Repotting 2023

Things are moving early this year, so repotting started in earnest today. Here are a couple…the Kinsai wasn’t on the docket until a sudden wind storm knocked it off the bench and broke the nice large Bunzan pot.

The pot was my first Koyo, production grade porcelain bought on eBay maybe 15 years ago, but a nice glaze and shape.

The hawthorn is really leafing out, and last year, I didn’t do a full repot, just a heavy ‘soji’, removing about half the soil, and replacing it, but not actually repotting the tree. The result was good drainage last year, but remarkable root growth.

Lots of roots lapping the bottom
Combed out and heavily reduced
Cleaned out and pruned back again
Situated and secured into the pot
New soil worked in

The pot is a Shuho, a good fit for the composition.


New Bonsai Empire Course: Developing Bonsai from Seed

Oscar and Bonsai Empire have done it again. Bjorn Bjorholm and Michael Hagedorn have tag-teamed from opposite ends of the USA to bring another great course on bonsai, this time working with material accessible to the most frugal bonsai practitioner: seeds, cuttings, and layers, oh my!

Here is a peek at the curriculum:

The production quality is top notch, as you’d expect at this point from Bonsai Empire. The intros and music are pleasant, and the video production does a great job of placing you in the room with Bjorn and Michael, zooming in close to show details, and speeding through some of the more tedious steps like peeling bark from a maple air layer.

They’re remarkably consistent from one lecture to another, with terms and language, and even moving from one phase of development to another within a species, from across the country. Pretty cool really.

If you’ve done bonsai for even a few months, you’ve likely tried propagating plant material…maybe with some varied degree of success. While most of the techniques are basic, some nuances are discussed that even a seasoned veteran can appreciate and use to increase rate of success.

While it’s awesome to watch the guys fine-tune ancient deadwood dragons laced with emerald foliage, seeing them enthusiastically work with approachable material was actually motivating, and I ended up working on trees today for the first time in a long time.

I recommend this course for beginners wanting to expand their collection of material, as well as for enthusiasts who regularly propagate material or enjoy growing out their own stock…like I do. Even better, the demonstrations will help users set themselves up with better quality material right from the jump.

Here are a few shots from the course, be sure to go check it out!

Here are the details.

Developing Bonsai from Seed course
With Michael Hagedorn and Bjorn Bjorholm

Learn how to develop a Bonsai from scratch - from seeds, cuttings or air layers. We explain the developmental techniques all the way from Propagation to Nebari, Trunk, and Branch development.

Course introduction
Growing a Bonsai from the very beginning is incredibly rewarding, but difficult at the same time. By understanding the developmental stages of Bonsai, you'll be able to apply the right techniques at the right time, speeding up your progress substantially. In this online course we cover the various propagation techniques, and walk you through the process of surface roots (Nebari), trunk and branch development.

The expert teachers, Michael Hagedorn and Bjorn Bjorholm, teamed up to bring you an all-round introduction to growing Bonsai from seeds, cuttings and air layers. This is a unique opportunity to start fun new projects in your garden and develop your very own Bonsai trees - from scratch!

> Learn how to develop a Bonsai
> Understand the developmental stages to speed up progress
> Expert teachers show you how to do it yourself

23 lectures, total 6 hours film
Price: $59.99
Level: Intermediate
Lifetime access

Course Trailer: (available Feb 24th)

Great job Oscar, Michael and Bjorn!