Mugo Pine Refinement

Nichigo Bonsai

One of the trees I worked on last year was an informal upright Mugo Pine. I think that it was originally received by its owner as essentially a piece of topiary. He then worked it over a few years into a bonsai form.

I was asked to wire the tree and refine its image.

The tree had a few issues that this round of work has tried to iron out but it will certainly benefit from further refinement as it progresses.

The trees branching was incredibly dense in part due to its previous life as topiary which had lead to a large mass of ramification. It was also compounded by the tendency of Mugo pines to have multiple shoots at each branch tip which further compounded the dense look.

150904_branch Multiple growing tips on a typical shoot.

My first action was to remove unnecessary sub-branches and take many of the branches back…

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2016 90th Kokufu Bonsai Exhibition–Report 1

Valavanis Bonsai Blog


The 90th Kokufu Bonsai Exhibition is being held in two parts again this year in order to display more traditional Japanese bonsai to the world. Part 1 was held on February 5-8, 2016 and Part 2 on February 10-13, 2016, at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum in Ueno Park, Tokyo. On Tuesday, February 9th, all the bonsai are removed replaced with new trees. This exhibition was started in 1934 and was held twice a year in March and November for years. Count Matsudaira, who popularized shohin bonsai, was President of the Kokufu Bonsai Association who organized and sponsored the exhibition until 1964 when the organization dissolved and reorganized as the Nippon Bonsai Association. Today the Kokufu Bonsai Exhibition is organized and run by the Nippon Bonsai Association, but sponsored by the City of Tokyo, Ministry of Education and NHK TV.


To many, including me, this is the…

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Lanarkshire Bonsai Club Meeting 07/02/2016

Robert Nocher Shohin Bonsai

Our second club meeting of the year was held yesterday at Wattston Bonsai. The weather was foul outside so our numbers were fewer this month. There was a lot of seasonal chat and some even managed to get some work done on their trees.

Dougie and Gerry in conversation with a new member whose name I haven’t got to grips with yet.


Some trees are beginning to emerge from the pollytunnels and finding their way to the outside bench


This corner was full of people until I pulled my camera out of the bag


This is Gerry’s latest acquisition, a nice chuhin white pine


Club member Gordon’s pyracantha


Here are 2 that Dougie was prepping for the webshop. A shohin white pine and a seka hinoki.



A new tree for our new member, white pine, pinus parviflora.


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