Black Pine / Ponderosa Frankenstein Bonsai

michael hagedorn

Well. I’m not sure what to call Black Pines grafted onto Ponderosa stock. Frankensteins? Frankies? Feel free to suggest…

When I first started grafting Black Pine onto Ponderosa, I was unsure whether one could decandle them the same as Black Pine on its own roots. Before I went to Japan to study I grafted a small tree (not this one) and have now decandled it 10 years in a row. So there’s the answer: It’s the same. The tree becomes a Black Pine, it has the same powerful energy.

This gnarly little pine has been in the garden a while, collected by Randy Knight in the Rockies (back when it was a Ponderosa.) Several years ago, about four I think, I grafted two Black Pine scions onto it. This year we potted the tree for the first time, and then we decandled it a few months later, because it was…

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Ryan Neil’s Bonsai


DSC_0261DSC_0263DSC_0267DSC_0268DSC_0270DSC_0271DSC_0272DSC_0273DSC_0274DSC_0275DSC_0276DSC_0277DSC_0278DSC_0279DSC_0287DSC_0297DSC_0340Made a 200 mile trip to Portland  Japanese Garden to see Ryan Neil’s bonsai display at the last day of the exhibit.  We made it a family trip after enticing my teenage daughter and wife of the tax-free shopping they could do while we’re in Portland.   We stayed overnight at a hotel so we are not rushed going back home the same day.  It was worth the trip and to be inspired by the great bonsai trees on display.   What was interested to me was to see the Ponderosa bonsai on display.  I’ve seen on pictures and I’ve imagined it being smaller.  I think this tree really stands out as a great symbol of the American Bonsai movement.  It’s not your typical pyramid shape tree seen from a lot of the Japanese influenced bonsai but it truly has a different feel to it.  I love it!

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5 Life Lessons from Bonsai


It’s a beautiful Sunday morning, the sun is just rising up, birds are singing, it’s going to be a great day.  Although it’s Sunday, I have a full day ahead but I feel the need to slow down and think.  This blog has given me an outlet to do some of that.  I really feel blessed and grateful to have found a hobby/activity such as bonsai that have given me back so much.  My wish is that more people will discover bonsai and experience the many potential benefits that comes with it.

I have been thinking about writing a series of life lessons from bonsai but have been putting it off.   Now, I feel that the timing maybe more appropriate.  Here where I am Washington State USA, many high school kids have graduated and will be moving on to go to college, military service, work, take some time off etc.  In fact…

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Some Random Thoughts on Bonsai Design

Robert Nocher Shohin Bonsai

One of the great advantages of keeping a photographic record of your trees is that it allows you to consider and plan their future development as well as recording their actual development. When a tree is outside on the benches, we may only study it closely 2 or 3 times a year but if we photograph it and place that photograph prominently on our computer desktop then we see it and think about it every time that we go online. I do this all the time with my own trees and those of my friends and I find that it helps me to see and understand the strengths and weaknesses in their current state of development.

Here is an example that I have been studying and admiring today. It is not my tree. It is a recent acquisition by my friend and fellow club member, Gordon.


When I look this picture I see…

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