Shohin Convention in Santa Nella

The next weekend will be the shohin convention in Santa Nella.  The shohin convention is held on the even years.  The shohin convention in Santa Nella is one of the premier shohin conventions in all of the United States.  People come from all over the U.S. to attend the convention.  The atmosphere of the shohin convention is relaxed and fun.  The workshops are reasonable and the venue intimate.  If you are in the neighborhood, you need to drop by and say hi.  Thanks, George


I worked on a few cuttings over the past few weeks.  I took cuttings for a couple of reasons.  The first is that many of these cuttings were taken from trees that are not grown widely.  They are only interesting to bonsai people.  The second reason is twofold.  The stock is getting harder to find through wholesale growers and also they are becoming expensive.  The wholesale growing industry is going through a shake out.  Only the tough will survive.  Many wholesale growers are having a hard time making money.  This is predominately because of the sagging housing market.  A sagging housing market means sagging sales of plant material.  The other problem is that costs keep going up.  Costs for shipping, water,greenhouses, chemicals and labor.  The wholesale growers are caught in the middle.  Higher costs combined with lower sales is a recipe for disaster.  To keep afloat they have to become creative in marketing their goods, while increasing the cost to the retailer.  Many of the plants that I purchased as liners(plants in 2 inch pots or smaller) have doubled and in some cases tripled over the last 2 -3 years.  Some of the cuttings that I have worked on are: ume’s(no one grow them), trident maples, bald cypress, atlas cedars, dwarf olives, twisted trunk pomegranite’s, and dwarf fuschia’s.  I will continue to work on the cuttings for the next few weeks.  I have also mentioned in my previous blog that I took some very large cuttings.  Most of the time, it is not recommended to take large cuttings.  They are much harder to root.  The greatest reason for this is that when the cutting is large, there is a large surface area that you are trying to root.  If you take a tip cutting, the tip is where the newest growth pushes and there is a much smaller surface area that you are trying to root.  I have included pictures of my cuttings and one of the larger cuttings.  To give you an idea of the size of the cutting, the larger cuttings are in 5 inch wide pots.  Remember to click on the photo’s to get a closer view of the trees.  George

Field grown ume

Today I took some pictures of the field grown ume.  When I posted the pictures of the umes on the benches, many people were wondering where are the flowers?  As you can see in the photographs, most of the flowers on the field grown trees are at the top.  The top gets cut off when I dig the tree.  The top of the tree is left to grow to increase the trunk size and cut off when the tree is dug.  After the tree is dug, it will take a couple of years to develop the branching necessary to develop the flowers.  If you need any specifics on how to care for the ume, or how to develop the flowering, you can e-mail me at and I can e-mail you instructions for the care of ume.  Ume bonsai are some of the nicest trees you will see.  However, there is technique involved in creating a beautiful flowering tree.  I also took a picture of the field grown atlas cedars.  I only have about 40 in the ground.  None of them are big enough for me to sell. I hope you enjoy the pictures and the trip around the nursery.  Remember to click on the photos to get a close up view.

Cleaning up after the storm/New pictures!

The storm last week dumped about 6 inches of rain on the nursery.  The rain was not much of a problem, but the winds that accompanied the storm caused problems.  The wind knocked down quite a few pre-bonsai material.  I had to collect them and transplant the trees that fell out of there pot.  The winds also caused a problem for nearby Avila beach.  Several boats were knocked off of there moorings.  Some of the boats just washed ashore, others were not so lucky and were broken up into a thousand pieces after hitting the rocks in such high surf.  The trees look perky after the storm.  Unfortunately so do the weeds!  I have taken some photo’s of the nursery.  The first is a picture of a cork pine that I use for grafting.  The second is a row of pines that I am field growing that are unusual.  I have cork, yatsubusa, white, taihei, ondae, thunderhead, banshoho, and a rare kind of dwarf pine.  The last picture is of a twisted pomegranite that I am field growing.  If you look closely at the photo, you can see the twist in the trunk.  We are suppose to get additional rain tonight and all day tomorrow.  I’ll have time to work on my taxes! YUCK!!!!!  Remember to click on each photo so you can see a close-up of the photo.

Rain,Hail, Lightning,High Winds,Sunshine!

Wow! As I write this we are getting pelted by small hail. It is very rare for us to get hail in these parts. It is accompanied by large amounts of rainfall and thunder. My dog is sitting next to me wondering what is going on? We had very high winds again this morning along with some rain. Every time we get a break in the weather, I go outside to check up on the plants. Just a few minor plants being knocked down. Yesterday, I had a gopher hold undermine my chain link fence. The chain link fence sits about 18 inches above a path that leads into the nursery. There was a huge gaping hole about 2 feet deep and 6 feet wide. I had to take all the soil that drained out and throw it over the fence to fill in the hole. First I filled the hole with all the roots that are cut off of rootballs when we transplant trees. Then I tossed the soil back over the fence and tamped it down. It was quite exhausting but is holding up for now. We also had the power go out a few times today, but only for about 10 minutes at a time. It is very annoying to have to power the computer back up and to correct the oven, the microwave and every other electrical appliance in the house only to have it happen again a few minutes later. Well I will let you know how we hold up. I did take some pictures of the pre-bonsai on some of my benches. There is a picture of pines, trident maples and umes.

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