have it out of them ugly container it was in and also to get it into a mix of large akadama, pumice and lava. I like this pine, and think with a few more seasons of managing the new growth it can be an excellent medium sized pine. Thanks Ryan!!!

Western White Pine

Here is a WWP that I collected about 2 years ago from the Cascades. The tree is very healthy and was ready to be worked on. I know some people think a tree shouldn't be touched for 3 to 5 years after collection, but this is the old way of thinking. If the tree is healthy, new shoot extension and new root growth then it is ready for work. We do this with many, many trees per year and its always fine.

Before and just like it was when collected.

Mid way through.....I was actually headed in another direction with this tree, but it just didn't seem to flow so I switched directions mid stream.
Done styling for now. In the future some branches will be eleminated and thinned out. But for now, it is good.
Finished for now....
Pot by our good friend Darrell Walker of Washington!


Last year I posted this sub alpine fir that was styled. Now I potted it into a nice pot by Erin Pottery. Soon I will thin the foliage out and rewire some branches. Before potting.
After potting.
Future Monster Birdsnest Spruce bonsai..... Very raw stock.
This is a HUGE tree.
First decision made today with my chainsaw. Once the rain stops I will work on the deadwood with my die grinder. Years to go with this one.
Ponderosa Pine.