It doesn’t look good for this tree, as you might be thinking if you’ve read my blog with any regularity.

It needs some drama….

Let’s spin it around a bit, take in the whole tree…

Hmmmnn. Where to go? It’s in an older pot. Korean I think.


The tree belongs to Evan, up in Cincinnati. He inherited it from his first teacher, Richard. It’s been in training for many many years.

I think a change is in order.

But, before I continue, let me show you what this tree looked like in the early 90’s

Interesting that, even in Ohio, the trunk got bigger Here are some more pics of the tree early in development as well as pics with both John Naka and Ben Oki with the original owner, Evan’s teacher, Richard Strauss.

Interesting. That’s the same pot. Goes to show that a ficus WILL get bigger in a bonsai pot. Like I said, even in Ohio.

Richard and John. John (Naka San) called Richard “Daichi San”

Richard was great friends with John, with John giving him what John called his “Samurai name” Daichi-San.

Ben Oki and Richard

Ben Oki would visit the Cincinnati club often and Richard helped him during Ben’s demos

Richard and Ben, I might guess late 1990’s
On display in an exhibit

Anyway, below, here’s the new front I chose. Changing a front on a tree is a pretty common thing, especially on a quality tree, as you can see from all the different pics above.

Let’s get to chopping, as you knew I’d be doing sooner or later, right?

Ready for the carnage?


That’ll make a good cutting…

Some clean up…

Now, what’s next?

Awww, I fooled you, just a repot and…

….some wire.

Not everything needs a chop job (something aging Hollywood actors should take to heart).

The tree belongs to Evan, who inherited it from his sensei Richard, when Daichi San passed in 2005.

Evan met Richard in 1991, here is Richard, Evan and Ben back when Evan still had dark hair.

The new soil.

The soil is the coarse blend from Wigert’s Bonsai, a good, all around blend.

Before he passed, Richard bestowed upon Evan….

This is Evan btw

….the samurai name “Edu-San”.

Evan is an amazing man, he’s held every position in the Greater Cincinnati Bonsai Society and was given the lifetime achievement award by the club in 2018 and I had the honor of being there to witness it.

Evan and then president Joanne

Just a new pot and some refinement of the branches through some pruning and a bunch of wire.

And age, the best refining element we have.

Thanks to Evan again for inviting me up into the Great White North to teach about tropical trees. See you next time my friend.

4 thoughts

  1. Evan is a stand up guy…all around. Yes…you surprised me by removing one branch! But an amazing specimen…amazing it’s been in that blue pot for much of it’s journey in bonsai.

    Enjoyed the blog…and the tree.


  2. I am so glad my wife Kimberly found Richard! She tried to buy an expensive bonsai, but he did not allow it. She got me two, a ficus and a procumbens. I still have the ficus. We can grow pretty good ones, here in N.Kentucky.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love that Edu-san has the story of the tree including some awesome photos. The samurai name is cool. Reminds me of a long time ago when I worked for Xerox with visiting Fuji-Xerox employees from Japan, that called me Pontes-san.


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