David De Groot’s Retrospective at the Pacific Bonsai Museum

Michael Hagedorn

I had the privilege of walking through the Pacific Bonsai Museum with former Curator David De Groot, talking with him about the trees he’d selected for his personal retrospective. 

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This Redwood is an iconic De Groot tree—one of my favorites of his—rooted on both ends, forming a bridge that recalls a hill and with branches becoming trunks.

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A Chinese Elm forest, here turned to the back.

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David discussing young Bald Cypress design versus old flat-topped design (shown here), popularized by the late great Vaughn Banting. Pacific Bonsai Museum Curator Aarin Packard, to the right, joined us on our tour, adding observations about the care of the bonsai this wet spring that had us all scrambling to manage funguses. He also spoke of the challenge of decandling Black Pines in the cool, short season of the Seattle area, often necessitating skipping a year to keep up energy.

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Many bonsai artists have…

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