Saturdays workshop an impression.

DSCF2582.jpgOn We always start our workshops with a discussion about all the trees. This is interesting for every participant. During the discussion I show an example of every technique that has to be done.

DSCF2600.jpgDoing some grafting work; give a trident maple new branches.

DSCF2604.jpgAnother Trident maple that was missing one important branch, I did a branch grafting on the side. This is another technique without drilling through the trunc.

DSCF2628.jpgDiscussing the styling of a Mugo Yamadori.

DSCF2677.jpgSome pré styling on Junipers.

DSCF2682.jpgCreating more deadwood on a Juniper yamadori.

All together on that day there was worked on about 25 trees of 8 different students. This is how it works, some people start trees up, others come back for the next step on their tree, some trees come in for check up, some restylings etc. We always try to follow up all the trees that has been start up over the years.

Carpinus Forest.

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These Carpinus betulus were cultivated in our nursery especially for making group plantings & forests. Like our other material they were also cultivated a couple of years in pot and in the field.

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Selecting a good variation is important; we need different sizes in thickness of the trunks, different heights and especially differences in age. Like every natural looking forest we need to see the diffence between the oldest, middle aged and youngest trees. The root balls were also very compact and good enough to do the first step.

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The first composition with this group of trees, planting them the closest together as possible, happens in a wooden box. We let them grow together for a couple of years.

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One year later we were able to bring the trees more compact and make a new and better composition. The root balls were now so good that we could prune the rootsystem near to the trunks without taking any risk. With such good prepared material we can plant the trees very close to one another. This was the botanical part. Estetically we created a good harmony in the movement of the trunks, different distances between all the trees, a good depth in the whole forest and the goal was to create a forest that you see from a certain distance; that means a group of trees that make a small forest in an open landscape.


The whole composition has to grow to one piece, in the meantime we do the maintance work, branch selection, wiring, pruning for ramifications. It is important that every individual tree has his own caracter and still create a harmony together with the other trees. All this takes a couple of years.


The step to a flat bonsaipot was possible. On the rootball you can see that it is now one piece, all the roots are growing connected with each other and the root pruning was possible to make it flat and go in a landscape pot. We selected a hand made pot for the final destination of the group.


The forest as it looks now recently. In reality it is much more impressive than on the photo. The forest is about 90cm high and over 1m wide. The ramifications of the trees has developped already very good. Thanks to Micky, one of my students, with whome I did the project over the years to create a unique piece of bonsai. This is a good example of making a programm for your creation. The making of is not done in one step “before and after”, but preparing and improving step by step. Time and timing will always lead you to a succesfull result.

Red Pine Yamadori.


This Pinus densiflora is a Korean Yamadori. I started this up with one of my students about 7 years ago.


We decided to keep this yamadori as natural as possible by doing only the necessary work like create some jins on removed branches, cleaning out the needles and select some branches.


Only the needles around the budding parts were kept on the tree. By doing this we were stimulating backbudding.


The tree is only wired once without a big change in the original natural shape. This was our goal to follow the natural way of growing without putting the tree under stress. On yesterdays workshop the tree came back on the table to check the next step.


The owner did every year just the necessary work of cleaning the needles and I did every year a selection in ramification. This material can be kept like this and is easy to maintain than we can talk about a natural grown bonsai. It also can be used now as extremely good starting material to reshape the tree in a completely different style. I gave the owner the choice and he wants to go further on the natural way because this is something special in his collection. With this example I show you another vision on bonsai and respect nature as much as possible without interfering. The tree did most of the work and we helped just a little.