Spring Update 2019

Ponderosa Pine


Rocky Mountain Juniper
300-year-old Rocky Mountain Juniper. The photo was taken on April 28th, 2019

Springtime is a bittersweet one for me in Minnesota. What did I do right and what did I do wrong over winter? This year it appears I let a couple of things get to dry. I also did not have enough air movement in my storage box so I got a bit of a fungus issue. This Rocky Mountain Juniper is suffering from something. My guess is that it got a bit dry as did one of my other junipers. The other Juniper is dead. This one is alive, but I think I have lost the bottom 1/4th – 1/3rd of the tree. That’s ok though, I think it will just add to the story of the tree.

“Fat Bottom”

Ponderosa Pine
100-year-old Ponderosa Pine. The photo was taken on April 28th, 2019

This Ponderosa Pine is my baby. At the moment I am calling it “Fat Bottom”. You can read more about this tree here. “Fat Bottom

I had the pleasure of working with Matt Reel this spring during a repotting workshop. He did 99% of the work repotting this tree from the plastic container it was placed into after collection. It was placed into this 80-year-old Keizan pot. I know its not the right color or size, but it does allow for the angle change I wanted, and I no longer have to have it up on blocks to hold the angle. I have Thor
Holvila making me a pot for next time I repot it.
We were able to remove most of the old soil and get it into a more appropriate soil. Equal parts Akadama, Lava, Pumice. The next time I repot I will be able to remove more of the old soil as there will be more fine roots growing into the much better soil.

You can see the brown tips on this Ponderosa Pine. Some of it is due to lack of water I am sure and others are due to Needle Cast. I have gone through and cut some of the infected needles off, but the fungus is so widespread that I have to leave some of it on just for the health of the tree. Surely this will elongate the needles this year but that is a sacrifice I am willing to take. I will e applying Daconil to this tree all year long to help prevent the spread of the fungus.

No Name

Ponderosa Pine
100-year-old Ponderosa Pine. The Photo was taken on April 28th, 2019

Might as well continue with my misfortunes of spring.
I had taken down the bonsai area that I had used for a few years and moved my cinder blocks out away from my house and more into the open. The trees look really nice out away from the house and sitting side by side instead of all squished next to each other.

I had picked up this Ponderosa Pine at the 2017 August show in Chicago from Andy Smith. This was a workshop tree that year. The night that this photo was taken it rained. With that rain was a bit of wind and blew this one over. It was laying upside down for who knows how long. All of the soil was laying on the ground, so this one got a soil change this year. I had one of my other Ponderosa Pines do that last year and is ok, so here I sit and wait and hope that this one is ok as well.


Ponderosa Pine
80-year-old Ponderosa Pine. This photo was taken on April 28th, 2019

This Ponderosa Pine I have given the title “Survivor”. You can follow its progression here. “Survivor“.

This is one of my happy moments this spring. “Survivor” needs a new pot. It is currently in a 40-year-old Yamaki pot.

This tree is finally showing good signs. It has nice fat terminal buds and some back budding as well. Maybe something more shallow. I am actually starting to feel happy about this tree’s progress. It has been a long time coming and it will be nice to see it progress now. The next steps for this tree will be a lite thinning this fall and a new pot next spring.

Sumo Bonsai Supply

As for Sumo Bonsai Supply, it has been an interesting spring as well. I was unaware that the supplier for the ingredients for Sumo Cakes® went out of business until I went to order more ingredients this spring. It took a few weeks to find a new one. I have one again and all varieties of fertilizer have been replenished.
I added a bunch of new items to the store, so that has been fun. Sumo Bonsai Supply keeps growing. Every time I receive an order I mark the zip code on a map. The blue markers are the zip codes that I have sold to more than once and the brown ones are one time sales. Sales Map.

Show Your Stuff

I love seeing videos where Sumo Cakes® or Sumo Bonsai Supply is mentioned. Bjorn Bjorholm has not let me down. You can watch some Facebook Live videos from him where he mentions Sumo Cakes® at this link. Facebook Live Mentions. If you find any videos where we are mentioned please share with us.
Also, I am always looking for photos with Sumo Cakes® or Sumo Bonsai Supply products being used or in the photos. If you have any that you would like to share with me you can either message me on Facebook or email them to me.

I hope everyone had a successful winter and is having a great spring so far. I am looking forward to summer growing. Take care and happy growing.

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