Larch #6

I bought this tree a couple weeks ago at the Kromeriz exhibition because I wanted a tree that could become an interesting looking literati for a relatively low yamadori price. Also, just to challenge myself and see what I could come up with from more or less boring or very average material. Again, I would like to hopefully motivate people that decent trees can be created from material that will keep your wallet happy.

Here is the tree as bought.
The nebari is actually not too bad once I’ll be able to cut back the long root that moves all the way to the end of the training pot. However, since it is planted not completely center and this long root was left, it may take a couple re-poting sessions (maybe 4 years) to get the root mass back to the trunk.

The following day, I jumped on this tree and styled it as well as created some deadwood and treated it with dyed lime-sulfur.

While I was wiring the crown I took a step back and realized that I probably won’t ever like this design and that actually a very compact literati could be made. Perhaps I made a mistake in making the deadwood and not incorporating the removal of the lower branches into the design. I made a photo edit showing my future vision of what this tree could be and I might actually bring this design into reality fairly soon.

Maybe I’ll do it in the spring, but the first step is having a look at the rootball at that time and deciding what to do from there.



Dwarf Alberta Spruce

I wanted to update you with a tree that I’ve had since I started all over with Bonsai, here in the Czech Republic. It’s a species that I don’t recommend for beginners and nor does the rest of the Bonsai community. The cheap price and their natural tree-like appearance at nurseries make them obvious and appealing choices for starters. However, Spruce do not like to be rushed and usually one picks them up, brings them home, cuts the life out of them and shapes their upright branches into straight branches or even rainbow shaped arches. They usually end up dying after such abuse and poor care or die back and just look awful. How many have you seen at Bonsai exhibits? I have actually only seen two.

Harry Harrington has a great and informative website called I recommend having a look there for guidance if you’re a beginner but even if you are an expert I believe you can find a lot of inspiration and perhaps, even new information there.

But, I am getting a bit off point, here’s a link that’s directly related to caring for and getting results from the infamous Dwarf Alberta Spruce:

Here are my results so far.


First re-pot from the nursery container in the fall of 2012, and has been styled for about a year. I was really inspired by one of Walter Pall’s Spruce and I also wanted to create a high-alpine style tree. Bottom branches are left to help with growth and also fatten up the base if possible. This was Spring 2013


I let the tree grow freely this 2014 season with as much growth as possible.


First wiring came off, late summer 2014. You can see that I let the wire bite in somewhat, this is bad on some trees but for most conifers and especially Spruce, you should let the wire bite a little, otherwise your styling work will be pointless. As you can see the branches swung right back up again.

From this point on, I couldn’t find any pictures of the 2nd re-potting to something that resembles a stone from Mr. Jiri Svacina who is a great pot-maker and lives just outside of Brno in the village, Zastavka u Brna. This re-pot happened in spring of 2015 and the tree was wired again in September with the bottom branches still attached. You can tell how much I loved this poor tree.


Jumping forward to Spring 2017. Here is the 3rd re-pot, which I did so that I could lower the tree a little more and move the feeder roots closer to the trunk. You can see that at this time I also eliminated the bottom branches as I did not think they were adding so much and I wanted to finally get a better image out of this tree. I also gave the tree a bad wiring job in September of 2016, this was just to get the branches to hold their position. Wire was removed at this time so that it could recover from the re-potting process as best as possible.


Here is the little Dwarf today. I am very pleased with how it’s progressing. Do you see mountains in the background?



Bonsai should look good from all angles, I tried to make that happen here. I also hope that this tree will keep improving and that it may motivate you to take a second look at boring nursery material.

Have a good one!


Kromeriz exhibit 2017

Howdy to all and I hope you enjoyed the last bit of summer, a lot happened but it just seemed like it was May a few weeks ago. All well, all of the seasons have something to offer. Instead of complaining how hot it is we can now complain of how windy, cold and dark the days are getting….

Last weekend I was able to visit the annual Bonsai show in Kroměříž at the Flora convention center. I left with 4 new trees, an empty wallet, new inspiration and quite a few pictures that I would like to share with you.






That was a lot. Thanks for checking them out.