Hi everybody,

yesterday my student Ed van der Reek visit me to show and discuss his latest Bonsai/material find a PURPLE SMOKEBUSH “Cotinus purpurea”. This former garden tree was so big and heavy that I allowed him to park it on our living room table for once, the poor guy had to Carry it all alone and I was afraid he would collapse under the weight before he could bring it into my back garden! How he managed to get this giant plant into his tiny car is a mystery to me! 🙂  But I have to admit, his find is a great one indeed! This old garden plant has great potential and almost all the Bonsai features you want to find in your material. Great nebari, great trunk, great natural shari and lovely foliage and flowers! Both sitting on the floor, which is not too easy for me, we discussed all the possibilities of this powerful plant and made a plan for this future Bonsai. I made a drawing for Ed as a mental reference of the design we came up with. Then trusting my advice and without hesitation, Ed removed the top section off this plant. Although it was very old and had a nice shari, it was just too long, strait and growing too far away from the base of the tree! This tree has all the possibilities to make a very believable powerful short tree, so there was just no room for this long branch! And not in the last place, cutting off this large top branch also meant that the tree would fit much easier back into Ed’s car :).

Front of the tree.      Back site.

 26-27-05-2009-060-hans-van-meer    26-27-05-2009-062-hans-van-meer
Brave Ed, holding the former top!
Brave Ed, holding the former top!

One cut, making all the differance!

One cut, making all the difference!



Above: my design for Ed’s future Bonsai. I think that this tree has a great future under Ed’s care and I know that it will steal many hearts when it hits the shows!

I will keep you all posted on the progress of this future bonsai, I hope you like it as much as we do? Well, don Ed! 🙂


Hans van Meer.

Info: karamottobonsai@hotmail.com


2 thoughts on “ED’S PURPLE SMOKEBUSH!”

  1. I’ve always wondered if a Smokebush would make a nice bonsai, and at the very least, this piece of stock certainly answers that question in the positive! Very nice material, I look forward to seeing more of this as it develops.


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