New Shelves for the Pagoda   3 comments

About two years ago I started to notice the shelves that housed the shohin trees were starting to rot. I had purchased window box planters that have a long water tray, about 5 inches by 26 inches. I filled these with lava and when I watered the trays would fill with water and the lava would keep the pots out of the water while providing a humidic atmosphere. The water would get under the trays and would allow the wood to stay too wet and rotted out the redwood.

It was time to replace the wood.

In the last two years I have had all my shohin grouped together onto a large piece of marble that is in a section of my yard that is in constant shade. Viewing the trees and watching for signs of stress was hard due to the trees being piled into a group. I lost some trees whale they were like this due to rampant growth on trident maples and providing a water shed while I watered and not allowing some smaller trees to be watered properly. This is how they used to be.


This time I made the shelves from pressure treated Hem-Fir. It’s a hybrid tree for the construction industry with few branches and bone straight growth. When logged it is used mainly for the manufacture of fascia board around the eves of your house. With pressure treating the wood will last in wet areas twice as long as redwood or cedar. The trees are placed back into the proper area which opens the old area up for a display.






This small maple is a recent repot in the neagari style.


This area is where the shohin used to be and now I can display a tree and others.


Since I was out with the camera I decided to update the backyard in winter with some views of the compound as it is today. still have some stuff on the ground and this has been reduced by half. Of course if I don’t stop buying more stuff it will just fill up again.



All the larger tridents in baskets up on the shelves are trees that were on the ground. They have been moved up onto the shelves after a large sell out of trees at the recent bonsai swap meet in December.



Here are some trees from around the perimeter. The big california is due for a restyle this winter. The pyracantha is pushing growth right now like crazy and the new Oshio beni maple is due to be removed from the bucket to see what down there.


Ghidorah-1 is just minding its own business wondering what I will come up with for a pot? Any ideas?


Over here I have the black pine with a big clamp on it, all the new green maples that just came in, and 8 shohin elms that I really want to pot up since I might just keep them all.


Another black pine shohin material that showed up. No Bai De is looking for this one.




Posted January 19, 2015 by California Bonsai Art in Spotlight on Shohin

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3 responses to “New Shelves for the Pagoda

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  1. Hard to see the shelving for the trees! It looks great, nice to see your collection looking so good.
    Are you planning on any humidifier tray for this setup?

    • There is not nearly as many as there have been in the past. I sold quite a few the last two years, some have died from lack of water, and some have been placed in groups of a few trees to graft together. Probably about ten trees short over the last two years. I have the eight elms that may end up there this year and about 9 black pine shohin to shoehorn into there somewhere.

      As far as the trays, I didn’t see that much difference in having versus not. I will not put them back since roots grew out of all the trees pots and made a mess.

  2. Very nice display area Al but I hope you haven’t been swindled into paying a premium price for “Hem-Fir”. The Hem-Fir is not actually a type of tree, the stamp just signifies the lumber as containing pieces of Western hemlock or five different types of fir. i.e. they don’t sort the different tree species when the cut and mill them. Good discussion of the topic here:

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