Water movement through a Bonsai Tree


The title of this Blog could just be me trying to get as many search terms in the title as possible as the water movement is the same through all plants, large and small. Crafty Blogging! The only difference could be that some plants do adapt to either get rid of excess water and others adapt to try and hold on to as much water as possible. Examples of these in the Bonsai world could be conifers that have needles and scaly leaves instead of large, flat leaves. This is in part to stop water loss, but also for snow to easily glide of the leaves and branches in nature. The smaller surface area means less stomata through which water can be lost.

Stomata Stomata on a leaf surface. Water escapes through here and gasses also move through here. These are open.

pine needle Smaller surface area for transpiration.

Plants with larger leaves…

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A New Year Begins

Robert Nocher Shohin Bonsai

As I sit here at my laptop, reflecting on what was for us here in Scotland, one of the most challenging growing seasons in my experience. A season, which began with a bitterly cold Spring, followed by a Summer with very little sunshine; saved only by some good weather in the autumn, I thought I would share again some of the photographs which are my personal favourites and mark the highlights in my bonsai year.

Without a doubt my favourite tree this year is my Lions Head Maple which just goes from strength to strength with each passing season. It looked particularly good in Autumn this year.


This cotoneaster has been another favourite of mine, more so because it was collected from my garden for free. It was planted in this red glazed pot by Eimei in the Summer to show off the berries and had its first outing to Bonsai Europa…

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Improving the success rate of Yamadori

Bonsai & Yamadori from Tony Tickle

I have been using this technique now for over ten years and I have finally decided to share what I have learned. The technique is known as ‘sweating’ and is used extensively in arboretorial circles. I use for the following species: Cratageus, Prunus, and most of the Rosaceae family, do not use on evergreen species.

I collect trees with as much root as possible, but I have put roots on trees that have not had any.

Follow this procedure and your success rate in establishing your freshly collected yamadori will improve immeasurably.

  1. Collect as much root as possible
  2. Clear as much mountain soil but do not wash the roots
  3. Use the soil mix as shown below
  4. Clean cut the major roots as close to the trunk without spoiling the nebari
  5. Place the tree in the smallest container possible
  6. Ensure that the tree is well packed in the container
  7. Wire…

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Collaborating with Nature – Search for Relevance of Bonsai Art and Self



About a week from today, one of my bonsai trees will be on display at the Portland Art Museum for The Artisans Cup (an Exhibition of American Bonsai) http://www.theartisanscup.com/.  Needless to say, I’m very excited about this event.   There are  3 main reasons for my excitement:

1) Most obvious reason…my tree will be on display

2) I get to see other amazing trees from all over United States and some from Canada. Hopefully meet the artists that created them.

3) The idea that The Artisan Cup will catapult awareness to higher quality of American bonsai and therefore a greater appreciation and respect for bonsai art  here in America itself and to the whole world.

Thumbing through some old magazines I have, I came across an interview of David DeGroot (former curator of Pacific Rim Bonsai Collection now Pacific Bonsai Museum ) with Bonsai Today 84th issue  in 2003.  He describes how bonsai is perceived here in America:


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Friendship: Serendipity of Bonsai


I’ve been wanting to write  a blog post about this tree for sometime but what to write about it, it’s challenging to decide.  There could be several possible topics that could be written about it but what I will attempt do convey is how this tree developed beautifully throughout the years but how it also became a symbol of friendship.

Around 2005(2006) when I was responsible for bringing in guest artist to Puget Sound Bonsai Association for their monthly meeting demonstration.  I brought in Boon Manakitivipart to the club since I’ve taken his bonsai intensive class before and he is an excellent teacher.  When Boon got here, I took him on a tour at the Elandan Gardens.  At the time my friend Don Guilliams ( who started with the club about the same time I did) volunteered to go with us on the trip.  During the trip I wanted to buy a…

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Trident Maple Adjustments

Bonsai Eejit

Looking at the branch structure of these two Trident Maples I decided to make a few adjustment especially in the lower branches.

A hidden adjustment on the Root over rock is a branch that was previously lying on the top of the rock to the left. This has now been dropped to the back and when in leaf will help add to the depth of the image. With a little work this year and a new pot, perhaps this is an option for Europa 2017 😉

As you can see I have gone through a major Walsall Ceramics faze in recent years 🙂

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