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We are excited to announce that sign-ups have begun for our 2019-2020 Intensive Bonsai Courses. Choose either the Conifer Track or Broadleaf Track, or choose to enroll in both.

If you are interested in joining the classes, please check out the schedule below and follow the link to sign up!

Sign Up!
2019-2020 Class Schedule

Conifer Group A Year 1
November 8-10, 2019
February 21-23, 2020
June 5-7, 2020

Conifer Group B Year 1
November 15-17, 2019
February 28-March 1, 2020
June 12-14, 2020

Broadleaf Group A Year 1
December 13-15, 2019
March 6-8, 2020
May 15-17, 2020

The post Intensive Bonsai Course Sign-ups! appeared first on Bjorn Bjorholm.

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Bjorn Bjorholm by Bjorn Bjorholm - 1M ago

2020 Japan Bonsai Tours

We are excited to announce sign-ups have begun for our 2020 Japan Bonsai Tours!

In 2020, Bjorn and Nanxi will be hosting two tours - one for the famous Gafu-ten Shohin Exhibition held in January and another for the Kokufu-ten in February.

The Gafu-ten Tour will begin in Tokyo, then travel down to Okayama, Takamatsu and Kyoto, while the Kokufu-ten Tour will begin in Kyoto, then travel to Osaka and up to Tokyo. Each tour will feature different gardens, nurseries, and sightseeing locations.

For more information and to sign up, click the link below!

Tour Info

The post Japan Bonsai Tours 2020 appeared first on Bjorn Bjorholm.

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Bjorn Bjorholm by Bjorn Bjorholm - 3M ago

It's spring here in the US and time to start getting back into the swing of things with your bonsai...and what better way to kick off the growing season than with our brand new online Advanced Bonsai Course II?!

This online course is a follow-up to our first Advanced Bonsai Course with Bonsai Empire, released in 2018, and expands further into bonsai related subjects. Everything from design and display to horticulture and maintenance is discussed in detail in this new tutorial.

We also take a follow-up look at some of the projects and trees from the original Advanced Course from last year, including bonsai which were grafted and the necessary next steps in the process to developing those trees.

Perhaps our favorite section in the new Advanced Bonsai Course II is the display tutorial, which covers everything from stand selection to Shohin box display arrangement. This is the most comprehensive tutorial on display available today!

When you sign up via the button below, you will create a username and password, which will then give you lifetime access to the Advanced Course II via Bonsai Empire's website.

Learn How to BonsaiAdvanced Bonsai Course II

The post Advanced Bonsai Course II appeared first on Bjorn Bjorholm.

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Bjorn Bjorholm by Bjorn Bjorholm - 4M ago

Itoigawa Shimpaku (Juniperus chinensis var. 'Itoigawa' - the most sought after Junipers in Japan, both for their deadwood features and, more importantly, for their foliar characteristics.

The most famous examples of naturally occurring yamadori Itoigawa Shimpaku all came from one tiny area in the Niigata Prefecture of northern Japan, specifically from the high elevation peak of 'Kurohime' (a.k.a. the Black Princess Mountain). Today, Itoigawa can no longer legally be collected from this region and so the Japanese now simply graft cultivated Itoigawa foliage onto Junipers from other regions of Japan, such as Tohoku and Hokkaido Shimpaku from further north. For example, the tree featured to the right is a famous Tohoku Shimpaku grafted with Itoigawa Shimpaku foliage and aptly dubbed 'Fujin' or Wind God.

So what is it that makes Itoigawa Shimpaku foliage so desirable?

For starters, its fast growth habit allows for rapid development of padded branches. Itoigawa foliage is also more stout than other Juniper varieties and thus requires less frequent wire application and maintenance. And of course, the dark green color of the foliage in summer and the unique purple-brown color in winter provide added interest to this variety in bonsai culture.

Now, it should be noted that not all Itoigawa foliage is created equal. As with all Juniper species, Itoigawa foliage will vary in terms of coarseness from tree to tree. Of course, the most desirable Itoigawa Shimpaku are those that have been collected from the mountains with naturally occurring compact foliage. However, there are many examples of yamadori Itoigawa Shimpaku that have in fact been grafted with finer, cultivated Itoigawa foliage - in other words, Itoigawa Shimpaku grafted with better Itoigawa Shimpaku - pure madness!

Today in the United States we are experiencing an increase in popularity of native US plant species for use in bonsai. Rocky Mountain Juniper, in particular, has become the fastest rising star in the bonsai world due to its uniquely beautiful deadwood features. As with Itoigawa Shimpaku in Japan, though, RMJs vary wildly in terms of their foliage, and the floppy nature of most RMJ foliage has left a bad taste in many peoples' mouths.

But what if we could source better RMJ foliage for grafting back onto RMJs with poor natural foliage? What if we could do exactly what's been done in Japan using our native species?

Well this week at Eisei-en, we did just that!

In our latest Intensive Conifer Course, we veneer grafted tight, compact RMJ foliage onto another collected RMJ with less desirable foliage, using the two trees featured in the photo (both trees were collected in Wyoming by Backcountry Bonsai).

Over the following few months, these veneer grafts will slowly be exposed and the foliage will be entirely replaced within a handful of years. We will keep you posted on the progress of this tree and other native species which have been grafted here at Eisei-en in the coming months and years!

If you would like to learn these techniques and more, please sign up for our Intensive Bonsai Courses below:

SIGN-UP!

The post Grafting American Species appeared first on Bjorn Bjorholm.

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Bjorn Bjorholm by Bjorn Bjorholm - 4M ago

Why hello!  Long time no see.

Perhaps you might be wondering why it's taken so long since our last blog post.  Well, it's been a hectic start to 2019, and we've had our hands full at Eisei-en.  For starters, our annual Kokufu-ten Bonsai Tour went off without a hitch (except for Bjorn's emergency appendectomy on the second day of the tour - luckily Nanxi managed the 30 person group like a pro all by herself!).

Upon returning from Japan, we jumped straight into our Conifer Intensive Program, focusing on grafting and repotting large yamadori material.  This is always a tricky process, transitioning raw collected trees from wooden boxes to proper ceramic containers, but our conifer groups managed the task with relative ease.

First up, this One-Seed Juniper (Juniperus monosperma) collected by Richard Le had an unsightly narrow base and reverse taper.  What to do?  Well, just tip the tree on its side and make the trunk appear fatter.

Next, Eisei-en's largest Rocky Mountain Juniper (Juniperus scopulorum) collected by Backcountry Bonsai was transitioned from its long, skinny box into a proper pot.  Luckily, the extended root on the tree's left was entirely dead and was easily removed to squeeze it into the new container.

Join our Intensive Bonsai SchoolSIGN UP TODAY!

The post Repotting Yamadori Conifers appeared first on Bjorn Bjorholm.

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This past weekend, we kicked off our Intensive Bonsai Program at Eisei-en with the inaugural Conifer Group A.

Members traveled from all over the eastern US, from New York and New Jersey to Alabama, Arkansas, Missouri, Michigan and of course Tennessee, spending three days at Eisei-en focusing on aspects of horticulture, technique and design as applied to coniferous plant species.

The goal of the Intensive Bonsai Program is to provide participants with horticultural fluency, technical understanding, and design competency over the course of three years, with the ultimate aim of creating and designing quality bonsai art.  The guys from our inaugural Conifer session have already set the bar high for the future of Eisei-en’s Intensive Bonsai Program, and we are already looking forward to having them back in February 2019 for round two!

Currently, all Intensive Bonsai Program courses at Eisei-en are full for year one, but please check back in 2019 for year two course openings!

The post Intensive Bonsai Program – Conifer Group A appeared first on Bjorn Bjorholm.

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Bjorn Bjorholm by Bjorn Bjorholm - 11M ago

After months of planning, preparation and building, we are excited to announce the Grand Opening Event of Eisei-en Bonsai Garden in Mount Juliet, TN on September 1-2, 2018!

The event is open to the public from 9am-5pm both days, with free demonstrations by Naoki Maeoka (Japan) and Mauro Stemberger (Italy). All bonsai, yamadori and ceramics will be discounted 10% during the event.

The garden address is 2680 Old Lebanon Dirt Rd, Mount Juliet, TN 37122. The doors will not open prior to 9am both days, so please do not arrive before that time.

For those planning to come, book hotels in the Mount Juliet, TN Providence area. The nursery is within 2 miles from this location, and the airport is a quick Uber ride away.

We hope that you will join us for the Grand Opening of Eisei-en in Mount Juliet, TN this Sept 1-2! Thank you for your support!

The post Eisei-en Grand Opening appeared first on Bjorn Bjorholm.

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Bjorn Bjorholm by Bjorn Bjorholm - 1y ago

This past week, I had the pleasure of visiting the Denver Bonsai Society and working with a few individuals in the area.  One of the highlights of the trip was working with a relatively untapped native US species known as One-Seed Juniper.

Not only are the deadwood characteristics of this species fabulous, but the foliage is much more conducive to bonsai culture than many other US native Juniper species, as it is more turgid, less coarse, and better lends itself to wiring and cultivation.

Below is one such One-Seed Juniper, with its collector and owner Richard Le.

Come see this tree and many more like it at the Grand Opening of Eisei-en Bonsai Nursery on Sept 1-2, 2018 in Mount Juliet, TN!

The post One-Seed Juniper Bonsai appeared first on Bjorn Bjorholm.

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Bjorn Bjorholm by Bjorn Bjorholm - 1y ago

Eisei-en Bonsai Nursery will officially open on Sept 1-2, 2018! Bonsai, yamadori, ceramics, suiseki and more will be available for purchase at the event.

Saturday Sept 1st will feature free demonstrations by Naoki Maeoka and Mauro Stemberger from 9am to 5pm.

On Sunday Sept 2nd, Naoki Maeoka will conduct a half-day BYOT workshop from 8:30am to 12:30pm. And Mauro Stemberger will conduct a half-day BYOT workshop from 1pm to 5pm. Each workshop is $75 and both are limited to 5 people each. To sign up, send to info@bjornbjorholm.com.

For security reasons, the nursery address will be released on this page two weeks prior to the opening. However, for those planning to come, book hotels in the Mount Juliet, TN Providence area. The nursery is within 2 miles from this location, and the airport is a quick Uber ride away.

We hope that you will join us for the Grand Opening of Eisei-en in Mount Juliet, TN this Sept 1-2! Thank you for your support!

The post Eisei-en Grand Opening! appeared first on Bjorn Bjorholm.

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Bjorn Bjorholm by Bjorn Bjorholm - 1y ago

In this episode, we discuss the morality of bonsai art. Is it torture? Do plants feel pain? Are they conscious? Listen to find out!

Episode 8 | George Takei Presents...Tree Torture! - SoundCloud
(1930 secs long, 744 plays)Play in SoundCloud

The post Podcast Episode 8 appeared first on Bjorn Bjorholm.

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