Scott Martin on Instagram: “Final bonsai ready for the AABC Convention next weekend hosted by @bonsai_northwest. Can’t wait for the weekend! #bonsaimatsu #bonsai…”

Promoting Bonsai in the Tararua District, New Zealand.


Trestle table, table cover, stands, Bonsai trees, tools, wire, water, brochures – all packed in the trusty Bonsai wagon and off to Kildrummie nusery I go. Quickly set the display table up. Walk through the nursery to see what is available just in case somebody asks about using nursery stock to get a Bonsai going.

One of the local club guys arrive and set a table up for the demonstrations. He brought a few starter trees for us to work on while we entertain the public. It is a small, independent nursery and I was quite surprised to see quite a number of customers visiting the nursery in what is a small town. Being in a rural area means that everybody knows everybody else and soon a few conversations start up. One person accused us of murdering the trees, but the majority was quite interested in what we do and…

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Pohutukawa as Bonsai


pohut Root over rock as Bonsai

Metrosidorus excelsa, also known as the New Zealand Christmas tree and in Maori, Pohutukawa, is an interesting tree to style as Bonsai.

Pohut1 This looks like two smaller trees, simulating a clump style Bonsai.

I have recently had the opportunity to photograph a few very old Pohutukawa trees in Mt Maunganui in New Zealand. I have no idea how old they are, but their form is quite distinctive when you study the trees in nature. From this I came to the conclusion that they are best suited for informal upright, clump style or root over rock style. They naturally grow aerial roots and form good bark on exposed roots. The red coloured flowers add to the spectacle. The three Bonsaiphotos are mainly from the website and the site.

pohutukawaclump1 Masses of aerial roots makes it perfect for a root over rock style. The photos following…

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Virginia Pine Angle

Bonsai Iterate

In the spring of 2017 I collected the Virginia pine, Pinus virginiana, pictured multiple times, below. I love the bends and curves in the trunk but have, to date, focused on its health and recovery and have not decided how to take advantage of those curves to make a nice bonsai. It has been doing exceptionally well so I thought I would give some consideration to the future design starting with the planting angle.

I’m sure it’s difficult to see, but from this side, above, the trunk comes toward the viewer and hides it connection with the soil, so this side is pretty much out.

I played with the angle, above, considering a design that would drop the trunk line down in a cascade before turning back up again. I pushed it a little further by rotating the camera to imagine a steep drop as in the image below.


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