Seasonal Work on Shohin Hawthorns

Robert Nocher Shohin Bonsai

The early season work on my small trees usually involves cleaning the moss and grime from the trunk, refining jins and sharis and re-potting if necessary.

The first up today is a shohin hawthorn that was re-potted last year. I wanted to do a little refining on the V cut to give it a more natural appearance.


This is how it looks after a pressure wash and a little work with the Dremel.


The other side before the work


And after. I’m not sure which side of this tree is my preferred front. Both sides have potential I think.


This is a new tool I acquired recently for cleaning my trees. Its called a textile cleaning gun. It is a very powerful tool and does a great job on the trunk and deadwood. You have to exercise extreme care in its use as it has the capacity to strip the bark from…

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Shore Pine…on a Metal Post…

michael hagedorn

For a few years I didn’t know what to do with this tree. I’d collected it with Anton Nijhuis on Vancouver Island, Canada, and remembered all too well the long, thick, stick-like root that would make putting it in a small pot one of forcing it to be there. Which isn’t a happy solution.

So it ended up on a small slab support, bolted to a 3″ metal post…

…which makes me happier than had it gotten into a bonsai pot. Now it hangs off the shade cloth structure in the rain. Like an orchid.

Enjoy the photo essay!

Our Shore Pine (Pinus contorta subsp. contorta), as it sat in the yard for three years, pre-styling.

The chosen inclination for styling…

…and the styled tree. The decision was to retain the whimsicality of the tree rather than to constrain it into a typical bonsai framework. Which would have involved wood removal…

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Epic Birding


I set out this morning hoping to do some bird-watching along the Swartrivier road. First stop was at the iron bridge, where I was lucky to see a pair of Cardinal Woodpeckers.  Then on to the gravel and a Black Crake revealed itself. All was going well, but then I spotted a marshal in the road and realised that I was about to drive onto a part of the Cape Epic course.

The cyclists were about to come through, so that was the end of my birding. No matter, a few minutes later the yellow jersey group came through and I was privileged to see the best mountain bikers in the world racing past me!  Unfortunately I did not have the right camera with me, but managed to get some shots, anyway.

After half an hour of watching the race, decided to return home, but stopped in at the Onrus…

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