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Powerful Old Oak on Hydraulic Lift Turntable


Raffaele Perilli's Holm oak with Green T Turntable and tools

Bonsai Brilliance in Brooklyn


Cork bark Chinese elm in fall brilliance at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. You don't see that many good Chinese elm bonsai. This photo and the others in this post are from the bonsai collection on the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens website.

The positive response to yesterday’s post, got me looking for Wisteria bonsai in our archives, and finally to this post on some bonsai at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden from October, 2015 (the Wisteria is below). Enjoy!

Acer buergerianum roots over rock

This large root-over-rock bonsai is a Trident maple; the most popular non-tropical variety for root-over-rock bonsai.


BBG3Nice Crabapple. I particularly like the tree's movement and the bark. And of course the flower buds. Maybe the apex could use a little work, but still, a sweet bonsai.

BBG41Wisteria bonsai are about the flowers and this one is no exception.


BBG2Nice old Shimpaku. The crown seems a bit heavy for the trunk and could be reduced a bit, but still, who wouldn't want a tree like this in their collection?

BBG6Here's the tree at the top, sans leaves. Not only does this photo allow you to see the fine ramification, but the gnarled old bark stands out more without the large canopy of bright leaves.


BBG5This Prunus mume variety is aptly name 'Bonita.' I took the liberty to do some radical cropping. Here's the original.

All the photos in this post are from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden bonsai collection. Here’s their website and here they are on facebook.

Towering Bonsai and Other Happy Accidents


Pretty flashy, but it has character that will come through even after the the color fades. It's a Japanese wisteria (Wisteria floribunda) that belongs to Tobie Kleynhans.

The Happy Accident in the title is from a post we did two days ago that features bonsai by Tobie Kleynhans. Just so you don’t misunderstand, it was our discovery of Tobie’s bonsai that’s the accident, not his bonsai, which are the happy part. Tobie lives and practices bonsai in South Africa.


Bastard olive. Tobie lists this as a False olive (Buddleja saligna). To quote Wikipedai.. Buddleja saligna, the false, or bastard olive, is almost endemic to South Africa where it has a wide distribution. It occurs most often in ravines and against outcrops, and is distributed from coastal elevations to the central plateau at elevations of < 2000 m. The species was first described and named by Willdenowin 1809. It is stricktly South Aftican.



Bougainvillea Peruviana. One of about 18 species of Bougainvillea, a native South American genus.



Another False olive (Buddleja saligna), though quite different than the one above.



I like this one. Even though it's a Juniper, it reminds me just a bit of the towering* White pines (Pinus strobus),  a dominant tree in much of the Northeastern U.S and Eastern Canada. It's a Sargent juniper (J. chinensis) - probably Shimpaku, but I can't tell for sure.
 * towering by East Coast standards

Mugo’s Magnificent Bonsai


This magnificent Japanese beech (Fagus crenatawas posted by Enzo 'Mugo' Ferrari. Though the trunk and nebari are about as good as it gets, the primary branching still needs some time to develop. Right now there are branches in the crown that are as strong as the first and second branches. Mugo's skillful hand and eye and a few more years are all that's needed for perfection

Today’s photos are from Mugo (Enzo) Ferrari’s timeline. I think all but one were shot at the recent 2018 Miyabi Ten Bonsai Exhibition in Cison di Valmarino, Italy



Great tree and without a doubt one of the best bonsai shadows you'll ever see.



This one looks like it's just about ready for a new pot



Pine and shadows in display with companion at the 2018 Miyabi Ten Bonsai Exhibition in Cison di Valmarino Italy.


Our lead tree from above also in display at Miyabi Ten Bonsai Exhibition

“Maybe Not the Best Bonsai in the World, but I Love Them All”


This Trident maple in its coat of many colors belongs to Tobie Kleyhans.

One of the great perks of this job is the happy accident. Today’s is the discovery of Tobie Kleyhans’ bonsai. Tobie lives in South Africa and here’s something from his  facebook timeline that I like … “Celebrating 20 happy bonsai years! I started this fascinating hobby during the first week of March 1998 and since then had heaps of fun, met the most wonderful people and encountered truly remarkable trees. Here are some of my favourite trees. Maybe not the best in the world, but I love them all.


Boug (aka Bougainvillea glabra)



Black monkey thorn (Acacia burkei). I like the rugged bark and simple lines, but I can't tell what that is around the base of the trunk. Any ideas?


Without making too big a fuss, this Blaauw juniper (Juniperus chinensis blaauw) raft is natural, uncontrived and perfectly in scale. Nice pot too.



Here's another one I like. It's a Juniperus virginiana, one of our North American junipers. We usually call it Eastern red cedar (it's still a juniper, not a cedar; common names can be a bit confusing). Tobie calls it a Pencil cedar, but no mater what you call it, it's still a juniper

Tiny Pots, Tiny Trees…

tinyThis tiny Shimpaku juniper belongs to Yoshiyuki Kawada.

Staying with our little trees theme, but moving from Haruyosi to another Japanese artist who also makes their own small pots and plants them with small trees (even smaller than Haruyosi’s). His name is Yoshiyuki Kawada, and though I’m just becoming familiar with his trees and pots, so far I’m impressed (this post originally appeared here in November, 2016 – with some changes today). 


Another little Shimpaku. This one has a powerful feel for such a small tree



Tiny Pyracantha with smoke



Itty-bitty pot


Is this a Crape myrtle?



Nice glaze

Haruyosi’s Flowers


This little Japanese quince (Chaenomeles speciosa) looks old and yet is so small. I know I've mentioned this before, but there's something about the brilliance and purity of quince flowers.

Time to visit Haruyosi, one of our all time favorites, especially when it comes to very small bonsai. Some of these photos were just taken in the last few days and others are from years gone by


This photo was take two days ago (March 3rd). Here's Haruyosi's caption... "This cherry tree 'Okame' bloomed half a month earlier than last year. (Prunus incamp cv. Okame)"





Prunus mume. I like this shot with just a touch of the pot showing


Here the whole tree in its brilliant red pot. Red pots are unusual in bonsai. The glaze is expensive and such a strong color can distract from even the most brilliant tree.

har1-1More delicate spring beauty. This time the pot is yellow. It turns out that, like red pots, yellow pots aren't all that common. The tree is Malus halliana (Hall's crapapple).



Another Prunus mume



I think this one qualifies as Mame ('bean' in Japanese), a common word for the smallest bonsai. Both the tree (Pyracatha) and pot are by Haruyosi.

har41Just another of Haruyosi's masterpiece pots. Red and yellow together, but I guess you probably noticed. 

Fat Trunks, Small Pots



Japanese maple, borrowed from Bill Valavanis' blog. Bill took this photo at this year's Kokufu (the World's oldest and most prestigious bonsai exhibition) along with several dozen shots of other remarkable trees. But there's something about this one that keep me coming back. Part is the way the massive trunk almost fills the pot, something you don't see every day and almost never with Japanese maples. And there's more, including the tree's unusual movement and direction that might make you wonder what it would look like shot from other angles.

With the exception of the tree above, all the bonsai shown here belong to Tomohiro Masumi.  All, including the tree above have the full-pot look in common. And by the way, I have no real problem with this, but I do wonder if the relatively small pots are for show, and if the trees spend time in pots that are more conducive to long term health.


TMAINTime to repot? I'm not sure I've ever seen a tree with a nebari that fills the entire pot. Tomohiro Masumi doesn't say what the tree is with any of these photos



Another case of the stuffed pot syndrome. Looks like a Japanese black pine


You  can see just a little soil around the trunk here. And check out the taper!



Another Japanese black pine?

Celebrate Our Bonsai Museum & Cast Your Vote


The sky blue pot is the perfect compliment to the light pink flowers on this powerful Satsuki Azalea that resides at the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum in Washington DC. There are a multitude of cultivars in the Satsuki group of azaleas. This one is a ‘Nikko.’ It was donated to the museum by Masayuki Nakamura.

Continuing with our National Bonsai & Penjing Museum theme from yesterday, here are some photos and text from three of our original Museum posts (dating all the way back to March, 2010).

Meanwhile, I would like to encourage you to support the Museum
by casting your votes at these two links…
“Best Place to Take an Out-of-Towner” (People & Places)
“Best Museum off the Mall” (Arts & Entertainment)

autarts115 years in training! This dignified old Zelkova serrata lives at the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum. It was donated by Yoshibumi Itoigawa and has been in training since 1895.

A bright autumn moon –
in the shade of each grass blade
a cricket chirping
Yosa Buson (1716-83)


Chrysanthemum Stone from Neodani, Gifu Prefecture, Japan. On loan to the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum from Thomas S. Elias (this is from 2010, so I don't know if it's still there). Woodblock print illustration is BAIREI’S ONE HUNDRED CHRYSANTHEMUMS (Bairei kiku hyakushu). Designs by Kono Bairei (1844-95). Woodblock-printed book, 1891.


A truly distinctive tree showing off its fall colors and much more. Here’s Capital Bonsai’s caption… “Trident Maple, Donated by Stanley Chin, Age Unknown.
 autart2Sotdae. Kusamono: Pygmy bamboo (Pleioblastus pygmaeus) & Wild Ducks. Artwork created by Sam-Kyun Yoon. Inspired by a traditional Korean folk art called sotdae. Placing large sotdae at the entrance to a village is a very old Korean tradition still practiced today. The carved ducks atop tall wooden poles are thought to guard against calamities and disasters.

Vote for the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum

If you are not already a friend and supporter of the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum, there’s no time like now to start.

What follows is a letter from the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum that I am very happy to pass along to you…

Dear friend of NBF,
As the home of the nation’s most historic bonsai collection and a center for education and culture, the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum is a destination for lovers of nature and art worldwide.

Like you, we at the National Bonsai Foundation share a love for this beautiful space, and we are hoping you can help us spread the word about the Museum to the Washington, D.C. community.

Voting is now open for the Washington City Paper’s 2018 “Best of D.C.” awards, and you can help us by casting your vote for the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum in the following categories:

“Best Place to Take an Out-of-Towner” (People & Places)

“Best Museum off the Mall” (Arts & Entertainment)

To vote, click on the above links and enter “National Bonsai & Penjing Museum” in the correct categories. These are two distinct links, so to vote for the museum in both categories, you will have to visit each link separately.

Voting is open until March 4 at 11:59 pm Eastern. You do not have to be in D.C. to participate, so please share this email far and wide.
Thank you for your continued support of the National Bonsai Foundation and the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum.

Avery Anapol
Communications Assistant
The National Bonsai & Penjing Museum

1241-1This brilliant Japanese Maple was donated to our National Bonsai and Penjing Museum by Ryutaro Azuma. It has been in training since 1906. The photo is from Capital Bonsai.