Six-handed yamadori_ Acer campestre

First yamadori of 2018
By far the largest one I have ever collected.  Single handed. 

I have been circling  this tree for a good number of years.   Years of rejections, hopes and doubts:
Too big....
Well, ok it is a little bit overgrown  but...
No chance....
C'mon man!
Forget it!

A caveman sledge to get the beast home.   I guess there is more than 50 kg of wood and soil.

 A carton of Glenmorangie 0,7 l as a measure.   I thought a bottle of beer is not a good match for this kind of tree:)

Height: 120 cm.   Size of the box  75*65*30 cm.

The tree will leave me in next few hours and will be heading for his new home...

Unless I will change my mind?!



With the temps in the red zones and the "March look" of the garden,  it is quite difficult to suppress the urging need to get out to collect yamadories or to start with some sort of bonsai activities.  In fact I have brought one of my birches to my workshop just to see how it looks. Within a minute I have found myself with a pruning shears ready to tackle to poor lady...   The temptation was really a great one,  but at the end the common sense has taken the upper hand.   Its January.  Who knows what surprises has the Mother Nature in her handbag ready for us...

So lets assume it is a "normal" January.  (OK, I know, that's really a crap, there is no more such a thing as a normal weather anymore. Anyway...)  Good time for skiing as far as I am concerned.   Well deserved rest time for the  majority of my trees.   A good time to revise  plans for the development of my trees in the upcoming growing season.  Last but not least:  a good time to please my mind with some blossoms...

Semideciduous Azalea

Bonsai, Azalea, Blossoms

 Ulmus glabra_wych elm

Yamadori collected in the spring 2017.   Love on a first sight.

I plan to  remove the parts of the trunks  in the late spring/early summer as indicated on the pic below.  Any other idea will be welcomed.

wych elm, jilm, yamadori


Cleaning my photobucket

Nearly missed to share a pic of my old friend Spidee.  She is a bit shy, not very fond of going public...  Isn't she lovely?

Height: 17 cm

Hornbeam, habr, shohin, yamadori, prebonsai

Enough is enough...  Finally,  I have decided to tackle the anchoring tail (circled )  and to grow more surface roots. 

But first I need to make sure that the current FRONT is still the most appropriate one.   The longer I look at it the more doubts are crossing my mind...


Portable smoking chamber_indispensable part of a Japanese garden ( sort of ...)

If you can manufacture with water, then you cannot loose...   This was  a learning that I have got from an old retail practitioner  who made most of his carrier and fortune during the so called socialist era of the country I live.

Clearly I wasn't the only one to learn this wisdom.  Definitely not here in CZ.   Water, water and water.   We buy added water with fish, meat, processed food,  salads, bakery products and probably many more others. 

Last spring I decided to build a portable smoking chamber to make a home made products I was familiar with as a kid who lived in a small village.  Home smoked hams ( meat from home fattened pigs,  smoked rabbits,  meat saussages... During the years I have lost the original taste of it. The only thing I have remembered was the happiness I have felt observing the preparatory work and tasting the finished products.  No worries that the freshly bought ham from a superstore or local butcher will swim away if you leave it unattended for a while as it is the case these days. 

I have considered different options  and at the end I have used the lower part of the Weber kettle grill.  Added a remote fireplace, sizeable stainless tube as a smoking chamber and  a chimney.  Done.


Clearly I still need to find out how to get a raw meat without the added water.     

In the meantime I have ordered some books for Xmas.
Mammoth Hunters
Robin Hood and some others...


Prunus spinosa_Midway

The tree is slowly recovering from the problems in 2016.   Still it doesn't look the way that would  give my soul and mind peace.   I think that the best I can do here is just to place the pure beast in the sun in a place well hidden from my impatient fingers and leave it there for a season. At least.

Spring 2017
Despite all my mismanagement the tree has flowered nicely.  At least on the remaining branches :(

Winter 2017

I have pruned the new growth on the top in a hope to enforce some back budding in this area.  I hope the pure beast will cope with that...
The threadgrafted branch started in 2016  has been left untouched. ( you can see it in the middle of the trunk )  It seems it is going to take nevertheless  I will leave it connected to the feeder for another season. Just to be sure.   The sacrifice branches on the bottom section of the trunk are still there to add some badly needed horsepower to the roots.

Previous article about this sloe here


Cornus mas_Cascade_Winter silhouette 2017

Cornelian cherries are one of the most attractive deciduous trees for bonsai.   Not easy in terms of development ( I should really take some deshi time at Maros's ) and they will always look a bit rough.   But in any other aspect they are just great.  At least for me.   ( Well, one should not take this too seriously. As my wood guru said: "If there is not the timber  I love,  then I love the one that is available here".  )

The wood of  Cornelian cherries is extremely hard. Dense and Hard.  Difficult to carve but very resistant to the rot.  It means the deadwood is a quite natural feature.  

The flowers are quite special.  First the flower buds are formed into small but distinctive balls that makes this tree look through the rest of the season different from any other species in our region.    The buds are formed in the summer and they are really very keen to show their unpretending beauty as soon as possible once the first winter snow starts melting.  

I do love the red colour of the fruits.  It varies from straight red to purple one ( some varieties are yellow though ), tastes bitter but there are some domesticated forms that are quite sweet.  The wild boars love them.  And not only them.  The well ripened fruits disappear quite quickly.  Then you will find around the tree only small heaps of the fruit stones...
Anyway the fruit are delicious to make a jam but the labour to make it  is awful...

Apart from the jam, the fruit can be used for  much more usable product - a spirit.  At least in our Slav region.  Other nations were more practical using the excellent quality of the wood to make weapons such as spears etc.   Very practical indeed.  With a good spear you can have all the jam and spirit you like if you like...

So, grab the Cornelian cherry if you have a chance...

It is time to get a new pot for this little guy.  Some more time for fine tuning and we are there.  Well, nearly...  One or two, perhaps three more seasons? Who cares, bonsai is about the change and about the constant search for the best angle:) 

Cornus mas, yamadori, bonsai, dřín, deadwood

Cornus mas, yamadori, bonsai, dřín, blossom buds
Some flower buds in a starting block for next season

Cornus mas, yamadori, bonsai, dřín, deadwood

Initial article about this tree here


Prunus mahaleb_ The Dancing Snake. Deadwood all-over...

How much dead wood is too much???   Well,  if I look on some specimen of Prunus mume I know there are no limits for that.   So lets go and see what the tree will look like in another 5 years from now.  I certainly hope for more visible progress... 😎

Finally,  I have separated the stronger of the two threadgrafts.  The other one doesn't look like it is ready to go without the feeder.  Let see how it goes next season...

yamadori, prunus mahaleb, deadwood, jin, threadgrafts


yamadori, prunus mahaleb, deadwood, jin, threadgrafts

yamadori, prunus mahaleb, deadwood, jin, threadgrafts


Six-handed yamadori_ Acer campestre

First yamadori of 2018 By far the largest one I have ever collected.  Single handed.  I have been circling  this tree for a good number o...