(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.  

Chinese Elm Forests

  Can you guess what this is? Some background first. I field-grow Chinese elms for bonsai, and frankly you'd be hard-pressed to name a better overall species for bonsai. In fact, it's not hyperbole to state that Chinese elm is the single best deciduous species...

A Water-Elm Gets More Interesting

  I potted up this Water-elm that we'd collected last July back in February. It's a pretty cool little twin-trunk, featuring dead wood on both trunks as well as a "flying root" on the right side. You wouldn't ordinarily want a root like that, but I thought it...

A Dwarf Yaupon Gets Styled

  Last year I had the hedge in front of my house taken out. It had been planted when the house was built in 1982, so simple math says this specimen is at least 40 years old. The base is 6" across, and I knew there was bonsai potential when it came out of the...

Fourth Of July Bonsai Odds & Ends – Cedar Elm, BC, Chinzan Azalea

  I potted this small Cedar elm earlier this season. It's been growing away, minding its own business. Recently we had a couple of storms and somehow this tree got picked to be blown off the bench. It stayed in the pot and no branches were broken, but the second...

Summer Progress – Cedar Elm, Sweetgum, BC

  You've been following along as I've developed this Cedar elm, starting in 2017 when it was first collected. The tree is filling out well, and the ramification is getting tighter with each pruning/pinching. All in all, time and technique are working their magic....

Its’ Shaggy BC Time!

  I started working on this Bald cypress last year. It's progressing very well, as you'll see when you compare these photos with the one from last year I included below. We're into summer now, and you can generally count on cypresses to take on a "shaggy"...

See A Fast Water-Elm Evolution ….

  Subject: Water-elm Date: 8/4/18 Stage: Big stick in pot Input: Lift, chop, wash, trim, dust, pot, pray Issues: None, if it lives Date: 3/17/19 Stage: Big stick with twiggy shoots Input: Select branches, wire and position branches, remove branches that serve no...

Bonsai Odds & Ends – Hawthorn, Water-Elm, Trumpet Vine

  Today I did a one on one workshop with a new bonsai enthusiast. One of the specimens we were worked on was a three-tree Parsley hawthorn composition, very similar to this one. I love bonsai forests. The three-tree planting is the smallest expression of this...

Bonsai Odds & Ends – BC, Sweetgum, Water-Elm

  Here's a nice, slender Bald cypress from this year's crop.  I had planned from the start to hold the tree and make it into a flat-top style.  It's grown out enough now that I can do the initial styling on it. About 20 minutes later, this is what I ended up...

Don’t Take Your Eyes Off A Privet

  I lifted this Chinese privet, Ligustrum sinense, in Winter 2019.  Here is it in late March, just pushing new shoots. Here we are, two and a half months later.  Privet is very vigorous.  You literally can't take your eyes off them for long.   Time for a...

Muscadine Redesign

  You may remember this Muscadine grape, Vitis rotundifolia, from last summer.  It came out of the ground with two trunks, so I planned to make a twin-trunk bonsai out of it. Something of a start.  There's a lot of character in the trunk.  Major development work...

This May End Up Being A Progression

  You may remember my tall Swamp maple, Acer rubrum 'drummondii,' from last fall.  It's been on death watch since I brought it home in 2017.  Well, it's not dead yet nor is it dying.  I don't yet see any signs of deterioration that have plagued my attempts to...

Water-Elm #46

  When we found this Water-elm last August (2018), I knew it was going in my collection.  I had lost a similar specimen back in 2014.  There's something about those two trunks! Today (5/25/19) it was time to style and pot this tree.  Most of the bonsai is there;...

Making Nice Bonsai From Ordinary Material

  This is a run of the mill Bald cypress seedling (about 3 years old in 2017) that I decided to play around with in July of that year.  How about a windswept cypress, I thought?  So I wired it from bottom to top and stuck it in a Byron Myrick oval I had on hand. ...

Trumpet Vine Bonsai

  I lifted this Trumpet vine, Campsis radicans, in June of 2017.  Why not go straight to a bonsai pot with it?  While this is not a good idea most of the time, vines are hard to kill and are reliable at producing roots. Here's the tree a year later.  The growth...

An American Elm Gets Potted

  Every tree you work on will eventually reach a state where it's got to go into a bonsai pot.  Sometimes we delay doing so, and while that's okay you don't want to push any tree too far or you risk decline and, of course, the D word. This American elm, Ulmus...

BC Forest Update And Work

  You may remember this Bald cypress forest from my recent blog about it.  I had replaced two of the trees and added another two.  Those new additions are now growing, so today seemed like a perfect time to do some work on the taller specimens. First order of...

Potting Up A Water-Elm

  We collected this nice smaller Water-elm in August of 2018.  By October the shoots were strong enough for an initial wiring.  Doesn't look like much, does it?  But the trunk base is 2" at the soil, and with the trunk chop at 11" I should be able to make a nice...

Sunday Evening Hawthorn Notes

Yesterday was my first one-on-one workshop for 2019.  We got a lot of work done, mostly on three large BCs.  This is a great time of year to do just about everything bonsai.  Problem is, it's hard to get it all done! Right now in my garden we've completed first flush,...

A Very Big Water-Elm Gets Styled

  This is one big Water-elm!  We collected it in July of 2018, and it recovered nicely last summer and fall.  The base on this tree is 4" in diameter above the root crown, and it's chopped at 29".  When all is said and done, I'll have a real "statement" Water-elm...

Bonsai Odds & Ends – Some Evening Shots

  I took a few minutes this evening to do some quick trimming on a couple of trees, including this Chinese elm.  Most of you are familiar with this specimen.  It continues to fill out and get nicer.  I liked the lighting as the sun was going down, so took the...

A Water-Elm Gets Styled

  I love designing bonsai, and I especially love working with species that grow quickly and can be brought to a high degree of development in just a year or two. This Water-elm, Planera aquatica, came home in August of 2018.  It recovered quickly, and this spring...

If You Don’t Have An American Elm Bonsai, You Should

  I collected this American elm, Ulmus Americana, in May of 2018.  It's not a bad piece of material.  The trunk base is 2" in diameter, and I chopped it at 16".  It didn't take long for buds to show up all over the trunk.Within two months I was wiring like...

Saturday Evening Elms, Then And Now

  This is my earliest photo of what has become a rather nice Chinese elm bonsai.  Isn't it pathetic!  The photo dates back to August of 2014. Never forget the old adage, "from humble beginnings."Five years later, using tried and true bonsai development...

Chinese Privet Initial Styling

  I potted this Chinese privet, Ligustrum sinense, into this nice Chuck Iker pot earlier in the season.  I had had the specimen for a few years, but neglected it, but for those of you who know privet you understand that it didn't really affect the tree that...

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...
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

Chinese Elm Forests

  Can you guess what this is? Some background first. I field-grow Chinese elms for bonsai, and frankly you'd be hard-pressed to name a better overall species for bonsai. In fact, it's not hyperbole to state that Chinese elm is the single best deciduous species...

A Water-Elm Gets More Interesting

  I potted up this Water-elm that we'd collected last July back in February. It's a pretty cool little twin-trunk, featuring dead wood on both trunks as well as a "flying root" on the right side. You wouldn't ordinarily want a root like that, but I thought it...

A Dwarf Yaupon Gets Styled

  Last year I had the hedge in front of my house taken out. It had been planted when the house was built in 1982, so simple math says this specimen is at least 40 years old. The base is 6" across, and I knew there was bonsai potential when it came out of the...

Fourth Of July Bonsai Odds & Ends – Cedar Elm, BC, Chinzan Azalea

  I potted this small Cedar elm earlier this season. It's been growing away, minding its own business. Recently we had a couple of storms and somehow this tree got picked to be blown off the bench. It stayed in the pot and no branches were broken, but the second...

Summer Progress – Cedar Elm, Sweetgum, BC

  You've been following along as I've developed this Cedar elm, starting in 2017 when it was first collected. The tree is filling out well, and the ramification is getting tighter with each pruning/pinching. All in all, time and technique are working their magic....

Its’ Shaggy BC Time!

  I started working on this Bald cypress last year. It's progressing very well, as you'll see when you compare these photos with the one from last year I included below. We're into summer now, and you can generally count on cypresses to take on a "shaggy"...

See A Fast Water-Elm Evolution ….

  Subject: Water-elm Date: 8/4/18 Stage: Big stick in pot Input: Lift, chop, wash, trim, dust, pot, pray Issues: None, if it lives Date: 3/17/19 Stage: Big stick with twiggy shoots Input: Select branches, wire and position branches, remove branches that serve no...

Bonsai Odds & Ends – Hawthorn, Water-Elm, Trumpet Vine

  Today I did a one on one workshop with a new bonsai enthusiast. One of the specimens we were worked on was a three-tree Parsley hawthorn composition, very similar to this one. I love bonsai forests. The three-tree planting is the smallest expression of this...

Bonsai Odds & Ends – BC, Sweetgum, Water-Elm

  Here's a nice, slender Bald cypress from this year's crop.  I had planned from the start to hold the tree and make it into a flat-top style.  It's grown out enough now that I can do the initial styling on it. About 20 minutes later, this is what I ended up...

Don’t Take Your Eyes Off A Privet

  I lifted this Chinese privet, Ligustrum sinense, in Winter 2019.  Here is it in late March, just pushing new shoots. Here we are, two and a half months later.  Privet is very vigorous.  You literally can't take your eyes off them for long.   Time for a...

Muscadine Redesign

  You may remember this Muscadine grape, Vitis rotundifolia, from last summer.  It came out of the ground with two trunks, so I planned to make a twin-trunk bonsai out of it. Something of a start.  There's a lot of character in the trunk.  Major development work...

This May End Up Being A Progression

  You may remember my tall Swamp maple, Acer rubrum 'drummondii,' from last fall.  It's been on death watch since I brought it home in 2017.  Well, it's not dead yet nor is it dying.  I don't yet see any signs of deterioration that have plagued my attempts to...

Water-Elm #46

  When we found this Water-elm last August (2018), I knew it was going in my collection.  I had lost a similar specimen back in 2014.  There's something about those two trunks! Today (5/25/19) it was time to style and pot this tree.  Most of the bonsai is there;...

Making Nice Bonsai From Ordinary Material

  This is a run of the mill Bald cypress seedling (about 3 years old in 2017) that I decided to play around with in July of that year.  How about a windswept cypress, I thought?  So I wired it from bottom to top and stuck it in a Byron Myrick oval I had on hand. ...

Trumpet Vine Bonsai

  I lifted this Trumpet vine, Campsis radicans, in June of 2017.  Why not go straight to a bonsai pot with it?  While this is not a good idea most of the time, vines are hard to kill and are reliable at producing roots. Here's the tree a year later.  The growth...

An American Elm Gets Potted

  Every tree you work on will eventually reach a state where it's got to go into a bonsai pot.  Sometimes we delay doing so, and while that's okay you don't want to push any tree too far or you risk decline and, of course, the D word. This American elm, Ulmus...

BC Forest Update And Work

  You may remember this Bald cypress forest from my recent blog about it.  I had replaced two of the trees and added another two.  Those new additions are now growing, so today seemed like a perfect time to do some work on the taller specimens. First order of...

Potting Up A Water-Elm

  We collected this nice smaller Water-elm in August of 2018.  By October the shoots were strong enough for an initial wiring.  Doesn't look like much, does it?  But the trunk base is 2" at the soil, and with the trunk chop at 11" I should be able to make a nice...

Sunday Evening Hawthorn Notes

Yesterday was my first one-on-one workshop for 2019.  We got a lot of work done, mostly on three large BCs.  This is a great time of year to do just about everything bonsai.  Problem is, it's hard to get it all done! Right now in my garden we've completed first flush,...

A Very Big Water-Elm Gets Styled

  This is one big Water-elm!  We collected it in July of 2018, and it recovered nicely last summer and fall.  The base on this tree is 4" in diameter above the root crown, and it's chopped at 29".  When all is said and done, I'll have a real "statement" Water-elm...

Bonsai Odds & Ends – Some Evening Shots

  I took a few minutes this evening to do some quick trimming on a couple of trees, including this Chinese elm.  Most of you are familiar with this specimen.  It continues to fill out and get nicer.  I liked the lighting as the sun was going down, so took the...

A Water-Elm Gets Styled

  I love designing bonsai, and I especially love working with species that grow quickly and can be brought to a high degree of development in just a year or two. This Water-elm, Planera aquatica, came home in August of 2018.  It recovered quickly, and this spring...

If You Don’t Have An American Elm Bonsai, You Should

  I collected this American elm, Ulmus Americana, in May of 2018.  It's not a bad piece of material.  The trunk base is 2" in diameter, and I chopped it at 16".  It didn't take long for buds to show up all over the trunk.Within two months I was wiring like...

Saturday Evening Elms, Then And Now

  This is my earliest photo of what has become a rather nice Chinese elm bonsai.  Isn't it pathetic!  The photo dates back to August of 2014. Never forget the old adage, "from humble beginnings."Five years later, using tried and true bonsai development...

Chinese Privet Initial Styling

  I potted this Chinese privet, Ligustrum sinense, into this nice Chuck Iker pot earlier in the season.  I had had the specimen for a few years, but neglected it, but for those of you who know privet you understand that it didn't really affect the tree that...

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...

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.

Z

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 showing before, during, and after.

Gallery

Tons of pictures detailing the progression and craftsmanship’
of Zach’s unique bonsai. 

Workshops

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

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.