New Yamadori acquisitions

Michael Coopers Studio

Having seen me working on one of my trees one day when I was on duty at the gallery on the Somerset Levels where I exhibit some of my paintings, one of the visitors told me that he had some trees collected from the wild gallery-wpYamadori ) and would I like some.

Well obviously I leapt at his kind offer, at my age as much as I would like to my rheumatic  knees and dodgy ankle ache at just the very thought of traipsing through the nearby woods and marshes.

I then waited for his phone call to say that he would bring the first couple in for me to pick up, which he did within a few days only to find one was so large that I did indeed have difficultly in picking it up. 

simon-pine2The larger tree was a Scots Pine over five foot high with flourishing healthy…

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Some late winter pruning

Nebari Bonsai

This shohin 6-trunk Japanese Maple clump came to me in leaf last year, and while leafless, it’s a good time to reduce heavy branches to thin, multiples shoots to pairs, and long shoots to a single node. This is a well-developed clump with lots of movement and nicely dwarfed leaves.


Reduce long, unforked shoots back to the shortest internode or fork:



Officially in the shohin range…

This spring, it gets a new pot, an Ikkou which was a tribute to Tofukuji; mostly by proportions and shape of feet.

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Assessing a Garden Shrub for Bonsai

Scratch Bonsai


At about this time of the year I usually start lifting material from the garden and assessing how suitable it is for use as future bonsai.  I am fortunate enough to have a reasonably large garden with lots of established and mature shrubs, some over thirty years old.  One or two species have been worth considering and are being developed as futurebonsai material.

The photo above shows a variety of cotoneaster that self seeded in the flower bed before my arrival at the property.  I’ve been trimming the top growth each year but nothing else. I’m clearing the bed to make way for bonsai/vegetables so this shrub was being lifted anyway.


The leaves are a bit large but an attractive shape and colour. I thought I would lift it and have a look at the trunk line and any surface roots.dsc_0416dsc_0417dsc_0418

My conclusion? Put it somewhere else in the…

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