Revisiting Redwood Bonsai 9/28/11

Off to a very good start. Though the branching is young and has a ways to go, the trunk, with its power and character, bodes well for the future of this tree. You can find it along with other quality bonsai at Bonsai Smiths.

Redwood Empire
A few posts ago, we showed four excellent Coastal Redwood bonsai from the 2011 Redwood Empire Bonsai Show (courtesy of Jonas at Bonsai Tonight). They were unattributed, so we didn’t know who they belonged to. Now, thanks to Cory Jones, we know that the first two in the post belong to Bob Shimon (Mendocino Coast Bonsai). We still don’t know who the other two belong to.

Where do they come from?
In the comments, a question came up about the origin of Coastal redwood and Giant sequoia (also commonly called redwoods) bonsai and the difficulty of finding stunted Giant sequoias that are suitable for bonsai. Bob Shimon, who knows a bit about redwood bonsai (see above paragraph) replied with what I thought was an instructive answer, though I would like to hear more about the actual origin of Coastal redwood stock.

In Bob’s own words
Bob Shimon’s comment: “It has nothing to do about finding “stunted” trees. The Coastal Redwoods are trees that have been cut back and root pruned drastically but are vigorous enough to sprout new growth and roots,which can be developed into bonsai. The Giant Redwoods on the other hand, do not tolerate root and foliage pruning very well. The branches tend to die back after pinching. I’ve only seen a couple of Giant Redwoods as bonsai.” The original post with all the comments is here.


Four redwood bonsai from Mendocino Coast Bonsai’s gallery, with the caption: Examples of redwood trees displayed at our bonsai club’s last show.

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4 thoughts on “Revisiting Redwood Bonsai

  1. Great trees! Especially the powerful squat one (ie the first / teaser)
    for a non-American what is the difference between the coastal and giant redwoods. What are there respective botanical names?


  2. Hi Peter,

    Below is a quote from our previous post on Redwoods ( )

    Two of the most fascinating trees in the world are the Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) and it’s mountain dwelling cousin the Giant Sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum). Both are fascinating for the same reason; their stupendously magnificent size. The coast redwood is the tallest tree in the world and the Giant Sequoia is the largest tree in the world. However, the Coast redwood is also very, very large and the Giant sequoia is also very, very tall.

  3. Grew up in the country outside of. Fort bragg. (1949 – 1964)
    From the time I was six redwood trees were everything to me.
    And now I love bonsai
    Any chance at all. To do a sequia sepervarian? Our buy one that has been started for a reasonable price?

  4. Hi Rich,
    Lots of people do redwood bonsai. I don’t know about buying them. Guess a web search might help.

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