Bonsai Tonight

Yaupon holly refinement

Posted in Bonsai Development by Jonas Dupuich on September 19, 2014

Once or twice a year, my Yaupon holly gets a haircut. I cut back to the silhouette, remove branches that are growing up down and thin branches in crowded areas. The work is fun and the result is pleasing.

Yaupon holly

Yaupon holly – before cutback

Yaupon holly

After cutback

Depending on the weather, I can expect a new flush of growth ahead of winter. Were I preparing the tree for exhibit, I’d cut back a little earlier to make sure new shoots enough time to fill the silhouette in warm or cold weather.

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Developing bonsai at Deer Meadow

Posted in Excursions by Jonas Dupuich on September 16, 2014

How, one might ask, does Jim Gremel produce so many great trees, all while maintaining a busy teaching schedule? The answer:

Bali

Valentín Cruz, aka “Bali”

Bali, as he is commonly known, loves bonsai. He first came to Deer Meadow Bonsai in 2007 and has been a fixture at the establishment for the past two and a half years. He’s a testament to Gremel’s abilities as a teacher, and a demonstrated practitioner in his own right. Be sure to say hi when you visit.

Jim and Bali

Jim Gremel and Bali

Also be sure to explore the garden. As you wander past the workshop, you’ll find rows and rows of future bonsai.
Many trees are container grown. Gremel is deservedly well-known for developing shohin and small shimpaku from cutting.

Shimpaku

Young shimpaku

Walk past the benches and you’ll see the growing fields.

Pines

In a sea of pines

What do these trees look like below?

Pine trunk

Japanese black pine trunk

Turn around and you’ll see a row of atlas cedars.

Cedars

Cedars

Once trees have developed trunks in the ground, Gremel refines them in containers.

Black pine

Japanese black pine

Oaks

Cork and live oak

Keep walking past the benches and the neatly planted rows and you’ll hit a wall of future bonsai.

Trident maples

Trident maples

So what are you waiting for – head out and visit! Deer Meadow Bonsai is open by appointment only so be sure to call first. And if you enjoy baked goods, make a side trip to Wild Flour Bread Bakery in nearby Freestone when you’re in the neighborhood.

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A visit to Deer Meadow Bonsai

Posted in Excursions by Jonas Dupuich on September 12, 2014

If you get the chance to visit Deer Meadow Bonsai, go.

Bonsai

Deer Meadow Bonsai

Deer Meadow Bonsai is located an hour and a half north of San Francisco, just outside the charming town of Occidental (try Howard’s Cafe when you visit). From Occidental, wind your way through redwoods for 10 minutes and you’re there.

What is Deer Meadow Bonsai? A unique bonsai nursery in a beautiful setting. A brief history: in 1995 Jim Gremel moved his bonsai from a small Berkeley backyard to five acres near Occidental – thus Deer Meadow Bonsai was born. Gremel is well-known for his styling – he won the top award at the 1st National Bonsai Exhibit – for his teaching, his good humor, for creating bonsai from scratch, and for selling some of the best available copper wire used for bonsai.

Whence the copper wire? Gremel is also a fine arts potter – annealing copper wire yields useful material for glazes.

Today Gremel’s focus is bonsai.

Atlas cedar

Atlas cedar

Cedar from above

Cedar from above

Shimpaku

Shimpaku

Cedar

Cedar

Shimpaku

Junipers

Cedars and a pine

Pine and cedars

In recent years, Deer Meadow Bonsai has featured more and more collected material.

Sierra juniper

Sierra juniper

Enjoynig the bonsai

Admiring a large sierra juniper

Improvised pot

Improvised pot with chicken wire

Vigorous growth

Healthy shoots – juvenile foliage in the process of turning mature

My recent visit was on the occasion of Gremel’s annual open house, an event scheduled to coincide with REBS’ annual exhibit. After enjoying the exhibit, I headed west to Deer Meadow Bonsai along with other exhibit goers.

Dan Robinson

Dan Robinson investigating a Colorado spruce

Shimpaku

Shimpaku

The event was appreciated by all, and as on every visit to Deer Meadow, I saw trees I hadn’t seen before.

Tanuki

Shimpaku – Tanuki

Next up – bonsai development at Deer Meadow.

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Looking inside

Posted in Exhibits by Jonas Dupuich on September 9, 2014

For those of you who weren’t able to visit REBS’ recent show, here’s a peak at some familiar trees from different angles.

Branch structure

Under the canopy of a white pine

Graft line

White pine grafted on black pine

Graft line
Grafted white pine

Trunk

Shimpaku

Branch structure

Procumbens juniper

Branch structure

Trident maple

In addition to presenting great bonsai, the REBS show features a large vendor area, within which one can find a great variety of trees and supplies.

Wire

Copper wire

Wire

Aluminum wire

Cedar

Atlas cedar

Shimpaku

Shimpaku

Seiju elm
Seiju elm

For the astute – or local – among you, you’ll recognize the vendor whose work and wares are featured here. And if not, a final clue:

Pots

Pots

Next up, a visit to his garden: Deer Meadow Bonsai.

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