Ficus Nerifolia

My lone tropical specimen, this ficus nerifolia was slow to wake up this year, and part of the reason could be that it was pot-bound. I think it had been in this pot for 3 years. These trees are nearly epiphytes, but still it seemed it was time to repot.

A couple options

Yamafusa, slightly large.
Koyo, maybe too small.

It took some effort to free the tree from the pot…

Roots combed out
A little root pruning
I went with this Yamafusa, 17.5” wide, significantly more room than the previous pot. The fat trunk and broad canopy can carry the size, even though the tree is short. This was my first Tokoname pot, and also was used with my Japanese maple in the 3rd US National Bonsai Exhibition in 2012.
Settled in

Now that it’s repotted and settled in, it’s time for a little wire to orient the tree to its more inclined potting position.

A few outer shoots removed, and the lower left branch wired…good to go.


Sometimes I forget things. Not long ago, I got busy and left my Masakuni pliers and my Kiku wire cutters (my first pair…had them nearly 25 years) on the bench outside. I noticed them a few days later, after two-a-days watering schedule.

Start with a green scratchie, remove the rust.

Pliers cleaned up first
Wire cutters next
Then a little gun oil rubbed over all
Oil rubbed in, and excess wiped off with a towel
Back in business!

Alabama Bonsai Society Spring Show 2022 Entries

Here are the 4 displays I put together for this year’s first show in 3 years.

Chinese Quince, in good health, no rust, and bark exfoliating! I’ve had this tree over 15 years and this is it’s debut show. Old Heian Kouso pot, David Knittle stand made for last year’s US National Bonsai Exhibition.

Nice Roll Tide accent, made by a French Potter, Phillipe Torcatis; Terre O Vert ceramique. Doubt he knew the significance the crimson glaze and elephant held in Bama, but I figured it would be a hit with a little over half the crowd here!

Exposed root Satsuki Azalea, ‘Kinsai’. A cool spring has slowed this one down enough to be in full bloom for the show. In years past, it had been just past peak. Bunzan pot, Chinese stand.
Mixed grass accent, Sharaku pot, red to compliment the azalea blooms. Jiita board by Dave Lowman. This accent went to Nationals last year too.
Japanese Black Pine, antique Chinese container, on a table made by David Knittle specifically for this pine and pot for the US Nationals. Not the live edge detail below.
Erodium accent, blooming, in a pot by my friend Ron Heinen. Adds a nice punch of color to the display.

Stewartia monadelpha, Reiho pot, Jerry Braswell stand. This tree was dug in December 2018, and is being shown for the first time this year. It will be the only Stewartia in the show.

The Stewartia is a little tall for my white background, so here is a shot against the black wall.

And looking at it this way, it seemed everything leaned left. So I decided to swap the accent plant to the left side. Take a look, it’s the only change made, but the balance improved.

Dianthus in bloom, Bigei pot, on a Sam Lee carved root stand. I like the bright lavender flowers with the bright robin’s egg blue pot.