In a Fresno suburb, Sanger California, would bring us Black Pine. Born in 1917 in Hiroshima Japan, Hoshiko Yamaguchi would grow much of the black pine known around California for many years. In the 1950’s she would come to America to make a new life. Her father gave her a dowry of 500 black pine seeds and told her that these seeds would carry her thru life. In 1956 she planted the small pine seeds and nurtured them along until they were ready to prune. With only a small amount of bonsai training via her Father she was able to keep 2.5 acres of black pine under control seemingly by herself. The pines, Mikawa and Awagi would do well in the central valley heat. The seed, started in flats and transferred to pots would grow and later be placed in the ground. During the late sixties and seventies these pines would grow and develop into wonderful bonsai material. Many of the best black pine bonsai were started in this small nursery 54 years ago.
In the early 90’s the property would be cared for by her eldest son, a Japanese tradition of passing down to the eldest, and pruning continues today. In fact the pictures posted here were taken a few weeks back while Richard was out pruning and decandling pines. Today the large 10 to 14 foot tall pines soar above the ground waiting to be removed by backhoe to find a new home in shopping centers and near hospitals around the country. Many of these trees have sold in the 10 to 15,000 dollar range. Pretty good investment on 500 free seeds.
In 2010 I drove by since this nursery is just a 1/4 mile from my Dad’s house. On the sign I found a tattered and fell apart business card from Dan Robinson. I have no idea how long it had been there.