Some 20-30 years ago, Kyushu bonsai hobbyist Mr. Honda began buying pine trees from Nomoto Chinshoen, a Miyazaki bonsai nursery. As the trees had little in the way of branching, Honda planned on developing the branches on his own. He’s done quite a job.
Black pine bonsai
Japanese black pine
The trees aren’t particularly old – many of them 40 years give or take. The branches were developed over about 20 years.
Well developed branches
Honda has a relatively small collection, but the trees all look great. I couldn’t believe what a great job he’s done developing these pines.
Black pine with large trunk
Yet another black pine
The trees relatively young age was evident by looking closely at the trunk. Although the roots were impressive – and likely the result of seedling-cutting – the bark had yet to develop the furrows I’ve seen in other trees of similar age. I don’t know if these trunks were grown in the ground or in containers, but it appears they were created using a number of escape branches gauging by the scars.
Large black pine
Lower trunk and roots – although the tree is powerful, the bark looks young
Mr. Honda and Daisaku Nomoto taking a photo
Honda didn’t have many young pines at the house, but there were a few, and yes, they were growing in colanders.
The day was sunny but cold. It was about this time that Honda opened a thermal container and pulled out three coffees, a welcome sight. We moved on to the upper garden where he keeps his white pines and deciduous trees. I was immediately struck by a trident maple. Apparently Honda has a pretty good understanding of deciduous trees too.
Trident maple – wow!
Below the benches I found a number of small chojubai.
Root over rock Japanese flowering quince ‘chojubai’
Boy do I like this variety. Honda says he removes all but the interior leaves once a year, possibly in June, and cuts back to about two buds when shoots reach 1-2″ long. The approach seems to be working.
Root over rock chojubai
Nestled here and there were a few small shimapku with fun movement.
Sargent juniper, aka shimpaku
Across the street an empty lot is put to good use – Miyazaki mountains rise to the southeast.
View from Honda’s garden
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