Two interesting Yamadori

I have the opportunity to purchase two very interesting yamadori with lots of character and are quite old. The first one is a shore pine and the second a hemlock. Both have had an initial styling and have been in grow pots for quite some time. Lots of ways to go with both but thought I’d ask what everyone thought of them. Both are from Vancouver island.


Sorry but not a big fan of the hemlock with uniformly curving trunk. Too uniform of a curve and little taper. Wondering about raft style.

But the shore pine is a winner if you can reduce the large root(s) on the left, over time. It looks like shohin material and very good material at that but I don’t have a sense of size. Pretty good wiring on both trees. Feed, get back budding, then reduce branch length.

1 Like

Thanks for the feedback. Always interesting what others have to say. I agree the shore pine is a winner with time due to interesting trunk. The branching needs work and to be grown out in order to backbud before cutting back. Definitely shohin material. The hemlock will need some work to fill negative space and work on pads but I like the shari and deadwood. It wasn’t bent by hand but rather its position over time in nature. I agree with the lack of taper. A few more angles:


The second set of pictures really do that hemlock justice in my mind.

And that shore pine is amazing. Congrats!


Thanks. I tend to agree with you regarding opposite angle of hemlock. The bend is quite drastic but the other elements pull it all together. I’ll need to get some minor branching on the other side of the main portion, like Ryan’s recent hemlock styling, to help balance it out the asymmetry for sure. It’s a long term project for both of them. The shore pine was found along a hiking trail in really bad shape but the trunk caught the collectors eye.

I agree with nmhansen. The back side of the hemlock is much better. Less emphasis on the curve. Perhaps by carving into the deadwood section, the uniformity will be minimized. You are headed in the right direction.


I think that hemlock rocks out loud.


I like really unusual material which is why yamadori is my go to. Vancouver island has some amazing stuff and very old.

Do you live on the island or mainland? Are these collected by yourself or Anton maybe?

I’m on the mainland but these were collected by a friend of Anton’s. He recently moved but is planning to start selling again soon. Anton has some incredible stuff.

Yeah he really does! I’ve not yet bought from Anton but I’ve been in contact with him the last 5 months or so. He mentioned a possible move so that’s good to know that he did end up doing that. Thanks! Do you by any chance know any other good sources of yamadori here on the mainland? I’ve been trying for years to find someone other than Anton and haven’t been successful.

I think both are nice. The hemlock for sure is more of a design challenge but look at the details of the deadwood in it! just that makes me want it. As for styling, I would remove the small disproportional lower branches and the large thick straight one and build the tree with the upper branches only bringing the longest one down to create a pad and all in the top for an apex. I say embrace the ugly arch.


Many of the bonsai artists that are focusing on north american bonsai are really starting to realize what’s available up here. Michael Hagedorn is routinely on the island picking up Anton’s prized trees. Ryan also has one of his hemlocks featured. I think the only way to get one is to visit Campbell River and have a look for yourself. I have not had any success finding other yamadori collectors on the mainland. Tak’s tree’s are probably the closest you will get since they are mostly field grown and untouched for many years. He has some JBP in the $300 range.

Totally agree with the character being the most striking aspect of the hemlock. The curve is a bit much but when you put it all together it’s striking. Finding the front will be the most important aspect as well as filling negative space like you mentioned. Will also have to be repotted of course.

Yeah i have a dozen or so trees from Tak. He actually introduced me to bonsai 14 or so years ago. I’ve been waiting for Anton to complete his move to make the trip to the island. I’m really looking forward to purchasing some of his material.

I’d buy one of Ryan’s trees in a heartbeat but getting it across the border would not be fun. Finding quality up here is a little rough not to mention pots. At least Tak has akadama. The bonsai clubs and the exhibits during the summer are probably the best places but I don’t really want finished bonsai. Yamadori have a lot more character.

The back side of the Hemlock has good potential. In general, I like the principle that there are less or more design challenges but few truly bad trees.

RE: the shore pine. I like it. I think that long root is fine. Check out the Rocky Mountain Juniper that was the 3rd place winter in the Artisan’s Cup-it has a similar root and it is a definitive part of the design.

1 Like

That shore pine is AMAZING and has the potential to be be something truly unique. In no way would I support reducing the big long surface root, I think it would surely diminish the material. When I saw that root with that long branch stretching out over it my jaw dropped, you could make it a very short tree that streachtes very wide with a long branch mirroring that root, dang that would be tasty.

1 Like

Bang on! Keep that root! Make this a short tree with one long side mimicking that surface root…I couldn’t agree more with Mike. Very very tasty…


Thanks for the input. I agree with you. The trunk is so interesting I think keeping it short and long will really make it unique. This tree truly has an interesting story being beaten up in the wild.