Hi every body, it has been a while …I know! But believe […]

Hi again every body, I know it is off topic….but I have […]

Hi every body, I am a live long fan of the only […]

Approuch graft on my Prunus mahaleb Yamadori.

Hi every body,

it has been a while …I know! But believe me a lot has happened in my normal and in my Bonsai live! I have over 60 trees to take care of in a very limited and crowded garden space (10 x 5 meters) and that makes it very hard to get around and to work on them! And taking decent pictures of it all, or these days video’s, is even harder to do! I am proud¬†to say that in my normal live I have spent the last 6 mounts to successfully detoxified from 10 years of heavy neuropathic pain medication and 20+ years of antidepressant medication! And by cutting down on sugar and carbohydrates I have overcome my recently discovered diabetes and lost some 20 kilo’s! So you see…I have been busy! ūüėČ I am currently finishing the video of my big Yamadori Larch “the story of the Elephant” part I for you tube and it will be posted in a few days! Part I is all pictures and words, simply because I did not have a video camera in those early days! So watch this space! Part II is all video and shows the compleat story of the massive undertaking of repotting it from the big wooden box were it lived in for 10 years, and into its first real Bonsai pot! And it shows “the Elephant” later on with new fresh green foliage….doing just fine! I hope to finish and post this part II in the next few weeks?! So again….watch this space!!!!

And what more? I have been busy with my workshop group and that is very fulfilling to do! Not a lot of styling has been don up to now, but I did do a lot of maintenance the last couple of mounts! And I will show some of that later on, but first I want to share some approach grafts that I made on one of my old Yamadori Prunus mahaleb’s from Slovenia!

Below: remember this picture showing the marcot (air-layering) that I was planning to make on this big old Prunus mahaleb?! Well the left bottom branch that you see in this pictures grows from just below the stump (red drawing) that was left when it was separated from the rest of the tree. On this, by now thick remaining branch, I made 3 approach grafts to get some new branches closer up to the trunk!

Below: the marcot after separation.

Below: a year later in full bloom.

Below: (red arrows) I made with a sharp and clean tiny curved chisel¬†wounds in both the mother branch and in the small sucker branches that grow from way down low on the trunk. These unwanted sucker branches would normally be removed constantly from anywhere on the trunk. Because they leave behind ugly scars if you let them grow to long….and Prunus mahaleb’s make a lot of them all trough the growing season! Some times so much that when they just appear, I use my small burner to get rid of them!

Below: (red arrows) left one shows the one that I made first. Right one shows the second one, that is like the first one tight down securely with the help of a tiewrap and then is  sealed with cutpaste to prevent drying out!

Below: red arrow points at the third one that I made. Behind that arrow you can see the big deadwood stump that needs some more shaping!

Now it is waiting en hoping that they will fuse together properly, so that I can creat better ramification more closer in the desired design for this promising future Bonsai. If so, than I can shorten the thick mother branch you can see in the above picture by some 25 cm or more! So fingers crossed! I hope you enjoyed this little update in the life of this old Yamadori?!

Next post is about pruning and pinching my Yew Yamadori Bonsai…so watch this space!


Hans van Meer.


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Hi again every body,

I know it is off topic….but I have to show you just how special FEYENOORD FANS and people from ROTTERDAM ARE! 150.000 supporters in front of our City Hall that waited since early in the morning and a other 50.000+ that were watching it on big screens¬†around¬†the city, gave their hero’s and the TROPHY a welcome they will never forget….and neither¬†will we watching it live on the TV!!! Lee Towers sung our anthem “YOU NEVER WALK ALONE” and then 200.000 fans jumped on the booming sounds of happy hard core, gabber and hardcore a other great thing invented in Rotterdam! This was unique in Holland and I do believe that it is unique in the world of sport?! Especially¬†if you realize¬†that Holland is not that big a country! ¬†I hope you enjoy the amazing images and forgive me that it is for once not about Bonsai?!

Thanks for letting me share this unique moment with you! This was a great moment of brotherhood and friendship in these difficult times that we live in and I just wanted to share this positive moment with you all!


Hans van Meer.


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Hi every body,

I am a live long fan of the only real soccer club of Rotterdam, FEYENOORD!!! And today my dream of them winning the Dutch championship once again, after waiting for it for 18 years, came finally trough!!! They were number one from day one of the competition¬†and won the trophy to day on the last day of the competition! Winning 3-1 on their home ground, the famous soccer stadium the¬†“KUIP” that is located on the south side of Rotterdam. Our hero, old timer Dirk Kuit scored all goals…and then Rotterdam exploded!!! 45.000+ fans¬†in de “KUIP” , 5000 fans in the indoor stadium “Ahoy” ,that were watching it live on a enormous screen and in the centre of Rotterdam, in front of the city hall, the long “Stadhuis plein” square, were a lot of pubs are located¬† was transformed to¬†one big in and outdoor party centre. With several¬†enormous screens so that¬†10.000+ fans could watch the game and get pissed!!! After they won, the party started for real and the city centre fountain and the normally busy roads around it, were taken over by a few hundred partying fans!!!

See what happened at the “stadhuis plein” (city hall square)¬†, when the first goal was made after less than 1 minute by Dirk Kuit!!! (this is were I use to be a DJ for many years)!

And the 2-0 by Dirk Kuit as seen from a other point….brilliant!!!



What a great day for my home town Rotterdam that I love so much and for all the Feyenoord fans that were so loyal for all those waiting years!!! A truly happy day indeed!!!


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My (Mijn) Workshops.

        Hi every body,

here are some fun pictures of my recent workshop that I did in Poortugaal (Holland) this year.¬† Every workshop is started with a little lecture from me about Bonsai subjects. Ranging from : fertilising, wiring, styling, soil and Pine care. Everything, text, pictures and my drawings is printed out by Marijke for the students to take home! The first 6 workshops I did this year, were just like last year, staged¬†by and for Bonsai Club “Rijnmond” . But after those were finished, the students were so enthusiastic about them that they asked me if¬†I could¬†stage one more my self,¬†focusing on the subject of Pine care?! Covering Pine Candle selection,¬†pinching, needle removing and styling? Well last Sunday it took place,¬†after the great help of my trusty organiser and helper Marijke, who was able to rent the workshop space again for us to work in! The pictures that Marijke made that fun Sunday give a good impression of the 8 students and the teacher having a wonderful time again! So much so, that jet a other one is planed by¬†us for July, and that¬†was booked full to the 8 max in a flash!!! ūüôā And that made them and me very happy again! I love to work with students on their baby’s! It is very fulfilling work to pass on what I know! I hope you enjoy this little impression of the great hobby that Bonsai is for us?!


Hans van Meer.


Hallo allemaal,

hier zijn wat leuke foto’s¬†van de laatste in de rij van 6¬†workshops die ik afgelopen Zondag gaf in Poortugaal (NL). Net zo als tijdens de 6 die ik daar verleden jaar al deed, wordt elke workshop gestart met een korte lezing over van alles wat met Bonsai te maken heeft. Onderwerpen zoals bijvoorbeeld: bemesting, bedraden, vormgeving en Denen verzorging worden dan behandeld door mij. Alles: tekst, foto’s en tekeningen van mij worden¬†altijd afgedrukt door Marijke, zo dat de studenten het thuis nog eens kunnen na lezen! De eerste 6 workshops van dit jaar, waren zoals de 6 van afgelopen jaar georginaseerd door Bonsai vereniging “Rijnmond” . Maar na dat de laaste afgelopen was waren de studenten zo enthousiast dat ze mij vroegen of het mogenlijk was er nog een te organiseren, met als ondewerp het verzorgen van de verschillende dennen als Bonsai?! Met de focus op het nijpen en verwijderen van de kaarsen, naald plukken en form geving! Wel afgelopen Zondag is hij succes vol gehouden, na dat mij trouwe helper en regelaar Marijke het voor elkaar had gekregen om de ruimte nogmaals te huren! De foto’s die Marijke gemaakt heeft van deze middag zijn een mooi voorbeeld van het plezier dat de leraar en zijn studenten hadden deze fijne Bonsai dag! Zo fijn, dat ik er nog een heb georganiseerd voor Juli, die gelijk weer vol zat met de maximaal 8 studenten voor zo’n dag! En dat maakte de leraar en de studenten heel blij!Ook hierbij was Marijke onmisbaar als bemiddelaar! Ik geniet enorm van het werken aan Bonsai met mijn studenten en het geeft me veel voldoening! Ik hoop dat jullie deze kleine impressie van het plezier dat de Bonsai hobby ons schenkt leuk vinden?!


Hans van Meer.

Info and questions about workshops, demo’s and Bonsai material:

Info en vragen over workshops, demo’s en Bonsai materiaal:



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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! ūüôā 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! ūüôā

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?! ūüôā

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! ūüėČ

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! ūüėČ 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‚Äôs a Kabudachi (multiple 5 trunk) and the height is 57cm. It is here photoshopped into it‚Äôs 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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