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Before & After Bonsai – a ‘Grandiose’ Transformation


Before and after. The tree is a Lawson's cypress (Chaemacyparis Louïsiana 'Elwoodii'). Here's the caption copied directly from Michel Delen, our source for these photos... "Chaemacyparis Louïsiana 'Elwoodii' AFTER Grandioos Noelanders Marc."
I’m impressed. The date on the before  is Feb  8th of this year and the date on the after is March 22nd (two days ago). Given just how little time elapsed, it’s an remarkable transformation. All the photos in this post are from Michel Delen’s timeline.
You might assume from the caption and the photo below that the artist is Marc Noelanders. It’s unclear who the tree belongs to, but perhaps it’s Michel’s. The untranslated word Grandioos looks suspiciously like it might be Flemish (Belgian Dutch) for Grandiose. Maybe this is a way of saying highly accomplished, or something like that.
Continued below…



Just in case you’re curious about Lawson’s cypress, here’s something from Dobbies Garden Center…  “Lawson’s cypress all originate from seed collected in Oregon and California, USA and sent to Lawson Nursery near Edinburgh in Scotland in 1854. The modern cultivars spring from these plants.” You might wonder why the botanical name is C. Louïsiana if the species is from the West Coast. If so, you’re not alone.



After. A little soil removal and you've got a pretty good nebari. The deadwood around the base of the trunk must have been roots that were also exposed when soil was removed.



Marc Noelanders with tree and date

One Bonsai, Three Seasons, Four Photos


Fall. Luis Vallejo calls this tree a Spanish oak (Quercus faginea) though Wikipedia and some others refer to it as Portuguese oak (other names that popped up are Valencian oak and Lusitanian oak).  It belongs to Luis and resides at the the Municipal Bonsai Museum of Alcobendas in Spain.

Welcome to Luis Vallejo’s Bonsai Bark (just kidding). This post features four photos of a single tree over three seasons (winter twice; not sure what happened to spring). There’s a lot more we could say, especially about the Museo de Bonsai Alcobendas and Luis Vallejo’s (and others) involvement, but it’s a whole lot easier to simply invite you to click here and get it straight from the source 




Winter with companion


Winter with snow

Mossy Bonsai Glade & Other Brilliant Forests


Here's what Felix Laughlin, the president of the National Bonsai Foundation wrote about this outstanding forest...  "Wayne, the photo of the  forest of Chinese elms is from the North American Collection at the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum, and was donated by Susanne Barrymore; it’s been in training since 1988."

Two full  pallets of Green T turntables just arrived, and a large shipment of Bonsai Aesthetics wire and tools is due any minute, so it’s time for a shortcut. This post originally appeared here February, 2017. As usual, I’ve made a few changes.


Does five trunks constitute a forest? Maybe we should call it a mossy glade. Whatever you call it, it has to be one of the most impressive multiple trunk bonsai anywhere. It doesn't hurt that the individual trees can stand on their own, especially the twin trunk tree on the right (the focal point). The magnificent pot looks like an escarpment in the Rockies. Robert Steven took the photo at the 2012 BCI convention in Guangzhou, China. Though it's easy enough to tell it's a pine forest, my eyes aren't sharp enough to tell the species.



The sheer size and inventiveness of this mammoth planting is beyond impressive, though I'm not sure how the two distinctly different parts belong together. In fact, the large trees above that appear so close to the viewer, betray the distant feel of the smaller trees below. Still, based on sheer magnitude and daring, this is a planting that you'll most likely never forget. The trees are Hedge maples (Acer campestre). I've seen this photo several places. This time it was here.

B1KATOcovertreesRecognize this? You probably do if you've been around for a while. If not, this is what a planting by a bonsai master might look like.


Here it is on the cover of one of the four or five best bonsai books in the English language (or any language). Available at Stone Lantern.

Majestic Bonsai Vista


You don't see that many bonsai photos with such majestic vistas in the background. I don't know where the shot was taken, nor do I know the variety of the tree but I do know that the photo and the tree are from Yoshio Nihei.

Continuing from yesterday with bonsai we found on Magdalena Chiavazza’s timeline (we had trouble with the link yesterday, so I hope this one takes). Magdalena doesn’t offer the varieties (except for the Satsuki azalea below) but she is meticulous about the all-important attribution


Seduction. Again we don't know the variety but we do know that Magdalena found the photo on Martin Aloi's timeline


Here's Magdalena's caption with machine translation... Tonino Guarracino... Tú eres el autor de este hermoso ejemplar? Gracias!!!  You are the author of this beautiful specimen? Thank you!!!


Magdalena provides attribution and link with this powerful Azalea... Bonsai-Satsuki Hans-Herbert


Another one by Yoshio Nihei. I cropped it for a closer look at the main tree. The original photo is just below




paintingOkay, not a bonsai but I thought you might like this anyway. Here's Magdalena's caption with machine translation and my comment...Bellisimo pastel en papel; Un paisaje muy bonito de la Artista: Martina Zingler. Beautiful cake*on paper; a very beautiful landscape by the artist: Martina Zingler.
 *The mind of a machine... pastel = pastry = cake

Magdalena’s Mixed Media Bonsai


I'm not sure what kind of tree this is, though if I had to guess, I'd say it's a freshly leafed out Larch. But don't quote me. I found it and all the other photos shown here on Magdalena Chiavazza's timeline. Magdalena's caption for this one is... Oh!!! me encanto, hermoso ejemplar!!-Christian Przybylski (the artist). The machine translation is... Oh!!! I love it, beautiful specimen!!- Christian Przybylski

Last night I spent about and hour on facebook looking for something new when I stumbled upon Magdalena Chiavazza (for some reason I couldn’t get the link to take). None of the trees or art belong to Magdalena, but that’s okay, everything is attributed and linked, and attribution warms my heart (see our last two posts). And Magdalena’s good eye doesn’t hurt a bit.
Continued below…


I cropped off part of this tree because of some serious distraction (the uncropped original is below). Like all of Magdalena's captions, this one includes the artist's name and link... Hermoso verdad?--Andreas Holzer. I can manage this one with my primitive Spanish... Beautiful, true?

Continued from above
The only thing missing are the varieties of the trees, but given all the great attributed and linked shots, we can live with it. Enjoy! 



Josef Burschl; Hermoso ejemplar!!!




I couldn’t resist. Here’s Magdalena’s caption… Si voy a mostrar Arte; que sea de la buena!!!! bello trabajo del Artista:: Steven Lee Adams me encanto!!! If I am to show art; let it be good!!!! A beautiful work of the art by Steven Lee Adams I love it!!!



Aha, the variety is listed right on the photo. A European larch with the new buds ready to pop. Here's the caption... Un final estupendo Michele Andolfo!! A stupendous result by Michele Andolfo!!



The uncropped original

Spring Bonsai in Full Bloom


You don't see cascading Azalea bonsai all that often. This flowing full flowering favorite (sorry about that) is by Teunis Jan Klein. Speaking of Azaleas, we just received our spring shipment of Kanuma azalea bonsai soil

Monday morning so we’ll make this quick. This post is borrowed from our archives (March 8, 2017). The photos were originally from  a Bonsai Empire post titled Bonsai in Full Bloom.


Prunus mume (Japanese Apricot). Photo by Michael Bonsai


Azalea Bonsai in full bloom, by Makoto Tsuji


Wisteria bonsai in full bloom by Heike van Gunst

Bonsai Pirates – If you are reading this on any website or blog that is not ours, and is not attributed to us, then it has been pirated


This wild Mugo pine has nothing to do with our bonsai pirates theme, though it may raise some eyebrows given its break with traditional bonsai styles, particularly traditional Japanese bonsai styles. It was posted by Sandro Segneri of the Bonsai Creativo School and Academy. To reiterate, it has nothing to do with our bonsai pirates theme.

Yesterday it was digital bonsai theft, today it’s piracy. Two ways of talking about the same thing, or has the severity of the crime graduated from misdemeanor to felony (figuratively and maybe literally)?

The following was originally written in February, 2010 and reposted in 2015 (with some changes then and now)…
At least one blog has been pirating our posts for a long time. No links and no mention of Bonsai Bark or Stone Lantern. Nothing.
If you are reading this on any website or blog that is not ours, and is not attributed to us, then it has been pirated. If this is the case, please visit us at Bonsai Bark. Thank you.



This powerful Mugo pine is reminiscent of the revolutionary Japanese bonsai back in the 80s and 90s. It belonged to Carlos van der Vaart when we originally posted it in February 2011. Like the one above, it was most likely collected in the mountain of Europe. Also, like the photo above it has nothing to do with our piracy theme

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Digital Bonsai Theft & Other Crimes & Misdemeanors


Did that huge apple really grown on this small tree? Occasionally you see fruit that is glued on, but in this case I think it's the real deal.

There’s something a little shady about putting your logo on photos that don’t belong to you, though in a world with more than enough serious corruption, this practice barely registers.
Continued below…


I've seen this tree before, but can't remember where, or what it is. It's even possible that it has appeared here on Bark.

Continued from above…
I can’t read the text where I found these photos (I’m not going to link them, for obvious reasons) but you can assume that they are, in addition to being falsely represented, unattributed.

All this might beg the question… why post these trees? The answer is, I like them. Plus they provides an opportunity to bring up malfeasance on social media, a topic worth mentioning.



A sweet Japanese little maple


I've always liked quince flowers


I would recognize this little Rhododendron anywhere. It belongs to Morten Albek and appears in his Shohin Bonsai book (out of print) and on his blog.

Beauty Doesn’t Always Conform to Our Expectations


Before and after. This impressive and very unusual European olive (Olea europaea L. var. sylvestris) was styled by Javi Campos Juan.

Continuing with Javi Campos Juan (see two posts from earlier this week)… You don’t often see Olives styled like this one; more like a conifer than an Olive. Regarding this, there is a good argument for styling in the way the type tree naturally grows. Trees that don’t follow this standard often look unnatural. Still, there’s a lot to like about this one and beauty doesn’t always conform to our expectations.



I’ve been following Javi Campos Juan and his impressive bonsai on facebook for a while now. This is our third post this week featuring Javi’s trees. We originally featured this one February of last year (with some value added today)



After. Several big changes, including some serious bending of the trunk and plenty of refinement using wire and skilled trimming. Good pot choice too

javi-1The original uncropped shot with companion

Time to Make Your Plans for a Celebration of American Bonsai


This Colorado blue spruce won the All American Award (Finest American Species in an American Container, Displayed on an American Table) at the 5th U.S. National Bonsai Exhibition. It belongs to Jason Eider.

Just a friendly reminder…
It’s time to make your plans. The 6th U.S. National Bonsai Exhibition is the premier North American celebration of bonsai. The one event you don’t want to miss and it’s less than six months away. We’ll see you there!



If you would like to submit any bonsai, the deadline for entries is June 1, 2018 (or until the exhibition is filled). If you’re like most people and just want to be there, it’s not too soon to make your plans



Another Colorado blue spruce. This one won the ABS North American Bonsai Award at the 5th U.S. Exhibition. It belongs to Todd Schlafer

The following is from Bill Valavanis’ Exhibition website
“The world bonsai community will once again be enriched by the display of bonsai gathered from across the United States at the 6th U.S. National Bonsai Exhibition, September 8-9, 2018, in Rochester, NY

“Like Japan’s Kokufu Bonsai Exhibition, people from around the world attend the U.S. National Bonsai Exhibitions to appreciate and study the diversity of the unique and distinctive species displayed by accomplished bonsai artists from across the United States.

“Towering bonsai from the Pacific Northwest, rugged bonsai from the Rocky Mountains, and tropical bonsai from the Southern swampy regions will be displayed alongside weathered bonsai from the Southwestern deserts and refined deciduous bonsai from the Northeast.”


Immigrant species are welcome. This Japanese black pine is also from the 5th U.S. National Exhibition. It belongs to John Kirby. You can find it and over 200 other distinctive bonsai in the 5th Exhibition Album. We still have some albums from the 4th Exhibition as well (1,2 & 3 are sold out, and according to Bill, there are no plans to reprint)

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