bonsai tree care

A ‘Cliff Bonsai’-Western Hemlock Styling

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often think of the cliff walls of rock or be where they get their inspiration cascade bonsai. And they do. But there is another growth habit commonly seen in these steep, rocky areas …

I picked this Western Hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla) on Vancouver Island several years ago, where, coincidentally I was growing out of a rock. The leaves were small and yellow water stress and nutrition boulder life. In less than a year he had recovered and was increasingly green and vigorous.

Rock cord used in this experiment was purchased without an intention in mind, driven only by the urge to “What a rock looking cool, maybe I’ll use it someday …” I had several possible inclinations, one of which proved useful for this composition. And so last Thursday turned out to be ‘someday. “

Enjoy the photo essay!


This is what we started with … a piece of rock lace and a Western Hemlock.


for fixing the rock did not have to make a hole, or wires or cement glue on the rock … lace had a very convenient hole in the back of it, to from gas bubbles in the rock when it was made, before it was cool.


Removing the box hemlock. he had a ball so strange roots and the trunk was growing up in such a curious way I needed to get the invention with the construction of the box …


the preparation and reducing the roots to fit in the cavity of rock with Andrew Robson, who will start learning here in June.


apprentice Bobby Curttright and continuing with the size of the root ball to rock cavity.

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Our approach of the relationship between the rock and the tree. Many of the trees growing from the cliffs not cascade down, but grow, as suggested in this guidance.


View of the interior of the cavity. We had to drill some holes in the bottom for drainage. A layer of pumice is largest size below this soil mix.


Working on the floor between the rock and the root ball.


Our ‘pocket bonsai’ … One thing we’re going to keep an eye on the pH of the soil is, like lace rock could be slightly alkaline. The Hemlock does not like much, but use a slightly acidified water here, in general, and that might be enough to keep it happy. If we will not have to get inventive and use of a source of water more acidic.


The first irrigation made with very soft rains of the nozzle, planting be prone to erosion before the establishment of moss.


The first rotation of four photos around the rock planting, finishing with our preferred front.




This is our front, tree height 24 “/ 61 cm. There is a great amount of lava flows in the cascade range where the Western Hemlock lives, and gabbro assemblage is a / volcanic rock, so there is some degree of adaptation there. the funny thing I have noticed in the trees growing in the straight way, off a cliff or steep slope, it is that they are not always the oldest trees in the area. the oldest trees are often at the top of the rocky leaps, often only a few hundred feet above, where things are not falling down on top of them, or erosion of the slope does not take the tree down with it. so the style of this tree, with a fairly small crown and many branches that suggest a mature tree, but not old, it makes sense to me. I hope you enjoyed our experiment!

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A ‘Cliff Bonsai’-Western Hemlock Styling

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