Kouka-en part 2

Andys shohin bonsai

This was a nursery that has been top of my list to visit for some time, and it did not disappoint.





This juniper I first saw in Peter Warrens blog last year, and in the flesh it did not disappoint.




This large Hinoki Sekka that Owen styled a while back was good to meet as I have some of the cuttings he struck from what was removed in the styling.






Chatting with Bjorn about this prunus he said it was struggling due to its age so 4 years ago it was grafted with new foliage and the old all removed. This means everything other than the main trunk is only 4 years old. The tree now grows like a teenager again.


Where as this maple is on a slow decline to the end of its life, it’s already lost a major branch half way up.







Watering in winter is relatively…

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Less that predicted but still enough to warrant getting a few snaps.






Most of the trees are tucked away in one place or other.



Daisaku Nomoto AMA

Visiting Ancient Florida Bald Cypress

Valavanis Bonsai Blog



After a most successful Joy of Bonsai convention, organizer Louise Leister and Mike Rogers, President of the Kawa Bonsai Society, sponsor of the event, took Diane and me to a special visit to see ancient Bald cypress. The location is out in the wilds, where “men are men and sheep are weary” on Lake Disston. Designated as an “Outstanding Florida Water” by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Agency, Lake Disston is in its natural state, leaving the land surrounding the lake sparsely populated of homes and with very few boats on the waterway.

We took three kayaks on the lake which was smooth glass. The weather was a warm 70F with a clear blue sky and no wind, a bit different than the -10F weather we left in Rochester, and will return to tomorrow. The calm water provided for some interesting reflections.
These ancient Bald cypress trees had tremendous character…

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After two seasons Yamadori thrive due to patience

Bonsai & Yamadori from Tony Tickle

I sell a lot of native European Yamadori all of the trees are very old and of the best quality, trees that I would have in my own collection. I select trees on the hill that I believe will make great bonsai and leave those that have no or little potential. With every tree except pine I bare root, removing all the mountain soil and replace with my own mix suitable for growing new roots and establishing the tree in a pot. I also endeavour to plant the tree in the smallest container whilst still maintaining the future health of the tree. This makes transplanting to a bonsai pot a lot easier without the usual dangerous root ball reduction that sometimes takes place after establishing.

Usually the planting position in the ‘training’ pot is not the ‘finished’ angle or position that the tree will be styled, when purchasing I advise…

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The Spoils

Some of the Pines collected on a recent trip. A mixture of Scots and Lodgepole.

Cleaning up a wound, the discussion continues…

Nebari Bonsai

After sharing the results of this experiment, I received an interesting comment from an individual whose horticultural knowledge I respect and seek at times. Here is the essence of his comment, which made me consider the fact that I didn’t consciously create a “control” in the experiment.

Very interesting blog post today…

I saw a Lindsay Farr video a few years ago where he contended that recutting the suberized tissue accelerated the healing response. While it seems plausible, it never seemed to do anything beneficial for me. I am assuming you were influenced in an analogous way. What I don’t understand about why this could possibly work is that the first thing the cambium actually does is to reform the callus and then xylem grows behind the cambium and bark ahead.

Cutting away the suberized tissue leaves the a cambium exposed to dessication. Putting something over that prevents the…

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The Joy of Bonsai

Valavanis Bonsai Blog


The Kawa Bonsai Society of Florida is sponsoring their annual convention The Joy of Bonsai, on January 16-18, 2014, in Bunnell, Florida, near Daytona Beach. Louise Leister did an outstanding job organizing the event. The speakers, Sean Smith, Ted Matson, Mike Rogers and Wm. N. Valavanis will be conducting demonstrations, workshops and critique. There is a wide selection of trees, containers, tools, supplies, suiseki and magazines for sale by a select group of vendors.






Come, join us as the speakers share their skill and knowledge!

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Very Large Mtn. Hemlock Clump-

Michael Hagedorn

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 heavy where it came from that the young branches were brought down, and those branches later grew upwards and are now the trunks that create the clump.

This was the tree that started all my madness around finding new solutions for the slab question. Ironically, it’s the last tree I’ve put on a slab. This hemlock sat on a plywood slab for years, with me just dreaming about it, while completing other slab experiments. So, it benefited from other tree’s mistakes. Or my mistakes with them, I should say. Finally in 2014 it went onto…

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