Number 1 Ready to show

I have finally put all of the pieces together in order to proudly show  for your consideration one of my original 8 REDWOOD seedlings.  I’ve been working on this tree for  20 years now.

Within a couple of days of buying these seedlings they where all planted into 1 qt. pots to start then shoved into the corner for a couple of years to grow.

This was the only start that was planted ROOT OVER ROCK.. It has always been kept in very small amounts of dirt.  The main stem just above the roots  is  3″  diameter. It is 2″ thru, from the dirt to the top of the tree and is 15″ from the counter to the top of the tree,  19″ currently.

It currently is secured into a 2 inch deep and 12 inche wide round.  This old growth Mahogany  bowl was Hand Carved in South East Asia circa 1970’s. The interior of the bowl is treated to withstand water.  The exterior of the bowl is finished with tung oil (multiple coats) and appears to weather without much discoloration.



This bowl came out of a log  that  was at least 30 inches through based on growth rings and the fact we did not see any sign of tree center. it could have been significantly bigger. The young sapwood shows as the lighter color.

The feet are salvaged from the Al’s burn barrel.  These are made of South american tiger stripe.   

Besides the beauty of the piece we are fortunate to have seeds growing  on it.






The seeds started growing a couple of years ago. We’ve had new seeds every year since.  I have not yet tried to grow from these seeds  but look forward to doing so this spring. This spring we will also cut some of the new buds for propagation.

As the lower photos show the top needs some  major trimming.  Tree is still in training!

**This tree is an outdoor tree  except at display times .  When inside it requires misting, and constant water monitoring.

In Metro Portland  we have the best success growing Coastal Redwoods in shaded North and East facings.







This is one of the most unique display pieces you will ever see.  The reason being you have to have the finished vision while running a chain saw to make the cut.

This free-form, natural edged, MAPLE CLUSTER BURL  was cut by me in 1985-87.  I did not know what it was going to be used for but I knew it was worthy.

In fact so worthy that I finished both sides.  When we cut this piece it was fresh and still covered with bark.  The only way to get the bark off of this piece without damaging the surface was to age it in the wood pile outside.  After 2-3 years outside most of the Green moisture is gone from the piece and all off the bark peeled off easily.

img_2067Note the great natural detail and texture.  without a doubt a piece I know I won’t replace any time soon.

img_2060this shows the display with a 9x6x3 inch Japanese  pot from the mid  90’s and  with a Redwood bonsai about 24 inches tall.




Air Layered Acer


The acer in the bottom picture was air layered last year off of the mother tree in the upper picture.

We are now Air layering both mother tree and daughter.


update   12/24/16 this past fall we successfully got another tree off of the top tree.

The one off of the daughter tree is still touch and go,  not seeing many starts for buds but time will tell.


These are not a tree one normally associates with bonsai.  But  to me they are one of the most important trees I work with.

We keep a variety of sizes in various parts of the BONSAI area.

Not only do they add variety to the garden, they also offer color.  We have had 2-3 plants flower in the last couple of years.

But the main reason I grow them is for water indicators.  If any of these guys start to wilt from dryness it tells me the entire garden needs a drink.  IMG_2029The lilac shown in the blue pots is in the 8-9 year old.

3 Big Ones- Coastal Redwoods



When I first started working with trees my initial thought was we would take Costal Redwood starts and grow the trees as small as possible.  Tree 3 shows this, this tree is 18 years old and has always been grown in very little soil. The pot is 15 years old, made in Japan.

Dimensions Pot  3.5 / 9 /12
from soil to top about 24 inches

This tree is the first Redwood I have grown that has developed seed cones 2 years ago.  I harvested a couple of seeds but left most on the tree.


While I haven’t tried to start from seed yet I’m looking forward to that.

The top needs work for sure, I just haven’t decided what is next.  Probably top it then lightning strike the top.


Has been grown in the same style .  This tree is 9 years old .

The oval pot is 9 years old made in Japan.

Dimensions Pot 3 / 7 / 9
from soil to top 24″

Seeds developed last year.  Must be doing something right.



Tree 1 is the youngest of the lot.  It was started 8 years ago.  Planted in a 10 gallon pot to allow it to gain some size.

The pot is 15 years old made in Japan.

Dimensions Pot 2.5 / 11 / 15
from soil to top 24 ”

When we moved, this tree got stuck in the back and grew very well .  In fact it got up to about six feet.  In the Summer of  2014 the heat killed it back , at that time there where only the two main stems.  Two more have started since it was cut down.

All of the wood that came off the tree  is shown in the top photo.


next on the top I’ll drill down through the bare spot and “Naturalize” it.



I ended up doing 4 prototype Bonsai displays in all.  Only two of the four where used outside and had minimal care.  Prototypes one and two  where made by picking up the nearest thick piece of wood and cutting it with the bandsaw  three and four had a lot more care and selection in the pieces to be used.



Compared to the last photos the pots discolored due to weather and minimal care.  The inside edge next to dirt worked very well, i coated the wood with Epoxy Resin to seal it. Plastic bottoms worked as desired.  Also I secured feet or stands to each pot.


After spending about an hour on each pot I got everything cleaned,  sanded, filled and finished.  Any wood vessels left in the Pacific Northwest elements are going to require minimal care to keep it lasting  a long time and “LOOKING GOOD”

The pot on the left is mahogany and the bottom right one is Walnut with natural edge.





19 years and Counting

It hardly seems possible but it’s been 19 years since I bought my by first trees.  I still have most of those Coastal Redwoods. I wish I had started Bonsai much earlier in Life because I know I have gotten much more out of my Trees than I have given them.

It takes dirt under your finger nails to get it.  Just like life no tree is ever finished.  As  it grows it changes.  While we can direct and form some of those changes ,we can only receive  what the tree is willing to give us. You have to handle each tree on its own.

Besides loving Bonsai I am also a professional Woodworker.  As such I  continue to work with my Bonsai trees even after they have died.  Most of my oldest trees have been grown with that in mind. We have finally started making Bonsai display pieces, we want these to blend with the tree they are displaying.

Living in the Pacific Northwest we are blessed with a great outdoors close by.  I can be on Mt Hood or at the coast in 45-75 minutes.  These areas come into play in that they let me  gather stones, small driftwood, anything I can use in my BONSAI anBURL display, and go fishing.