Wirring my two Prunus mahaleb yamadori.

Hi, everybody,

here are some pictures of the rewiring and styling sessions I did on my two Prunus mahaleb yamadori that were collected in 2012.

Below: Both old Prunus mahaleb had grown amazingly during the past season and the wire had to be taken off before it would dig into the bark! But the branches did have enough time to grow more or less into their desired position and stay there!  Now it was time to loosely rewire all branches again and to reposition them were necessary!

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Below: Just look at all the former suckers that last season were bent down into the ground to create new roots! This is a very easy but important technique to use on these species that create tons of these suckers during the whole growing season! The once that form every were along the trunk need to be removed immediately when they are not useful in your design, otherwise, they will leave ugly scars!

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Below: Remember that I told you earlier in the repotting story of Wolfie about the lucky stone that I had found by change in the soil of one of my Prunus mahaleb? Well, it was in this tree when I was removing unwanted mosses and weeds from the soil surface to expose the roots to the light and air so they would thicken more quickly!

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Below: The red arrow shows a branch that grows straight and ugly directly upwards and although I wired it before, it still needs to be removed completely because bending it won’t make it look any better! This branch is much too prominent in your face and it is impossible to make sharp bends in a branch like this and I don’t want it to look like an arch!

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Below: Here the branch is completely removed and now the lines and the flow of the branch is much more natural and pleasant! The eye of the observer can now follow the flow of the branch unobstructed right to the tip of it! Lines and even more open spaces are very important in Bonsai! Even in the more natural designed Bonsai like these two! I believe that branch structure is of the utmost importance in Bonsai design even in the more natural looking ones! Creating a bushy tree to save time and then call it a Bonsai is wrong! Proper branch building is an intricate part of Bonsai art and should not be neglected to get a quick result or to fool the public! At least that is my opinion!

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Below: Here most of the branches are wired and bend and fixated into their desired position. On the right side, two main branches still look a bit stiff in this picture and most likely will be bend some more next season with the help of raffia! The red arrow point at a to strait looking branch that grows from the old hanging branch that over the decades had rooted into the ground! This gnarly looking branch full of stunning deadwood plays an important part in my overall design and a straight line that the new branch that grows from it is very unwanted and looks unnatural and ugly…so it needs bending with the help of raffia to protect it from breaking!

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Below: Here the branch is wrapped with one layer of in water-soaked raffia, this will protect it from breaking or cracking! Soaking raffia for a while in water is important to do, when the water evaporates the raffia will shrink a little and embrace the branch even tighter, therefor work better!

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Below: Just one on a old removed branch stump  secured layer of 3,5 mm wire is aplied and the branch is carfully bend into its new more natural looking position! Some light movement up and down was also created to make the branch look less stiff!

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Below: Top view from that same branch. To hold the branch into its new place a  strong copper wire is secured to one of the many ground Jin that stick out off the ground in frot off the tree. The branch looks more pleasant now and because it is now automatically  brought closer to the tree, it has become more a part of the overall appearance! So a win win situation!

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Below: All work don! I know it is not a very good picture and things are a bit hard to see…but this tree is very heavy and I cant lift much these days! But I hope you can still make out the overall impression of this very promising tree?! The stumps sticking out off the ground in frond of the tree are mostly natural Jins, left from old branches! They will stay to play a big part in this old tree natural design!

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Below: Here the old tree is in full bloom! The very late hail storms we had the last couple of days have sadly removed most of them! I am very happy with the progress of this tree…only finding a pot will be a crime! I think I will have to let one be specially made for me in the future! I am afraid a normal shaped pot will not fit it?! But thats for later!

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Below: Here you see the second Prunus mahaleb that is already wired here and the branches are brought back into there desired position. These old tree was like the other one burned by forest firers and the amazing old deadwood is all scorched, this created beautiful black and grey tones all over the incredible deadwood that man cant copy! The top and top branches are hugging the amazing deadwood section from behind to emphasise it!

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Below: Here you can see the, for now, finished tree.  The thick jin in the bottom middle still needs some work in the future to make it more elegant and a lot of the by now dead bark below it needs to be removed as well. I am not yet sure what to do with the ground Jins that stick out off the ground in front of the tree..but they can always be removed later when I am sure! On this Prunus there were also created new roots from suckers, but not as much as on the other one.

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Bellow: The old Prunus in bloom! It needs to be more tilted to the left like in the picture above, but this picture is all I have! I like this twin trunk design, it looks natural and honours how this old fighter looked when we found it! With some more years to create finner ramification it will look amazing and unique and I cant wait to find a fitting pot for it and  show it to the world! I am so immensely grateful to my dear friends who allowed and helped me to collect these stunning works of nature! They brought joy in my live and I have these beauties in my garden to remind me every day of how wonderful live, nature, friends and doing Bonsai can be….thanks guy’s!!!

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I hope you enjoyed this story of my two Prunus mahaleb’s, it took for ever to write, but I found a very long way to at least get it right for you all to read! I am glad that I am able to do my hobby again with joy and a head full of ideas and I am glad that I can again share it with you all! There is more to come, so watch this space!!!


Hans van Meer.

Info: karamottobonsai@hotmail.com






Illness, more bad news and a new start!

Hi, everybody,

it has been a while…again, but this time it was for a good reason! I have been ill for many years now and that kept me more and more from doing Bonsai and living a normal life! After many years of not receiving the proper help from many doctors and so-called specialist, I finally found early this year a special clinic that could provide me with the specialist help that I had been surging for more than a decade! Help and support were finally given and I had new hopes on finally getting my old life and myself back! But then when I was building down an old (wrong ) medicine things went completely wrong and I got critical sick to a point that I had never reached before! It took me 2 months to get through that hell….but then things slowly cleared up and I started to feel better than I had in years! Turned out that the prescripted medication from the so-called specialist, that I had been taking for years, had been making me ill instead of any better. Live suddenly had meaning again and I could see the beauty of living again! But then disaster hit again, when during a checkup because my heart was racing like mad, they discovered that I had diabetes! So on top of everything I have to follow a strict diet now! low carbs and fat and no more sweets, salty snacks, drinks and other shit that made my live pleasant! But on the bright side, I lost 9 kilo’s since then and I can see my toes again when looking down! And I still feel so much better than only a few months ago and made new plans and for the first time in years started to work again on my neglected babies with pleaser and ideas and a smile on my face! So despite everything, things are finally looking up again! So the first thing to do was removing the long beard that I had let grow when I could not care less anymore about how I looked! And then repotting, styling and maintaining my trees again like I use to do! I AM BACK!!!

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More posts will follow shortly!


Hans van Meer.

Info: karamottobonsai@hotmail.com
















Noelanders Trophy 2016 revisited.


Hi, everybody,

it took a while for all the impressions from this years Noelanders to sink in! What an experience the long ride leading up to it was again! The last 2 seasons preparing my little Hawthorn for this show, being relieved that it made it into the final show, having a custom made pot made for it by John Pitt and a last-minute custom-made table by Christoph! The long night ride to bring it into the show, the early photo session with Willy Evenepoel and the feeling of proudness and amazement when I walked with my small tree in my arms into the enormous exhibition aerier! Finding my prominent and perfect exhibition space and building up my display all alone and in total peace…over the years I learnt to cherish these moments that pass in a moment! Walking past the almost endless rows with stunning Bonsai before any one was there, the feeling that came over me when I saw the many beauty in Bonsai designs, material and matureness! And the feeling that came over me when I saw trees with just a few years of ramification growth and work? Being warmly welcomed and congratulated by old Bonsai friends and shaking many hands of many new ones….making it o so hard to get from A to B! Having a meal and some drinks with friends from all over Europe and beyond, like if you had last saw them yesterday! Walking amazed past the endless rows with traders, who had Bonsai for sale that could be placed directly into the main show!!! And not 1 or 2…no 30 or 40!!! It was sometimes hard to find the traders under need all the world-class Yamadori that they had brought along in their hundreds from every were in Europe !!! Being a bit sad that I had to leave early…but really happy to have made it in the first place to bring in my Little “Hawthorn” my self in to this high class Bonsai show where now a day’s you need a “Kimura” styled Bonsai to win a price…that should make me even prouder, you would think? Wouldn’t you?! While I aim my car to wards Holland again a song comes on the car radio…Girl you know it’s true!!! Oooow, oooow, oooow…!!!

The next Monday, my dear friend Tony Tickle came to visit me again before getting on the boat home here close to were we live! He had brought along my Little Hawthorn, table and accent from the show! As always we had a fun afternoon, Tony is one of my oldest friends….whe had some amazing adventures together and I consider him more like a brother from a other mother! Tony gave the Fagus yamadori that I had here waiting for him in my garden a short shave (see the branches in my arms in picture) and made this selfie afterwards…such a shame that we live such a long way apart!

So to sum up: Noelanders Trophy XVI (2016) was a amazing show and a amazing experience to be a little part off! I congratulate Mark Noelanders and all the volunteers  that made this all possible again so that we could all enjoy this Bonsai heaven on earth that gets better and better every edition! Until next year….I hope!?


Hans van Meer.

Info: karamottobonsai@hotmail.com

Bonsai Friends!
Bonsai Friends!

Dear friend (David Bowie 8.1.’47 – 10.1.’16).


Dear dear David.

Dear lifelong friend, you died so silently, so there was nothing to prepare me for the hole in my chest when I heart the heartbreaking news. And that just 2 days after releasing your latest album “Black Star”. You even made your final transition into a work of art! I admire you so much and I want to thank you for being there for me during my whole life, with your unique musical talent and personality….you brought colour and joy to my life during all my highs and lows! Your alter egos will live on and forever, but I will remember David…my best friend! You are a star now David, a Blackstar…but still shining bright! And please don’t be afraid to come down and blow my mind every now and then!

There’s a starman waiting in the sky
Hed like to come and meet us
But he thinks he’d blow our minds
There’s a starman waiting in the sky
He’s told us not to blow it
Cause he knows it’s all worthwhile
He told me:
Let the children lose it
Let the children use it
Let all the children boogie

DAvid Bowie 500                                    R.I.P   David Bowie 8.1.1947 – 10.1.2016


Hans van Meer.







I’m still here!!!

Hi, everybody,

it’s been a while…I know! But my ongoing illness has made it very hard to do much Bonsai or anything for that matter! And what I did do is not that noteworthy, mostly keeping everything healthy and maintenance! That and the technical problems I have to post on my blog kept me from posting! I do have something funny from the past though, way back in April 2000, Carlos van der Vaart en I where filmed for television (Man bijt hond) in the old Bonsai center Ginkgo in Belgium. This was meant as a Japanese item for the trip our then Prins Willem would make later to Japan. It is in Dutch but you might enjoy the fun we all had anyway!!! Those were the days!!!

It is in Dutch but has English subtitles!!!

Hallo allemaal, hier is een link die ik laats vond naar een aflevering van  het televisie programma “man bijt hond” uit April 2000, toen Carlos van der Vaart en ik zelf daar in optraden, vanwege het bezoek van onze toenmalige prins Willem aan Japan. Het is opgenomen in het oude “Ginkgo Bonsai centrum” in Belgie van Danny en Ingrid Use, waar wij toen af en toe mochten helpen om mijn oude vriend Danny’s collectie te verzorgen. Tijdens de opname hadden we veel lol, dat is goed te zien als Carlos geintervieuwt wordt en in de lach schiet omdat Danny achter de camera zijn broek laat zakken!!! Het filmpje heet: Moshi Moshi en dat moesten we te pas en te on pas zeggen omdat het zo leuk klonk!

Wat een mooie en leuke tijden waren dat toch…ik mis dat erg!

Veel plezier met dit Bonsai filmpje met humor!!!

PS: Het filmpje is nu inmiddels zo vaak bekeken, dat er reclame voor is gezet!!! Sorry daar voor!!! 



Hans van Meer.


My Hawthorns In Full Bloom.


 Hi, everybody,

I would like to share with you all some pictures that I made of 2 off my Hawthorn Bonsai in full bloom. I hope you like them as much as we do?!

demo bab 13-5-2015 180 Hans van Meer org 600

                                                    Pot: top one: Dan Barton.
demo bab 13-5-2015 131 Hans van Meer org 600

                                                 Bottom one: Brian Allbright.

I hope you like the pictures and I will be back with some pictures from my demonstration at Mark Noelanders club B.O.B. in Belgium.


Hans van Meer.

Info: karamottobonsai@hotmail


R.I.P Terry Pratchett


Dear friends,

I sadly heard that my long-time hero Sir Terry Pratchett, renowned fantasy author, had past away yesterday!  A rare sort of Alzheimer had finally killed off one off the most imaginary minds of modern times! In 2011 the writer appeared in the documentary about euthanasia Choosing To Die. By then he already suffered 3 years from this horrible decease! He was the creator of the amazing “Discworld” fantasy series that I read all, over and over again….and yes,  I was a small collector of “Discworld” figurines and book cover artwork!

His amazing career in numbers:

Well over 70 books over a career spanning 44 years. Translated into 37 languages! And several films about the “Discworld” were made!

Source: Amazon.

I will miss his “Discworld” books dearly, they were a great companion during the biggest part of my life and there is nothing else like them out there, believe me, I have looked for years! If you are not familiar with his books and you are in for a laugh and an amazing hilarious adventure in the Discworld, a world that is held up by 4 giant elephant that stand on the back of an even greater tortoise that floats slowly through the universe…..well than please do buy on off his book and become a instant fan of this genius!

Terryandrob wrote beautifully :


Terry took Death’s arm and followed him through the doors and into the black desert under the endless night.

The End.


Thanks Terry!

Hans van Meer.

Terry Pratchett 500



Hi, everybody,

here are some images that were made during the workshop that I gave last Thursday night at the “SHINPAKU” Bonsai Club in Genk (Belgium). It was a long up and down trip (4,5 hours) and I got home very late, but it was well worth it because I had a great time at this friendly small Bonsai Club!

workshop Genk (B) 036 Hans van Meer 500

workshop Genk (B) 039 Hans van Meer 500

workshop Genk (B) 044 Hans van Meer 500

workshop Genk (B) 043 Hans van Meer 500

workshop Genk (B) 040 Hans van Meer 500

                                          Below: A very promising Larch! 

workshop Genk (B) 046 Hans van Meer 500

I hope you enjoyed this little impression off a fun evening workshop?!


Hans van Meer.

Info: karamotto@hotmail.com




“KARAMOTTO” My personal Bonsai website: http://www.karamotto.org/
Hans van Meer’s Bonsai Gallery on IBC forum
For info about workshop’s and demo’s only : karamottobonsai@hotmail.com



Hi, everybody,

Saturday a week ago I made the 2,5-hour drive to Diepenbeek in Belgium to visit the  “EDA UCHI KAI” Bonsai Club show. The show was staged in two buildings, one for the exhibition, lectures and refreshments and the other one, just a cross the road, for the traders and demonstrations. It would be the first time that I visit this Club’s annual Bonsai show and I had high expectations after seeing pictures off last years edition! Well, I was not disappointed at all, quite the opposite…I was blown away by some of the high-level Bonsai on display, but one tree really managed to take my breath away! And I found my self, still overwhelmed, coming back to see it all day long! My compliments go out to this (small )Club that organized this wonderful friendly show, I had a great time, meeting old friends from all over Europe and enjoying the fine trees on display! Well, don indeed!

Here are some amazing pictures from that “Masterpiece” Bonsai that blew me away and more than once! It’s a White Pine by Mario Komsta (PL) an artist that I highly respect! The pictures were made by my dear friend Roland Petek. This amazing tree and a few other high-class Bonsai were shown on the stage behind closed curtains to keep it dark! And the trees and company plants were lit by only one or two small bright spotlights, so they really stood out against the dark velvet backgrounds! It was like walking through a magical dark forest full of small super trees! But getting a good picture in this kind of set up was very difficult, so I am really happy that I can use Roland’s beautiful pictures! 🙂


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untitled-6750 picture by Roland Petek 500

untitled-6411picture by Roland Petek a 500

I hope you enjoyed these pictures of this outstanding Bonsai as much as I do?! I think that this tree is the best traditional styled Pine I ever saw in real life, the open spaces, the rhythm, the maturity of trunk, bark and branches, the………well everything about it is like I always thought it could be! 🙂 And there were a few more of this calibre in this already great show!!! 🙂

So friends do make sure to visit the next edition of the “EDA UCHI KAI” Bonsai club show!


Hans van Meer.

Info: karamotto@hotmail.com



“KARAMOTTO” My personal Bonsai website: http://www.karamotto.org/
My Bonsai blog: http://hans-van-meer.ofbonsai.org/
Hans van Meer’s Bonsai Gallery
For info about workshop’s and demo’s only : karamottobonsai@hotmail.com



Hi, everybody,

here are two links to the results of the 2013 WBFF Saburo Kato Memorial award photo contest as posted on the website of the North America Bonsai association. I entered a picture of my (XL) Larch and made it on to the list of 36 selected trees you see below. 🙂

Well, don to the winners of this edition!

Top 5: HERE

36 additional Bonsai from the competition that were judged to be exceptional trees: HERE


Hans van Meer.

Info: karamottobonsai@hotmail.com