I collected this Huckleberry from my property in the winter of 2017-2018. It’s the largest I’ve collected to date, and my interest in it was based on the really nice trunks. I knew that I could cut back to the basics and the tree would respond by pushing all the buds I needed to make branches out of.

Huckleberry 12/23/17


Now here’s the way to start a great bonsai – a great trunk.

Huckleberry 9-8-18


Here’s the first photo of an exciting Huckleberry, Vaccinium species, collected earlier in the year. It’s one of those trees that give you an immediate “bonsai” impression, even if it only has a few thin branches here and there. That, of course, is just a hint of things to come.

Huckleberry 3/2/19 (#1)

03/02/19 (1 of 2)

I’ve done some work on the leaders, including shortening the one on the left-hand trunk and carving the one on the right-hand trunk. You can also see that I’ve done some carving on two of the thicker forks on the left-hand trunk.

Huckleberry 3/2/19 (#2)

03/02/19 (2 of 2)

Wiring and positioning branches is essential. Fortunately, I have plenty to work with. In about a half-hour, I have a nice basic structure to work from.

On the right-hand trunk, I’m not sure at this stage which leader I’ll ultimately use, so I’ve given myself two choices. This is true of a lot of bonsai we work on; we don’t always know which branch or leader will work down the road, so whenever possible it’s best to leave ourselves choices.

Huckleberry 7/21/19 (#1)

07/21/19 (1 of 2)

This is just what I wanted to see this tree do – the growth is lush! That also tells me I’m getting root growth, and that’s what will ultimately power this bonsai to be.

Huckleberry 7-21-19 (#2)

07/21/19 (2 of 2)

After a good pruning, it’s easy to see the structure that’s developing.

Huckleberry 11-29-19


Here’s the end of season shot. I’ve done some more work on the right-hand leader, which includes carving the transition down and treating it with PC Petrifier to preserve the wood. This tree is getting close to ready for a bonsai pot, so the potting angle has been established which also prompts me to bring the right-hand leader closer to a final decision. You can see I’ve wired up my likely candidate, and put some movement into it in preparation.

04/20/2020: As this bonsai matures and more pictures are taken, additional images will be added to this progression.

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