Deciduous

01. Japanese Maple

This is a maple I acquired in 2000 from Frank Mihalic. This tree got me started on what was to become a total obsession with Japanese maples. Throughout the years I have worked carefully in building a densely ramified canopy while keeping all areas in balance with each other. I also have made some root grafts in order to further improve the nebari. 

 

This maple stands 18" tall from soil level. Container is by Shuho, Japan.

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Spring 2016

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November 2014
November 2014

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Autumn, circa 2006

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Spring 2016

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02. Tilia Cordata 

Tilia cordata (little-leaf linden) is native to and widespread throughout much of Europe. This tree came originally from Randy Knight. Jason Gamby did much of the initial work with Walter Pall. In 2010 it came under the care of Ryan Neil who further developed it and eventually featured it in two of Mirai's live streams. In 2018 I purchased the tree and is now part of the M5 Bonsai Works permanent collection. 

This tilia has a massive trunk with exceptional bark quality that contrast beautifully with the winter wine red buds. Extremely hardy and durable species that endures well the hardships of winter. The heart-shaped leaves attain a clear canary yellow in autumn. 

 

This tree stands 22" from soil level. Container is by Horst Heinzlreiter, Germany.

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June 2021
June 2021

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August 2019.

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Heart-shaped leaves turning a beautiful yellow. October 2018.

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June 2021
June 2021

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Arakawa maples are a classic bonsai subject. Their beautifully textured bark with their brilliant spring and autumn color makes this variety an exceptional choice. I have been working with this tree for several years now, slowly building a well ramified canopy and continuously improving the nebari through a series of root grafts. Arakawa are quite resistant to leaf burn and stand up well even after spending a whole season under the hot sun. This particular specimen is unusual in the fact that its spring leaves are red in contrast to most arakawa maples that are green. This tree has appeared in International Bonsai Magazine issue# 3, 2020. 

This tree stands 26" tall from soil level. Container is by Koyo, Japan.  

 

Please click on the image to enlarge and obtain further information about this tree.

03. Japanese Maple Arakawa
April 2021
April 2021

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Spring 2021 (detail)
Spring 2021 (detail)

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Spring 2013. The tree shortly after purchase.

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April 2021
April 2021

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04. Japanese Maple Kashima

This kashima maple was originally purchased from Suthin Sukolsovisit who had imported the tree from Japan many years ago. Kashima fall under the yatsubusa group of maples with beautiful small leaves that have a distinctive orange cast in spring. Due to an overwintering mishap, the tree suffered greatly and most of it died back in early spring 2011. Since then, I have been rebuilding the entire tree with a new and more compact canopy. Kashima maples are basally dominant so one must keep lower areas in check to prevent the apex from weakening.

This maple is 16" tall from soil level. Container is by Yamafusa, Japan.

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Spring 2017 budding sequence. The maple keeps progressing well with more intricate ramification taking place. The top third in particular needs more development.

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Summer 2011

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Before and after. It has come a long way!

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Spring 2017 budding sequence. The maple keeps progressing well with more intricate ramification taking place. The top third in particular needs more development.

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Sharp's Pygmy maples are considered to be a dwarf cultivar and as such they produce small leaves and short internodes making it an ideal subject for bonsai. The leaves are deeply incised that are a bright chartreuse green in early spring giving way to an intense red and orange color in the fall. 

 

This tree was honored with the "FINEST DECIDUOUS BONSAI" award at the 4th US National Bonsai Exhibition in 2014. It was also featured in Bonsai Focus magazine #138/161. In addition, Bonsai Bark did a write-up with a link to a 360 seasonal transformation movie I made in collaboration with Maximiliano Barros: "Spinning through the Seasons".

It stands 28" from soil level. Container is by Reiho, Japan.

Please click on the image to enlarge and obtain further information about this tree.

 

 

 

05. Japanese Maple Sharp's Pygmy

March 2018.

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Detail, March 2018.

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The maple as displayed at the 4th US National, September 2014. Shortly before the exhibit, the tree was taken out and repositioned within the container. A risky move to do in late summer. The decision paid off with the tree winning "FINEST DECIDUOUS BONSAI" at the exhibit.

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March 2018.

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06. Japanese Maple 

I obtained this tree as a piece of well developed stock from Karen Proctor in Rochester, NY back in 2009. Eventually I sought to improve the overall design by air layering one of its lower branches and then grafted it at the base to create a twin trunk bonsai. I have also improved the nebari with root grafts with perhaps more to come in the future. This tree was featured in an article in International Bonsai Magazine 2015 issue#2 with a detailed account of how it was created. 

This bonsai is 30" high from soil level. The container is by Mazan, Japan.

Please click on the image to enlarge and obtain further information about this tree.

March 2021
March 2021

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Detail, January 2019.

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Before and after. The image on the left shows the maple with its recently grafted second trunk and a whip used for a root graft on the left side of the nebari.

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March 2021
March 2021

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07. Japanese Maple 'Kiyohime'

This maple was acquired from Suthin Sukosolvisit in 2007. It was originally created as an informal upright shohin bonsai. In late winter of 2014 the tree suffered extensive dieback due to an overwintering error with only the main branch surviving the incident. It was then decided to turn it into a cascade style bonsai in an effort to salvage what was left of it. Last year it was yet again re-envisioned as a root-over-rock design. 

This maple stands 12" high from soil level. Container is by Michael Murphy, USA.

Please click on the image to enlarge and obtain further information about this tree.

August 2021
August 2021

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March 2015
March 2015

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August 2021
August 2021

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08. Japanese Beech Forest

Originally imported from Japan, this Japanese white beech forest eventually became part of the famous Kennett Collection in Kennett, PA. I purchased this bonsai at the highly anticipated Kennett Collection sale event that was held at the Gateway Garden Center in Delaware. Originally what was intended to be the back of the forest I used as the new front. The trees have a beautiful white bark that is striking specially in winter. It was accepted and shown at the 6th US National on September 2016. A few months later, on December 2016, this tree was honored with the "BEST IN SHOW" award at the Winter Silhouette Bonsai Expo in Kannapolis, NC. 

This bonsai stands 26" tall from the base of the trees with a 36" wide canopy. Planted in a granite slab. 

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IMG_1529_2

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Detail, December 2018.

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The beech forest (lower center) during the Kennett sale held at the Gateway Garden Center in Delaware. Photo courtesy of Capital Bonsai.

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IMG_1529_2

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09. European Copper Beech

This tree was originally created by Bill Valavanis. Many years later, it was acquired in a trade with my good friend and talented bonsai practitioner Judy Barto. European beech (Fagus sylvatica) tend to be easier than Japanese beech (Fagus crenata) in their care. It responds readily to horticultural techniques thanks to their vigor. They can bud back with relative ease as long as correct timing is chosen in applying various techniques. A tall, quiet and elegant tree with striking spring and autumn coloration. It is most appreciated it in winter with its delicate, airy character and light gray bark. 

Tree stands 32" high from soil level. Container is by Yamafusa, Japan.  

Please click on the image to enlarge and obtain further information about this tree.

June 2021
June 2021

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Detail, February 2019
Detail, February 2019

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June 2021
June 2021

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10. Amur Maple

Amur maple (acer ginnala) is native to Russia and northern China. A small tree in nature considered an invasive species primarily due to the abundance of seeds it produces yearly. They are quite vigorous, leaves reduce in size readily and produce stunning autumn color. It requires little to no winter protection even in areas with frigid temperatures. A very hardy and forgiving species, making it an excellent choice for bonsai. Due to their vigor, they often bud back anywhere including the trunk. One must be attentive and remove these unwanted shoots early on unless of course they are needed. 

Maple stands 16" from soil level. Container is by Yamafusa, Japan. 

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The tree was photographed throughout all four seasons starting in 2016 with the last photo taken in spring 2017.

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October 2016. The maple is ramifying well. The base of the main branches need thickening to improve the transition from the trunk.

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It has developed well in just over a year. It will still need more time for the canopy to get more density and the design to mature. I am aiming for a broad and dense crown.

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The tree was photographed throughout all four seasons starting in 2016 with the last photo taken in spring 2017.

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11. The Randy Knight Maple

This Japanese maple originally came from Randy Knight, the now legendary West Coast tree collector of big, great conifers. This old maple was field grown in a nursery and somehow Randy obtained it along with several other similar maples from the same source. This tree is unusual in that it has a lot of deadwood for a deciduous species, let alone a Japanese maple. As I understand, it was also part of a Walter Pall workshop at some point. Originally the soil line was about 2" higher, hiding a powerful nebari underneath. 

This tree stands 16" from soil level. Planted in a glazed Chinese pot only for training purposes. 

Please click on the image to enlarge and obtain further information about this tree.

Early winter 2016. It was completely wired once again. By June of 2017, all the branches should be set and wire will be removed at that time. Now, balancing the energy of the tree becomes very important so any strong shoots will be pinched before they fully open in spring.

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In June of 2015, the maple was defoliated and some of the branches wired again.

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Early winter 2016. It was completely wired once again. By June of 2017, all the branches should be set and wire will be removed at that time. Now, balancing the energy of the tree becomes very important so any strong shoots will be pinched before they fully open in spring.

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12. Zelkova Serrata

This zelkova shohin originally imported from Japan, is designed in the traditional formal broom style. I continue to develop its nebari and further refine its dense and intricate canopy.

This tree stands 7" from soil level. Container is by Housyu, Japan.

Please click on the image to enlarge and obtain further information about this tree.

January 2020.

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IMG_4041

Detail, January 2020.

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Winter 2017. The tree's small size makes for a very charming image.

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January 2020.

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13. Yatsubusa Elm

This Yatsubusa elm (Ulmus parvifolia 'Yatsubusa') was acquired in May 2017 directly from Ryan Neil at Mirai. A very old tree that had been grown for propagation purposes for many decades in the Wyllamette Valley, Oregon. After the land was sold to a developer, Ryan stepped in and purchased some of these old trees with the intent of making them into bonsai. One of its most striking features is the incredibly fissured bark. Along with it, the tiny dark green leaves impart a very believable scale to the image it presents. 

This tree stands 7" from soil level. It is paired with a Housyu container.

Please click on the image to enlarge and obtain further information about this tree.

March 2021
March 2021

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March 2021 (detail)
March 2021 (detail)

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March 2021
March 2021

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