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


Hi!

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.  

Making A Small Cedar Elm Bonsai

  This small Cedar elm, Ulmus crassifolia, was collected in 2018 and is the last of three I had in the pot (they went on to their own pots last year).  I love the nice natural shape this tree exhibits.  If you look closely you can see the spot about halfway up...

There’s Design, And Then There’s Re-Design

  If you grow bonsai for any length of time, it's almost a given that you will be compelled to re-design some of them along the way.  Stuff just happens to our bonsai.  Maybe a storm comes through and something large falls and breaks off a branch.  Maybe insects...

Bonsai Odd & Ends: Making Soil & Potting Water-Elm #40

  I'm often asked about the soil I use for my bonsai.  Here's a short blog about how I do it.  There are countless formulas for bonsai soil, and the subject is one of the most hotly debated out there.  My advice: find out what works for you.  Here's what works...

New Bonsai Coming – Crape & Hawthorn

  I lifted this ground-grown Crape myrtle specimen last summer.  From a bare trunk it grew shoots very quickly, and I was able to wire the complete structure in the same season.This is the same tree, nine months later.  It's got a nice structure and the leader is...

Bald Cypress Reforestation

  I assembled this Bald cypress forest a couple of years ago.  It's done all right, but it's also had its challenges.  I've neglected this planting in favor of other bonsai, but this year I decided it was time to bring it back to "life." All but one of the trees...

Bonsai Odds & Ends – BC, Oak, Maple

  I started working on this Bald cypress, Taxodium distichum, last year.  The idea was to get a branch set going, and to select and position a new leader to continue the trunk to a final apex.  This photo was taken on 12/28/18.  Nice fall color, but the tree had...

Huckleberry #5 Styling Work

  This Huckleberry, Vaccinium sp., was among the first of my trees to leaf out this spring.  Not only that, it put on a nice bloom as well.  Today I decided to do more editing and a little wiring in order to get my design in place.  Granted, the tree looks good...

Collecting Season Ends

  With just about everything starting to push buds now, collecting season has come to an end.  Yesterday I was able to lift some more Cedar elms, including this nice specimen.  I should know fairly soon if I was successful.Here's another nice specimen, "barky"...

Crape Myrtle Repotting

  It's been two years ago that this Crape myrtle, Lagerstoemia indica, got a new pot and some much-needed design work.  The tree has been happily growing (and blooming in summer) in its Byron Myrick custom pot.  But as with all bonsai, sooner or later you've got...

The Wonderful Challenge Of That First Bonsai Pot

  I first showed you this Water-elm, Planera aquatica, last month.  I did an initial styling on it, as it had grown out well following collection in July. I mentioned that I would be slip-potting this tree come spring.  Today as I was checking the stock, I...

It’s Go Time – Trees Are Waking Up

  I first noticed it last weekend.  Bald cypress is one of the first species to start pushing buds in spring or, technically, late winter - all it takes is some unseasonably warm weather.  Well, that's just what we've been getting, with temperatures reaching...

BC Collecting Trip #3

  Today was our third BC collecting trip of the season.  It could well be the last - many BC are budding out now, including some we collected in early January.  I have successfully collected Cypress after budding, but the longer you wait the riskier it gets.  So...

What To Do When Your Bonsai Misbehave

  I'm writing about this Huckleberry, Vaccinium species, for two reasons: one, it's a prime example of a bonsai to be that has misbehaved on its way from wild specimen to styled specimen; and two, from being lifted in Winter 2018 and direct-potted, then left to...

Cedar Elm Work – Building Your Apex

  I collected this Cedar elm, Ulmus crassifolia, in February of 2018.  It recovered and grew so fast that I was able to slip-pot it in June.  One thing I really like about this tree is the low branch.  I think I see something really unique is the ultimate design....

Hornbeam Collecting & More

  Today we hunted hornbeam.  The native species is American hornbeam, Carpinus caroliniana.  It ranges from Canada all the way to the Deep South, and west a little past the Mississippi River.  I rate it as one of the best bonsai trees for beginners, because it...

Subtle Changes, Big Impact

  You may remember this Water Oak, Quercus nigra, from last summer.  I slip-potted it at that time, as it had pushed a lot of growth and I knew the tree had plenty of roots to survive on. But the story didn't end there.A couple of months later, I came to...

Bonsai Odds & Ends – Hornbeam, Water Oak

  I acquired this American hornbeam, Carpinus caroliniana, from another collector last summer.  It had been wired, a new leader grown out, then allowed to grow to get strong.  Today it was time to make the next move with it.I took the leader way back.  It needs...

2019 BC Collecting Trip #2

  We had another good Bald cypress collecting trip today.  Here's the take, waiting for cleanup.Here's a nice buttressed specimen that's not too big.  I specifically searched today for nice material in the mid-size range.  The trunk on this one is 4" across about...

Bonsai Odds & Ends – Swamp Maple, Privet, Water-Elm

  While we were out collecting Bald cypress yesterday, I happened across this Swamp maple, Acer rubrum 'Drummondii.'  I don't often collected Swamp maples, because they don't seem to last in good health longer than a couple of years, but when I saw the fluting of...

2019 BC Collecting Trip #1

  Bald cypress should be in every bonsai enthusiast's collection.  But even more, a collected Bald cypress bonsai should be in everyone's collection.  BC is one of our specialties at Bonsai South.  Each year we do our best to find and lift really high quality raw...

What’s Wrong With This Huckleberry Picture?

  Today I lifted this Huckleberry, Vaccinium species.  Check out that fantastic rootage and trunk base!  There's no doubt this specimen can be made into a fine bonsai over the next several years. But there's something wrong with this picture.  Can you guess what...

A Quick Cedar Elm Styling

  This Cedar elm, Ulmus crassifolia, was collected in February of 2018.  I potted it in April in this lovely Ashley Keller pot.  Aside from a little wiring to get an apex going, I just left the tree alone the rest of the growing season.Here's the tree as it was...

American Hornbeam #3

  I collected this American hornbeam, Carpinus caroliniana, in January of 2018.  I couldn't resist the nice twin-trunk structure and the trunk character, especially the rugged bark.  I only run across rugged bark on a hornbeam occasionally, so I try not to pass...

A Few Trees At Year-End

  Chinese elm, Ulmus parvifolia, is commonly called Lacebark elm.  This common name was given due to the fact that the species exfoliates its bark annually, revealing a lovely underlayer with a nice orangey-salmonish color.  I was cleaning up this specimen today...

American Hornbeam Work

  This past September I acquired this American hornbeam, Carpinus caroliniana, from a fellow enthusiast.  It's a fine specimen, with "muscling" to die for.  My goal is to create a great hornbeam bonsai out of it, which I can achieve in just two years.  It's well...

A Big BC For 2019

  We're getting close to Bald cypress collecting season for 2019, so I thought it would be a good time to take a look at a tree I've had on the bench for a couple of years.  This is a big boy.  The trunk is 6" across 6" above the soil, and it's 26" to the chop. ...

A Year And A Half In The Making – Cedar Elm Bonsai

8/4/17 This Cedar elm was slip-potted in August of 2017, when I placed it into this nice  handmade Byron Myrick rectangle.  The tree had thrown enough buds to allow a nice branch set and leader for training. 8/26/17 A few weeks later, and the tree continued its...

Making A Better Composition – Cedar Elm

  I showed you this tree last week, specifically to demonstrate how far you can come in just a year's time.  The tree was also showing some fall color.  Well, a week later and the color has continued to develop.  The leaves will be off this tree before long,...

A Portrait Of What We Work Toward

Riverflat Hawthorn #1 Trunk base 3.25" Height 30" Collected in Winter 2012, this tree is now seven years in training.  In that time, I've been able to build the tree's structure from a collected bare trunk, create the necessary tapering transition in the apex to...

A Year In The Making – Cedar Elm Bonsai

5/4/18 5/10/18 5/19/18 5/28/18 6/24/18 7/7/18 7/21/18 11/24/18 It's amazing what can be done in a short time.  From the ground to nice bonsai in one growing season. This tree may be purchased here.  Ships now if you're not in a cold place, in spring...

A Twin-Trunk Sweetgum Gets Styled

I've been working on this Sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua) in the ground for about five years.  I lifted it in July 2018, potted and left it to recover.  With fall colors now showing, I decided an initial styling was in order. As with all multi-trunk specimens,...

The Nice But Annoying Ficus On My Desk

  So we had our first freeze this past week, earlier than normal and earlier than I would have wanted, but that's the way it goes.  What that meant in practical terms is that it was time to bring in the tropicals I'm planning to keep for myself.  A couple ended...

Fall’s Here – Not Much Color, But We Take What We Can Get

  This Cedar elm, Ulmus crassifolia, is showing about as much fall color as I can usually expect from the species.  It's not much, but I like it nonetheless.  I washed the trunk today, and wanted to do just a little trimming and put wire on that low right...

Swamp Maple Update – Is The End Near?

You may remember this Swamp maples, Acer rubrum 'drummondii' from spring.  I did the initial styling on the tree and potted it in this beautiful bonsai pot.  I then left it strictly alone, except for watering and fertilizing. Today seemed like a good time to check in...

Water-Elm #38 – “Big Hoss” – Made It

This Water-elm, "Big Hoss," is one of the biggest I collected this year.  We brought it home on August 4th.  I cleaned it up, chopped back the roots enough to fit the eventual bonsai pot, and potted it up.  Then I waited. It took a few weeks, but a tiny bud appeared...

Water-Elm #40 Initial Styling

This may be the strongest of the Water-elms I brought home this year.  The shoots grew so fast that I even had to pinch a couple of them so they wouldn't get out of hand.  At 1/8" thick at the base already, there's no way I can delay getting some wire on this tree....

Planning A Classically Styled Water-Elm

There is an ongoing debate in the bonsai world with regard to styling deciduous trees.  It boils down to this: some artists feel that it's not okay to style a deciduous tree in the so-called "pine tree style."  What's the pine tree style?  Well, that's the classic...

Water-Elm #53 Initial Styling

Here's another case where slip-potting Water-elms as they grow out vigorously does not impact their recovery in the least.  You can see the growth just kept on.  So now that we're in another good period for encouraging growth by pruning, I thought it was the perfect...

Water-Elm #35 Initial Styling

Water-elm #35 was slip-potted this past weekend.  I put off styling and especially trimming because the lunar cycle wasn't favorable to pruning for growth.  It also gave me the opportunity gauge how well the slip-potting went.  I can tell you, the tree did not skip a...

Water-Elm #35 Video #2

This is one of the Water-elms I collected on August 4th.  I really liked the natural but artistic look of the clump (not all clumps are worth working on, trust me).  I knew I could make something really special out of this one. In two months' time this tree has put on...

Water-Elm #53 Video #2

I posted Water-Elm #53 Video #1 on September 9th.  Since that time, the trees have grown out very well, so much so that today I decided I could risk slip-potting them.  There's always a risk in doing this, but I've found over the years that the risk is very low.  So...

Remember This Sycamore?

Most of you probably remember this Sycamore, Platanus occidentalis.  From humble beginnings it made its way humbly into a bonsai pot.  At the time, I said it would either end up being great or terrible.  The jury's still out on that one, but today seemed like a good...

Water-Elm #39 Video #2

This is Water-elm #39, the day it came home and was potted up.  I published Video #1 once the tree had started pushing new growth.  It grew so rapidly that today it was time to do an initial styling. Here's the step by step process I used to create the initial design...

What I Do When They Grow Really Fast

This Water-elm, Planera aquatica, was collected on August 11th of this year.  It's a really nice triple-trunk specimen, as you can see.  It came back from collection quickly, and has thrown foot-long shoots.  It's certainly a strong tree.  So what would you do about...

Water Oak #8

Quercus nigra Collect date: 2/24/18 Trunk base: 2.25" Height to chop: 13" Estimated age: 20 years Years in training: 1 Estimated release date: 4/15/20 Video #1   Although this tree obviously grew with great strength this year, it did present me with one...

Water-Elm #40

Planera aquatica Collect date: 8/4/18 Trunk base: 2.5" Height: 22" Estimated age: 40-50 years Years in training: 0 Estimated release date: 5/1/20 Video #1 I love the trunk movement and gradual taper of this specimen.  A nice feminine tree.  The nebari is outstanding!...

Water-Elm #53

Planera aquatica Collect dates: 8/11/18, 8/11/18, 8/25/18 Trunk bases: 2", 2", 1.5" Heights: 9", 12", 13.5" Estimated ages: 25-30 years Years in training: 0 Estimated release date: 5/1/20 Video #1 Here's a great example of the principle that sometimes the whole is...

Huckleberry #5

Vaccinium species Collect date: 12/23/17 Trunk base: 3.5" across Height to top chop: 18" Finished height (est.): 22" Estimated age: 35-50 years Years in training: 0 Video #1       This Huckleberry was collected in December of 2017, and allowed to grow...

Bald Cypress #68

Taxodium distichum Collect date: 1/20/18 Trunk base: 5" (5" above the soil) Height to chop: 26" Final height (est.): 36" Estimated age: 50-65 years Years in training: 1 Estimated release date: 4/15/22 Bald cypress #68 Video #1

Water-Elm #35

Planera aquatica Collect date: 8/4/18 Trunk base: 3" Height to highest chop point: 18" Estimated age: 45 years Estimated release date: 4/15/20Water-elm #35 Video #1
The Bonsai South Collection

Water-Elm #39
(Image #1)

Water-Elm #39
(Image #2)

Bald Cypress #68

Water-Elm #35

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

Making A Small Cedar Elm Bonsai

  This small Cedar elm, Ulmus crassifolia, was collected in 2018 and is the last of three I had in the pot (they went on to their own pots last year).  I love the nice natural shape this tree exhibits.  If you look closely you can see the spot about halfway up...

There’s Design, And Then There’s Re-Design

  If you grow bonsai for any length of time, it's almost a given that you will be compelled to re-design some of them along the way.  Stuff just happens to our bonsai.  Maybe a storm comes through and something large falls and breaks off a branch.  Maybe insects...

Bonsai Odd & Ends: Making Soil & Potting Water-Elm #40

  I'm often asked about the soil I use for my bonsai.  Here's a short blog about how I do it.  There are countless formulas for bonsai soil, and the subject is one of the most hotly debated out there.  My advice: find out what works for you.  Here's what works...

New Bonsai Coming – Crape & Hawthorn

  I lifted this ground-grown Crape myrtle specimen last summer.  From a bare trunk it grew shoots very quickly, and I was able to wire the complete structure in the same season.This is the same tree, nine months later.  It's got a nice structure and the leader is...

Bald Cypress Reforestation

  I assembled this Bald cypress forest a couple of years ago.  It's done all right, but it's also had its challenges.  I've neglected this planting in favor of other bonsai, but this year I decided it was time to bring it back to "life." All but one of the trees...

Bonsai Odds & Ends – BC, Oak, Maple

  I started working on this Bald cypress, Taxodium distichum, last year.  The idea was to get a branch set going, and to select and position a new leader to continue the trunk to a final apex.  This photo was taken on 12/28/18.  Nice fall color, but the tree had...

Huckleberry #5 Styling Work

  This Huckleberry, Vaccinium sp., was among the first of my trees to leaf out this spring.  Not only that, it put on a nice bloom as well.  Today I decided to do more editing and a little wiring in order to get my design in place.  Granted, the tree looks good...

Collecting Season Ends

  With just about everything starting to push buds now, collecting season has come to an end.  Yesterday I was able to lift some more Cedar elms, including this nice specimen.  I should know fairly soon if I was successful.Here's another nice specimen, "barky"...

Crape Myrtle Repotting

  It's been two years ago that this Crape myrtle, Lagerstoemia indica, got a new pot and some much-needed design work.  The tree has been happily growing (and blooming in summer) in its Byron Myrick custom pot.  But as with all bonsai, sooner or later you've got...

The Wonderful Challenge Of That First Bonsai Pot

  I first showed you this Water-elm, Planera aquatica, last month.  I did an initial styling on it, as it had grown out well following collection in July. I mentioned that I would be slip-potting this tree come spring.  Today as I was checking the stock, I...

It’s Go Time – Trees Are Waking Up

  I first noticed it last weekend.  Bald cypress is one of the first species to start pushing buds in spring or, technically, late winter - all it takes is some unseasonably warm weather.  Well, that's just what we've been getting, with temperatures reaching...

BC Collecting Trip #3

  Today was our third BC collecting trip of the season.  It could well be the last - many BC are budding out now, including some we collected in early January.  I have successfully collected Cypress after budding, but the longer you wait the riskier it gets.  So...

What To Do When Your Bonsai Misbehave

  I'm writing about this Huckleberry, Vaccinium species, for two reasons: one, it's a prime example of a bonsai to be that has misbehaved on its way from wild specimen to styled specimen; and two, from being lifted in Winter 2018 and direct-potted, then left to...

Cedar Elm Work – Building Your Apex

  I collected this Cedar elm, Ulmus crassifolia, in February of 2018.  It recovered and grew so fast that I was able to slip-pot it in June.  One thing I really like about this tree is the low branch.  I think I see something really unique is the ultimate design....

Hornbeam Collecting & More

  Today we hunted hornbeam.  The native species is American hornbeam, Carpinus caroliniana.  It ranges from Canada all the way to the Deep South, and west a little past the Mississippi River.  I rate it as one of the best bonsai trees for beginners, because it...

Subtle Changes, Big Impact

  You may remember this Water Oak, Quercus nigra, from last summer.  I slip-potted it at that time, as it had pushed a lot of growth and I knew the tree had plenty of roots to survive on. But the story didn't end there.A couple of months later, I came to...

Bonsai Odds & Ends – Hornbeam, Water Oak

  I acquired this American hornbeam, Carpinus caroliniana, from another collector last summer.  It had been wired, a new leader grown out, then allowed to grow to get strong.  Today it was time to make the next move with it.I took the leader way back.  It needs...

2019 BC Collecting Trip #2

  We had another good Bald cypress collecting trip today.  Here's the take, waiting for cleanup.Here's a nice buttressed specimen that's not too big.  I specifically searched today for nice material in the mid-size range.  The trunk on this one is 4" across about...

Bonsai Odds & Ends – Swamp Maple, Privet, Water-Elm

  While we were out collecting Bald cypress yesterday, I happened across this Swamp maple, Acer rubrum 'Drummondii.'  I don't often collected Swamp maples, because they don't seem to last in good health longer than a couple of years, but when I saw the fluting of...

2019 BC Collecting Trip #1

  Bald cypress should be in every bonsai enthusiast's collection.  But even more, a collected Bald cypress bonsai should be in everyone's collection.  BC is one of our specialties at Bonsai South.  Each year we do our best to find and lift really high quality raw...

What’s Wrong With This Huckleberry Picture?

  Today I lifted this Huckleberry, Vaccinium species.  Check out that fantastic rootage and trunk base!  There's no doubt this specimen can be made into a fine bonsai over the next several years. But there's something wrong with this picture.  Can you guess what...

A Quick Cedar Elm Styling

  This Cedar elm, Ulmus crassifolia, was collected in February of 2018.  I potted it in April in this lovely Ashley Keller pot.  Aside from a little wiring to get an apex going, I just left the tree alone the rest of the growing season.Here's the tree as it was...

American Hornbeam #3

  I collected this American hornbeam, Carpinus caroliniana, in January of 2018.  I couldn't resist the nice twin-trunk structure and the trunk character, especially the rugged bark.  I only run across rugged bark on a hornbeam occasionally, so I try not to pass...

A Few Trees At Year-End

  Chinese elm, Ulmus parvifolia, is commonly called Lacebark elm.  This common name was given due to the fact that the species exfoliates its bark annually, revealing a lovely underlayer with a nice orangey-salmonish color.  I was cleaning up this specimen today...

American Hornbeam Work

  This past September I acquired this American hornbeam, Carpinus caroliniana, from a fellow enthusiast.  It's a fine specimen, with "muscling" to die for.  My goal is to create a great hornbeam bonsai out of it, which I can achieve in just two years.  It's well...

A Big BC For 2019

  We're getting close to Bald cypress collecting season for 2019, so I thought it would be a good time to take a look at a tree I've had on the bench for a couple of years.  This is a big boy.  The trunk is 6" across 6" above the soil, and it's 26" to the chop. ...

A Year And A Half In The Making – Cedar Elm Bonsai

8/4/17 This Cedar elm was slip-potted in August of 2017, when I placed it into this nice  handmade Byron Myrick rectangle.  The tree had thrown enough buds to allow a nice branch set and leader for training. 8/26/17 A few weeks later, and the tree continued its...

Making A Better Composition – Cedar Elm

  I showed you this tree last week, specifically to demonstrate how far you can come in just a year's time.  The tree was also showing some fall color.  Well, a week later and the color has continued to develop.  The leaves will be off this tree before long,...

A Portrait Of What We Work Toward

Riverflat Hawthorn #1 Trunk base 3.25" Height 30" Collected in Winter 2012, this tree is now seven years in training.  In that time, I've been able to build the tree's structure from a collected bare trunk, create the necessary tapering transition in the apex to...

A Year In The Making – Cedar Elm Bonsai

5/4/18 5/10/18 5/19/18 5/28/18 6/24/18 7/7/18 7/21/18 11/24/18 It's amazing what can be done in a short time.  From the ground to nice bonsai in one growing season. This tree may be purchased here.  Ships now if you're not in a cold place, in spring...

A Twin-Trunk Sweetgum Gets Styled

I've been working on this Sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua) in the ground for about five years.  I lifted it in July 2018, potted and left it to recover.  With fall colors now showing, I decided an initial styling was in order. As with all multi-trunk specimens,...

The Nice But Annoying Ficus On My Desk

  So we had our first freeze this past week, earlier than normal and earlier than I would have wanted, but that's the way it goes.  What that meant in practical terms is that it was time to bring in the tropicals I'm planning to keep for myself.  A couple ended...

Fall’s Here – Not Much Color, But We Take What We Can Get

  This Cedar elm, Ulmus crassifolia, is showing about as much fall color as I can usually expect from the species.  It's not much, but I like it nonetheless.  I washed the trunk today, and wanted to do just a little trimming and put wire on that low right...

Swamp Maple Update – Is The End Near?

You may remember this Swamp maples, Acer rubrum 'drummondii' from spring.  I did the initial styling on the tree and potted it in this beautiful bonsai pot.  I then left it strictly alone, except for watering and fertilizing. Today seemed like a good time to check in...

Water-Elm #38 – “Big Hoss” – Made It

This Water-elm, "Big Hoss," is one of the biggest I collected this year.  We brought it home on August 4th.  I cleaned it up, chopped back the roots enough to fit the eventual bonsai pot, and potted it up.  Then I waited. It took a few weeks, but a tiny bud appeared...

Water-Elm #40 Initial Styling

This may be the strongest of the Water-elms I brought home this year.  The shoots grew so fast that I even had to pinch a couple of them so they wouldn't get out of hand.  At 1/8" thick at the base already, there's no way I can delay getting some wire on this tree....

Planning A Classically Styled Water-Elm

There is an ongoing debate in the bonsai world with regard to styling deciduous trees.  It boils down to this: some artists feel that it's not okay to style a deciduous tree in the so-called "pine tree style."  What's the pine tree style?  Well, that's the classic...

Water-Elm #53 Initial Styling

Here's another case where slip-potting Water-elms as they grow out vigorously does not impact their recovery in the least.  You can see the growth just kept on.  So now that we're in another good period for encouraging growth by pruning, I thought it was the perfect...

Water-Elm #35 Initial Styling

Water-elm #35 was slip-potted this past weekend.  I put off styling and especially trimming because the lunar cycle wasn't favorable to pruning for growth.  It also gave me the opportunity gauge how well the slip-potting went.  I can tell you, the tree did not skip a...

Water-Elm #35 Video #2

This is one of the Water-elms I collected on August 4th.  I really liked the natural but artistic look of the clump (not all clumps are worth working on, trust me).  I knew I could make something really special out of this one. In two months' time this tree has put on...

Water-Elm #53 Video #2

I posted Water-Elm #53 Video #1 on September 9th.  Since that time, the trees have grown out very well, so much so that today I decided I could risk slip-potting them.  There's always a risk in doing this, but I've found over the years that the risk is very low.  So...

Remember This Sycamore?

Most of you probably remember this Sycamore, Platanus occidentalis.  From humble beginnings it made its way humbly into a bonsai pot.  At the time, I said it would either end up being great or terrible.  The jury's still out on that one, but today seemed like a good...

Water-Elm #39 Video #2

This is Water-elm #39, the day it came home and was potted up.  I published Video #1 once the tree had started pushing new growth.  It grew so rapidly that today it was time to do an initial styling. Here's the step by step process I used to create the initial design...

What I Do When They Grow Really Fast

This Water-elm, Planera aquatica, was collected on August 11th of this year.  It's a really nice triple-trunk specimen, as you can see.  It came back from collection quickly, and has thrown foot-long shoots.  It's certainly a strong tree.  So what would you do about...

Water Oak #8

Quercus nigra Collect date: 2/24/18 Trunk base: 2.25" Height to chop: 13" Estimated age: 20 years Years in training: 1 Estimated release date: 4/15/20 Video #1   Although this tree obviously grew with great strength this year, it did present me with one...

Water-Elm #40

Planera aquatica Collect date: 8/4/18 Trunk base: 2.5" Height: 22" Estimated age: 40-50 years Years in training: 0 Estimated release date: 5/1/20 Video #1 I love the trunk movement and gradual taper of this specimen.  A nice feminine tree.  The nebari is outstanding!...

Water-Elm #53

Planera aquatica Collect dates: 8/11/18, 8/11/18, 8/25/18 Trunk bases: 2", 2", 1.5" Heights: 9", 12", 13.5" Estimated ages: 25-30 years Years in training: 0 Estimated release date: 5/1/20 Video #1 Here's a great example of the principle that sometimes the whole is...

Huckleberry #5

Vaccinium species Collect date: 12/23/17 Trunk base: 3.5" across Height to top chop: 18" Finished height (est.): 22" Estimated age: 35-50 years Years in training: 0 Video #1       This Huckleberry was collected in December of 2017, and allowed to grow...

Bald Cypress #68

Taxodium distichum Collect date: 1/20/18 Trunk base: 5" (5" above the soil) Height to chop: 26" Final height (est.): 36" Estimated age: 50-65 years Years in training: 1 Estimated release date: 4/15/22 Bald cypress #68 Video #1

Water-Elm #35

Planera aquatica Collect date: 8/4/18 Trunk base: 3" Height to highest chop point: 18" Estimated age: 45 years Estimated release date: 4/15/20Water-elm #35 Video #1

We Do More So Our Members Can Have More

Our trees are collected and field grown … which means we raise them. 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; videos are available to members.
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One-Of-A-Kind Trees

Fine quality collected and field grown deciduous trees that are cared for and designed for at least two years before release to our members.

The Bonsai Files

Access to general and how-to articles, the Bonsai Files, that are detailed and filled with bonsai images

Gallery

Tons of pictures detailing the progression and craftsmanship of Zach’s unique bonsai. While “how-to” videos are available only to members of our Collections membership, our hundreds of images can help you.

Workshops

One-on-one, private workshops and group workshops with Zach are held in beautiful St. Francisville, LA. Lunch is always provided and you can choose your tree once you are at our gardens.

Videos: Design History

Our videos show you they life of the tree. From collection to release for sale, you’ll witness every step of care and design so you can know the entire history of your tree.

Contact Bonsai South

Questions about our Collector’s Membership? Purchased a tree from Bonsai South and want some insight?
Drop us a line.

Address: 9116 Dorothy Lane
St Francisville, Louisiana 70775

Phone: (225) 784 – 2168