Deciduous

01. Japanese Maple

This is a maple I aquired in the year 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. Due to the density of the canopy, partial defoliation needs to be done each year in early summer. One out of each pair of leaves is cut off in order to let air and light into the interior parts of the tree. 

 

This maple stands 18" tall from soil level. It is planted in a old Shuho container. 

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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. Eventually it was acquired by Ryan Neil who further developed it for several years. It was featured in two of Mirai's live streams. In 2018 I purchased the tree from Mirai 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. The container is of European origin.

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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 in my experience are quite resistant to leaf burn and stand up well even after spending a whole season under the hot sun. A good maple collection is not complete without one gracing your benches.

 

This tree stands 26" tall from soil level. It is planted in a Koyo container. 

 

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03. Japanese Maple Arakawa
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. Planted in a Yamafusa pot.

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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 chartruse 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 (BARROSINC): "SPINNING THROUGH THE SEASONS".

It stands 28" from soil level. It is planted in a beautiful sky blue glazed Reiho container.

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05. Japanese Maple Sharp's Pygmy

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 Yixing ware from China.

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07. Japanese Maple

This is a large Japanese maple originally acquired from the Growing Grounds in NC. It has a unique and natural shari at the base which gives this tree its own special character. Due to carelessness during shipping when it was first sent to me, the entire apex was destroyed and had to be rebuilt almost from scratch. It still needs further development.

This maple stands 32" high from soil level. Container is a custom made by Ron Lang.

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08. Japanese Maple Shohin

Shohin Japanese maple with a powerful trunk and nebari. This maple has natually tiny buds and short internodes. I am working towards building a wider canopy to be more harmonious with the size of the trunk. 

The tree stands 5" tall from soil level. It is planted in a Satomi Terahata container. 

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09. 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. Planting is supported by a granite slab. 

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10. Japanese Maple Forest

I purchased this forest from Jim Doyle at Nature's Way in 1999. Throughout the years, this composition has seen many different variations. I have added trees, taken some away just to add more later on. I have turned some trees around, cut them down and tilted some others in the ever lasting quest of improving the image. The forest is beginning to mature and the design is finally settling and looking more natural. 

Forest stands 27" high from soil level. Container is Japanese of unknown provenance. 

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11. 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 tough tree and very forgiving, making this species an excellent choice for bonsai. Due to their vigor, they often bud back anywhere along the trunk, branches and branch forks. One must be attentive and remove these unwanted shoots early on unless a branch is needed. 

Maple stands 16" from soil level. In a Yamafusa container from Tokoname. 

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12. 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. 

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13. The Minarai/M5 project

The idea for this Japanese maple forest came to me one snowy day in the middle January of 2017. I envisioned to create a composition with a dense stand of trees as if affected by wind exposure making them all grow in one direction. I wanted this forest to be very shallow from front to back but very wide. For this, I called upon Roy Minarai, by now a well known ceramist for his exquisite and unique glazes, to make a custom pot for this composition. Roy quickly went to work making a beautiful pot that complements the dense planting beautifully. This project was dubbed "The Not Shohin" forest as this was the first and biggest container that Roy had made to date. Up until then, he had primarily worked on shohin pots.

This forest stands 20" from soil level. The pot itself is 30" x 9.5" x 1.5".  

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14. Zelkova

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. It is paired with a Housyu container.

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