Look at this beauty!

A collected neea buxifolia (the common name is nia. Don’t ask me why the difference in spelling. It’s a tree native to Puerto Rico and they say nia. Maybe some macho man botanist had to assert his dominance by putting neea, idk). 

It’s a sweet specimen, shohin sized with a trunk full of character. I can’t wait to get my hands on it. Ready? 

Gotta weed it first. 

Damn, my hands are itching to get to work. Look at those branches! 

They’re very bendable too. Even the thickest ones. 
The tree did suffer a bit from being inside; I got it at the recent Bsf convention. 

A black tip like this is usually from the lack of light when you bring it indoors.  It happens when I have to bring them in during the winter cold snaps too. 

We had a great convention this year. The headliners were Bjorn Bjorholm He’s so dreamy. 

Juan Andrade. The young dude on the right, not the old fart on the left (that’s the Bsf president Michael Knowlton. Don’t worry, he’s a good friend, or at least until he reads this). Juan’s sporting the cheesy grin I usually use when posing for photos. 

Here’s the three of us together. Notice my cheesy grin. 

They kinda look like hotel workers in those matching polo shirts. There’s a caption I promised I wouldn’t use. I’ll let you guess though: This is Juan’s demo tree, he is moving some dead wood using a jack. Bjorn is curious as to what is happening, maybe even wanting to help. Sorry guys. There will be some who will guess. 

The two headliners had three assistants during their workshops and demos. All three are accomplished artists in their own right. 

Jason Osborne:That’s him carving a sweet acacia. 

Mike Lane:Helping Juan wire a Chinese elm. 

And David Cutchin, which I didn’t get a pic of at the convention. So here he is at Ryan Neil’s place. I’m not sure who took the pic but I’ll give them credit when I find out. 

I gave a few programs too; an ilex demo and workshop and a byot carving workshop. 

The demo tree: before. That tree was supplied by Wigert’s nursery. 
After. It was a beautiful collected tree thanks Erik! 

Some of the ilex workshop trees. 

And if you click here, you can see a buttonwood I had the honor to carve on. The grey coloured wood is untouched, the tan/brown wood is what I carved. Here’s another clip from Instagram. 

I couldn’t take pictures of the exhibit as that was forbidden, but I do have my tree to show you. 

You’ve all seen it before. A southern hackberry. 

Just to be naughty, here’s my sworn enemy, Seth’s tree. It won best medium bonsai. 

It’s ficus microcarpa. He’s done amazing things with it. Here it was, last year, at this time. 

Surprisingly, that’s not my hairy hand this time in the pic. Seth is a bit of a hobbit you know, you should see his feet. 

Here’s the tree just a few weeks before this year’s show. Then he repotted it into a sweet custom made Kawausa Pottery oval with a namako glaze by Roy Minarai.  

Goes to show you what can be done with a ficus with the correct horticultural techniques applied at the correct time, like pruning, defoliation, repotting, fertilizing. From stock plant to award winning tree in a year. Better than I can do. 
There was so much happening at the convention this year, I hardly had time to take pics. You shoulda been there. You’ll just have to attend next year to catch all the cool stuff and shenanigans that goes on.  It’s gonna be a special one too, ABS and Bsf are putting on a joint convention. It’ll be epic. Look for details soon on bonsai-Bsf.com and absonsai.org. 

Let’s get back to my new nia. Gotta break out the tweezers for those tiny weeds. 

Till the soil a bit. Aerate it. 
Fertilize heavily then and mix it in. 

That’s good. 
Then I add some fresh top dressing and apply a pre-emergent weed treatment. You can use Preen for that, I use a product called OH2.  

And that it! Fooled you, hah! 

That’s all I’m going to do. I almost never work a newly acquired tree where I’m not sure of the previous growing conditions. I do know that the color is a bit yellow on the leaves so I’ll let it get a little more dark green (not that neea get all that dark green, but the color should be a little more dark. You know, like my soul). 

I can do one other thing. This root…..….it’s a little high and its crossing. I can snip it…….and it will sprout from the cut tip and when I do repot this, I’ll have a nice little root cutting to grow. 

And that’s all. As I’m want to say, Bob’s your uncle…..

An air layering post is next. 

I think. 

I could get distracted by something else. And I realize I owe you the part two to the Heathcote exhibit too. Soon. 

5 thoughts

    1. They announced it at this convention. I’m not sure when promotional material goes out but I’m guessing soon because the deadline for the exhibit submissions is in October


  1. Adam, I love the post! I got really excited when you seemed to get excited by the Nias Pliable stems, even the big ones! we thought we would see some amazing wiring! Bonsai Porno! I was so excited at that point I almost:: wait sorry, not going there. Then it went to older younger guys performing Bonsai techniques at a convention center in uniforms. I am sick! Glad that Holly, mean as hell rotunda folia from Wingerts had all new tender foliage, damn spines can hurt you, owe! Thanks for the post Bonsai Rock Star! Mr. awesomely special You are! Love you brother! No hate here!


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