Archive for July, 2013

This post is a follow-up to a post I did in December 2012; click on that in ‘archives’ if you don’t recall the post. I styled the tree for the first time from raw stock yamadori. That was back in December with winter to get through, I kept the tree on my deck and it got through winter just fine. I tilted the tree on its axis from nearly horizontal to a steep slant and used a milk crate to keep it in position. The new angle was awkward to water properly and I made the decision to ask my client to be on the look out for a pot for the tree. She found one she felt suitable (I gave her the physical dimensions it had to be to maintain the health of the tree, the aesthetic end was left to her) and shipped it to me late April. I potted it for the first time then and kept an eye on the tree. It had lots of good roots which were much like spaghetti and I cut very few to get it into the pot. I felt confident it would be alright. Then in mid-May, the tree decided to slough its old foliage, which made me nervous. It turned orange-yellow in color and dropped off on its own but it seemed like it was losing an awful lot! Then the first two weeks of June it stabilized and began to push new growth. I gave it a good feeding with Portland Rose Society organic fertilizer and it has come through very well, as you can see in the photo:

Alaska Yellow Cedar


My advice to you if you want to take one of these on is that the foliage is a nice green like this during the growing season, then turns a slightly brown color for winter, then sheds old foliage prior to the new growing season. That was late May here in Portland. I hope you’ll consider trying one of these as the trunks are quite interesting with their naturally carved hollow trunks, they can be quite appealing.

I’m pretty sure once the tree has been in the pot a while the foliage should stay a more even green color most of the time…I really rocked this tree’s world, if you will, in a short span of time and it came through the process looking good. It’s passed the first test for me as a species worthy of consideration as a bonsai 😉 Alas, I will have to turn it over to it’s true owner but there are more of them out there…

It’s been a while since I’ve posted–summer watering, pruning, weeding and life in general  has got in the way. I set out to bring you an update of the Alaskan yellow cedar I styled last fall and decided to present these images too since they were shot in the same file of photos. The Bonsai Society of Portland usually shows Mother’s Day weekend, which is in May but this year there was a conflict with the Garden’s schedule and we had to settle for late April show time. It didn’t bother me at all as I was able to show some accent plants that are already  spent by the May show time. The show ran for two days and I had to rush through to get the few shots I could as we had to tear it down just minutes after I got my shots. I’ll try to get the trees and owners together as best I can…it will be a test to see who’s paying attention 😉

First up is a ponderosa pine owned by Scott Elser, which won best conifer at the National Bonsai Show in Rochester, NY, in 2010. This tree also won best conifer for the Spring Show at the Japanese Garden this year. Way to go Scott! The accent planting for the display is one of mine and won best accent plant for the show as well:

Scott's pine


A close-up of my accent planting; Calypso bulbosa:

Calypso accent


Another ponderosa pine owned by Alan Taft, standing proudly next to his creation. It has some very nice small needles for a ponderosa and was one of my favorites in the exhibit:

Alan's pine


Bird’s foot violet of mine, 24 yrs. from collection from a ditch near Cedarcreek Missouri:

Bird's Foot Violet


That little guy is in a Jim Barrett pot BTW. The next display features an Arizona alder I collected in 2004 that was just re-potted into this Michael Hagedorn pot:

Arizona alder


A Pioneer gooseberry in bloom in a Mardella Brock pot:

Pioneer gooseberry


Fawn lily; Erythronium oregonum. No blooms for the show but it flowered shortly after:

Fawn lily


How about some trees? A large California juniper from the collection of Scott Elser:

CA juniper


If you’ve ever wondered if California juniper can be grown in Portland, Scott has your answer! The little accent for this is Ocean Spray, a promising native species for us in the Northwest:

Ocean spray


Next is a Shimpaku juniper cascade from the collection of Pat Foldi:

Pat's Shimpaku


The Tokonoma was occupied by a lovely wisteria from the collection of Dennis Vojtilla:

Dennis's wisty


The azalea in the next photo is one I acquired in a trade with Michael Hagedorn. I’m not sure what type of azalea it is but I love the trunk and that it doesn’t have the ‘typical’ azalea look. The pot is an antique I purchased from Matt Reel this spring :



A little accent I scrounged up for the show–some sort of daisy. It’s potted in a special issue pot from Pauline Muth that has a basket weave pattern:

Daisy accent


A display of Scots pine from the collection of John Jaramillo with accent from the collection of Michael Hagedorn; I think they work well together:

Scots pine


A sweet little cotoneaster from Alan Taft that also won best shohin in the show:

Alan's cotoneaster


I brought this trillium in for the show–it was a bit large to serve as a believable accent for anything that wasn’t huge, so it got it’s own spot on a pedestal:



A black huckleberry I collected when I first arrived in Oregon seven years ago in a Jan Rentenaar pot; the accent is another small daisy in some grass:

Black Huckleberry


A nice large Japanese Mountain Maple from the collection of Dennis Vojtilla:

J. Maple


And last, a dwarf  Hosta I planted in an altered tuna can:

Tuna can accent


There were so many more trees than those posted here, I really had to rush through to capture the few I got here. And if it seems like there are a lot of shots of my own trees and accents, there are. It’s the best time to photograph your trees–in the setting of a show where everything is groomed and displayed on nice stands. The best way to see the show is in person though 😉