Featured Post

Better Pruning

There are general rules to follow when doing anything in bonsai, whether it is wiring or pruning, whether the material is deciduous or coniferous. So let’s explore General Tips for Better Pruning. Read More

Improve Your Bonsai


We all know that some of us can bonsai better than others. Becoming skilled at bonsai requires several disciplines or factors coming together. Some of these factors include desire, instruction, practice, time, and more practice. I have been writing articles so that you can immediately see results in your abilities. Improve your Bonsai Read More



The whole point of practicing is to improve. You should always know what you want to accomplish before starting your bonsai practice session. A good way to organize your thoughts is to have a set of goals. Goals give you a target that you can aim toward, give you direction Read More



Our executive committee and board of directors have no idea how a project or event is going to turn out. Events are unpredictable, uncertainty, fear, and doubt are inevitable parts of building our organization’s body of work. In order for our board to build a complete and successful body of work, we must surround our board with peers, mentors and advocates who will push them to do their very best work. This requires leadership building, a key skill for any organization’s success. Here is a list of skills we as members can offer our leaders Read More

Tips for Better Wiring


I can’t say that I’m the best bonsai artist out there, but I can certainly wire better than when I started. I’ve read a lot of advice and worked with several masters about getting better at wiring over the years. Some advice has been very helpful and some advice just hasn’t worked for me. I want to share just a couple of tips that have helped me improve Read More

Shibumi Effortless Perfection


Many people might be familiar with Zen as a broad concept, far fewer are knowledgeable of the key aesthetic principles that collectively comprise the "Zen of Design." To understand the Zen of Design principles, a good starting point is shibumi. It is an overarching concept, an ideal. It has no precise definition in Japanese, but its meaning is reserved for objects and experiences that exhibit in paradox and all at once the very best of everything and nothing: Elegant simplicity; Effortless effectiveness; understated excellence; Beautiful imperfection. Read More

Working on a New Project

Juniper 2013

A major restyle of one of my older trees in the collection, San Jose Juniper, took place by removing part of the top branch sticking viewer in the eye. Jinned the shorted branch, then wired the remaining stub down and left to mimic the remaining from branch. In the future I will need to watch placement of branches. No right angles, more triangular or angled then flare out. All should flow with the branch to the tip. Read More

Small Club Shows


Small Club Shows such as the Silhouette, Spring, Folk Fair or other 4 to 8 table show has a small scale set up. Do not let small scale lull you into thinking it’s easy. At the first show in 2014 let’s look at some of the activities it took to pull it off. Read More

Spirit and Philosophy of Bonsai by Saburo Kato

Kato bw

All of you here with an interest in bonsai have been "chosen by bonsai." We are united in the brotherhood of bonsai. ....
Bonsai is a god-given gift to man. This form of nature is closest to man and portrays the drama of life. Bonsai is nature without and end. So those who grow bonsai have a responsibility to be diligent and a duty to continue to carry on. .... Read More

Critiquing for Bonsai


Critiquing can be intimidating for novice bonsai artists. You may feel you don’t have the skills, the knowledge, or experience. Not true, critiques at the most basic level are only opinion and everyone has opinions.
Critiques are the single best source of feedback that bonsai artist can use to find flaws with their trees and to improve their bonsai skills. When you critique, you are helping another person improve their tree. You’re moving the artist closer to getting their tree to a finished bonsai. Read More