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NEW Bonsai T-Shirts & the 6th U.S. National

Tshirtmain

Our neighbor Sophie modeling our Brand NEW all cotton Stone Lantern T-shirt. And no, Sophie is not a professional model. Just a friend (and local police officer). You can order your T-shirt online for 20.00 plus a very modest shipping charge or save the shipping charge and pick one up at the upcoming 6th U.S. National Bonsai Exhibition

Continuing with our lead up to the 6th U.S. National Bonsai Exhibition (Rochester, NY, September 8th & 9th – it’s not too late to make your plans)… This time it’s our new T-Shirt that will accompany us to the show along with a wide range of bonsai essentials

 

larch7One of our field grown American larches. We'll be bringing about 25 or so to the show along with a few other trees

 

T-shirt logoOur New T-shirt design is from a photo of a Robert Steven bonsai that was illustrated by Ric Walter, who happens to be our warehouse manager, trouble shooter, artist, photographer (Ric took the photo of Sophie above) and of course friend

 

Green-T-Basic-round-table

Our Green T hydraulic lift turntable (Basic model). We will be offering two very lightly used Green T Basics at the Exhibition for 50.00 off each (295.00, reg price is 345.00).  You can order a new Basic model or Plus model online. Shipping is Free in the Continental U.S.

 

s-l640One of the many rare and out of print bonsai books we'll be offering at the Exhibition, along with a whole host of other items. In addition to the items shown in this post, we'll be bringing a very large selection of bonsai wire at great prices, our famous Roshi Bonsai  Tools, Green Dream and other fertilizers and a whole host of other bonsai essentials. We hope to see you there!

Suthin’s Beautiful Beasts & the 6th U.S. National Exhibition

STLARGESHIM

This beautiful beast with it rugged trunk and luminous foliage belongs to Suthin. Here's his caption... "#04 Shimpaku 'Itoigawa' Tree's height: 39 inches. Interesting PM. me. Pick up at US. National show in Rochester, NY. suthinbonsaistudio.com"

Continuing with American bonsai leading up to the 6th U.S. National Bonsai Exhibition (Rochester, NY, September 8th & 9th – it’s not too late to make your plans)… today it’s everybody’s friend Suthin (officially Suthin Sukosolvisit), another long time favorite here on Bark

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STJBP

Here's another one you can arrange to pick up at the Exhibition. It's a Japanese black pine. Here's Suthin's caption... "#03 Japanese black pine 'Mikawa' Tree's height: 40 inches. Interesting PM. me. Pick up at US. National show in Rochester, NY. suthinbonsaistudio.com"

 

STSCOTS

Scots pine. Suthin doesn't say anything about bringing this one to the Exhibition. If you're interested, you can ask him

 

STWINE

I don't think Suthin will be serving wine at the Exhibition, but maybe you can enjoy a glass with him at the banquet


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100 GRAM ROLLS 3.95 EACH
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WIRE DISCOUNTS ARE COMPUTED AT CHECK OUT

FREE Shipping for Continental U.S. orders 75.00 or more*
but only if you choose free shipping when you check out
*In order to maintain our low prices in the face of new import duties,
beginning September 1st, we will no longer offer Free Shipping
on Wire, Soil & non-hydraulic Turntables
However, all other items will still qualify for Free Shipping
and we will make sure to keep our shipping prices very low


A Juniper Orchid Bonsai – Michael’s Ingenious Before & After

mhafter

Michael Hagedorn's ingenious Juniper orchid. Here's part of what Michael wrote about this unlikely creation... "Some of you might remember a quirky Shore Pine that we put on a post in 2017, calling it the first Pine Orchid in the yard. Yesterday this juniper was styled, and it hangs on the neighboring post that supports the shade cloth structure (thank you Bobby Curttright). The juniper is a bit of a Frankenstein"

Continuing with American bonsai leading up to the 6th U.S. National Bonsai Exhibition (Rochester, NY, September 8th & 9th – it’s not too late to make your plans)… today it’s one by Michael Hagedorn, a long time favorite here on Bark

Though Michael expresses profound respect for Bonsai tradition (he studied in Japan for three years where tradition plays a large part in almost everything), he also has an experimental, not-so-traditional side (you might even say zany), as witness by this ‘orchid bonsai’ and other ingenious deviations from bonsai norms

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mhbefore

Before. Here's what Michael started with. And here's what he wrote... "The trunk is a Rocky Mountain Juniper (thank you Backcountry Bonsai, Steve and Dan) and we it grafted it with itoigawa about 4 years ago. The tree is only about 6" high, and itoigawa seemed like the right choice for the fineness of the foliage and the small tree size."

 

mhba

Before & after

 

mhtray

Michael likes to plant on thin trays. He doesn't say, but I'm guessing it's a synthetic material

 

mhcu

Close up. Cropped by our cropper-in-chief

TOOL SPECIAL ENDS TONIGHT

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ends tonight, Sunday, August 26th at 11:59pm EDT

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ALL OTHER BONSAI TOOLS & GARDEN TOOLS

Special ends tonight, Sunday, August 26th at 11:59pm EDT

FREE Shipping* on Continental U.S. orders 75.00 or more
but only if you choose free shipping when you check out
*In order to keep our prices low in spite of new import duties,
beginning September 1st FREE Shipping will no longer apply to
Wire, Soil & Non Hydraulic Turntables
FREE Shipping will continue to apply to all other products
including Green T Turntables


The Best American Bonsai & Other Compelling Reasons to Wake up in Rochester

Abutton-hawley1-horzThis twisty bunjin style collected Buttonwood (Conocarpus erectus) shows what can happen when a tenacious tree hangs onto a Florida shoreline that is ravaged by repeated tropical storms and occasional hurricanes. It belongs to Doug Hawley who has been refining this tree for about ten years (this was written in 2009). Height 28" Pot by Sara Rayner

To whet your bonsai appetites, I’ve decided to devote all our posts between now the 6th U.S. National Bonsai Exhibition to North American Bonsai

We’ll start with three photos which were originally from a book titled North American Bonsai* (out of print), that we originally featured in a post by the same name. The date was February 2nd, 2009. A mere 14 days after our first post, Welcome to Bonsai Bark

But first… what if you woke up on September 8th and realized that you are nowhere near Rochester and the 6th U.S. National Bonsai Exhibition? Ugly eh? However, there is a simple solution… it’s not too late to make you plans. You’ll thank me for the reminder, and we’ll all thank Bill Valavanis and all the other dedicated folks, who made it happen
Continued below…

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Ajun-oc-romano-horzThis old Sierra Juniper (Juniperus occidentalis) with it's super shari, belongs to John Romano. Height 42"

Continued from above…
In addition to the spectacular bonsai a the 6th U.S. National Bonsai Exhibition, there’s those other compelling reasons (from the title above)… connecting and reconnecting with your fellow bonsai artist and lovers (bonsai lovers!), the demos (more on these soon), the valuable trees and bonsai necessities offered by all the hard working vendors (visit our Stone Lantern booth and tell us you read this far, and we’ll  give you a gift). There’s more, but we’ll leave the rest to your imagination

Ap-strobus-marty-horzHere's a great old yamadori that will knock you socks off (well, mine at least) when you realize that it's an Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus). They are the dominant tree in much of the northeastern US and eastern Canada, and yet, I've never seen a real quality Eastern White Pine bonsai until now (this is still the case almost ten years after I wrote this), as their largish needles, long internodes and upright growth habit makes good bonsai stock extremely rare. The tree belongs to Martin Schmalenberg. Height 42"

*North American Bonsai was published by the American Bonsai Society and compiled and edited by Martin Schmalenberg

FREE Shipping on Continental U.S. orders 75.00 or more*
but only if you choose free shipping when you check out

*In order to maintain our low prices in the face of new import duties,
beginning September 1st, we will no longer offer Free Shipping
on Wire, Soil & non-hydraulic Turntables
However, all other items will still qualify for Free Shipping
and we will make sure to keep our shipping prices very low


American Larch & Other Bonsai at the 6th U.S. National Bonsai Exhibition

Nicksyellowlarch1-2

A famous American larch (Aka Tamarack - Larix laricina) in full fall color (larch are one of a small handful of deciduous conifer in the world). The artist is 'Larch Master' Nick Lenz. It's a massive tree. Much bigger than you might think based on this photo

We (Stone Lantern) are bringing about 30 field grown larches to the 6th U.S. National Bonsai Exhibition (September 8th & 9th in Rochester, NY – the one bonsai event not to miss!)

Almost all of our larches are 15 to 20 years old and most are in nursery pots and have had minimal training. Perfect for the do-it-yourself crowd.  We’ll also have a few small Shimpaku junipers and two or three Ficus. And of course our famous Roshi Bonsai tools, plenty of bonsai wire at the lowest prices anywhere and lots of other essential bonsai items

We’ve got a few mediocre cell photos below (better than nothing) and some text on larch care that you might find helpful.

Larch care for the American larch (Larix laricina)
Location
Larches do best in full sun, though you can grow them in light shade. Heavy shade doesn’t work that well and indoors is taboo
Continued below…

green t

Here's one on a Green T turntable that we're bringing. We'll bring the turntable too. And remember, these were shot on my cell by a rank amateur

Larch care continued from above
Winter care. Don’t forget, larches are one of a handful of deciduous conifers, so don’t panic when the needles turn yellow and start falling off (in the fall of course). Larches are extremely cold hardy and require an extended period of freezing  temperatures each winter. If healthy, you can keep yours outside in a place that is sheltered from the wind down to single digits Fahrenheit (5F is -15 celsius). More protection is good idea in very cold climates. A cold frame or unheated building is recommended though a good blanket of snow can work. During winter thaws, check to the soil to make sure it isn’t bonsai dry 

Watering. In nature larch grow in moist areas, though when in pots, a soil that drains well is best. It is good to allow your larch to dry down between waterings (this helps avoid root rot and encourages root growth) but beware!… though larches are fairly drought tolerant in the wild, it’s a different story in pots. Be careful not allow the soil to become bone dry and stay that way, especially in the hot sun
Continued below…

tall

Here's another one on our Green T

Continued from above…
Fertilizing
. During the growing season we feed our larches regularly. We prefer mild well-balanced fertilizers like Green Dream and Dyna-gro Bonsai Pro. In the late summer we continue feeding with Green Dream and gradually taper off until mid to late fall. These late feedings help strengthen the roots for the coming winter and can also help thicken the trunk and lower branches

Pest and diseases. Larch tend to be fairly pest and disease resistant, though like most plants they have their vulnerabilities. Rather than go into detail here, we suggest you do an online search for specifics. Here’s a good place to start
Continue below…

L4

Here's another one (you can sort of see some others others we are bringing). Apologies for the fuzz

Continued from above…
Repotting
. When conditions are right, larch roots can grow quite rapidly, so fairly frequent repotting is a good idea. Here in northern Vermont where the growing season is short, every second or third year works. Larch aren’t crazy about root disturbance, so we don’t suggest bare-rooting or extreme root pruning

Pruning. Healthy larches grow rapidly in the spring and summer so fairly frequent pruning is necessary. Pruning any bonsai properly for health and beauty is large subject, so we won’t go into detail here. There are online forums etc where you can pick up valuable information on larch pruning, wiring, propagation and more. You might start with Harry Harrington’s bonsai4me

We’ve tried to hit the essentials you’ll need to get started. There is of course, more you’ll need to learn to be successful with larch or any bonsai

cu

Close up. Notice the nebari. A sure sign of age. The shears are Okatsune Bonsai Shears. My favorite

 

trunk

Another close up. Rugged bark is another sign of age. Same Okatsune bonsai shears

L5CU

One more. Same shears

Before & After Scots Pine – The trunk provided a good start, but the rest sorely needed Harry’s help

B&A

Before and after of a Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) by Harry Harrington. The trunk provided a good start, but the rest sorely needed Harry's help

Harry Harrington has long been one of our main sources for good bonsai material (for good bonsai books too). Though there is room for a number of approaches to styling and refining bonsai, I like the rugged natural style expressed in this little Scots pine. It’s a hallmark of many of Harry’s trees, though he sometimes drifts into a more highly stylized, but equally impressive look. Especially with some of his carving (take a look at the English yew below for some serious carving)

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hb

Before. Great trunk but a bit of mess otherwise

 

HA

After. Tamed but not over-styled. Perfect pot too

 

h5Here's Harry's caption from his fb timeline... "One last post before I finish getting ready to head to the mountains tomorrow and the upcoming Scandinavian Bonsai Retreat 2 with Thor Holvila, see you guys up there!
 Scots Pine Yamadori with Accent-Harry, height 6”/15cm. Bonsai pot by Victor Harris of Erin Pottery"

 

yew6

An entirely different look (from a post we did back in 2016). Here's what Harry said about this tree... "Finally, work on my Taxus baccata/Yew bonsai completed with the branches wired and laid-out. Height 25"/61cm, trunkbase (inc root jin) 12"/30cm. Pot by Victor Harris of Erin Pottery."

 

B1-2HARRY

Want to learn how Harry does it? Here's your chance. Both of these easy to follow, down to earth how-to books can be found at Stone Lantern.

Japanese Maple Bonsai Through Three Seasons

autumnJapanese maple in its fall brilliance. From the Omiya Bonsai Art Museum

Continuing with Maples at the Omiya Bonsai  Art Museum we came up with this one from our archives. It’s a single Japanese maple in three stages of it’s annual migration through the seasons. There’s a lot to like about this tree but there’s one question that arises; have you ever seen a bonsai with such a flat top?  This is especially pronounced in the fall and summer photos
Continued below…

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winter3

Winter. Maybe this is the best way to appreciate this tree

Here’s what someone at the Omiya Bonsai  Art Museum wrote in a rather poetic fashion, about this powerful old tree…  “The three trunks rising from the fat and robust roots of this Japanese maple bonsai fan out in the shape of a fan. During the months between the start of summer and coming of fall the branches of the tree grow thick with leaves as if to cover a great swath of land with its shade. In the autumn the changing of the leaves leaves the bonsai looking like a great red hill, which is the meaning and source of the tree’s name, Kouryou.”

sum1r

The fullness of summer
aaa2Paintings at the Museum. All three panels show bonsai

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ONLY 8.95 EACH FOR 4-11 ROLLS
ONLY 7.95 EACH FOR 12 OR MORE ROLLS

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FREE Shipping on Continental U.S. orders 75.00 or more*
but only if you choose free shipping when you check out

*In order to maintain our low prices in the face of new import duties,
beginning September 1st, we will no longer offer Free Shipping
on Wire, Soil & non-hydraulic Turntables
However, all other items will still qualify for Free Shipping
and we will make sure to keep our shipping prices very low

 

 


Maple Bonsai Perfection & New Lower Wire Prices

omiyamain

This Trident maple on root-on-rock is called Soshun-no-fu. It's estimated age is 80 years.  Like the other two trees in this post it's from The Omiya Bonsai Art Museum

Lots to do to get ready for the 6th U.S. National Bonsai Exhibition (Rochester, NY, September 8th & 9th), so we’ll make this one short and sweet. All three Maple bonsai shown here are from the Omiya Bonsai Art Museum in Saitama, Japan*

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OM2

Japanese maple named Musashi-ga-oka, estimated age 150 years

Speaking of the 6th U.S. National Bonsai Exhibition, I’ve been spending time getting about 30 of our field grown American larches (aka Tamaracks) ready for the show. Almost all are in nursery containers. Some are ready to stick in bonsai pots in the spring, but many are still fairly rough stock with good potential. Ages are 15-to 22 years old. Prices will range from around 75.00 up to 750.00. I’m going to try to get a couple good photos to show you before the show, but bonsai photography is no my strong suit, so we’ll see

 

9-long-1

 

omap5

Another Japanese maple. No name given for this one, but it speaks for itself

 

art2-1

A piece of the Museum

*I found the first two photo and captions at Bonsai Master on facebook

FREE Shipping on Continental U.S. orders 75.00 or more*
but only if you choose free shipping when you check out

*In order to maintain our low prices in the face of new import duties
beginning September 1st, we will no longer offer Free Shipping
on Wire, Soil & non-hydraulic Turntables
However, all other items will still qualify for Free Shipping
and we will make sure to keep our shipping prices very low


A Bonsai in Hand – a Quick Study on Perspective

stmain

This Willow left Ficus (Ficus nerifolia) belong to Suthin Sukosolvisit. If you are familiar with this species and know something about its typical leaf size, then you may not be fooled by the presentation. However, if you aren't familiar with this variety of Ficus, you might imagine that the tree is considerably larger than it is

A study in perspective with a nod to pot color. When comes to bonsai photos, perspective can be an issue. This is sometimes solved by contrast with a familiar object.  Suthin, the artist behind the Ficus shown above and below, sometimes uses a can (something I find a little distracting). Or he sometimes uses a hand (a much better choice imho). Or in the case of the photo above, an unfamiliar object that intentionally messes with perspective (I like it!).
Continued below…

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st2

A Ficus in hand is worth two on the bench

Must be the season for red pots. Questions about the use (or maybe misuse) of red bonsai pots have come up in two recent Bonsai Bark posts

 

st3

Here, perspective is provided primarily by leaf size. And because you've already seen the photo just above

 

ficus21

Here's something I've only seen Suthin do; contrast a bonsai with a piece of fruit. The tree is another Willow leaf ficus, but not long after defoliation, so leaf size doesn't provide that much perspective

 

SWINE

Another way to provide a little perspective. Also by Suthin

 

suthingreent

The man himself working on one of our famous Green T Turntables. The tree is... you guessed it, another Willow leaf ficus

 

6th-2-1

Speaking of Suthin, you can visit him and his wonderful small (and not so small) bonsai at the 6th U.S. National Bonsai Exhibition, September 8th and 9th in Rochester NY

 

Green-T-Basic-round-table

You can also visit us and our famous Green T Turntables at the 6th U.S. Including a couple slightly used ones for a nice discount. We'll also have plenty of our famous Roshi Tools, Bonsai Aesthetics Wire, some of my field grown Larches, lotsa used and new Bonsai books and much more

BONSAI TOOL SPECIAL

ALL BONSAI TOOLS & GARDEN TOOLS
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Tools - garden

INCLUDES TOOL ROLLS, KITS & SETS

TKRS-1-ZIPINCLUDES NON-HYDRAULIC TURNTABLES

TYTTALSO SIEVES & WATERING TOOLS
ALL OTHER BONSAI TOOLS & GARDEN TOOLS

 

FREE Shipping* on Continental U.S. orders 75.00 or more
but only if you choose free shipping when you check out
*In order to keep our prices low, in spite of new import duties
beginning September 1st FREE Shipping will no longer apply to
Wire, Soil & Non Hydraulic Turntables
FREE Shipping will continue to apply to all other products
including Green T Turntables

 


Kissing the Rock

maplerock

That's a rock sticking out on the left side of this Trident maple. According to Juan Andrade, the maple is kissing the rock (Arce "besando" la roca)

Continuing with the bonsai of Juan Andrade… Juan is one of a whole host of young Western apprentices (Costa Rica in Juan’s case) who are studying or have studied in Japan. This post is from our archives (July, 2017) and the photos and quotes shown here are from Juan’s timeline

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maplerockcu
Front view, close up. Here's Juan's caption... "se planto así a propósito desde joven, y el arbol comenzó a "tragarse" la roca. Es un maplecito como de unos 50 años."
And here's my rough translation... It was intentionally grown this way since the tree was young and began to swallow the rock. It's a little Maple about fifty years old 
maplerockback
The other side

BONSAI AESTHETICS WIRE SPECIAL
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Our Bonsai Aesthetics Wire shipment just arrived
we now have every size and weight in stock

CW WIRE - BLACK

NEW LOWeR PRICEs FOR KILO ROLLS
now only 16.75 EACh for 1-3 rolls
oNLY 15.75 EACH FOR 4 – 11 ROLLS

oNLY 14.75 EACH FOR 12 OR MORE ROLLS

 
500 GRAM ROLLS 9.95 EACH
ONLY 8.95 EACH FOR 4-11 ROLLS
ONLY 7.95 EACH FOR 12 OR MORE ROLLS

WIRE DISCOUNTS ARE COMPUTED AT CHECK OUT


FREE Shipping on Continental U.S. orders 75.00 or more*
but only if you choose free shipping when you check out

*In order to maintain our low prices in the face of new import duties
and other increased costs,
beginning September 1st, we will no longer offer Free Shipping
on Wire, Soil & non-hydraulic Turntables
However, all other items will still qualify for Free Shipping
and we will make sure to keep our shipping prices very low