Work at Mirai this Week - March 26 - April 1

Many of you have asked for some sort of calendar of work to reference. While we don’t have such a comprehensive resource currently, we thought we’d start letting you all know the bonsai work that is occurring at Mirai on a week-to-week basis. Obviously the timing and work we mention is closely related to our PNW climate.

This week we’re focusing on two tasks as time works against us - spring is truly on the horizon:

  1. We’re frantically wiring and pruning all of our elongating species and deciduous trees before their buds push

  2. Finalizing the last of our repots.

What work are you all doing this week to your bonsai?


Moving trees from cold shelter into sunshine and rain, unless it snows, then into the sunshine and snow. Finishing soil sifting and soil blending, getting pots lined up for repotting, getting prepared to prune spruce and pinch hornbeams. Watching streams to learn better way to improve my junipers. Have significant PNW envy!! :volcano:

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I am repotting junipers in the greenhouse that are starting to show signs of growth.

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@rafi Also suffer from greenhouse envy! :thinking:

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Watering, feeding, watching the leaves flush out, drinking beer*, affixing plumbing parts to restaurant bus tubs so I can drain bald cypress in the winter and flood them for the rest of the year.

*Note: Bald Cypress Bonsai Rule 9a: Bald cypress love it when you drink beer while working with them.


4 more plants to put in pots and transform my condo’s deck with shelving. One thing I would like some feedback on is, I have a couple Redwoods that started from a seed in December and they are 2.5 inches tall. When do you think I should separate them and put them in the regular soil until they start to mature? Also, do I cut the tap root when it’s time to separate?


@VICTOR, I recommend leaving the alone for now.

Being bald cypress cousins, I’ll give you my bald cypress seedling advice. I don’t know dawn redwoods, but I know they’re deciduous.

Wait until December. Gently, so gently, separate the two. Pot these into tall containers. Something like a tall 1-liter water bottle, or a 1-foot long piece of 3-inch PVC. Glue mesh to the bottom of the PVC pipe, or cut drain holes in the bottom of the 1-liter bottle. Or, you could just BUY THESE.

I bought bald cypress seedlings from the La. Dept. of Agriculture and Forestry. They came bare-rooted with 12" taproots. They were about 30" in length. I potted them in 1-gallon nursery pots. I cut all their taproots to get them to fit into the pots. They all survived.

I recommend letting these grow to about 12-14 inches tall before cutting the taproot and potting them in something that will move it towards bonsai material. You’ve got a few years to go before these will be considered pre-pre-bonsai.

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I finished up three weeks of designing my garden (I posted about it in the design section), repotted a bunch of trees, and pulled my a Japanese Maple saplings out of their winter shelter. This weekend, I still have to repot one last juniper, and once the night temperatures get consistently above 50 degrees, I have to repot two Schefflera bonsai. And @BillsBayou, I like your rule about beer and cypress :grin:

@blewis1975, you might like this one as well:

Bald Cypress Bonsai Rule 7
Use a systemic pesticide to treat bald cypress for cypress gall twig midges and rust mites. Use a systemic bourbon to treat yourself.


Night temperatures go down to -10c here in Sweden so I won’t be doing to much :disappointed_relieved:. No heater in the glassed porch either but my quince and a couple of Japanese maples buds swelled this week so I have managed a few repottings.

Thank you for your input. I appreciate it.

Spring cleaning… Fertilization and watering…

“Enjoy your trees!”

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I finished my re-potting/pruning work in mid February. All my trees had completely budded out by early March. One of the benefits of living in the South West :wink:.

Now, I’m fertilizing and letting them get back into the positive. It’s great to see all the bougies flowering, and the junipers going crazy. I also have a small Stone Pine that is going like mad, which I hope to start some design work on this year.

Switching to spiked sweet tea in the summer has done wonders for me in the past!


As of April 8th spring is still very cold in in upstate New York. We got a light dusting of snow this morning. It really has been an unusually cold spring and it’s very frustrating because I could have been half way through my repotting by now last year!

Though, two trees that don’t give a sh*t about this weather and are pushing their buds open right now are a wild honeysuckle I collected in August last summer. That’s right AUGUST. I will be posting a thread on this tree soon and about the techniques I used to do this successfully.

The other tree of mine really pushing buds despite the weather is my Spirea “goldmound” I bought at an agway last summer on sale. It has this really fascinating trunk… I call it “root over root” style… almost like a banyan. Well I just repotted it and it looks so very dank in it’s new bonsai pot. This summer will be all about developing ramification and branch structure with this little guy. Check it