I have been studying bonsai since 1994, in an ever-increasing velocity. I have been a board member of the Iowa Bonsai Association, and served as Vice President of the Alabama Bonsai Society for 2011-2017. I have been the club’s show chairman twice, and unofficially, the guest artist coordinator, which included the honor of hosting Peter Warren and Bjorn Bjorholm in our home and club over the last couple years.  I am currently a student of Bjorn Bjorholm, and have worked with him several times a year since 2012, including intensives at Eise-en, and private work at home.

I have been a member of the Living Arts Bonsai Society, American Bonsai Society, an informal bonsai study group, and a frequent contributor to the Bonsai Nut forum. I enjoy collecting trees, writing and teaching, and this blog seems to be the easiest way to share what’s going on in my back yard. As yet, I haven’t worked with many bonsai people outside of my clubs, although conducting a few workshops would be fun at some point down the road.

In June 2012, my Chishio Improved Japanese Maple was accepted and shown at the 3rd U.S. National Bonsai Exhibition, in Rochester, NY. It has been in development since 2002. Here is a shot of the composition:

In July 2012, this hawthorn, collected by yours truly, won the John Naka award, presented by the American Bonsai Society.

In November, it appeared on the cover of the Journal of the ABS:

And, in 2014, it was shown in the 4th US National Bonsai Exhibition in Rochester NY:


Both of these trees have also been featured in the Birmingham News, on, and shown at the Alabama Bonsai Society’s annual show.

In 2016, my Shimpaku juniper, worked on with Bjorn over several years, was shown at the 5th US National Bonsai Expo in Rochester, NY:


It also won Best In Show at the 2019 Alabama Bonsai Society spring show, judged by Kathy Shaner:


I thank my beautiful bride of 23 years for her patience and tolerance of this very time-consuming passion, and enjoy sharing bits of the hobby with my kids as we wander the yard, or scout collecting sites together. Maybe one day they will share my enthusiasm for the art.

Thanks for reading!


10 thoughts on “Me

  1. Hello Brain,
    I think your work is awesome I just wonder do you teaching bonsai / workshop at your place or one on one work shop.

  2. Hey there! I found your site after you replied to a post of mine on bonsai nut, and I was thrilled when I realized that we live so close to each other(i live in arab, AL). I was wondering if there is a way I could contact you? I often have questions about our native trees an no one to ask.

    Jansen Bright

  3. Hello Brian,
    I am a bonsaier from Italy,42 yo and president of Camuno Bonsai Club in Artogne (BS) Italy. We are 15 members in the club and we get shows every year. If you have time, take a look at our site or in facebook camunobonsai.
    I readed with interest your article about differences from Itoigawa, kishu and Shimpaku and I would like to translate it for me, my friends and post it on an italian paper called “Bonsai Italia Arte e Natura”. It is a friendly paper followed by persons who follow the japanese traditional school and follow courses by a japanese teacher called Shigeru Otani, student of the famous master Keizo Ando. He was in the same classroom of Kimura in the Hamano’s garden. I am following the 10th course of 16.
    Please authorize me for translating and post your article, obviously I will quote your name and site.
    I don’t gain money getting this. I make it only for a personal pleasure..
    Thank you for your attention and have a great bonsai days!
    Alberto Obino
    +39 327/3611280

  4. Hello Brian,
    I am a beginner from Russia.
    I read Your articles with great care. There are a lot of interesting for bonsai enthusiasts.
    I’ve translated some Your articles into Russian, and now I ask for Your permission to publish translations into russian bonsai-fans’s blog
    I think Your articles will arouse interest of Russian readers.
    Best regard.

    1. Hello Boris,
      Yes, you may translate my articles and post them on, if you will provide credit and a link to this site. It would also be great if you would like to add a link in the bottom left on your page where it lists bonsai talk, bonsai forums, and Walter Pall.
      Best regards,

  5. Hello Brian,
    you have a beautiful blog, it was a nice Bonsai discovery for me today! Thanks for the very nice pictures you took of our display that my club (from Virginia) presented at this year’s Asheville Bonsai Expo. The Alabama Bonsai Society display your group set up was quite well done, and it was great meeting you at the Expo this year. I hope to see you again in the future, maybe next year again in Asheville?
    Bill McReynolds
    Tidewater Bonsai Club

    1. Hi Bill, glad you like the blog! I’ve sent trees to the Asheville show for the last 2 years now, but haven’t actually made it up there yet for the show. Hope to make it at some point.

  6. Brain, you have a post that I’d like to talk to you about. As you most likely are aware Telperion Farms was destroyed in the Oregon fires a couple years ago. The Bonsai Society of Portland will be having a special weekend to honor Chris & Lisa’s contribution to the bonsai community for their years of dedicated service. We are planning a photograph exhibit of Telperion field grown trees that where developed into bonsai and would love to use this as an example if you are willing. Please let me know my email is thanks & regards, Jeffrey Robson (Past VP and Pres of The Bonsai Society of Greater St. Louis and currently secretary of the Bonsai Society of Portland).

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