Category Archives: My Penjing Projects

Some of my trees – Feb2018.

Above: Two Port Jackson figs, fused together, so now being styled as one tree. This tree puts out heaps of aerial roots so I am expecting the figurine to be soon covered. I do like it in this pot.


Above: Bougainvillea. This pot was imported from China about 15 years ago. Each of the panels on the sides is hand-carved and applied to the pot. At that time each panel cost about $AUD50 (this pot has four) in addition to the cost of the pot. These panels now cost at least $AUD100 each making this pot a good investment at the time.


Above: Chinese Elm. Originally and upright tree. In an imported Chinese Lingnan pot. Some years yet away from being ‘finished’.


Above: Port Jackson Fig. One of my favourites in an imported Chinese Lingnan pot. The canopy is still being developed but I am pretty happy with the lower branching as it is.


Above: Privet. Another of my favourites. The base of the tree is still being developed.


Above: A collected Fig. Was found growing on rocks under another Fig that was restricting sun to this tree. Hence, this Fig grew quite naturally in this unusual shape in order to get some sun. This tree may yet get a major re-styling as soon as I workout what to do.

Mt Spurgeon Black Pine


Mt Spurgeon Black Pine (Prumnopitys ladei) is a rare popocarp tree which occurs in rainforest in northeast Queensland, Australia. It is similar in appearance to the much more common Wollemi Pine.


I was given this tree by a bonsai friend who shares my passion for rare and unusual plants. It was growing perfectly upright until I re-planted  it on its side with a small rock underneath to keep it in place. The rationale was simply that this angle might present more options. As it grew in this new position a side branch ‘took off’ growing straight up. In time it may well have overtaken the original trunk line.



Penjing School Stytling

Eastern Su


(so far)






Cedrus Deodara ‘Mountain Beauty’

The Material

‘Mountain Beauty’ was first identified as a ‘sport’ growing on a Deodara by a man living in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney. He propagated the sport and it quickly became popular for bonsai.


The Source

Koreshoff’s Bonsai Nursery (now closed) had ‘Mountain Beauty’ from the early 1980’s and it is believed that this is the origin of this material. The estimated age of this tree is 55 years.

It was purchased from a private owner who was dismissive of its bonsai potential. It has been left to grow in this plastic pot for many years but was in extremely good health.


The yellow ‘paint’ you can see about halfway up the trunk is not paint. It is a bright yellow lichen and there is much more of it on the rear of the trunk.

The Plan

‘Mountain Beauty’ is very, very, very brittle. Whole branches can come off without any warning whatsoever. So, I enlisted the assistance of a well-known bonsai expert who had much experience working with this material.


I had previously removed many dead branches that had been growing on the inside of the tree.

The plan now was to keep as many of the branches as possible, wire them to allow them to be better-placed on the tree, and then re-pot.

The Result


Am very happy with this. It looks like an ‘old tree’ and that is precisely what we were after. In about six months time we will start placing more of the foliage where we want it but it will necessarily be a slow and deliberate process.

Updates will follow.