Cotoneaster Nursery Bonsai

Nate's Nursery

I found two of these Cotoneaster Apiculatis (Tom’s Thumb) for $3 each in the discount rack at Lowe’s. Couldn’t pass these up seeing that I don’t currently have this species of Cotoneaster, and they both had interesting enough trunk possibilities that it was well worth the $3.

As you can see there is a lot going on here. Branches everywhere and roots all over.

Another angle.

As I started through this I basically ended up cutting the rootball in half vertically. I separated a ground-layered section and then combed out the remaining roots for the main trunk.

This is the portion of the tree that had been naturally ground-layered. I was able to cut a majority of the root system off in hopes that this can become established in its new pot.

There was another large trunk that I to cut off due to it being too close to the…

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Chinese Elm Repot

Nate's Nursery

This is “Root Reject”s makeover. During the repot I’ll remove the root that sticks out a little too high for my liking. I also enjoyed doing this repot more than the others since this was filled mostly with bonsai soil.

You can see a huge mass of roots in the corner or lack thereof (It’s a circle pot…)

Another angle

Backside view of the ugly root that is too high.

Ew! Make it go!!!

Root removed and roots combed out to my liking. I’ll be repotting in the same pot.

Better view of the removed root. You can see where the cut was made.

More photos

After the repot in a bowl soaking up some agua.

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Portulacaria Afra Purchase

Nate's Nursery

I’ve been wanting to work with some legitimate indoor bonsai species, and Jade is the #1 indoor bonsai choice and seems to be the exception to all the rules, so I figured why not. I found a planter at Lowe’s that was discounted for being there too long. It had several healthy Portulacaria Afra stems along with a few other succulents, so I went for it. This is also known as Elephant Bush, Dwarf Jade, or even Crassula Ovata Compacta. I’ll use them interchangeably so you can get used to it, or maybe so I can confuse you…

Portulacaria Afra Roots

The planter had glued down rocks that make me angry. Angry + Lack of patience = Broken box. The dwarf jades made it out just fine don’t worry.

Succulent Planter Box

I made the mistake of not having an abundance of soil mixed and ready, tons of pots to choose from, and did it in…

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Windswept Inspiration

Nate's Nursery

I have a Chinese Elm that I’ve been looking at for awhile now. I’ve been leaning towards the windswept style for this one (Couldn’t resist it). You can see the exposed roots that can be the “anchoring” nebari to show the tree being held into the ground.

I’ll need to do some bending and shifting of the nebari and branches, but it is definitely doable. Chinese Elms are really flexible so I’ll put some protection on the bark and bend away this coming season.

Windswept Desert Willow

I recently took my daughter to the park and noticed these Desert Willow trees that are windswept naturally. I can see how the branches naturally bend and split with a curvy nature. I think this will be necessary to wire to create waves in the branching which is essential in creating a windswept tree that draws your eyeballs in.

This is a great example:

Windswept Bonsai Tree

Here are…

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High Desert Bonsai Club – January Meeting

Nate's Nursery

Here are a few photos of our first High Desert Bonsai Club meeting (well my first, their second).

We started by mixing some pumice, lava, and bark together for the club. This will be for our repotting season (which is upon us in SoCal in January.

Made up about 12 gallons of soil, that should be more than enough.

We then had our fearless leader Sean Campbell do a demo on moving a nursery stock Chinese Hackberry to a training pot.


Bob Pressler from Kimura’s Bonsai Nursery then did a demo on moving from a training pot into a bonsai pot. This was also with a Chinese Hackberry.

Bob then gave advice to a few of us on the pruning if our trees (including my Chinese Elm)

To finish off the meeting we had a raffle including the tree that Bob donated and did a demo on.


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Beautiful Bonsai Bench

Nate's Nursery

Here is my latest lucky find on the side of the road.

Bonsai Display Bench

I found the metal sawhorse stands about 5 doors down from my house on the side of the road. I was able to pick them up and walk them home to start building my first bonsai bench.

Nothing fancy, I know, but the fact that I had all of this stuff on hand made this perfect. I had leftover 2x4s from a concrete job I needed to do, and picked up the bottom pieces from a commercial construction site where I was allowed in to grab scrap wood.

Now onto the dark secrets of the do-it-yourself-ers. They say “Don’t point out the mistakes and no one will know.” Now rather than rant about how no one seems to show mistakes and how that hurts our current society, I’ll just show you mine. I didn’t have to use anything…

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My Front Yard-a-dori

Nate's Nursery

Yamadori is a subject in bonsai where one’s journey is rarely documented and discussed thoroughly. I plan to try and change that while you watch me slowly learn how not to kill trees.

Meet my tree in the front yard that definitely had to go. We recently moved and the previous owners weren’t exactly professional landscapers.

Black Hawthorn Tree

Needless to say this was going to be removed so I figured “Why not practice my digging skills?”

I tried a few times to ID this tree when it had leaves, but I didn’t get much help and I figured at best it was a Black Hawthorne. These will work for bonsai, so hopefully it makes it.

I prepped by getting this $1 tub from Wal-Mart drilled and pre-wired. I learned while securing the tree that the typical 1mm wire I use isn’t enough to support larger trees, so I upped the diameter a…

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