Hi, everybody, last week I did some delate indoor wiring and Winter […]

Hi, everybody, I have just posted the video of “THE FIRST STYLING OF […]

First here is the link to Ryan Neal’s BONSAI MIRAI LIVE website where […]


Hi, everybody,

last week I did some delate indoor wiring and Winter pruning. Late because of having to look for and buy new furniture for the living room and when that was finally don having to paint it twice! And indoor because it has been snowing like crazy here for the last couple of days! I just got in covered with snow because I had to remove the piled up snow from the birds netting that covers my small garden! It started sagging under the all the weight and I had to remove it by pushing the net upwards with broom…so needles to say that most of the snow ended up in my naked neck BBRRRR!!! But first, some pictures that I made of some deadwood and Jin work that I did on my big Prunus mahaleb Yamadori the sunny day before the snow started to fall. 

Below: The too long Jin that needs to be shortened and shaped.

Below: The long old natural Jin is shortened.

Below: The remaining stump.

Below: Breaking off pieces of wood with concave cutters to get a natural looking result.

Below: I love to do this creative work without much thinking or planning… just going with the flow!

Below: The end result for now.

Below: This is the stump that was left after the air layering was removed two years ago. It has been worked a little before with hand tools to reduce it, but it is still too bulky and massive for my liking so time to remove some more! The branch you can see on the left grows from the back of this deadwood and will be shortened in the future when it is thick enough, leaving a cascading branch appearing from behind that deadwood.! The 4 small branches that you can see growing upwards from it are crafted on to it last year, they will create in the future a small grown just above this deadwood 

Below: Still not their yet, but looking much better all ready!

Below: Then the snow started to fall and I moved indoors were I first finished the wiring of this old Pinus thunbergii (Japanese black pine) that has been in my collection almost right from the start of my life in Bonsai…I guess since 1991 0r 1992?! Back then it was still a thin Shohin, but I still decided to shorten it and replace the too thick top with a more suitable and thinner side branch! Now all those years later it has become a 44 cm/17.6 Inch high mid-size Bonsai! The needles are a bit too long, but that is to thicken the higher place branches some more! After all those years is has beautiful flaky bark and a mature overall appearance. It is one of many of my Bonsai that I will let go and is for sale at next Noelanders trophy!


Below: This Fat Boy Acer buergerianum has been in my collection and care since 1997! Then it was just a trunk with a few too thick roots on just one side and a few very thin misplaced branches and a lot of ugly and poorly health scares all along the trunk! Since then it has grown almost twice in size with a completely new top and branches! The Nebari is much much better now and looks amazingly strong and in balance with the whole tree! And now it is time to bring back the balance in all the branches so that I can steer and regulate the growth of the whole tree! 

Below: This branch that grows from behind the planed top section was allowed to grow straight and thick to thicken the whole top section! That is more than enough by now so it needs to be cut back to the suitable small side branch that you can see on the right bottom side of it! 

Below: My finger point at another example of a branch that was allowed to lengthened to thicken the whole branch! Now it will be shortened right to its base so that the branch under my finger will become the new branch tip, restabilising proper branch tapering!  

Below: The cut-off branch thickening machine!

Below: A close up of the top section showing just how much is shortened and removed.

Below: The end result for now. Other branches were cut or shortened to improve tapper or branch structure. After all that the overall image and balance of the whole Bonsai are restored. The two bottom branches are wired back into their places. These last two were the last couple of years allowed to grow in thickness and now they need to grow side branches and a proper branch structure!

Below: This roots over rock Acer buergerianum from Japan has been in my collection for some 20 years now. When I bought it all those years ago it had a few short and thin branches without any structure and a really short top section! Now after all these years the basic branch structure is getting better and is it about time to do some more branch refinement and selection to improve the overall image and to promote better energy distribution throughout every section of the tree! This way sunlight will reach all parts of the tree and that will tricker more back budding and that will lead to better ramification, foliage and overall health of the tree! 

Below: An example of how this works. The arrow points at a too thick and strong branch that is also placed in the armpit of two better-suited branches…so it needs to be removed completely!

Below: The too thick former top removed! The wound will, of course, be sealed with cut paste.

Below: After it is removed I am left with on the left a short slightly thicker side branch and on the right with a perfectly tapering top… and some nice movement as well!

Below: The red arrow points at a branch that is too fat, straight and long! The branch is at the hight of that arrow just as thick as just above that pink piece of my finger at the bottom of this picturer…so now taper!!! So I will cut it off just above that first strong right side branch below the arrow.

Below: Cut off, creating instant taper to that branch!

Below: Another branch that is removed and sealed with cut paste, creating instant taper to that branch!

Below: Another one that needs to go in favour of the one that is in between my fingers. That last one will then be shortened to just above a strong bud.

Below: This branch is well shaped and with good taper…but it growing straight upwards and looks like a second apex…so you guess what? It has to go too!

Below: The cut-off branch.

Below: Arrow points at another to long branch with not enough taper. It will be cut back to the nice side branch, just left below the arrow.

Below: That branch cut off.

Below: This branch grows just below were two others originated from, in time that will turn into a nasty bulging section on the trunk! I need those branches above this branch in my design…so it needs to go to prevent something that is hard to fix when it is too late! 

Below: Close up of the almost finished top section. A lot has improved and the future is promising again for this tree. These actions will over the next couple of years bring it closer to the desired outcome, a Bonsai with good mature and beautiful ramification. And that is a great part of a successful deciduous Bonsai…a part that is so often forgotten in modern Bonsai!

Below: Not the best of pictures but I hope it shows enough of how the ramification looks after all the work?! From here it will be more working towards improving the finer ramification and structure of all the branches. I am happy to see that this long partnership is getting closer to the image of a mature Bonsai…I can’t wait to see how it looks in a few more seasons time!

I hope you enjoyed this little post?!


Hans van Meer.

Info: karamottobonsai@hotmail.com




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Hi, everybody,

I have just posted the video of

“THE FIRST STYLING OF DIEDERICK HIS PINUS SYLVESTRIS YAMADORI” on YouTube! This is the story of the two fun sessions that we did to style this tall and unique Yamadori that I collected some 5 years ago. My friend and student Diederick and his wife fall in love with this tree when they visited my garden for the first time and they were happy to buy it from me and we then made an appointment to style it together at his place and film it all! This Yamadori is a tall formal upright uniquely shaped Pine with a long first branch that somewhere in its distant past was almost completely broken off by either snow or a falling rock! Somehow this almost fatally cracked branch stayed alive and health over with a beautiful Shari and was now all those years later the reason why I fell in love with it that day on that mountain…I just had to save this old guardian from falling into the closing dept just in front of him! It might be a bit controversial as a Bonsai, but we both really loved the story this tree had to tell because of this branch and would not thick off removing it! Thanks to Diederick and his lovely wife for their trust and for taking good care of me and the “Guardian”. I hope you all enjoy this little story of this pre-Bonsai?!


Hans van Meer.

Info: karamottobonsai@hotmail.com



Link To The Amazing Online BSOP Series: Spring Fundamentals By Ryan Neal From Mirai Live.

First here is the link to Ryan Neal’s BONSAI MIRAI LIVE website where you can find lots of wonderful Bonsai related video’s! And HERE is the link to the amazing video about Winter Preparation on Ryan Neal’s Bonsai Mirai Live! Thanks Ryan for helping so many Bonsai enthusiasts around the world!

Promo: Early Spring and days are getting longer, the weather is warming – spring is a pivotal time to maximize your bonsai’s development. Use this video to learn what to prioritize and where you should be placing your efforts in the month of April. Join us as Ryan covers different reasons for pruning, whether or not to repot, and how to approach fertilization at this point in the season.

This is what I wrote on YouTube after seeing this amazingly helpful video late yesterday night.

Wow! I have watched this 2-hour video totally captivated in one go until 3 in the morning! It is by far the best educational video around because Ryan has a way of teaching, explaining and showing that makes it all logical, understandable and stick! I have always been a big fan of his work….but his teaching easily equals his artistry. I will post a link on to my blog so that even more students of Bonsai can find their way to this uniquely valuable source of Bonsai information. Thanks, Ryan and all who made this Video possible! I can’t wait for the next edition!

I know of no other video or book that covers all the basics of Spring Fundamentals like this 2-hour video from Ryan, so please do your self and your Bonsai a favour and watch it!


Hans van Meer.

Posted in BONSAI TUTORIALS., DEMONSTRATIONS AND WORKSHOPS. | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Hi, everybody,

I found this Poem about (any God’s) beautiful nature that I would like to share with you all. It is titled “Under the old Maple tree” and is written by Mae Stein and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do?!

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Hi, everybody,

yesterday I did a Bonsai discussion at my first Bonsai club “KOYA” that is located in Rijswijk the Netherlands. I became a member there way back in 1991 and stayed there for 6 or 7 years. During those years there I organized with Farrand Blog en Rene Rooswinkel (now from BonsaiFocus) en many volunteers from KOYA one of the first big Bonsai exhibitions in Holland! And I was head of the activity committee for a while. And last but not least, I gave there my first and second demonstration ever! That first demo tree was a garden centre “Chamaecyparis nana” that a few years later won the “Dutch Bonsai days” and was later shown at the very first “Ginkgo Awards” and the “Crespy Cup”! I have fun memories of this club so it was great to go back there after all these years to help and teach the new and old club members with there questions and to give advice about maintenance and styling. I was welcomed at the door by a beautiful (portable) Tokonoma with a very mature delicate Holm (Quercus Ilex) that you don’t see that often as Bonsai in our part of the world. It was accompanieth by a nice scroll with a winter image and a suiseki. I had a great afternoon and the day was over before we knew it! The reactions were very positive and we agreed that I would come back early next year to give a workshop! After all the hearty goodbyes I drove back home…tired but very happy! Thanks to all the members of “KOYA” for their warm welcome and trust! I hope to see you all soon again?!


Hans van Meer. 


Hallo allemaal,

gisteren heb ik een Boom bespreking gehouden bij mijn eerste Bonsai vereniging “KOYA” in Rijswijk. Ik ben daar lid geworden in de begin jaren negentig en ben er zo’n 6 a 7 jaar gebleven. Gedurende die tijd heb ik met Farrand Bloch en Rene Rooswinkel (van BonsaiFocus) en veel vrijwilligers van KOYA een van de eerste grote Nederelandse Bonsai shows georganiseerd. Tevens was ik een tijd hoofd van de activiteiten commisie en ik gaf er mijn eerste en tweede domonstratie ooit! Die eerste demo boom een tuin centrum “Chamaecyparis nana” won een paar jaar later de land dagen en heeft nog op de “Ginkgo Awards” en de “Crespy Cup” gestaan. Onnodig om te zegen dat ik leuke herrineringen heb aan mijn tijd by KOYA, dus het was fijn om eindelijk weer eens terug te kunnen gaan om de leden te helpen met al hun vragen over de verzorging en het stijlen van hun Bonsai. Ik werd bij de ingang verwelkomt door een hele mooie portable “Tokonoma” met een hele mooie en volwassen Steeneik (Quercus Ilex) en een prachtige scroll met een winter motief en een goed bij passende Suiseki. Ik had een fantastische dag en hij was voorbij voor dat we er erg in hadden! De reacties waren erg positief en we zijn overeen gekomen dat ik begin volgend jaar terug kom om een workshop te geven. Na een erg hartelijk afscheid ging ik moe maar voldaan weer op huis aan. Bedankt “KOYA” voor jullie vertrouwen en warm welkom en hopenlijk tot volgend jaar maar weer?! 

Bonsai club “KOYA” Tokonoma.


Hans van Meer.

Info: karamottobonsai@hotmail.com



Posted in BONSAI FUN., DEMONSTRATIONS AND WORKSHOPS. | Tagged , , | Leave a comment
#metree :)

# metree: This is an open apology to whomever it may concern. I have to shamefully confess that over my past 27 years in Bonsai I have without asking their explicit permission have defoliated many defenceless trees against their will. I am deeply ashamed of this cruel and inappropriate behaviour and I am willing to face all the consequences that will follow because of this confession.

Hans van Meer. 🙂


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Hi, everybody,

over the last week, I have been busy looking over all my posts here on my blog if there where pictures missing and for poor grammar and spelling. I have found almost all missing pictures and reinstalled them back into the story’s and while I was at it I enlarged all the pictures as well for better viewing! It was fun to reread all my old posts again and it made me decide to repost a few interesting ones again. Over the last weeks, I have been preparing a lot of my Bonsai and a couple of them found new happy owners and homes. Over the last month, I did a few workshops and a fun private first styling session that I filmed to be posted on to youtube after the second and last styling session in a couple of weeks is don. I am very happy to say that there are some future workshops and demo’s planned abroad for early summer next year and I am preparing one of my Bonsai for the next Noelanders trophy (B) in January and two other Bonsai for the second edition of the “KEI BONSAI KAI” ten and ten “DANNY USE & FRIENDS” on 26 of May in “GINKGO” Bonsai centre in Laarne Belgium!!! This mega “Ginkgo” show will be completely filmed again by me, with a much better camera this time… so watch this space! So things are rolling again and that makes me more than happy! 🙂 Thanks all for visiting my blog all these years, it is highly appreciated! 🙂


Hans van Meer.

Info: karamottobonsai@hotmail.com


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