(225) 784 - 2168 zach@bonsai-south.com

 

I’m Zach Smith, a 30+ year bonsai veteran. 

And I’m here to provide collectors and experienced bonsai enthusiasts with the finest large collected bonsai available anywhere.

Big BC Update

  I posted a progression on this tree at the end of last year. With spring now in full force, this specimen has exploded with growth. I repotted the tree last year, and was in hopes of big growth for 2019; but I had to wait. But that's fine. To make a good design...

Chinese Elm Initial Styling

  Here's the Chinese elm you saw this past weekend. It's a pretty "hunky" specimen, with a good curve in the trunk that I can use to start a nice design. As I mentioned the other day, when left to grow without intervention Chinese elms don't put on much if any...

Bonsai Odds & Ends – Huckleberry, Chinese Elm, Pocomoke Crape

  Here's an update on my big Huckleberry bonsai that I potted this spring. As you can see, it has filled out with foliage. It's normal for Huckleberries to take three years to really get "bushy" with foliage: year one is typically all structure building, making...

Oaks Bud Late – Worth The Wait

  This is a Water oak, Quercus nigra, that I lifted last year. It budded a bit high, but I decided to accept the challenge of making a nice bonsai from it. I love working with oaks, and you'll see more of them in the coming weeks including several for sale. This...

Let’s See What Happens With This Swamp Maple

  I've blogged about this Swamp maple before, most recently last fall. The plan at the time was in finding the right leader so that I could chop the trunk and start the serious design work. With the explosion of growth now on the tree, it's time to take this next...

A Pocomoke Crape Myrtle Gets Styled

  I acquired this Pocomoke crape myrtle from a grower a few years ago. It was overgrown, so my first job was to chop it back so I could start planning a design. This is a photo of the tree from last August. The buds are starting to swell, so it's time to get busy...

Bonsai Odds & Ends – Elm, Maple, Hawthorn

  Spring is gathering speed now, and most everything on my benches (beech and most oaks are usually last) is coming into leaf. Water-elms also lag, so I took the opportunity today to pot up a couple of small ones. This is another of the trees that came home last...

Development Work On A Very Large Water-Elm

  We collected this very large Water-elm in 2018. The trunk base is 4", and the upper trunk chop is at 29". Last year it grew out strong, and I was able to wire the basic branch design. By the end of the growing season, the tapering transition at the upper trunk...

Forest Bug Continues – Water-Elm Plan Works

  I've had the bonsai forest bug for a while now. I've always loved good forests, but only made a limited number. In the past year, I've really ramped up the assembly line. During this past summer's Water-elm collecting season I intentionally set about to harvest...

Potting And Repotting – Water-Elm, Boxelder, Lantana

  I potted up this Water-elm last year. It's a specimen from the 2018 collecting season, and since Water-elms develop so quickly I was able to move it along less than a year after it was first lifted. It's a nice composition, but there's one problem with it - the...

Bonsai Odds & Ends – Hophornbeam & Dogwood

  Eastern hophornbeam, Ostrya virginiana, is a good species for bonsai though seldom grown. It's a member of the birch family, as is its close cousin the hornbeam. The leaves, however, are coarser. On the good side of the ledger, they produce a rough bark when...

Chinese Elm: Unsurpassed

  If I had to select only one species to grow as bonsai, it would be Chinese elm (Ulmus parvifolia). If I had to select the one species grown for bonsai that has been most abused by the commercial bonsai industry, it would be Chinese elm. Be that as it may, I...

Let’s Go Water-Elm Rafting

  I love raft-style bonsai. We often find Water-elms (Planera aquatica) growing naturally in this style, as their tendency is to grow naturally in a shrub-like form. We brought this one home last summer, and it recovered very nicely. I've been itching to work on...

Flower Power

  Just a quick blog this evening featuring a wonderful flowering species for bonsai, Huckleberry (blueberry). I've only been working with them for four or five years now, but I've been pleasantly surprised at how freely they bloom in a pot. It only takes a year...

Another Repotting Project – Cedar Elm

  Here's a Cedar elm that needs repotting. It was collected two years ago, and has filled out wonderfully well. This growing season should see a finished bonsai of this specimen.Repotting time is always the time to make corrections to the rootage of your bonsai....

Chinese Elm Repotting – Key Bonsai Practice

  Repotting our trees is a key bonsai practice, and one that you must gain mastery of. Here is a summary of basic steps you'll take each time you repot your trees: Make sure you have all necessary tools and supplies, including prepared soil, before you start Have...

A Quick And Easy BC Forest

  A couple of years ago I planted some Bald cypress seeds in a cutoff 3-gallon nursery pot. I did nothing to them, just let them do their thing. I've had my eye on the dominant tree for a while now, figuring I'd split up the group and plant them separately into...

Some Things That Are Waking Up

  Each winter there are certain specimens of certain species that decide to wake early from dormancy. It just takes a little warmth and sunshine, and they start popping buds. We just finished up Bald cypress collecting season last week. This one was collected two...

BC Collecting Trip #5 For 2020

  Yesterday we wrapped up Bald cypress collecting season. The winter collecting season (this far south) is driven largely by the weather. Ours has seen some warm spells, and despite a few mornings near freezing it's just not been enough to keep these trees from...

BC Collecting Trip #4 For 2020

  Today was BC collecting trip #4 for 2020. As usual, we had great luck. This may be my favorite specimen from today's group. Some BC's just have that flat-top look, and this is one of them. The base is 4" and it's chopped at 30", which will make a tall and...

BC Collecting Trip #3 For 2020

  Today was our third Bald cypress collecting trip for 2020. The goal was to bring home somewhat smaller material, mostly in the 3" +/- trunk size. We were definitely successful. This is a good example of our haul. The base is terrific, and you can't argue with...

BC Collecting Trip #2 For 2020

  Our second BC collected trip for 2020 happened yesterday. As often happens, the weather did not cooperate. On the plus side, the rain was not Noah-worthy so we plowed through and got the job done. If you're into big classically styled Bald cypress bonsai, this...

Huckleberry #5 Potted

  Here's where we left off with Huckleberry #5. With the fall trimming and carving done, I set it back on the bench and got busy with other chores. Flower buds on my Huckleberries are swelling, and a few are already opening. With the mild winter, I expect these...

How To Make Good Material A Lot Better

  Here's a Bald cypress I collected in February of 2018. It's a good piece of material, but not a great piece of material. It is nice and big, with a trunk that measures 6.5" across about 6" above the soil. Taper is very good, as you can see. But the trunk, while...

BC Trees With Knees Are The Bee’s Knees

  Well, there's nothing like Bald cypress collecting season, and there's certainly nothing like a collected Bald cypress featuring a naturally occurring knee. This is a very substantial specimen, as I'm sure you can tell (the tub is 24" long). Something ran over...

Tale Of A Hawthorn Cutting

  I enjoy making new bonsai material by taking cuttings from the trees I work with. I also enjoy working with the species Riverflat hawthorn, Crataegus opaca. Unfortunately, those two pleasures seldom happen together. I have found Riverflat hawthorn cuttings to...

Bald Cypress Progression

  This Bald cypress (Taxodium distichum) came home in 2015, and I knew from the start that I was keeping it for my personal collection. A BC of this size, 6" trunk 6" above the soil), will invariably take about 10 years to reach a "finished," showable state. So...

Harvesting A Hefty Huckleberry

  It's Huckleberry collecting time, and today I harvested a hefty one. Here it is, right out of the ground with the roots washed off. The trunk base is 2.5" above the root crown. This is about the trunk size limit for the species, as near as I can tell. I'd...

What Lies Beneath – Zag When You Gotta

  The mildness of winter (so far) plus the need to get things moving for 2020 encouraged me to pot up this Water-elm. It's a nice smaller specimen, an unconventional triple-trunk. The larger ones are 3/4" thick, with the entire base 2" across. The first thing to...

The Bonsai You Only Need To Buy (Or Nab) Once

 It's a winter tradition for me to do at least one post about tropical species for bonsai. Today's subject is Dwarf jade, Portulacaria afra, otherwise known as Elephant bush or Spekboom. Dwarf jade is a succulent plant that in the tropics can grow up to 15 feet...

More Collecting, A Couple More Examples

  Here's a quick update for today - a balmy Deep South winter day, high 75, meaning the weather wasn't miserable for lifting trees. This triple-trunk Chinese privet, Ligustrum sinense, is actually a connected root specimen. The trunks are nice, with great taper,...

An Early Start On Collecting Season

  I planted out some Parsley hawthorn whips a few years ago. True to the old adage, "first year sleeps, second year creeps, third year leaps," this year I've noticed a number of the specimens have put on some heft. A few have reached my minimum for lifting,...

Swamp Maple #2

  I recently sold a Swamp maple I've been working on for three years. Among the very nice features of that tree was the fact that it didn't start rotting from the chop down in year three, which had been my experience over the course of many years and many trees....

More Fall Work – Water-Elm

  This nice Water-elm got its first bonsai pot in late February of this year (2109). I had collected it as a bare trunk, and chopped it where you see the obvious mark. So here we are, just under 10 months later. There's been a good bit of wiring and trimming...

Bonsai Odds & Ends – Oak, Oak, Sweetgum

  Here's a nice smaller Water oak I started working on last year.  Water oak is quickly becoming one of my favorite species, featuring small leaves, short internodes and ease of ramification.  They are very happy in a bonsai pot. This one budded fairly...

Flat-Top Bald Cypress Design Work

 This flat-top Bald cypress is coming along really well for a single year of training. With that said, the design can stand some tweaking and fall is a perfect time to do it. All of the foliage will be off this tree within the next few days, so knocking some off...

A Huckleberry Bonsai For 2020

  So it's time for Thanksgiving weekend, and aside from overeating that can only mean bonsai fun for me. I collected this Huckleberry, Vaccinium sp., this past winter. Except for minimal training work, I've just let it grow to get established. With the weather...

Fall Color And Flower Buds – BC And Huckleberry

  Here's one of my landscape Bald cypresses that I've grown from seed since 2000. It gets bigger and better each year. Isn't the color just terrific? This one is just starting to put on its bronze for the year. Once the colors start, you've got maybe a week...

Roughleaf Dogwood Styling Work

  I recently acquired this Roughleaf dogwood, Cornus drummondii, from a local collector. The great trunk base, taper and movement were what drew me to the tree. The styling is on its way, but there's always more to do. So today I set out to make a few minor...

Fall Color, Pseudo Fall Color, And An Early Hard Freeze

  My venerable old Crape myrtle bonsai was challenged this year. After I repotted it in spring, it started to bud out just in time for a good freeze. I mistakenly thought that, since Crapes are quite winter-hardy, the new buds would be likewise. Well, they froze...

Layering To Improve Trunk Base And Rootage – Privet

  It's not uncommon to have a less than stellar base or rootage on your bonsai. This Chinese privet, Ligustrum sinense, is a good example. The tree is nice, for sure, and will be just about fully developed next year after a good start this year, but there's an...

Bonsai Questions That May Have A Yes Answer

  Black cherry, Prunus serotina, is very common where I live and probably where you live too. They're lovely trees, too, with dark plated bark and glossy green leaves. The fruit is edible though tart and not very palatable. The wood of larger specimens is prized,...

Quick Design Clinic – Styling A Couple Of Elms

  There are some tried and true bonsai design principles. The reason they're tried and true is because they conform to fundamental design principles that are not strictly endemic to bonsai. Balance, proportion, perspective, positive and negative spaces, all of...

First Taste Of Fall – And A Few Water-Elms For Next Year

  I love forest and group plantings. They come in several different forms: actual "forests" of multiple specimens of trees, rafts, multi-trunk groups, and so-called clump-style. It's hard to beat a well-executed bonsai forest. In this year's Water-elm collecting...

In Bonsai, Time Is (Almost) Everything

  I write and talk about it frequently. Making bonsai is, aside from the obvious horticultural and design aspects, mostly about time. Trees may grow fast, but they only grow so fast. With that said, making the best use of the growth cycles of our trees is...

Looking To 2020 – Flowering And Fruiting Species

  Though the holidays are not yet upon us, it's not too soon to start thinking of 2020. A lot of the work we do now will have an impact on how our trees develop next year. Today I looked at a few flowering and/or fruiting specimens that will make great progress...

A Few Rules For Slip-Potting

  Those of you who have been with us for a while know I love to slip-pot trees. Why? Well, I guess the biggest reason is I'm impatient to see a tree progress toward its best self. Another reason is that a lot of trees pass through my hands, and often it's just...

Bonsai Development Basics – Trunk Building

  That Boxelder I lifted last month did so well I thought I'd lift another one. Might as well have two to play with next year. For this specimen, my plan is somewhat different as I want to build the trunk from the ground up. In this blog post, I'll show you what...

Water-Elm Redux – Progress, Progress

  There's no denying that fast development in our bonsai is a good thing. To be sure, time in training really brings a bonsai to a fullness of design. But getting the design established quickly is, in my view, very important. Some species lend themselves to this...

Bonsai Odds & Ends – Oak, Fig, Maple

  I love working with unusual species, and making bonsai that defy the normally accepted rules for design. Here are a few examples of current projects. First off is a Red oak, Quercus nuttallii, that I collected in East Texas a couple of years ago. (East Texas...
The Bonsai South Collection

Water-Elm #39
(Image #1)

Water-Elm #39
(Image #2)

Water-Elm #39
(Image #3)

Huckleberry #5

Water-Elm #53

Water-Elm #40

Water-Elm #39
Water-Elm #35

Bald Cypress #68

Huckleberry #5

Water-Elm #53

Water-Elm #40

Zach’s Bonsai Experience

Years Experience

Bonsai Articles Written

Bonsai Created

Bonsai Demonstrations

Big BC Update

  I posted a progression on this tree at the end of last year. With spring now in full force, this specimen has exploded with growth. I repotted the tree last year, and was in hopes of big growth for 2019; but I had to wait. But that's fine. To make a good design...

Chinese Elm Initial Styling

  Here's the Chinese elm you saw this past weekend. It's a pretty "hunky" specimen, with a good curve in the trunk that I can use to start a nice design. As I mentioned the other day, when left to grow without intervention Chinese elms don't put on much if any...

Bonsai Odds & Ends – Huckleberry, Chinese Elm, Pocomoke Crape

  Here's an update on my big Huckleberry bonsai that I potted this spring. As you can see, it has filled out with foliage. It's normal for Huckleberries to take three years to really get "bushy" with foliage: year one is typically all structure building, making...

Oaks Bud Late – Worth The Wait

  This is a Water oak, Quercus nigra, that I lifted last year. It budded a bit high, but I decided to accept the challenge of making a nice bonsai from it. I love working with oaks, and you'll see more of them in the coming weeks including several for sale. This...

Let’s See What Happens With This Swamp Maple

  I've blogged about this Swamp maple before, most recently last fall. The plan at the time was in finding the right leader so that I could chop the trunk and start the serious design work. With the explosion of growth now on the tree, it's time to take this next...

A Pocomoke Crape Myrtle Gets Styled

  I acquired this Pocomoke crape myrtle from a grower a few years ago. It was overgrown, so my first job was to chop it back so I could start planning a design. This is a photo of the tree from last August. The buds are starting to swell, so it's time to get busy...

Bonsai Odds & Ends – Elm, Maple, Hawthorn

  Spring is gathering speed now, and most everything on my benches (beech and most oaks are usually last) is coming into leaf. Water-elms also lag, so I took the opportunity today to pot up a couple of small ones. This is another of the trees that came home last...

Development Work On A Very Large Water-Elm

  We collected this very large Water-elm in 2018. The trunk base is 4", and the upper trunk chop is at 29". Last year it grew out strong, and I was able to wire the basic branch design. By the end of the growing season, the tapering transition at the upper trunk...

Forest Bug Continues – Water-Elm Plan Works

  I've had the bonsai forest bug for a while now. I've always loved good forests, but only made a limited number. In the past year, I've really ramped up the assembly line. During this past summer's Water-elm collecting season I intentionally set about to harvest...

Potting And Repotting – Water-Elm, Boxelder, Lantana

  I potted up this Water-elm last year. It's a specimen from the 2018 collecting season, and since Water-elms develop so quickly I was able to move it along less than a year after it was first lifted. It's a nice composition, but there's one problem with it - the...

Bonsai Odds & Ends – Hophornbeam & Dogwood

  Eastern hophornbeam, Ostrya virginiana, is a good species for bonsai though seldom grown. It's a member of the birch family, as is its close cousin the hornbeam. The leaves, however, are coarser. On the good side of the ledger, they produce a rough bark when...

Chinese Elm: Unsurpassed

  If I had to select only one species to grow as bonsai, it would be Chinese elm (Ulmus parvifolia). If I had to select the one species grown for bonsai that has been most abused by the commercial bonsai industry, it would be Chinese elm. Be that as it may, I...

Let’s Go Water-Elm Rafting

  I love raft-style bonsai. We often find Water-elms (Planera aquatica) growing naturally in this style, as their tendency is to grow naturally in a shrub-like form. We brought this one home last summer, and it recovered very nicely. I've been itching to work on...

Flower Power

  Just a quick blog this evening featuring a wonderful flowering species for bonsai, Huckleberry (blueberry). I've only been working with them for four or five years now, but I've been pleasantly surprised at how freely they bloom in a pot. It only takes a year...

Another Repotting Project – Cedar Elm

  Here's a Cedar elm that needs repotting. It was collected two years ago, and has filled out wonderfully well. This growing season should see a finished bonsai of this specimen.Repotting time is always the time to make corrections to the rootage of your bonsai....

Chinese Elm Repotting – Key Bonsai Practice

  Repotting our trees is a key bonsai practice, and one that you must gain mastery of. Here is a summary of basic steps you'll take each time you repot your trees: Make sure you have all necessary tools and supplies, including prepared soil, before you start Have...

A Quick And Easy BC Forest

  A couple of years ago I planted some Bald cypress seeds in a cutoff 3-gallon nursery pot. I did nothing to them, just let them do their thing. I've had my eye on the dominant tree for a while now, figuring I'd split up the group and plant them separately into...

Some Things That Are Waking Up

  Each winter there are certain specimens of certain species that decide to wake early from dormancy. It just takes a little warmth and sunshine, and they start popping buds. We just finished up Bald cypress collecting season last week. This one was collected two...

BC Collecting Trip #5 For 2020

  Yesterday we wrapped up Bald cypress collecting season. The winter collecting season (this far south) is driven largely by the weather. Ours has seen some warm spells, and despite a few mornings near freezing it's just not been enough to keep these trees from...

BC Collecting Trip #4 For 2020

  Today was BC collecting trip #4 for 2020. As usual, we had great luck. This may be my favorite specimen from today's group. Some BC's just have that flat-top look, and this is one of them. The base is 4" and it's chopped at 30", which will make a tall and...

BC Collecting Trip #3 For 2020

  Today was our third Bald cypress collecting trip for 2020. The goal was to bring home somewhat smaller material, mostly in the 3" +/- trunk size. We were definitely successful. This is a good example of our haul. The base is terrific, and you can't argue with...

BC Collecting Trip #2 For 2020

  Our second BC collected trip for 2020 happened yesterday. As often happens, the weather did not cooperate. On the plus side, the rain was not Noah-worthy so we plowed through and got the job done. If you're into big classically styled Bald cypress bonsai, this...

Huckleberry #5 Potted

  Here's where we left off with Huckleberry #5. With the fall trimming and carving done, I set it back on the bench and got busy with other chores. Flower buds on my Huckleberries are swelling, and a few are already opening. With the mild winter, I expect these...

How To Make Good Material A Lot Better

  Here's a Bald cypress I collected in February of 2018. It's a good piece of material, but not a great piece of material. It is nice and big, with a trunk that measures 6.5" across about 6" above the soil. Taper is very good, as you can see. But the trunk, while...

BC Trees With Knees Are The Bee’s Knees

  Well, there's nothing like Bald cypress collecting season, and there's certainly nothing like a collected Bald cypress featuring a naturally occurring knee. This is a very substantial specimen, as I'm sure you can tell (the tub is 24" long). Something ran over...

Tale Of A Hawthorn Cutting

  I enjoy making new bonsai material by taking cuttings from the trees I work with. I also enjoy working with the species Riverflat hawthorn, Crataegus opaca. Unfortunately, those two pleasures seldom happen together. I have found Riverflat hawthorn cuttings to...

Bald Cypress Progression

  This Bald cypress (Taxodium distichum) came home in 2015, and I knew from the start that I was keeping it for my personal collection. A BC of this size, 6" trunk 6" above the soil), will invariably take about 10 years to reach a "finished," showable state. So...

Harvesting A Hefty Huckleberry

  It's Huckleberry collecting time, and today I harvested a hefty one. Here it is, right out of the ground with the roots washed off. The trunk base is 2.5" above the root crown. This is about the trunk size limit for the species, as near as I can tell. I'd...

What Lies Beneath – Zag When You Gotta

  The mildness of winter (so far) plus the need to get things moving for 2020 encouraged me to pot up this Water-elm. It's a nice smaller specimen, an unconventional triple-trunk. The larger ones are 3/4" thick, with the entire base 2" across. The first thing to...

The Bonsai You Only Need To Buy (Or Nab) Once

 It's a winter tradition for me to do at least one post about tropical species for bonsai. Today's subject is Dwarf jade, Portulacaria afra, otherwise known as Elephant bush or Spekboom. Dwarf jade is a succulent plant that in the tropics can grow up to 15 feet...

More Collecting, A Couple More Examples

  Here's a quick update for today - a balmy Deep South winter day, high 75, meaning the weather wasn't miserable for lifting trees. This triple-trunk Chinese privet, Ligustrum sinense, is actually a connected root specimen. The trunks are nice, with great taper,...

An Early Start On Collecting Season

  I planted out some Parsley hawthorn whips a few years ago. True to the old adage, "first year sleeps, second year creeps, third year leaps," this year I've noticed a number of the specimens have put on some heft. A few have reached my minimum for lifting,...

Swamp Maple #2

  I recently sold a Swamp maple I've been working on for three years. Among the very nice features of that tree was the fact that it didn't start rotting from the chop down in year three, which had been my experience over the course of many years and many trees....

More Fall Work – Water-Elm

  This nice Water-elm got its first bonsai pot in late February of this year (2109). I had collected it as a bare trunk, and chopped it where you see the obvious mark. So here we are, just under 10 months later. There's been a good bit of wiring and trimming...

Bonsai Odds & Ends – Oak, Oak, Sweetgum

  Here's a nice smaller Water oak I started working on last year.  Water oak is quickly becoming one of my favorite species, featuring small leaves, short internodes and ease of ramification.  They are very happy in a bonsai pot. This one budded fairly...

Flat-Top Bald Cypress Design Work

 This flat-top Bald cypress is coming along really well for a single year of training. With that said, the design can stand some tweaking and fall is a perfect time to do it. All of the foliage will be off this tree within the next few days, so knocking some off...

A Huckleberry Bonsai For 2020

  So it's time for Thanksgiving weekend, and aside from overeating that can only mean bonsai fun for me. I collected this Huckleberry, Vaccinium sp., this past winter. Except for minimal training work, I've just let it grow to get established. With the weather...

Fall Color And Flower Buds – BC And Huckleberry

  Here's one of my landscape Bald cypresses that I've grown from seed since 2000. It gets bigger and better each year. Isn't the color just terrific? This one is just starting to put on its bronze for the year. Once the colors start, you've got maybe a week...

Roughleaf Dogwood Styling Work

  I recently acquired this Roughleaf dogwood, Cornus drummondii, from a local collector. The great trunk base, taper and movement were what drew me to the tree. The styling is on its way, but there's always more to do. So today I set out to make a few minor...

Fall Color, Pseudo Fall Color, And An Early Hard Freeze

  My venerable old Crape myrtle bonsai was challenged this year. After I repotted it in spring, it started to bud out just in time for a good freeze. I mistakenly thought that, since Crapes are quite winter-hardy, the new buds would be likewise. Well, they froze...

Layering To Improve Trunk Base And Rootage – Privet

  It's not uncommon to have a less than stellar base or rootage on your bonsai. This Chinese privet, Ligustrum sinense, is a good example. The tree is nice, for sure, and will be just about fully developed next year after a good start this year, but there's an...

Bonsai Questions That May Have A Yes Answer

  Black cherry, Prunus serotina, is very common where I live and probably where you live too. They're lovely trees, too, with dark plated bark and glossy green leaves. The fruit is edible though tart and not very palatable. The wood of larger specimens is prized,...

Quick Design Clinic – Styling A Couple Of Elms

  There are some tried and true bonsai design principles. The reason they're tried and true is because they conform to fundamental design principles that are not strictly endemic to bonsai. Balance, proportion, perspective, positive and negative spaces, all of...

First Taste Of Fall – And A Few Water-Elms For Next Year

  I love forest and group plantings. They come in several different forms: actual "forests" of multiple specimens of trees, rafts, multi-trunk groups, and so-called clump-style. It's hard to beat a well-executed bonsai forest. In this year's Water-elm collecting...

In Bonsai, Time Is (Almost) Everything

  I write and talk about it frequently. Making bonsai is, aside from the obvious horticultural and design aspects, mostly about time. Trees may grow fast, but they only grow so fast. With that said, making the best use of the growth cycles of our trees is...

Looking To 2020 – Flowering And Fruiting Species

  Though the holidays are not yet upon us, it's not too soon to start thinking of 2020. A lot of the work we do now will have an impact on how our trees develop next year. Today I looked at a few flowering and/or fruiting specimens that will make great progress...

A Few Rules For Slip-Potting

  Those of you who have been with us for a while know I love to slip-pot trees. Why? Well, I guess the biggest reason is I'm impatient to see a tree progress toward its best self. Another reason is that a lot of trees pass through my hands, and often it's just...

Bonsai Development Basics – Trunk Building

  That Boxelder I lifted last month did so well I thought I'd lift another one. Might as well have two to play with next year. For this specimen, my plan is somewhat different as I want to build the trunk from the ground up. In this blog post, I'll show you what...

Water-Elm Redux – Progress, Progress

  There's no denying that fast development in our bonsai is a good thing. To be sure, time in training really brings a bonsai to a fullness of design. But getting the design established quickly is, in my view, very important. Some species lend themselves to this...

Bonsai Odds & Ends – Oak, Fig, Maple

  I love working with unusual species, and making bonsai that defy the normally accepted rules for design. Here are a few examples of current projects. First off is a Red oak, Quercus nuttallii, that I collected in East Texas a couple of years ago. (East Texas...

We Do More So Our Members Can Have More

Our trees are collected and field grown … which means we hunt them in the wild and we raise them in our bonsai garden.
We choose only the best because we deserve … and you deserve … only the best.

New Bonsai Blogs

How-to articles that show you, step-by-step, how Zach develops both stock material and finished bonsai. Images are included.

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One-Of-A-Kind Trees

Fine quality collected and field grown deciduous and broadleaf evergreen trees that are designed and developed expertly before release to clients.

The Bonsai Files

Access to general and how-to articles, the Bonsai Files, that are detailed and filled with bonsai images showing before, during, and after.

Image Gallery

A ton of pictures detailing the progression and craftsmanship of Zach’s one-of-a-kind, unique bonsai. Great visuals!

Bonsai Workshops

One-on-one, private workshops and small group workshops with Zach are held in historic, beautiful St. Francisville, Louisiana.