Grafted yamadori Juniper.

Jun kettingz_1..jpg

In the beginning of 2000 I had a big Juniper yamadori from Japan. The first branches started very high, about at 1m60. I decided to bring a long branch from the tree down and grafted him in the life vein.


Jun kettingz_1detail.jpg                                    Jun kettingz_1detail_2.jpg

The life vein was thick enough to graft but to be sure that the upperpart would survive I had to leave at both sides a little bit living space. It was important that I carved deep enough. The long branch was flexibel enough and I fixed it togheter with a nail and a hammer.

Jun kettingz_2.jpg

Two years later I removed piece by piece all the unnecessary foliage with intervals of two months and the grafted branch became stronger and stronger. The tree was now ready for the first wiring of the main branches.

Jun.Ch.kettingzaag 009 Klein.JPG

Two years later I did some big carving work with a chain saw to bring more movement in the straight trunk by separating the living part and the deadwood from each other till half way the trunk.

Jun.Ch.kettingzaag 013 Klein.JPG

I continued with some more refined carving work with power tools. The tree was at that time two years in his first bonsai pot. After the carving work he was ready for more detailed wiring.

Jun.Ch.kettingzaag 019 Klein.JPG

First I selected the finished pot and we are now looking for the best angle.

Jun.Ch.kettingzaag 028 Klein.JPG

The tree repotted and wired are goal is now putting growth on every year that we can use the volume to bring the foliage in balance with the deadwood.


This photo is recently taken, in 2012, inside the tree we still see the grafted branch, but it is very strong now and it the only branch that pulls on the life vein.


Back side of the tree; nice movement and the deadwood looks natural.


One side of the tree, impressive foliage.


Other side, this is not exactly the front side but more or less. The foliage is now ready to be thinned out and the tree stands on his own branches without wire. This was a project of about 12 years to start from scratch to finish with a mature tree.

To all the Followers  of my Blog a Happy Newyear. With so many  visitors from all over the globe I will continue my BLOG in 2013.



Bonsaischool in France.


About 8 years ago I started togheter with my friend Fred a bonsaischool at his bonsainursery in Sussey (near Dijon) France. On this photo you see Fred and his wife Stephanie. I know Fred for a long time, we have the same hobbies and the same job.


In the evening in France it is always relaxed, good food and lots of drinks. Notice Fred on the left with the big bottle with booze, strong stuff and gave me a lot of inspiration the day after. 


During one of the workshops. The system of working is the same as at my place.




Trident Maple on Rock.

3P_1250 Acer buergerianum.jpg

This Acer buergerianum grows on a natural stone, it is a midsize tree with a very dense ramification. The winterimage of the tree looks very natural.

3P_1250 Acer b. Rock_side.JPG

End of the summer image of the same tree; small leaves, everything good in proportion. Tree is on our sales benches. I can make a very special price here at my nursery. This is high class bonsai for collectors.


Back in Time.


A view in my garden in Wetteren (Belgium) in 1992.


A view of the sales area in my nursery in 1987.



Fifteen years later.

Jun rig groot_voor.jpg

This needle Juniper was started up from a yamadori clomp with nearly no branches, this photo was taken about 4 years after the 1st styling.  The secret to build a tree up with young branches to a tree with branches who can stand on their own, without wire, is powerfull growth. In the meantime maintenance can continue on the more developped branches, powerfull growth can only on a couple of branches a year. When you let everything grow than it is neglected and become "top heavy". Also this was a long time project.


Once your goal is achieved the real work can start. Maintaining and keeping the tree healthy, knowing different kinds of techniques and knowing when to use which on the same tree brings the tree to international exhibition level.


Hamamelis mollis.

Hamamelis plant.jpg

The plant I started with to create my Hamamelis mollis bonsai was quite similar to this garden plant mine was just older. The variety is not so common in the bonsai world but for me it was important to work with a big variation in my collection. Especially flowering bonsai and nice autumn colours are always welcome and than you have the year around attractive trees in the collection.

Hamamelis in blad_1.jpg

There are not so many options to style trees with thin trunks. The first thing I had to do was to make my trunk interesting by giving it a heavy wiring with 2 times 5mm over the whole trunk so I could create a nice bunjin movement. But notice that the trunk and branches are breaking  very easily. This photo is taken in the middle 90's, after the 1st wiring and repotting, one year after the main styling of the trunk.

Hamamelis in bloei_1.jpg

This is one of the reasons I work with this variety. The tree flowers, depending on the season, in januari or februari. It is a slow growing variety, so you do not have to do a lot of winter pruning. One important thing with flowering trees, if you want flowers every year, do not prune your branches in the flowerbudding season, which is for this variety august.

Hamamelis bloesem_detail.jpg

Detail of the flowers, in normal weather conditions they flower more than a month, even in temperatures far below zero.

Hamamelis in blad_2.jpg

In the summer the tree produces a lot of big leaves. I have to do some leaf pruning of 50% every summer.

Hamamelis in bloei_2.jpg

A couple of years later more branches and another wiring. The volume is now too big for a good proportion between trunk and foliage. The more I let this grow the thicker my branches become and I want to keep only the inside part. It is not an easy variety for back budding by pruning, sometimes your inside buds come more easy by strong growing.

Hamamelis herfst.jpg

Another attraction point is the autumn colour, depending on the weather, october - november.

Hamamelis winter_zijde1.jpg

Recent restyling; I used complete new inside young growth to make the tree more compact. Some varieties that are not easy backbudding needed sometimes younger growth to be used inside to make a new crown. This is something that can happen every 10 years.

Hamamelis winter.jpg

With the more compact crown there are more possible front sides.


Is now on the sales benches.



Taxus cuspidata Hokkaido.


About ten years ago I found in Hokkaido-Japan many Taxus yamadori. They all came in at the same time and we organised a project workshop with them.


It were all plants of more than 100 years old and originally they came from the mountains were they were growing wild with many trunks like this variety natural grows. The yamadori people in Hokkaido dug this material up four years before and brought them to their nursery were I found them. On this photo you can see that they made new roots and the thick roots were cut off. Here we removed the soil completely and without rootball we still have a weight of about 40kg - 50kg.


The target was to make smaller and more elegant trees with  a lot of deadwood. That is why we used big pots and with this tree we potted the tree up in a certain angle so that half of the roots were not in the pot. They could die off slowly and also a part of the trunk at that side could die off. This was the first step of the project, every participant could take his tree home to put in their garden. Next appointment was after 1 growing season.


One year later we started the deadwood creation. Here we marked with lines the first step to remove the bark and make the tree more elegant.


After removing the bark there are still a lot of living life veins, we have to do this step by step to give the tree the chance to recover so that the roots can find a new way to the branches. That means that we have to do every year ons step more.


You can see the new growth two growing seasons later. We let the wood drying out. This is necessary to create natural deadwood.


On a next workshop we continue and now we are looking for the connection between roots and branches and also create an elegant life vein. From now on we have more or less a possible front side.


Now it is time to work on the reduced saw marks and create an older image, it has to look like stumps in nature that with the erosion in the mountains life their own lifes on a tree. It is important to find the good proportions between deadwood and main tree.


The finished work on the deadwood and another recovery of a couple of months was adviced.


After a 1st wiring and a 1st step to change the angle another recovery time of 1 growing season in the garden.


Now it is time to check if the tree wants to follow our line. On both sides of the life vein we opened the whole line with a knife and power tool, put some cut paste over the whole length of the line and from now on living part can grow and heal over the deadwood. The same time we did some more detailed work on the deadwood.


We protect our deadwood with lime sulfer. We decided on our exact front and inclination.


Now it is time for our second repotting. We have enough new roots and the tree is strong enough.


We still did not choose a final pot after changing the position. I want that the tree grows again the pot full with roots in his new position, after that we will go for a round pot as flat as possible.  After this repotting we put some sphagnum moss on top of the soil because the most important roots are above ground level. It is always important to know were your good roots are, than you can follow a correct system of watering and fertilizing without damaging the roots.


The tree is recovering well and we did another wiring of the main branches to help for a better fixation. There is one outside pruning done, now we are waiting for inside budding. No further maintenance this time.


From now on we are going to focus on the branch ramifications, we have to add some growth on all over the tree. We check once a year to bring the weaker and stronger branches in balance. This project continues as long as necessary to achieve our goal. The deadwood starts to shows his caracter.


We follow the tree up and our first step of the project is finished. Our next step is now going for a mature image, which is going to take us about another 4 to 5 years. This project shows again that step by step is the safest way to keep the tree healthy growing all over the period of drastic interventions. Doing all at once and making "instant" bonsai is never without risk. For the moment there are about 20 Taxus projects among my students. We still have a few of these Taxus in the nursery that we started up ourselves and a few still raw material. Nobody of all my students had from the beginning any idea how the trees eventually would look like, so I thank all of them for there trust over the years and it shows also that following one line is the only way to understand every step.

This was Micky's Taxus and he is now improving his skills on many other high level projects. I know the feeling to create something from raw to a special bonsai image and this is what you feel and see every day you walk amongst your trees.






In my garden.


Both trees have a new owner.

 I wish all my Blog followers a Merry Christmas.


My Hobby and other passion.













Mature Trident Maple.


This tree out of my collection has been build up with 5 projects of new tapers.


Taxus cuspidata.


This is a unique piece, probably more than 800 years old.


I repotted the tree last spring and next coming month I am going to start working on it.


In the 80's & 90's the tree was a very famous bonsai in Japan. We are going to restore this forgotten glory.


During a restoration it is not the meaning to change front nor the image.


Deadwood at the back of the tree. If there is no offer or an interested buyer we start the workon this Taxus end of Januari 2013. Always welcome to come and see the tree in reality. This is a extremely rare piece.



Juniperus Communis.

Jun PDW_1.jpg

I started in 1997 during a winterdemonstration with this Juniperus communis. This photo shows the back of the tree in reality the trunk continues in the pot and ended the other side of the pot. The biggest part of the trunk in the pot was under the soil and when I lifted it out I noticed that half away under the soil the trunk was nearly completely rotten. A compact half cascade tree was not possible because there were only roots at the end of the trunk.  

Jun PDW_2.jpg

This is a photo after the demonstration and this style was the only option. It was not possible to let the tree stand up in another style, because the rotten part was not strong enough. I kept all the foliage to start with.

Jun PDW_3.jpg

After two years the tree became stronger and made a lot of foliage. Notice the black tape on the trunk just above the pot; this was the weak (rotten) part and also this became much stronger. The life vein was doubled in size to feed all the foliage. I wanted to try to let the tree stand up now and look if it was strong enough already.

Jun PDW_4.jpg

Because I did the 1st repotting myself I knew where the roots were in the pot. I made the inclination with the whole pot in the angle that I wanted from the beginning.

Jun PDW_5.jpg

The cascade branch was not necessary anymore. I could not leave a lot of foliage on the tree 1st for the bunjin style and 2nd I was not sure that the weaker part in the trunk could carry a lot of weight. Notice that under the tape also there is an extra piece of wood that I taped in from the beginning to support the weeker part.

Jun PDW_6.jpg

I started to clean up all the deadwood and removed the tape and the piece of wood. I cleaned up the life vein, made some short yins from the branch I cut off and treated the whole deadwood with lime sulfer.


Jun PDW_7.jpg

A wiring of the bigger branches was done without going in detail because the younger needles were not ready for a selection and wiring. With not ready I mean not "strong" enough.



 I kept the tree for more than 10 years in my private collection, did the maintenance and thinning out and put growth on like on a needle Juniper. The tree was standing on his own branches without wire. This photo was taken recently in the tokonoma at home of one of my students who is now the new owner of the tree.


Close up of the tree.






Container with new pots arrived.



Container with new pots arrived.



Arrival of new assortment of pots.




Starting to pack out & price up.


Acer buergerianum raw material.

Acer buergerianum_ netto 11.200€_.JPG

On request of some of you I checked on my nursery if there  was still project material of Trident maple and I found around 15 pcs in all different sizes. Today we are going to prepare them and from saturday afternoon on they will be potted up and ready for sale. So those who want to start up such a project, as in my post of  16.12.12,  no problem.

This photo is taken in my garden last summer and the Trident maple has now a new owner.



Juniperus twisted trunk.

Jun HCas Draaist_1.jpg

This juniper chinensis was imported from Japan around 2005. In Japan it used to be a technique, with wiring ,to make a twisted trunk. By using thick wire around the trunk and let it snap in for 2 years, afterwards they removed the wire and cleaned the wound out with a powertool. A couple of years later the life vein became stronger and the result is a twisted trunk.

Jun HCas Draaist_2..jpg

The tree after repotting and first styling that same year.

Jun HCas Draaist_3.jpg

Two years later the tree is "standing on his own branches" without wire and became dense. The tree is still in my nursery and up for sale now at a very special price, he just needs a new wiring.


Acer palmatum.

157_280 Acer in Blad.jpg

This is a japanese Maple (Acer palmatum) that is cultivated more than 30 years to become a good bonsai. For some people this is a good bonsai for others this is the good start to finish for high class bonsai. This photo is taken after leaf pruning last year mid-summer. The tree is repotted spring 2012 in an oversized hand made pot to make it possible for the new owner to start the tree up to a higher level.

157_280 Acer palmatum ABOVE.jpg

All the branches are well positioned all around the tree, for high class bonsai we go now 1 step further and selecting every year 2 branches that can make a stronger growth to achieve our older image on the branches.


This photo is taken in spring last year. The tree has a perfect neabari and perfect taper. With material like this it is possible in 3 to 5 years to change the image into a much older one. It is all a matter how you see your start, also in japan this is  startmaterial for a high class bonsai. If you really want to find out we can help you during the workshops with this project.  I have to see this tree only 2 times a year.  For the rest you can do the work at home under our guidance.


This is one of the trees for sale now for -50% on our sales benches in the "Galerie greenhouse".



DSCF3587.jpgDSCF3588.jpgDSCF3589.jpg      DSCF3590.jpg

 *PROMO DEZE WEEK (geldig tem zaterdag 22.12.2012)

Alle bonsai éénlingen uit Galerij aan -50%.

Alle yamadori aan -30%.

*Niet cumuleerbaar met andere promoties.

 *PROMO CETTE SEMAINE (valable jusqu'à samedi 22.12.12)

Tous les bonsaïs "pièce unique" de la grande serre à -50%.

Tous les yamadoris à -30%.

*Pas cumulative avec d'autres promotions.


DSCF3597.jpg DSCF3594.jpgDSCF3596.jpgDSCF3593.jpg


*PROMO DEZE WEEK (geldig tem zaterdag 22.12.2012)

Alle prébonsai uit de "smalle serre" aan -30%.

*Niet cumuleerbaar met andere promoties.

*PROMO CETTE SEMAINE (valable jusqu'à samedi 22.12.12)

Tous les prébonsaïs de la "petite serre" à -30%.

*Pas cumulative avec d'autres promotions.




Picea jezoensis.


Picea jezoensis is a Japanese spruce, it is like our Christmas tree but grows slower and more compact. This tree is an old tree grown up from seed with no cutting marks and is probably more than 100 years old and his whole life in a pot. You can see the age on the bark.


Most of the time a wiring is not only for the image but also to let more light inside. We do this especially when there is more outside than inside growth. This tree is in our sales area.


Trident Maple.

Acer buergerianum Berthier.jpg

In 1999 we imported from Korea lots of trunks from Acer buergerianum. They came in in a plastic bag with not many roots, a little sphagnum moss around and no branches on. A couple of my students in that time trusted me when I told them these trees had potential for the future and they started immediately with a long time project. Here above an example of this material two years later with the first branches on. From than on those who didn't buy one yet were also convinced and in a short time the workshops were fully booked with trident maples. This photo shows the 4 different front sides of the tree that we are going to follow today.


During our first workshop with project trees I always explain all the possible steps for the next coming ten years and what the best way is to follow. It is possible that on the same workshop with the same material different kinds of techniques of building up are used depending on the material and the owners facilities at home.  That photo is taken shortly after the first workshop with the first branch selection and wiring. We wrapped raffia around the aluminium wire to protect the bark because it were all very young branches. This was beginning october 2001.


In februari 2002 we did our first decent repotting. Before the tree was in peat soil in a plastic container just to make a lot of roots. Now we had roots enough, made an oversized wooden box so that we could spread all the roots wide open and were the tree could stay in during nearly the whole time of the project. Question of the owner was how long his Maple had to stay in this box; I told him until the wooden box fells apart. This photo is taken in juin 2002 after first pruning on he growth of that year. Now the project is really started and we can work on our root base, taper, amount of main branches, thickness of the branches in the right order but we do not all of  this in the same time. Every step we have other priorities depending on the evolution the tree made the previous year.


Two months later, in august, another wiring was necessary. It is always important to work with new young material to shape the branches in a beautiful and natural way.

5_mrt 2003_ent.jpg

March 2003 we grafted a missing branch on the back of the tree. Another new wiring was done. The small branches in the top of the tree are now wired as well but still we don't need that, it is just to grow the taper on.


Every summer the tree puts a lot of new growth on and every time we follow this up with wiring and pruning the unnecessary branches. Very important is that project trees, like this one, are well fertilised, you can not see the fertiliser on this pot because we use an organic fertiliser with very fine structure. A box like this one can have two big spoons of fertiliser every 30 days from april till end of august. Also were you put your fertiliser is very important.


November 2004 our first winterpruning and ramification selection and graft on the lower branch.


October 2005, our first image starts to be visible.


Februari 2010, the wooden box was nearly rotten and the tree was nearly there were we wanted him to be. A repotting in pure akadama and now we make the tree ready to grow in a smaller space. That means that we are changing our technique in maintenance. It is not just pruning back every time it grows that gives you  a natural and good result otherwise bonsai would be very easy. I can see in one blink in a tree if the work is well done every year.



October 2010, our first image as a bonsai in autumn colour.


Januari 2011, we improved the root base, all the cutting marks are nearly healed, the colour of the trunk is already changed into a typical old bark colour which is for this variety grey, the taper is o.k so we can finish the apex off easily in one year now. In reality the ramifications are even more spectacular than on the photo. We have in every branch three different ages of smaller branches and from now on we can call this a good refined tree. But we continue our project and we are going for a completely dense ramification; therefore we need another ten years.  So we made another scedule now to be sure that the tree doesn't miss a year in this whole progress. It is very dangerous from now on to follow the same maintenance technique all the time without interval. Without the right techniques you can lose more ramifications than you can win.


Interested in a project with Trident maple (Acer buergerianum), we have from 3 year old to 25 year old rooted trunks available.



Quality Raw Material for Sale.

All this material is close to bonsai and is ready for styling. On all these trees we give very special prices. Ask for it.


Tsuga Canadensis, import Japan, very elegant and old trunk.


Taxus cuspidata, Yamadori Hokkaido Japan, 1st styling 2 years ago, ready for finished styling.


Camelia japonica, 14 years old and 14 years in pot. Import Japan.


Picea abies, yamadori Europe 10 years in pot. First styling 4 years ago.


Acer campestre, european tree, very thick trunk, interesting size.  First styling work was 5 years ago.


Juniperus itoigawa, this tree is ready for a complete new styling with less branches. Import Japan.


Juniperus rigida, import Japan. Everything can be changed on this tree deadwood, size, proportions.


Juniperus chinensis, yamadori Japan. Interesting movement to create immediately a nice tree out of it.


Pinus mugo, yamadori Europe, foliage already very dense. Style can be changed completely, interesting deadwood.


Taxus cuspidata, yamadori Hokkaido Japan, 1st styling 3 years ago. Ready for further styling.


Picea, yamadori Europe, very interesting mid size tree. Nearly a bonsai.




1 2 Next