Feel the Love for Bonsai


This looks a lot like a Tsukomo cypress, though we can't be sure because the foliage is difficult to make out.

We originally discovered these photos on Morten Albek’s Shohin blog. Morten found them at Bonsai Project, Feel Feel Bonsai. My response was very positive when I first saw them, though their title Feel Feel the Love for Bonsai is catchy, it seemed a little too romantic, so I dropped the second Feel (or was it the first?). Whichever you prefer, I hope you enjoy the photos.

Here’s part of what Morten Albek wrote about this unusual project.
In Japan this year a very special bonsai art exhibition and performance is taking place. Different artist, photographers, graphic designers i.e. are together with bonsai artist Masashi Hirao displaying bonsai in very refreshing new way during the Feel Feel Bonsai event.


In this type shot, knowing the variety of the tree and other information we are usually sticklers about, isn't as important as your emotional response. Still, I'm guessing it's a Japanese black pine


Shadow dancing. This one looks like a Crepe myrtle


Close up. More evidence that it's a Crepe myrtle


Shohin display


I cropped this one for a closer look. All the other photos shown here are just the way we found them



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Bold Bonsai & Added Attraction

teamapleI don't mean to rush the fall season, but couldn't resist this brilliant photo. The tree, a prize-winning Shishigashira Japanese maple is from a Peter Tea post on the 32nd Annual Taikan-ten bonsai exhibition in Kyoto.

This photos shown here are lifted from a December 2012 Bark post titled An Embarrassment of Riches. In addition to the photos the post featured an added attraction; a list of some favorite bonsai blogs (below our ad at the bottom of the post).

reelHere’s what Matt Reel has to say about this tree: “This Japanese Red Pine has such a broad apex it makes me giggle to myself at times. However, one might feel a little tipsy with all that leaning movement if there was a little dainty apex instead. This tree has been wired 3 times in the last few years by three different artists in this order: Omachi Isao, myself, and most recently by Tyler (Tyler Sherrod). We also call it the ‘never ending tree’ because it seems impossible to get the balance just right.” My only comment is I thought the tree was much smaller than it is. Until I saw another photo that gives it away.


bjornTied in knots. This lush Shimpaku juniper with its knotted trunk is from the Bjorvala Bonsai Studio's gallery. All of the bonsai featured in the Studio's gallery were styled by Bjorn Bjorholm.


pyra-500x351I found this sweet little tree with its equally sweet little pot on Bonsai in Japan. I'm not sure what it is, but the berries look a lot like pyracantha.

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Here are those promised blogs we borrowed from Nichigo Bonsai

Bonsai Eejit google blog reader (150 Blogs)
Aichien Journal
Aijou bonsai
Bjorvala Bonsai Studio
Bonsai Eejit
Bonsai Mike
Bonsai Pottery
Bonsai Tonight
Bonsai Unearthed
Centro bonsai tenerife
Crataegus Bonsai
Japanese bonsai pots
John Armitage’s Blog
Paul’s Bonsai Blog
Shibui Bonsai
Sam & KJ’s Blog
Tyler Sherrod Bonsai
Yenling bonsai

Home Turf – Bay Area Bonsai


This exposed-roots pine is from the 2016 Bay Island Bonsai Exhibition. I borrowed the photo from Jeremiah Lee's Yenling Bonsai Blog. The caption reads: Started from seed by Morten in 2000 (that would be Morten Wellhaven).

The photos shown here are from Jeremiah Lee’s Yenling Bonsai Blog. They were taken at the 2016 Bay Island Bonsai Exhibition. Bay Island Bonsai is a Northern California Organization that was founded in 1998 by one of North America’s seminal bonsai teachers, Boon Manakitivipart (Bonsai Boon).

The Home Turf in the title is personal. I was born and spent many formative years in the Bay Area, and even though the traffic is horrific (compared to my adopted pristine Vermont) the connection is still palpable.


Japanese Red Pine. Few things lend a feeling of age to a bonsai more than funky bark.


This 'Kifu' size Sierra juniper belongs to Jeremiah.


An unidentified flowering tree. Could it be a cherry?


No identification with this one either, but it's obviously an Olive. A common tree in Northern California.


Looks like a Shimpaku juniper. Jeremiah's caption reads: Originally grown by Jim Gremel. Hope I can make some like this down the road.



Another mystery tree. We'll leave the guessing to you.


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A Great Time to Upgrade Your Bonsai Tools

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sale ends tonight, August 5th at 11:59pm EDT

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Fruiting & Flowering Bonsai


Did that huge apple really grown on this small tree? I'm positive it's an apple tree and as you can see, that's most certainly an apple. What we don't know for sure is, if that apple actually grew on this tree, though it could have. Or if it was glued on (it could also be photo-shopped, but I don't think it is).

There’s something a little off about putting your logo on photos that don’t belong to you. In a world with more than enough serious crime and corruption, this practice barely registers. But still, it’s questionable at best.

You can assume that the photos are not attributed, though it’s possible (I can’t read the text), but I seriously doubt that anyone who would put their logo on a tree that doesn’t belong to them, would bother to attribute.

All this begs the question… why post these trees? The answer is, I like them. Plus it provides an opportunity to bring up attribution and honesty on social media and the internet in general.


I've seen this tree before, but can't remember where, or what it is. It's even possible that it has appeared here on Bark. Mea culpa for the fuzz. The original is very small and I think you still get the essence in this blown up version.


This sweet little maple is neither fruiting nor flowering, so we'll consider it an outlier.


I've always loved quince flowers.


I would recognize this little Rhododendron anywhere. It belongs to Morten Albek and appears in his Shohin Bonsai book (out of print) and on his blog.

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Before & After – Cutting a Juniper Down to Size


The old Needle juniper, with its distinctively strange shari, belongs to Michael Hagedorn (Crataegus Bonsai).

Here’s some of what Michael Hagedorn wrote about this juniper in a post titled Needle Juniper Restyling: “This tree is too tall. And the branches are a bit leggy, too.
One of the problems we get into in bonsai design is that with time and growth, height and branch length can begin pulling us away from the trunk. Literally destroying the design, making it weaker. And this tree has a nice trunk, which is a good enough reason to consider redesigning it, to compact the design.

There a lot more on Crataegus Bonsai, both text and photos. A click well worth making.


Step one... shortening the crown. For the rest of the steps, visit Crataegus Bonsai. That's Michael in this photo btw, one of North America's most accomplished bonsai artists and teachers.






Speaking of Junipers…

Masters’ Series Juniper Book
One of our two most popular books over the last 10 years or so…
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Speaking of popular books, here’s the other one…


Masters’ Series Pine Book
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In Training, a Photographic Masterpiece

A Sargent Juniper bonsai (in training since 1905) at the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum in Washington, DC.

A Sargent Juniper bonsai (in training since 1905) at the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum in Washington, DC.

In Training, a brand new photographic masterpiece by Stephen Voss has arrived at our warehouse and is ready to ship. It’s a book that started generating buzz way before it even went to the printer, including at Slate magazine in an article titled, Zen & the Art of Bonsai Maintenance. Since then it has been featured in a number of places in and out of the bonsai world.

Here’s a quote from Ryan Neil (Bonsai Mirai) about this remarkable book, “There’s an intimacy to bonsai that is largely invisible. It exists in those sacred moments between artist and tree in partnership; an understanding of what is and can be as it unfolds over seasons and years. Stephen’s photographs shed a quiet, respectful light on these wonderful moments. I feel fortunate to see such beauty being put into the world with the careful intention these trees deserve.

Though you may not know it, there’s a very good chance you’ve seen Stephen Voss’ photos elsewhere. Especially if you are interested in intimate portraits of some of the most recognizable and powerful people in the world: Mikhail Gorbachev, Michelle Obama, Henry Kissinger, Desmond Tutu, Colin Powell, Bill Gates, Katie Couric… the list goes on.

Enough said. Enjoy the photos and feel free to order your copy.

A Chinese Quince bonsai (in training since 1975) at the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum in Washington, DC.

A Chinese Quince bonsai (in training since 1975) at the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum in Washington, DC.


A Sargent Juniper bonsai (training date unknown) at the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum in Washington, DC.

A Sargent Juniper bonsai (training date unknown) at the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum in Washington, DC.


A Drummond Red Maple bonsai (in training since 1974) at the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum in Washington, DC.

A Drummond Red Maple bonsai (in training since 1974) at the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum in Washington, DC.


A California Juniper bonsai (in training since 1985) at the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum in Washington, DC.

A California Juniper bonsai (in training since 1985) at the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum in Washington, DC.


In Training

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Old School Bonsai – Clip & Grow


This massive Trident maple most likely started in a field somewhere and was allowed to grow quite tall (the fastest way to thicken the trunk) before it was cut back. This first cut was the beginning of clip and grow styling (see below). The owner/artist of this outstanding bonsai is German Gomez.

Most large Trident maples and many other deciduous trees are started in the field and developed using the clip and grow technique. The result is usually a heavy trunked tree with gentle curves, often in a more or less S shape. You can see this basic shape in the Trident maple in old field growing post here on Bark. A variation of this S curve also shows up in the pine that is shown in the same post, though it was created by other means (trimming and wiring), as pines and other conifers don’t usually take to the clip and grow technique.

This post originally appeared last November. I added ‘Old School’ to the title. There was a day before wiring became the norm, when most non -conifer bonsai were trained primarily by clip and grow. Some purists still eschew wire in allegiance to the old ways, but their numbers are dwindling; wiring just offers too many advantages.

clip&growThese simple illustrations of the clip and grow technique are from a website called The Bonsai Primer. The left image shows the first cut, the next one shows the second cut, and so forth. If you go to the comments in our previous field growing post, Brian Van Fleet gives an excellent description of exactly what these illustrations are all about.



You can see the large scar from the first cut on this powerful old Chinese elm (Ulmus parviflora) . If you follow the trunk up a ways, you can see the change of direction where the second cut took place, though you can't see a scar from this view. This tree appears in the 1st U.S. National Bonsai Exhibition Album (out of print but 3 & 4 are still available). It was started from a large collected tree in China. The owner/artist is Melvyn Goldstein.

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Green T Will Enhance Your Bonsai Experience & Results


Massive Mugo pine resting comfortably on a Green T professional bonsai turntable. The prize winning tree belongs to Paolo Riboli. The turntable could belong to you.

Green T Professional Hydraulic Lift Bonsai Turntables
will enhance your bonsai experience and results

It’s time for another reminder about a powerful and essential tool that will help you work on your trees more efficiently, comfortably and enjoyably. You and your bonsai will be happy you got one. And the price is right… only 345.00 including shipping (U.S. only. Orders outside the U.S. will be charged shipping).

In Japan hydraulic lift turntables have been the standard for years, but their prohibitive costs have limited their spread in the West. Thanks to professional researchers and the collaboration of well-known bonsai professionals, we are able to offer you a tool inspired by the Japanese turntable and improved in several details, including price.

If you already own a Green T
email us a simple & clear note about your experience 
and receive a 10.00 gift coupon
details below*
please put Green T in the subject line
GreenT is Bigger

The surface is 58cm (23 inches) diameter instead of the usual 50 cm (almost 20 inches). This allows you to work on your largest trees and your smallest trees. You can comfortably use the excess space to have your tools easily accessible.



The work surface is made out of phenolic marine pine plywood which is painted and coated in solid non slip rubber (4 mm thickness, hardness Shore A 70 ). Lifting capacity is up to 200 kg (440 lbs). Tightening screws and threaded bushes are completely made of stainless steel. All the materials used in the construction of Green T guarantee an excellent outdoor weather resistant turntable.

More Useful

Green T features a metal base with five-star support (five horizontal ‘legs’) for maximum stability and a hydraulic foot control lift that adjusts to a maximum height of 60cm (23.6 inches) and a minimum of 43 cm (17 inches). The swing brake of the table can be disconnected with a simple movement of the pedal. Five removable eye screws, located under the bottom edge of the work surface, allow you to anchor your bonsai to the table (see below).



Even with the superior features listed above, at 15 kg (33 lbs), Green T weighs the same as its Japanese competitors.

You Save

You price for Green T is 345.00.
This includes shipping and handling

*(U.S. ONLY, international orders will be charged shipping)
This comes to about half the price of an imported Japanese turntable.
NO OTHER DISCOUNTS APPLY. Green T is made in Italy.

GreenT messy

Visit Stone Lantern for more on our

Green T Professional Hydraulic Lift Bonsai Turntable


*Email us about your Green T experience. You will receive a 10.00 gift coupon if you provide brief and simple explanations for your opinions or experience. Your comments may be posted here on Bark or on social media. Please put whatever personal info you would like to share with your comment (first name and city are good, though you could include your last name too). Thank you. wayne@stonelantern.com

A Muscular Little Bonsai & A Muscular Bonsai Tool Sale


The thing that amazes me about this muscular little tree is how the base of the trunk almost completely fills the pot and how small the pot is for the overall size of the tree. Not just small for the massive little trunk, but small for supporting the profusion of lush foliage. There just can't be that much room for roots. Of course we know this is a show pot and as soon as the tree goes back to the nursery it will be put back into a larger pot. The tree is a Japanese black pine from our Masters Series Pine Book.
pine2A good way to check out new planting angles. Also from our Masters Series Pine book.
Now that our Pine Book is back
 we can once again offer this extraordinary
 set of 3 Masters Series Bonsai Books


Creating natural look jin, from our Pine book.


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