Pacific Bonsai Expo- Part 1

Marc Arpag and I are traveling across our great country (around 3,000 miles) to exhibit a few bonsai, sell some trees and more importantly to also support the Pacific Bonsai Expo  in Oakland, California, this coming weekend. Many of the west coast bonsai community have also traveled across our country, seven times, to display and support the US National Bonsai Exhibitions in Rochester, New York.

After each of us having had two bonsai accepted in the Pacific Bonsai Expo we spent all summer preparing the bonsai and displays. Last week my New York State plant inspector came to my garden to inspect, then treat 150 trees before giving us the required permit the state of California needs to bring plants into the state. This is required to protect California agriculture from introduced pests and diseases.

So, we carefully packed my 17th Chevy Suburban and a small U-Haul trailer on Sunday with the help of several friends who are also helping Diane water, as she is very busy sorting out our second home fire which has left us homeless, camping out at a nearby Fairfield Inn for 47 days while our insurance company is searching to get us a mobile home or trailer to live in the driveway for the long, cold wintry months. We must stay on the property to care for the bonsai and our five pets.

We started our journey on Monday morning at 4 am. Marc loves to drive and would not allow me to drive, only navigate. He singly drove over 1,000 miles on Monday and another 1,000 miles on Tuesday. We had our itinerary planned out by Siri and took off.

Of course, we were carefully monitoring the weather ahead which predicted heavy snow, rain and high winds, exactly where we were to pass through the Rocky Mountains into California. Our friend Less Allen from Erie, PA was helping us and decided to contact another friend, Sam Edge who now lives in Reno, Nevada, much closer to our entry point into California. Heavy snow, two to four feet deep with high gusty winds were in front just waiting to welcome us into California. Fortunately, Sam has experience traveling and provided us with a new itinerary going south an extra three hours out of our way to hopefully avoid the severe winter weather, which we take as normal coming from Upstate New York. But this time it was a bit different as we are pulling a small U-Haul trailer full of fine, exhibition quality bonsai and traversing curving mountain passes.

After passing through several states we entered Nebraska. It was so flat and an uninteresting landscape. I’ve never seen such a straight road with nothing around. We could not believe our GPS with only a single straight line with nothing around.

Finally, we passed through Nebraska and entered beautiful scenic Colorado. It was nice seeing the high snow covered mountains in the distance and even nicer knowing we would not be coming close to drive through them. We got as high up as over 11,000 feet although I was only able to record 10,990 feet.

Tomorrow we have another full day, hopefully without any surprises as we pass through Las Vegas, Bakersfield and San Francisco as we travel to Oakland, California.

Hopefully, I should be able to post photos from this historical west coast bonsai exhibition.

Join Us For A Small Tour To The Japanese Bonsai World

Today Japan opened its doors for foreign tourists, from the US and other countries as well. I’ve been waiting for two years now and have missed a couple of good exhibitions. Julian Adams and I will be going to the Taikan Bonsai Exhibition in Kyoto, as I’ve been invited (third time) to be on the judging panel and also lead a few tours through the exhibition in English.

Marc Arpag and I are driving to the Pacific Bonsai Expo in Oakland, to display and sell bonsai. Five days later is the Taikan Bonsai Exhibition visit. When we return from Japan I get two days to get ready for Winter Silhouette Expo in Kannapolis, NC, on December 3-4, 2022. More on that event later.

Join Kora Dalager and me to visit the Bonsai World of Japan, featuring the Kokufu Bonsai Exhibition, Nippon Suiseki Exhibition, as well as the finest bonsai gardens in Omiya and Tokyo. Additionally we will be taking the bullet train around Mt. Fuji to visit Tokoname, where some of the finest bonsai containers are produced. We can purchase containers directly from the ceramic artists at an excellent discount. But the containers must be hand carried home.

Kora, an experienced travel agent and bonsai artist as well, will be joining me for this exciting tour. Kora and I have organized and conducted bonsai tours to Japan for over 25 years. We are well experienced with the Bonsai World of Japan. Hundreds of people have joined us from the US, Canada, Australia, England, Italy, Germany, Switzerland and more. Please join us for an exciting bonsai tour!

A visitor to the Nippon Suiseki Exhibition

Attached is the tour flyer. Kora is crunching the numbers for our afforfable tour because the exchange rate between the dollar and yen is the highest in 20 years, in our favor. If you have any questions or want the pricing, please contact Kora or me at:

The 2022 8th Upstate New York Suiseki Exhibit

This year’s suiseki exhibit was held in the Greenhouse Gallery at the International Bonsai Arboretum on September 10-11, 2022, in Rochester, New York. An active membership of 13, from a much larger group of the Suiseki Study Group of the Bonsai Society of Upstate New York shared their prized suiseki with visitors and answered many questions. A few weeks ago we had our annual stone collecting trip and a few of the newly collected stones were displayed as suiseki. A stone or rock does or become a suiseki until it is collected and appreciated for its artistic suggestions of natural scenic formations or of objects.


The 13 members shared their 48 suiseki with visitors, and each was displayed in a hand carved wooden daiza or water basins. All the suiseki were displayed on appropriate display tables. Two of the exhibits were displayed with bonsai to illustrate how they ca appreciated with bonsai. In addition of suiseki from New York, others came from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Wyoming, Alabama, California, Puerto Rico, Japan, China, Africa, Albania, Maine and Georgia.

Open House Bonsai Displays

Today we finished setting up my displays to welcome visitors to my garden for this weekend’s Open House & Sale. Each of the individual displays was very carefully designed, and the entire four displays as well. Each display is unique, all trees, containers, display tables, accessory plantings have not been duplicated. Even all of the flat stands under the accessory plantings differ.

The main alcove display in the studio features a Golden Full Maple and Dwarf Sumac. The foliage is still green on the sumac and I’m trying to time the orange red autumn coloring to hold until the Pacific Bonsai Expo in Oakland, California. So far dark green, so I’m hoping to get lucky because I’d like to use it with one of my two maples I’m displaying.

We are taking extra good care of the display maples. But, I just happen to have two excellent alternative maples of the same cultivars.

The main display alcove uses a special hanging scroll Seiji Morimae painted for me when my mother died several years ago. The dark colors over the moon present a sad emotion. Since Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II died yesterday I thought it might be appropriate for the main display.

According to my taste there is an error in this display. Can you find it?

We also set up the 8th Upstate New York Suiseki Exhibit, featuring 45 stones from America, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Alabama, New York, Japan, China, California, Wyoming, Puerto Rico as well as Australia and Albania. It took a long time to transform my greenhouse into a spotless area for a suiseki displays. Hopefully I’ll have time to take  few photos to share here.

Have you found the display error yet?

Lower Trunk Bases & Surface Roots

The lowest area of bonsai is one of the most important features which creates beauty and the character of the bonsai. We work the surface root area quite a bit when transplanting. Please note that nearly all of these bonsai have spent their entire lives in a container, carefully shaping and allowing the trees to mature slowly during the past 60 plus years under my care. The Ginkgo, Chrysanthemums, Larch, Satsuki, Korean Hornbeam and only one Trident maple were trained from field grown of collected material. All others have been completely container grown.

Today, just before, watering (and weeding and clean up too!) a few of my bonsai trunk bases looked interesting, so I’d like to share them with you. Yuji Yoshimura taught me to photograph bonsai when the trunks are dry and show more details and rich colors. Once I had to delay a formal photoshoot because it rained the night before. The professional photographer did not understand and I had to wait several days to capture the beauty of the trees on film, not digital, as it was decades ago before electronic imaging.

Please note that these are actual photos of my bonsai tree trunks as growing outside in a full sun exposure. Many have weeds, old needles and moss growing on the surface roots. The dozen or so bonsai selected for formal display at this weekend’s Open House & Sale have been moved from the growing tables to another area where they have been prepared for my 10 formal indoor displays. I can’t move the heavy trees alone so must wait until my friends come tomorrow to move them inside. The display tables, scrolls and accessory plantings are all cleaned and set up. 

I’ll post a few photos of my formal displays which have been carefully selected to greet my visitors at our 2022 Autumn Bonsai Open House & Sale this coming weekend, September 10 &11. Finally I watered my bonsai for almost two hours, while Diane spent three hours watering the sales and nursery areas.

2022 44th Mid-America Bonsai Exhibition

The 44th Mid-America Bonsai Exhibition was sponsored by the Midwest Bonsai Society. It was held at the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe, Illinois, on August 19-21, 2022 and is one of the largest regional bonsai shows in the nation. The tree quality has significantly improved throughout the decades, but took a giant leap forward this year with many refined developed bonsai. There were workshops, demonstrations as well as two courtyards filled with vendors. About 50 world class bonsai from the permanent collection of the Chicago Botanic Garden were displayed in two outdoor courtyards. Curator of the bonsai collection, Chris Baker, set up a unique contemporary display of bonsai on tables over a long hallway water tray. They were suspended and supported with wire.

Bonsai displayed over a tray of water supported by wire


ABS Rendezvous On The River 2022

The ABS Rendezvous On The River Conference was held in Memphis, TN on May 26-29, 2022. It was hosted by the Memphis Bonsai Society and Brussel’s Bonsai Nursery. The venue, Whispering Woods Conference Center was decorated by masterpiece bonsai from Brussel Martin. Welcoming visitors in the lobby was a magnificent Satsuki azalea in full bloom.

There were two displays in the spacious room, an invitational exhibit from bonsai collections and professional bonsai artists and a special “creative displays, where artists thought “out of the box” for their presentations. All the bonsai were of very high quality.




International Bonsai Spring 2022 Bonsai Open House & Sale

The International Bonsai Arboretum will be hosting the Spring 2022 Bonsai Open House & Sale on May 21-22, 2022 in Rochester, New York.

Come, visit and see what’s new in the garden and enjoy a 20% discount on most items. See how bonsai are propagated, trained and maintained in the garden as well as formal bonsai displays.

The Bonsai Society of Upstate New York will be having a one day exhibition on Sunday, May 22 from 9am to 5pm at the Golosano Autism Center. The exhibition is about a 10-15 minute drive to the International Bonsai Open House. Make a weekend of it and visit both!

49th Upstate New York Bonsai Exhibition & Sale

Sunday, May 22, 2022 (One day only)

9am to 5pm


50 Science  Parkway

Rochester, New York

Our members are thrilled to be able to have our bonsai exhibition again to promote bonsai to the area and nearby bonsai organizations. A warm welcome to anyone who would like to join us for this special Bonsai Exhibition & Sale. A suiseki exhibit will be hosted by the Suiseki Study Group of Upstate New Work. Bonsai demonstration on Sunday at 2pm.