Incredible Nebari

Sam & KJ's Suiseki Blog (水石)

If you have been in bonsai for very long you quickly learn that having good nebari (root structure) adds significantly to the aesthetic and monetary value of your tree.   But to be direct, in the US we don’t see that many trees with what we would classify as outstanding or incredible nebari.  It takes work – and more work – and then some time.

In 2008 we visited a individual (not to be named at his request) outside of Tokyo that was growing Japanese maples that made our jaw drop.  Let me show you the first of a few.

Japanese Maple

A nicely formed tree with the beginning of excellent ramification but with outstanding nebari.  Just look at this closeup.

Nebari on a Japanese Maple

The owner of this tree indicated that when he repots his maples he takes about three days to do it.  Why you might ask? He indicated that he very slowly combs out…

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Boon’s Bonsai

This gallery contains 8 photos.

Originally posted on Bonsai Eejit:
After a busy few days of bonsai home and away, I’m only now getting back to the USA trip photos. Here’s the next chronological instalment….. Next up after Yosemite was a drive back across California…

A Visit To Shinji Suzuki’s Bonsai Garden, Obuse, Japan

Valavanis Bonsai Blog


Our tour was fortunate to visit the bonsai garden and studio of Shinji Suzuki, one of Japan’s premier creative award winning bonsai artists. His garden is full of masterpiece and important bonsai, many which have never been seen before.


His garden design is superb and the beauty of each bonsai can be enjoyed. Small sectional displays have been set up to feature one or a group of beautiful bonsai. The entire pristine garden was clean and neat as well as his working areas.



Obuse is located near Nagago, Japan, host for the 1998 Olympic Winter Games. This is a cold region which was so beautiful with the fresh young green foliage. Since Mr. Suzuki lives in a cold region, mostly narrow-leaf evergreen species are featured including Sargent juniper, Japanese black and five-needle pines, Needle juniper, Japanese hemlock and Ezo spruce bonsai. Deciduous bonsai are well represented with Trident and Japanese…

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8th World Bonsai Convention in Saitama City, Japan– Part 2

Valavanis Bonsai Blog


The 8th World Bonsai Convention is now history and could probably be never repeated again! Especially in Japan. I asked numerous officials of the Nippon Bonsai Association if they can do it again…. next year. EVERY one of them burst out laughing, loud and said “I’m tired.” The were wrong with the estimated number of visitors too. They expected 20,000 visitors for the four day event, but ended up with OVER 40,000 people. Even on Sunday noontime people were waiting in line.


This morning Kora Dalager’s and my tour of 26 people from Australia, England, Switzerland and the United States begin a week traveling around the country visiting private and public bonsai collections, the Tokoname bonsai kilns as well as other scenic and Japanese gardens in the country.


One thousand bonsai in training by elementary students in the area display


Spring is the worst season to display bonsai indoors…

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Japanese Black Pine PW

Nebari Bonsai

I nickname a few trees after the pros who have worked on them. I have a Ben Oki azalea, and a Peter Warren Black Pine. This is how it looked a year after I bought it from Brussel’s in 2010.

And during the initial styling; where my daughter was a lovely and able assistant:

Taming a big bushy black pine is more than should be tackled in a single workshop, so Peter made some decisions on the front, moved some primary branches, and we made a plan for the future.

Little did we know he would have an opportunity to return in 6 months and revisit the tree, which now looked like this:

And we advanced the design a bit to this:

Skip forward 5 years to fall 2016, and I’ve continually pushed growth back toward the trunk, and replaced big branches with finer ones. I’ve had several failed graft…

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