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Bonsai Inspiration in Your Own Front Yard


The powerful Yew with its flowing deadwood, reddish bark and that innovative little piece of deadwood that's used as a companion, belongs to Mauro Stemberger, The pot is a Tokoname

The other day in our newsletter, I mentioned some Yews I had just dug. For the sake of inspiration, I'm posting what they could look like in a few decades (or maybe never)

One of the great things about Yews is they grow almost everywhere. Half the landscapes here in the Eastern U.S. sport a yew or two. For some of us, it’s possible to find good ones for bonsai in our own front yards (suburban Yamadori*). Or someone else’s front yard (just don’t get caught…. JK)


This famous Yew by Bonsai Master Masahiko Kimura stops my mind every time I see it.  It's from our book The Magician, the Bonsai Art of Kimura 2


This one may not look exactly like anything you'll see in nature, but it certainly jumps off the page. The extensive and very time consuming carving (as well as the trimming and wiring) is by Kevin Willson. Photo by Simon Carr



This muscular Japanese yew resides at the Omiya Bonsai Art Museum in Saitama, Japan, along with numerous other top tier bonsai. Though you can't see the back, it's possible that the single live vein in the front supports all of the foliage in the tree's considerable crown


A good example of Walter Pall's naturalistic style with a pot that fits it to a tee. I think it's one tree with a large hole in the center of the trunk. It's another Japanese yew. The pot is by Walter Venne. The tree was originally collected in Korea and is said to be over 100 years old

*All the trees shown here are most likely real yamadori (bonsai that were originally collected in nature) as contrasted with what you might call urban or suburban yamadori, (or even urbandori). Terms we've seen for trees dug in landscapes


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