The cycle continues: Chishio Japanese Maple

Nebari Bonsai

One interesting lesson I’ve learned is, that while a tree is never “finished”, it does go through 5-7 year cycles, where the tree is worked into a peak showable condition, shown for a year or two, and then shifted back into development mode. In development mode, the tree is allowed to grow, pump up, and the design is improved upon.

After my maple was shown at the USNBE in 2012, I became committed to working out some flaws that were pretty apparent in the photo album:

1. The nebari was faulty; young, sparse, and lacking in stability.
2. The trunk was green.
3. The primary branching was coarse.

So the tree went back into development mode, and in March 2013, I thread-grafted 7 seedlings through the base to help widen it and fill in some holes.2013:


In 2014, the 3 best-placed grafts had failed, but 4 were still going strong…

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Ian Sayer – Bonsai artist.


Ian Sayer 002I visited Ian Sayer recently to talk to him about his experiences and journey with Bonsai. Ian started his interest in 1991 through Malcolm Potts. He was at the time building a house in Taupo and stopped for tea where he saw some small Kahikatea trees and brought them home. During that time Ian was involved in Scouting and also had other interests, but Malcolm’s trees won him over. He can still remember attending his first Bonsai meetings in his scout uniform as they took place on the same night. His only regret, like most of us, is that he wished that he started twenty years earlier.

Ian Sayer 011Ian also mentions the name of Bob Langholm, a person that he was very impressed with and who influenced him positively in his pursuit of Bonsai. He went to the conference in Matamata in 1992 and met Bob for a second time. Ian…

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GSBF Collection North at Lake Merrit

California Bonsai Art

It Started with an Idea

The concept of this garden emerged during a conversation between Toichi Domoto and Bill Hashimoto sometime after 1974. Toichi was interested in preserving bonsai produced in northern California. Bill kept this thought alive through his friend Gloria Clementson. Early in the 1990′s, when Gloria died, her heirs dedicated the proceeds from sale of her bonsai as seed money for a bonsai garden to preserve special trees. Shortly thereafter, Hideko Metaxas, president of the Golden State Bonsai Federation (GSBF), presented the concept of this garden to the GSBF board of trustees. The GSBF, the state-wide association of bonsai clubs, agreed to create two collections – one in southern California at Huntington Gardens Museum and one in northern California. Through 1994, Bill Hashimoto and his associates continued raising funds and explored many locations for this northern Garden. Seiji Shiba took over as chairman and in 1996, with the…

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