Bonsai Tonight

Visit to Telperion Farms

Posted in Excursions by Jonas Dupuich on May 26, 2015

Plants love Oregon – 100 wholesale nurseries can’t be wrong. Many of these nurseries focus on conifers – and at least one grows bonsai exclusively: Telperion Farms.

Chris and Lisa Kirk started Telperion Farms on 100 acres east of Salem, Oregon. Numerous growing fields support pines, maples and junipers while less common varieties including hornbeam, quince and ume, fill many more. The Kirks also grow over 90 varieties of satsuki azalea.

The Kirks are among the nicest people in the business and they’re doing a great job with their trees. Gary Wood contributes at Telperion as well, bringing his great horticultural knowledge to bear.

You can get trees from the Kirks at a variety of bonsai events in the west, by ordering trees online, or by visiting the nursery in person. I recommend the latter – it’s great to see the trees up close!

Chris Kirk

Chris Kirk and company

Most growing fields are covered with weed cloth to simplify maintenance. The trees are planted in root pots to simplify transplanting.

Japanese black pines

Black pines

The Kirks aren’t afraid to rely on sacrifice branches to thicken trunks. By letting trees run for several years, they get incredible growth in a short amount of time.

Enjoying pines

Eric Schrader among the pines

Up close, it’s easy to see the low growth that has been preserved to help with future primary branching.

Japanese black pine

Black pine

Japanese black pine

Black pine

I can’t imagine how much labor it takes to keep up field after field of trees, but I can say that it sounds like fun – especially when the trees grow so quickly.

Japanese black pines

Scots pine

Japanese black pines

Scots pine

Japanese black pine

Scots pine

The sheer number of shimpaku in the ground brought a smile to my face.

Shimpaku

Shimpaku

Enjoying shimpaku and pine

Is that enough shimpaku for you?

Elsewhere in the nursery, maples were growing with great speed.

Japanese maples

Japanese maples in the ground

Japanese maples

A variety of Japanese maples

At one point the Kirks discovered an unnamed dwarf variety of Japanese maple. These are now being propagated.

Dwarf Japanese maples

Dwarf Japanese maples

Korean hornbeams

A field of Korean hornbeams

Korean hornbeam

Korean hornbeam

Trident maples

Trident maples in Anderson flats

Trident maple

Trident maple

Some of the lower fields contained row after row of 10′ high deciduous varieties. Do I see future workshop material?

Dawn redwoods

Dawn redwood

Seiju elm

Seiju elm

Seiju elm

Nice trunk – let’s take a closer look

Seiju elm

Trunk detail – this elm is ready for the digging.

If you’re interested in material for bonsai, get in touch with Telperion.

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Junipers of Bonsai Mirai

Posted in Excursions by Jonas Dupuich on May 22, 2015

Ryan Neil is well known for his work on collected junipers. His garden reflects this – among the many outstanding specimens at Bonsai Mirai, it’s the junipers that shine brightest.

Part of this is due to the natural characters of junipers, some of the more sinuous varieties grown for bonsai. Much of this is due to Ryan’s eye for selecting good material and his talent for developing it. Credit is also is due to Randy Knight and the others who have collected these trees from mountains, deserts and foothills and kept them alive and healthy so they could become beautiful bonsai.

Below are some of the junipers at Bonsai Mirai. See Mirai’s gallery for a look at more of their trees.

Rocky Mountain juniper

Rocky Mountain juniper

Rocky Mountain juniper

Rocky Mountain juniper – see the tree’s story

Junipers at Mirai

Junipers in front of the Mirai workshop

Rocky Mountain juniper

Rocky Mountain juniper

Rocky Mountain juniper

Rocky Mountain juniper

Rocky Mountain juniper

Rocky Mountain juniper

Junipers

Collected junipers – note the shallow pots

Rocky Mountain juniper

Rocky Mountain juniper

Rocky Mountain juniper

Rocky Mountain juniper

Rocky Mountain juniper

Rocky Mountain juniper – one of my favorites

Common juniper

Common juniper

Rocky Mountain juniper

Rocky Mountain juniper – one of the more outstanding trees in the garden

Rocky Mountain juniper

Rocky Mountain juniper

Rocky Mountain juniper

Rocky Mountain juniper

Rocky Mountain juniper

Rocky Mountain juniper

Rocky Mountain juniper

Rocky Mountain juniper

Needle juniper

Needle juniper

Shimpaku

Shimpaku

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Amazing pines at Bonsai Mirai

Posted in Excursions by Jonas Dupuich on May 19, 2015

I’ve been thinking about how to introduce Ryan Neil’s garden and school, Bonsai Mirai, and have decided to let the trees speak for themselves. Enjoy :)

Ponderosa pine

Ponderosa pine

Ryan Neil

Ryan Neil telling the story of the first tree he collected

Limber pine

Limber pine

Mountain hemlock

Mountain hemlock

Douglas fir

Douglass fir

Ponderosa pine

Ponderosa pine

Douglas fir

Douglas fir

Ponderosa pine

Ponderosa pine

Ponderosa pine

Ponderosa pine

Ponderosa pine

Ponderosa pine

Limber pine

Limber pine

Ponderosa pine

Ponderosa pine

Coast redwood

Coast redwood

Ponderosa pine

Ponderosa pine

Coast redwood

Coast redwood

Ponderosa pine

Ponderosa pine

Coast redwood

Coast redwood

Engelmann spruce

Engelmann spruce

Ponderosa pine

Ponderosa pine

The Portland bonsai tour continues

Posted in Excursions by Jonas Dupuich on May 15, 2015

I’m always surprised at how lush and green spring is around Portland when the dogwood, rhododendron and hawthorns are in full bloom. Driving between bonsai gardens in the area provided ample opportunity to enjoy the season.

Even more striking is the amount of collected material in the area. Visiting bonsai gardens in Oregon means seeing Ponderosa pines, hemlocks, Douglas fir and Rocky Mountain junipers in numbers I haven’t seen anywhere else. This is due in large part to the efforts of Randy Knight, the area’s premier collector for bonsai material, as well as the efforts of the many Portland bonsai enthusiasts who collect and develop material on their own.

My recent tour through Oregon bonsai gardens with Eric Schrader would not have been possible without the generosity of these Portland enthusiasts who welcomed us to their gardens and taught us about the perks and challenges of growing trees in and near the Willamette Valley. To Alan, Lee, Scott, Greg, Michael, Matt, Chris, Robert, Ryan and Randy – thank you!

Below is a peek at some of these trees – more is on the way next week.

Ponderosa pine

Ponderosa pine

Shimpaku

Shimpaku – Michael Hagedorn pot

Cotoneaster

Cotoneaster

Hemlock

Hemlock by Matt Reel

Yew

Yew by Matt Reel

Beech forest

Beech forest

Ponderosa pine

Ponderosa pine
Meco Bonsai/Kiku Tool Award, 2010 US National Bonsai Exhibit

Lodge pole pine

Lodge pole pine

Douglas fir

Douglas fir

Vine maple

Vine maple

Deciduous bonsai

Deciduous bonsai

Zelkova

Zelkova

Shimpaku

Shimpaku

Maple

Maple

Korean hornbeam

Korean hornbeam

Trident maple

Trident maple a la Doug Phillips
Bees

Bees

Utah juniper

Utah juniper at Oregon Bonsai

Ponderosa pine

Ponderosa pine – I can’t imagine there’s a name for this style

Ponderosa pine

Ponderosa pine – awesome deadwood and movement

For more bonsai from these Oregon gardens, see Eric Schrader’s posts:

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