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News from Sakura Bonsai Gallery

I hope to find the time to add some news on cleaning up my neglected collection.

Development and refinement of the Japanese Black Pine is not a daunting process.

At the Australian Bonsai Gallery we get a large number of visiting bonsai enthusiasts who say they avoid the JBP because they are difficult to bonsai. 

Nothing could be further from the truth. The JBP is one of the easiest species to develop and refine.  All you need to do is:

  • firstly, field grow your JBP.  They grow rapidly and develop their 'oldish' looking bark quickly in the ground.
  • They transfer to training pot/bonsai pot is easy. 
  • ... and the refinement process involves some very simple processes.  We have put together a concise description of the refinement process HERE.  It outlines the 'simple process together with a time-line for the corresponding fertilising program.

The gallery has some developed JBP FOR SALE that are ready for the refinement process.  They represent good value for those who want to practice these processes.

japanese black pine needle thinning

This Japanese Black Pine was in the catalogue, for sale, as a stock plant.  It has just been re-worked and is now for sale again as a bonsai. 

It has been roughly shaped in the 'slant style' and would make a great development project for any bonsai artist.

This one, along with many others, on sale here

jbp 18 re worked

This Japanese White Pine is one of the last trees to come out of our field development area.  Only another two massive Cork Barked Elms to be lifted.

This one will go on sale once it has settled in to its' training pot.  Keep an eye on our For Sale Page.

japanese white pine field

This old Swamp Cypress was developed from tube stock I purchased in 1981.  Such a long time ago... developed in my field beds over many years, transferred to a large training pot, and eventually into this bonsai pot.

It is difficult to explain the attachment I have to my old bonsai... and probably seems very odd to others.  Bonsai has become much much more than a 'hobby' to me now..... again, difficult to explain.

The 'up-side' to this is that my bonsai will eventually have a 'history', and with each bonsai I sell that history will become richer as, so far, all sales have gone to great homes.

NB.... still have some bonsai for sale

 swamp cypress 02 sold

Finally looking like a true bonsai.  This old, hachi-uye, Black Pine developed a very strong 'second flush' last Summer resulting in up to five shoots from each candle cut.... producing many shoots with very small needle length.

Now, after needle thinning, bud selection and wiring, I am happy to call it a BONSAI.

Notice the 'unwilling worker' added just for scale.

NB.... still have some bonsai for sale

large kuro matsu 1220

Two more old bonsai ready to go to their new home. !!

We have been delighted to have sold so many old bonsai to responsible and talented artists. 

Many bonsai have been sold from the gallery; and many more are being offered progressively, as they are prepared for sale.  For those interested in adding to their collections see what is on offer HERE.

sold bonsai australian bonsai gallery

 We took this pic at Shunka-en in 2016.  This Goyo-Matsu is about the oldest 'methuselah' I have seen.  It is, suprisingly, in a training box !!

Don't know if it is named.  If anyone can let me know if it is named ......please.  

There are many images of Kobayashi bonsai but I don't recall ever seeing this one before.  It is such an inspirational old bonsai with so many design lessons within it's form.

goyo matsu shunkaen

Impossible to 'take it all in' in a single visit to Shunka-en Bonsai Museum. So many high quality bonsai in the one place.  It was an absolute overload to the senses.

The hospitality shown by its owner, Kunio Kobayashi, ..... just as impressive and humbling. 

shunka en bonsai museum

I was naive enough to think that I had some large Goyo Matsu..... then I saw these at Kato san's nursery in Omiya village.

goyo matsu kato san

Open to all Australian bonsai artists, the Bonsai Open is an annual premier “Australian” bonsai competition. To ensure exceptional bonsai are exhibited alongside the Central Coast Bonsai Club’s annual show, a significant prize pool is being offered:
1st Place $3,000  |  2nd Place $1,000  |  3rd Place $ 500  |  Best Australian native tree bonsai $ 500 + $200 Native yamadori voucher from “Tree Makers”
The competition will be judged by Tony Bebb (Qld), one of Australia’s top bonsai artists.   Contact the Central Coast Bonsai Society for further info.  Entries close 15-Jun-2019.

Bonsai Open Logo

My entries:

resuku front final


old trident maple bonsai gallery


This is an old image of the Australian Bonsai Gallery's contribution to a local arts exhibition.  We called it our 'Detached Forest', firstly in an attempt to offer something unique, and secondly to try to appeal to the general public (and to those who may not like bonsai all that much).  It was, to our surprise, a real success.!!!

australian bonsai gallery detached forest taxodium

Resukyū (レスキュー ) has been 're-worked' this Autumn. Needle plucked, bud select, and re-shape this White Pine is a real pleasure.

Resukyu goyo matsu

stolenbonsai 1552414762After consultation with many bonsai clubs and associations we are proud to announce the launch of our Stolen Bonsai Register.

We see the register as, not only helping to track down stolen bonsia, but acting as a real deterrent to those contemplating the act. 

Simply, the more this register is publicised the greater the deterrent.

The work required in maintaining the register is, as I see it, a 'two-way street'. It will require all clubs and associations to be 'on-board' and advertise the link to the register on their individual websites and in social media. This way we can leverage the reach and exposure of our 'collective web presence' to the best effect.

I would, therefore, like all those interested to please add the following link and image icon to your websites and social media pages.


aka matsu second flush australian bonsai gallerySecond flush on this old AkaMatsu just starting to harden off. Will resume fertiliser programme soon. Looking forward to needle plucking and bud selection over the cooler months. Some wiring to refine the shape and to reduce and soften the crown also in the cooler months ahead.


I have been developing this old Ficus for decades.  Finally in it's first bonsai pot.  Lots of refinement to be done now.

 australian bonsai gallery old ficus



This very large, Hachi-Uye, bonsai has just been candle pruned.  Looking forward to the 'second flush' of many smaller candles.

 kuro matsu australian bonsai gallery 12

I have been working on this trident maple from a cutting struck in the early 80's.  It should be more advanced, by now, but it has been a victim of my limited time.  It is finally getting some attention.  The final stage of (initial) development is to thicken the lower branch with these sacrificial growth.  The rest of the tree is being refined and the leaves and inter-nodes are reducing nicely.  See what is for sale in the Gallery Bonsai For Sale.

 Trident Maple under construction

Just completed some initial 're-design' on this old Sequoia.  I started this bonsai as 'tube stock' from a local nursery in the late 70's.  It was field grown for a few years and spend ~5yrs in a large training pot before finally beint transfered to a bonsai pot.

The bonsai is shown here with one of the cuttings I took from this bonsai ~19yrs ago.  The 'cutting' has been in our garden for ~18yrs.  Quite a contrast!

 sequoia sempervirens bonsai cutting

This old Atlantic Cedar wa a 'swap' for one of my old Swamp Cypress some years ago.  I wanted to break up the very long-straight trunk and also to show off more of the dead wood now on the right.  At 105cm high it makes a real impact in the Bonsai Gallery here in Dorrigo. 

atlantic cedar australian bonsai gallery 

This old Trident Maple was grown from a cutting I struck more than 38yrs ago.  It was field grown to develop the nebari and trunk width.

I have just shortened the tree by ~17cm to maintain the focus on the nebari and trunk.  I need to reduce the leaf size so lots of pinching throughout the growing season is mandatory.   More buds, more branches, smaller leaves.


trident maple shortened

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