Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Two Trident maples get new pots.   4 comments

This trident was a purchase from Ian Price of Lone Pine in 2009 at the GSBF convention in Anaheim.001







Signature Yamafusa pot purchased for the tree four years ago. Needed all four years to get it into the pot.dsc_0031


This trident maple was purchased from Steve DaSilva in 2013. It was dug from his field.0003







This Japanese bag pot was purchased from Kora Daleger back from a recent trip to Japan. It has had many root cut backs to get it into this pot.dsc_00361


California Drought, dead trees   1 comment

This past weekend my wife and I traveled back up to the Rough Fire in Kings Canyon Park, home of the giant sequoia’s. On the way up the mountain we passed small cities of fire fighters and their camps along the road.



A close up into the mess tent.


pallets of fire hose.





A mobile laundry. Rows of pup tents in the background where fire fighters sleep with temps into the 100’s. Night temps around 90 degrees still at midnight with the thick layer of smoke.


Pallets of ice chests and  suction pumps. A mobile food prep truck.


Boxes of new fire hose.






Piles of fire hose to roll up



As we passed the makeshift community of fire fighters, we head up the hill to the park entrance. About ten miles above the firefighter camp is the Cat Haven. All of the wild cats had to be shipped out. Some went to the Fresno Zoo, some to Reno Nevada, San Diego and Texas. My wife has been donating money since it started, in $100.00 chunks. I want a new gun she wants to save the cats. The cats are winning. Some may remember this place made National News a couple years ago when one of the lions killed its trainer.



At the 4000 foot level we start to encounter the dead and dying trees. They are weakened by the drought and the beetles move in to finish them off. Environmentalists will not allow the forestry to spray to help kill the beetles, so the eat the forests dead.







At the park entrance there is a giant Sequoia. I remember this tree as a kid back in 1964 and I swear I can see its grown some…..


Everywhere tree grow out of shear granite.


Look at this pine growing right out of crack in the rock.


The rough fire was started from lightning and most of the tree in the park show some kind of lightning damage.


This is looking off towards where the fire is still burning


Up here in the park at 7500 feet there is a lot less damage but one can see the trees are weak and water is needed this year or I would not be surprised to see the entire Sierra’s brown off next year.


We made it to Wuksashi Lodge and had lunch.


My happy wife eating her prime rib sandwich.


All of these granite peaks are the back side of Mount Whitney. The back side being the Fresno side. Mt Whitney is accessible from the east side of the Sierra’s.



These peaks are about 13,000 feet tall.


I’m coming back when there is water to see this. This has to be a huge waterfall. About a thousand feet or more.



That’s a lot of solid granite.





Posted September 21, 2015 by California Bonsai Art in Uncategorized

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Happy Fathers Day Dad   2 comments

dadandI2015This morning my wife and I met my dad for some breakfast. We had a good time and talked about everything from the latest movies to the “H” word. Health!

All in all a good time. My dad is the last person in my family older than I. We worry a lot but he is healthy as a mule and twice as stubborn. Happy Fathers Day Dad.


Posted June 21, 2015 by California Bonsai Art in Uncategorized

Mothers Day 2015   Leave a comment

My own mother died in 1995 at the age of 56 years young. Since that time my wife has been not only my companion, friend and wife, but also filling in being my Mother. During my recent stint with two operations from complications due to kidney stones, she took care of me and made me feel better when I felt like shit.

Today we went to breakfast with the next door neighbors and we talked over breakfast about my list of Mothers Day honey do’s I would accomplish. I came home and started washing all the windows inside and out and the screens. That’s what she wanted, well… besides the dinner out Friday night and the flower bouquet Sat. night, but I digress.

Most of all I wish to share my wife and her constant effort to try and be a part of the hobby I love so much. Who would go to Walmart and help her husband buy a pink thong and then take a picture of him just to get a laugh online?

al thong


Over the years my wife and I have traveled the state in pursuit of meaningful bonsai. This picture was taken with Lindsey Shiba’s Crape myrtle in 1999.



At same event my wife always seems to make new friends. Here she sits with Harry Hirao. Harry seems quite fascinated with this groupie worship.



Here in Sacramento she has found a fig tree. She was tickled to see small figs on a bonsai.



At a Redwood Empire exhibit she finds the large stage that looks out over the event. They have piano players or a harp, things to drink and eat and of course many bonsai magazines on the tables. She is most content just reading a good mystery.



A trip to Murayama in Sacramento was a treat. She found these California Junipers fascinating


What woman doesn’t melt over the sight of a pretty bonsai in bloom. My wife is no different.



Recently I needed a photo of a group of maples I moved to the lawn for a large group shot. She took the picture and then when I started for the house she said..hey, wait I want a picture with all the maples too. She’s so damn cute.



My tribute to a bonsai wife on Mother’s day. I love you and wouldn’t trade the last 31 years for anything. In fact lets go to Oakland next weekend and look at the Satsuki’s in bloom!


Posted May 10, 2015 by California Bonsai Art in Uncategorized

Catching up around the yard   2 comments

This is my first spring since my wife was down for a year with cancer. I did not spend any time in the backyard and just watered trees. As the radiation was over last July I was able to catch up on a few things bonsai related but much of the damage was done and I would be playing catch up for a while. Over the winter I was able to repot and get some unfinished business out of the way like pruning and styling of a few trees that had never looked like much.

So this is the fruit of my labor. Still have a ways to go but most stuff is caught up now. Still looking for a place to put trees under construction, but that a never ending job. Lets have a look around the backyard.


There are 30 shohin on the bench right now with about 12 more coming soon (two or more years). An assortment of elms, pines and tridents still to come




This California juniper is now in its second year in the grow stones and it has never looked better.



Ghidorah -1 gat some trimming, a repot into a nice Chinese round Literati pot and a good painting of lime supher.


Took this tree to the club meeting yesterday and cleaned and oiled the pot, cut back the moss and applied some black/red sifted lava around the moss to dress the top. Some light pruning and wire and I’m done for a couple months.


Well these two are just growing. They both need help.


Two recent aquisitions, The Maple last Nov. and the giant cork bark elm a couple months ago.


The above maple, Oshio Beni is now making leaves. Ther are unfolding each day and I am excited to see the red leaves finally. After thirty one years of bonsai this is the first red leved maple.


It is pushing very hard and the buds out of the old wood show that.




The Muranaka pine is sending candles out now.


Crepe mrytle I purchased last week. Leaves come out red and then turn copper finally green


The elm root cutting are sending green buds skyward. Leaves are beginning to form and next year training will start on more shohin trees.






This small 3 inch tall pine from Ed has candles already 14 inches long.


I have two hornbeam shohin and both are getting ready to unfurl the leaves.


The ole miss, looking great this year.



Early pruning for shape.   6 comments

I have two trees that were in need of a drastic makeover. They were over grown and one suffered some borer damage and lost some key branches that helped with shape.


The top is heavy and it needs more balance between top branches and the bottom branches. The bottom branches should be the heavies while they diminish as it moves up the trunk. The upper area on the left is heavy and needs more definition between branches. It needs os negative spaces.

Height: 12″

Trunk at soil: 2.5″

Pot: 10″ x 8″ x 3″



The branches have been pruned and shaped and there is lightness in the image. There is much more negative space now in the canopy and the entire trunk can be seen, ugly as it is…


This pyracantha lost three very important branches a couple years ago due to borer damage. The borers have been eradicated, but now I have to restyle the tree.


This tree is in need of a some special help to get a decent shape back. The branches that were lost left big holes in the canopy. Last year in an effort to have something to work with, the tree was heavily fed to increase green growth. The sub trunk on the left side is completely lost in the foliage and it will have to be pruned down to expose its shape.

Height: 29″

Trunk at soil: 8.5″

Pot: 20″ x 14″ x 5″



The sub trunk was cleaned up and pruned back. Wire was added where necessary. A few guy wires were used for a couple places that were too difficult to wire properly. All the foliage was cut back and the top was wired and some branches were pulled down to fill voids. As the season wears on new corrections will be made to balance further the canopy and allow the leaves to fill in the harshness of 1,2, back branch feel.


Below is a few pictures showing the borer damage and what is left of the branch stubs.




Posted March 1, 2015 by California Bonsai Art in Uncategorized

Growing some roots on Current Cuttings   Leave a comment

Currents, you know the small raisens or grapes known as currents. Usualy golden and really sweet. The grapes grow on vines like any other grape. These vines are over a hundred years old and are really spookey. Some are 6/7 feet tall and walking down the rows can be very scary with all the gnarly arms sticking out and the anthropormorphic shapes.

I was invited by Steve DaSilva to make some cuttings of the unique shapes these grape branches have. The whole Bunker crew was there helping.

Frome left to right: Justin Case, Steve DaSilva, No Bai De and Curt and Rod



Steve showing Curt and Rod some of his collection.


No Bai De in the background and Steve helping Justin Case make the correct cut.



No Bai De and Rod scope out a large grape stump to strip.


Justin Case wears his pants like I do…half off


No Bai De and Curt look at a map, they seem to be in the neighbors field….oops



Gnarly old bastards.




These were the four I cut. I screwed them to a small square of plywood to tie them into the pots. Backfilled with growing mix and now I just have to wait. Leaves are slow to come, around April. Might have roots before leaves.








Posted March 1, 2015 by California Bonsai Art in Uncategorized

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