Hi every body, remember last year 29-4-2016 when I told you all […]

Hi again every body, it’s has been a while (again), sorry for […]

Hi everybody, again….it’s been a while since I could get my self […]

Prunus mahaleb “air layer” one year later.

Hi every body,

remember last year 29-4-2016 when I told you all about my plan to air layer a thick and old second trunk of my large Prunus mahaleb Yamadori that I collected a few years ago with my dear friends from Slovenia in Slovenia?!

Below: The red line shows the original massive trunk of the tree that would stay with me in Holland after the separation of the thick second branch ( yellow line). This branch section would be given later to my old Bonsai friend Tony Tickle to say thanks for all he has don for me over the last two decade! I can easily say that I would not have been were I am now in Bonsai with out the help of Tony! He took me on my first Yamadori trips and arranged many demo’s and workshop abroad for me! Just to name a few: the E.B.A in Stratford (UK) , 2 times Joy of Bonsai in Bath (UK) and last but not least 4 times at his own Bonsai extravaganza weekend workshop in Burrs (UK)! 6 of my best Bonsai that I have shown in many prestigious events, like the Ginkgo’s shows and the Noelanders trophy, I have because of Tony’s kindnes….so I am finally glad that I can give something special back to this important friend of mine!!!

Well on 17-5-2016 I made the air layer as I wrote and showed here !!

Below: This is how the marcot/air layer looked that day.

Below: on 28-7-2016, just over 2 months later there were lots of new roots to see pushing against the plastic bag! So it was already time to separate the branch from the tree!

Below: I left the plastic on there to protect the fragile roots! With a saw and a bit anxious the branch was cut off! This took surprisingly long because the branch consists out of 75 percent hard deadwood!

Below: Finally finished! Only the duck tape was holding the branch in place here! The here still thin and young branch you see be need the cut, will play a important part in my design of the original tree! but thats a other story!

Below: Just before the marcot is planted into it’s new temporary home. Just look at all those strong new roots! I could not be happier!

Below: The sphagnum moss was kept on there and the pot was filled with a mixture of: Akadama, Kiryu, Bims en regular rough garden soil. It was not possible to secure the new tree in the regular way, so I tied it down with wire and hooks around the pot rim. And watered it good before I placed it out of the wind in a half shaded and not to hot spot in my garden. From now it was praying and hopping for the best!

February 2017: Like every year Tony visited my house the day after the Noelanders trophy before he sails off to the UK again. We drink, eat, talk Bonsai and gossip like old woman! And of course he wanted to see my trees and the Prunus I promised him 2 years ago! 🙂 He liked it a lot and wanted to take it home that same day! But I convinced him that it would be better to leave it for a other year in my garden so that the roots would be able to grow even stronger! That way the bumpy rite home could not harm the health of this new tree! But next February in 2018 when he visits my house again it will be his! And I think that the next couple of pictures that I shot a few days ago of this new tree and future Bonsai in full bloom, will show just why I’m sure that he will!!

Natural deadwood is something we can never copy! Thats why working on and with these ancient Yamadori is such a honour and privilege to me!

Below: View of the stunning base. The spot were I made the air layer was carefully chosen just below this wides spot just below this little tree on the right side of it! This natural little tree is almost completely surrounded by really old deadwood and show how resilient mother nature can be! From there on up wards, it is all very old and weathered deadwood with only a small live vain running right up to the top, that keeps the rest of the tree alive! This small tree on what is really a Literati tree is very unique in my vision and, if necessary,  I will convince Tony to keep it on there! 🙂

Below: Half way up the tree. Just look at the cracked,burned and naturally bleached old deadwood. This trees grew in between the man made rock land devisions and were considered a pest by the farmers on whose land they grew and were chopped and burned regularly over many decades! Thats how the  became so gnarly and full of this stunning deadwood!

Below: And finally a shot of the whole new tree and future, in my humble opinion, unique and stunning Literati Bonsai! I am really proud of it….and I hope my friend Tony will be pleased with it?! He deserves it!

I hope you enjoyed this little story?!


Hans van meer.



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After a long time: finally some work I have don last month!

Hi again every body,

it’s has been a while (again), sorry for that…but I had some serious health problems to face and get trough over the last couple of months so blogging or Bonsai work was at a hold during that time! But things are a lot better now and I have all ready don a lot of Bonsai work that I would like to share with you all again from now on! I repotted a lot of my trees, even one very big one (the elephant Larch) after being 10 years in his wooden box! But that will be shown in a video story that I am currently working on to be posted on to you tube soon! So watch this space if you are interested!!! For the guy’s who were so kind to comment over the last couple of months: I just saw them for the first time and will react as soon as I finished this post!!!

After a very mild winter, I was taking out my trees from the winter shelter in the back of my small garden so that I could check them out, remove weeds and clean their pots. I was very surprised to find out that one of the (expensive) custom made pots was cracked on it’s four corners! This is very strange, because we had hardly any frost this winter and these pots suppose to be frost prove?! And to be honest: it has never happened with any pots I have in my collection from many other potters?! This is the second one by these potters that I lost because of this….so I wont be buying a other one from them!

Bellow: the frost cracks.



Below: So I had to make a unexpected repotting and the only pot I had that would fit this large Dutch Crataegus Yamadori, was this (to big) Tokoname pot! But it would do for now and the tree has more room to grow quickly this way!

Below; The tree removed from the broken pot. Now I could start to carefully removed the old soil.

Below: Thick roots that were left during the last repotting, were now shortened to just before were there where small healthy roots growing out from it!

The old soil was removed as much as possible and the smaller roots were shortened sufficiently so that the tree could grow strongly again for some years!

Below: The tree in it’s temporary new pot. These Dutch Hawthorn Bonsai was well over 2 meters when I collected it and is pretty rare because of it’s natural deadwood all along it’s trunk line! It’s takes forever to create a proper branch structure…but I am not going anywhere and neither is the tree…so who cares?! 🙂

Below: This Acer palmatum “deshojo” is one of my first Bonsai and is in my collection for well over 25 years now! It has grow almost twice in size and the root base is completely created during that time!

In my element! After suffering yet a other #*X## sparrow attack on the roots and old flaky bark of many of my defenceless trees, I decided enough is enough!!! So I bought a birdcage net on line and covered my whole garden with it! This was hard and some what dangerous work and I must have climbed up and down a ladder a hundreds times! But after 2 days work my garden was finally bird proof! No more exposed roots, loss of moss or bark destroying!

Repotting my Ilex vertillata. This is a 50 years+ Dutch urban Yamadori in the multiple trunk style “Kabudachi”. Right from the start I realised that this would be a difficult repotting, because from a earlier repotting into it’s present plastic container,  I had discovered that the roots consisted mostly out of one big massive rootclump! But I still wanted to plant it into the beautiful early “Isabelia” Bonsai pot that I bought especially for it, out of the pot collection from my dear old friend Danny Use from the Bonsai centre “Ginkgo”in Belgium.

Below: The beautiful pot.  

Below: Preparing the pot with plastic gauze covering the draining holes and aluminium wire to secure the tree tightly into it’s new home.

Below: A layer of Bonsai soil containing Akadama, Kiryu and Bims is placed on to the bottom of the pot.

Below: The tree relieved from it’s old home.

Below: The old top and bottom soil is removed and all fine roots are shortened. As you can see here: this will never fit into the shallow new pot?!

Below: All thick roots were shortened as far as possible. But the red arrows point at the hug massive root ball that was still sticking out at least 6 to 7 cm to far! I was able to remove some off it with a electric saw and with concave cutters, but this was as far as  I could get with those?! So it was time to get out my trusty Bosch power tool with my largest size cutter in it’s  mouth!

Below: Car fully carving away the centimetres of excess wood, constantly checking if I had don enough!

Below: Happy me! It was not easy to hold the heavy tree with one hand and to carve with the heavy bouncing power tool! Thats why it took me more than 20 minutes to safely remove enough to fit the tree into it’s new home!

Below: Carefully pushing in the soil into the roots with the help of a chopstick. Making sure that no air pockets remain! Almost finished! I am so glad that the tree is finally in his new pot! And now it is cleaning time and then of to the shower!

Now a few weeks after this repotting, I am glad to say that this tree is doing just fine and it has new foliage on all it’s branches! So no harm was don! I am even thinking of showing it in the next Noelanders trophy….but thats for later! 😉

Hope you enjoyed this little story’s? More to come in the next couple of days! So watch this space!


Hans van Meer.


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Still here!

Hi everybody,

again….it’s been a while since I could get my self to sit down and wright on my blog! I feel my blog should tell story’s of joy…because most of the times, Bonsai brings nothing but joy! But I have been poor for a long time now, with a lot of ups and downs, so the short periods of  being able to work were mostly used to maintain my Bonsai as good as was possible at that time! Mind you though, my head and hearth were always filed with Bonsai….but the actually doing it was the hard part! Strange how those things can go in live?! It is like being Hugh Hefner… at his age… in the PlayBoy mansion… with out any blue pills! Me love it….but me don’t work good anymore! 😉 But I did do things (see picture above) and when I did, it was like discovering Bonsai all over again!! Simply because I still love it and creating and seeing those small trees grow into my vision is still priceless!!! I miss the traveling and my Bonsai friends though..! And I am planning and working hard towards catching up on all those things  next year!!! 

One of the trees that is coming along nicely is the one below!  It is a Winter image picture I made last week of my (Still a bit to young looking)  Ilex verticillata (winterberry.) This is a Urban Yamadori from Holland and some 60 years old by now. It is saved from the blender when a 55 year old train station was demolished and all old trees and scrubs were destroyed! It’s a Kabudachi (multiple 5 trunk) and the height is 57cm. It is here photoshopped into it’s future (next year?) beautiful Isabella pot, that I so luckily bought last month at my long awaited first visit to my dear friends Danny and Ingrid from Bonsai centre “GINKGO” (B) in 10 years! And it is in training since 2009. It needs a few more years of fine ramification to fill it more out and than it will be ready to show! The slab is found years ago at a carboot sail and needs to be made thinner and more presentable by me in the future! I hope you like this little forest as much as I do?!

I am still working on improving this new blog design, so bare with me please!! I will be posting more soon! And I am working as best as I can on my new website as well…so lots of stuff happening ….and that is just fine!!!


Hans van Meer.


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Pictures of mine Pinus thunbergii Yamadori and a Tip.

Hi everybody,

a few days ago I did some maintenance work on my old Pinus thunbergii Yamadori from Japan. I got this pretty tree some 20 years ago as a birthday present and I still think it is wonderful! She has been trough a lot since she arrived in my garden! Being blown right off the tables by a storm…twice! The second time straight into the pond I  then hat still in my garden! Were she laid several days completely submersed under water before we noticed that she was missing! And than there was the time that she, after I had cut off the old needles, dropped all of here new growth! She was completely bold! But she soon made new buds and now some 12 years later is still doing fine! Although I love the small round pot she is in now, I am sill planning to repot her next year in a slightly bigger and heavier square pot, so that she can grow some more roots and so that she can stand more safely and secure by its self on my tables. Now she is still tight down with wire and a piece of bamboo to the upside down pot that you can see under need its pot! This pot is there to hold and weight her down to the table! Before these pictures were made I removed last years needles so that more light can reach the inside of the branches to promote back budding! Tomorrow I will remove the wire from all the branches! I will rewire her just before I will repot her next Spring! But I still wanted to show her to you all and I hope you like her just as much as I do?!

30-7-2016 226 hans van meer 500Close up of the beautiful and all natural deadwood/ Shari and old bare roots/ Neagari. The trunk winds half way down the foliage you can see and then curls up again to just under the bottom of its pot!




30-7-2016 239 hans van meer 500And than now a other (I hope) helpful tip! A lot of us use aquarium tubing (see picture!) to prevent wire from digging into the bark of the tree when we are bending thick branches with tension wires between the two branches!

30-7-2016 255 hans van meer 500But than we have a problem because this tubing can only be used on one branch, because if we want to use it  around the second branch (see picture!) to protect it, we cant run the wire trough it and tighten it?!

30-7-2016 263 hans van meer 500Well here is the solution! With the help of a concave cutter (see picture!) cut out a small bite off one side of the tub!

30-7-2016 271 hans van meer 500So that you are left with a piece of tube that look like this (see picture!)!



30-7-2016 274 hans van meer 500

Now you can run both ends of the wire trough both ends of the tube en run them them trough the whole you just cut out! Slide the tube down the wire as tightly against the bark as possible  and with a tong twist both ends of the wire as tight as necessary to hold the branch/es in position!

30-7-2016 283 hans van meer 500

Hope this will help you and that you liked the  quick view of my little old Pine?!


Hans van Meer.







































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Pictures of my small Yamadori Hawthorn and a Tip.

Hi every body,

last week I made some pictures of my small Hawthorn Yamadori that I collected many years ago with dear friends Tony Tickle and Terry Foster in Wales. Up to now it is almost always shown on the web and in shows with out any foliage….so here it finally is with its Summer foliage!

4-7-2016 kleine meidoorn 172 hans van meer 500And a close up of its nicely ageing bark.

4-7-2016 kleine meidoorn 173 hans van meer 500

Below: I know that just like me many of you use different kinds of plastic tubs or pots for your pre Bonsai! Most of those containers have some sort of rim around it on top! When we need to secure a resent potted plant or tree in one of these containers or when we need to pull down a branch with wire, we have a problem! That is than solved by making some holes in those rims with  scissors, knifes or power drill to run the wires trough and secure! This is often hard work that needs to be don in exactly the right place to work and it means most times that this container cant be used a second time, because it is weakened! Well here is a simple solution that prevents this and makes it possible to adjust the wire when needed! Cut a 3MM up to 5MM (old piece) of wire to length and with a plier bent it like in the picture below! Secure your (in this case copper) wire to it as close to the needed length and secure it! Now if your wire is to short or to long and your branch needs to be bend more or less, just slide the hook you have made to the left or right side! Simple but effective! And those hooks are re usable so handy in your tool box when you need them the next time!

7-7-2016 XL hans van meer 153 org 500Below: this is how it works! More bend to the left! Less bend to the right! And no harm to the container!

7-7-2016 XL hans van meer 169 org 500




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The last Part (IV) of The story of XL my Yamadori Larch is online!

Hi again every body,

just to let you know that the last Part of XL’s story is on line! Something went wrong and one little segment of 15 seconds is missing and black, but that should not matter to much! I don’t know how to fix it, so I will let it be like it is before I do more harm! I hope you enjoy it anyway?! I will film 2 first styling sessions of 2 Scots pines that I have waiting for it and post them in the near future! So watch this space for that! And were I wrote Solden in Belgium, should be Heusden- Zolder in Belgium! Oops! 🙂


Hans van Meer.

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The story of XL my Larch Yamadori Bonsai Part III is uploaded!

Hi every body,

I just uploaded Part III of “The story of XL my Larch Yamadori Bonsai” Part III on to you tube!!! The final Part IV will be uploaded later this day! It was a lot of work making this story and I really hope you like it?! I will be posting pictures of my work that I did during the last weeks later this week here on my blog again! So watch this space!


Hans van Meer.


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