Welcome to my blog. I started this blog to share with the public the joy of my creations. I hope more people will join me on this journey. Bonsai is a very peaceful and rewarding passtime, hobby, craft or art. Make your choice. You can contact me at newzealandteatreebonsai@gmail.com.
Enjoy and Cheers.

Friday, December 18, 2009

A Cascade Tea Tree Bonsai

My bonsai knowledges and skills are mostly self-taught thru
books. My first book was Practical Bonsai For Beginners by Kenji
Murata. The books I learned most are Bonsai Techniques I and
II by the late John Yoshi Naka. I still considered them to be the
best bonsai books ever written. It has depth and is full of
illustrations. The author knew and experienced what he wrote.
The same cannot be said of many other books including those
covering other subjects. At times I wondered whether the authors
knew what they have written.
In one of the chapters on bonsai styles, John Naka wrote about
the different types of cascade. Most books mentioned about
semi and full cascade. In John's book, he broadened the scope of
cascade bonsai to include strings cascade, waterfall cascade, vertical
cascade, cliff cascade and multiple trunks cascade.
I have not seen any strings cascade and there was no illustrations
in John Naka's book. This tea tree bonsai represents my
interpretation of a string cascade. It was trained from ordinary
nursery stock over the last 8 - 9 years. It is a medium size
bonsai. This variety of Leptospermun Scoparium is called
Civic Pride. The flowers have a mixure of white and purplish-
pink with carbage petals.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A Mame Wild Olive

In Nov 2001, the BSWA organised an olive dig at an olive
plantation in Rolleystone. It was my lucky day. I stumbled
over an area that was mowed over the years by the
plantation owner. So I ended up with quite a number of this
tiny but old little trees. This is one of them. The first picture
shows the tree after about 2 years. The second picture was
taken last year. It is only 9.5cm tall. There are many types
of wild olive trees. The ones with tiny leave are the best for
bonsai. Olive trees are drought tolerant. A few years ago
when I was on a bonsai tour of Japan, three of my bonsai
dried up. They looked dead. One of them is an azalea, another
a melaleuca and the last an olive bonsai. I applied some of
the tricks I knew in an effort to revive them. Of the three,
only the wild olive bonsai came back. The wild olive tree
with small leave is highly recommended for bonsai. They
are hardy, grow very well in the climate of Perth and
tolerate bare-rooting. The are very greedy and if well fed
will grow fast.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A Shohin Tea Tree

Generally Shohin Bonsai is classified as those not exceeding 25 cm.
Some will want to stick to the stricter tradition of 20 cm. This
Leptospermun Scoparium Pink Cascade is 19.5 cm. It was developed
from an ordinary nursery stock over the last 7 -8 years. The good
things I like about small bonsai are that they are less taxing on the
back (the older you get the small your bonsai become), consume less
resources and take up less space. However in the dry hot summer
of Perth, WA, it is a challenge keeping them healthy. So more care
and attention are needed.

Friday, December 4, 2009

A Baeckea Bonsai

In October 09, I put this up for show at the Bonsai Society of
Western Australia Exhibition in Freemantle Town Hall. A few
members of the public told me that this tree reminded them of
some of our gum trees linning the roads up to Geralton. I have
not been to Geralton and so was curious. Perhaps, I should drive
up to that part of WA to have a look. Anyway this bonsai was
trained from ordinary nursery stock which cost me A$1 ( no
mistake one dollar) over the last 8-9 years. I have put in some
extra efforts on the refinement of this bonsai and like the result.
The efforts were worth it. Even though it is only 29cm tall, it
does look like one of our old gum tree growing wild. This, in my
view, is the essence of bonsai. The creation of an illusion that
you have somehow magically shrunk a fullgrown tree to grow in
a pot. The scientific name used to be Baeckea Virgata but has
now been renamed as Babingtonia Virgata. This specie has nice
bark, fine foliages and tiny white flowers. However the matured
wood is brittle and the foliages need constant maintenance to
stay in shape. It is quiet hardy and do tolerate drastic root
prunning. Will bud back.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A bottlebrush bonsai

Well, beside making bonsai from tea tree, I also played around
a fair bit with other Australian natives. Today, let me show you
one of my bottlebrush bonsai. I have been training it for the last
9 years. What I like about this specie are the distinctive attractive
barks and the consistent flowering in early Spring. If they are
well look after, they will reward you with a second flowering
season immediately after the first.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Rich Patronages Drive Taiwan Bonsai Scene

The rich in Taiwan are collecting bonsai in addition to antique. This is one of the major reason for the vibrancy of the Taiwanese Bonsai scene. Money and plenty of it are driving this market. The prices being quoted for some of these bonsai are way beyond the means of most people. I counted at least 30 bonsai on display in the name of this person whom I learned is a wealth Taiwanese businessman. Here are some of his trees on display.

Monday, November 16, 2009

More Pix of Taiwan Aspac2009

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Massive Taiwan 10th ASPAC 2009

Recently I spend a week in Taiwan attending the massive Taiwan 10th ASPAC 2009. Massive in the number of trees - 760. Massive in the size of the tree - most of them are more than 2 person bonsai. Some may even need a folklift. Massive in the standard and quality of bonsai on display. Massive in the bonsai not on display. Mr Loh Min Suan had only two trees on display. Some well known Taiwanese masters were not represented. Amy Liang still has hundreds in her private garden. Massive in the materials available. Tawan has definitely established itself as a world leader in bonsai. Here are some of the hundreds of photos I took. Will post more as and when I have the time.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Another Type of tea tree

This is another type of tea tree. It is a Leptospermum polygalifolium or more commonly listed as Leptospermum flavescens. This cultivar is Pacific Beauty. The biliogical age of the tree is more than 20 years. I have been training it for the last 6 - 7 years. The natural form of the tree is weeping which is the way I trained it. It flowers abundantly in early Spring. Quiet a sight especially those mature trees growing in the ground. From a distance they look like snow in Spring.

Friday, October 16, 2009

A Leptospermum Scoparium Pink Cascade Bonsai

The scientific name for Manuka is Leptospermum Scoparium. Leptospermum Scoparium is one of 80 specie in the Leptospermum family. There are many varieties of Leptospermum Scoparium. The most common is Leptospermum Scoparium Pink Cascade. Today I post one of my Pink Cascade bonsai. It was trained from ordinary nursery stock for about 9 years.

New Zealand Tea Tree - The Ultimate in Forbidden Bonsai

The New Zealand Tea Tree also commonly known as Manuka is an extremely difficult specie to develop and train into good bonsai. It has the reputation as THE ULTIMATE IN FORBIDDEN BONSAI. Had I known about this earlier, I might not have taken on this journey. As the saying goes "Ignorance is bliss.". It was only after I successfully bonsai the Manuka that I learned that many have tried but very few succeeded. I have seen only two New Zealand Tea Tree Bonsai outside my garden. One in Japan, and the other owned by an acquintance in Perth, Western Australia.
This adventure of mine started in 1987. I was on holiday with my family in Western Australia and was overwhelmed by the beauty of Manuka flowers. With my bonsai interests, I thought the Manuka with its' tiny foliages and attractive flowers might be a good candidate for bonsai. So when I moved to Perth in 1998 and after settling the family in, I bought some Manuka to bonsai. How little did I realized what I was in for.
To cut a long story short, I killed three dozens of them before I succeeded in extracting their (Manuka) secrets of handling them to their satisfactions. Even as garden plants, the Manuka is very fickle. They are extremely touchy and slight disturbance of their roots or lack of care and they wish you goodbye. For the first time, I learned of Instant Death in plant. An ex-nursery person told me that they usually lost half of their Manuka stock.
I will post the results of my over 10 years of frustrations and joy in developing and caring for New Zealand Tea Tree Bonsai.