Matsu Momiji Bonsai Nursery

Graydon

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We can't go long before we begin to discuss black pines (as we have begun already). No discussion would be complete without mentioning Steve Pilacik.

Steve is the owner, weed puller and trunk chopper at Matsu Momiji Bonsai Nursery in North Carolina. He's known for Japanese Black Pine work and has written a book on them as bonsai. He's updating the book as well as continuing to update a DVD on JBP bonsai. Both are good and getting better.

His pines he digs each year go very quickly with most of them going to workshops and demos. I'll be attending a couple of classes this January in Florida Steve is giving. I'm looking forward to seeing the material he brings.

He has also started to import azaleas from Japan. I got the opportunity to hang out with Steve at the 2006 Carolina Bonsai Expo. He was primarily selling azaleas and they were all out of this world. I had to hide my credit cards in my hotel room to keep from spending way too much on azaleas I didn't have room to bring home. Real nice stuff.

He also grows maples and other deciduous trees in smaller number.

Check him out at www.matsumomiji.com.
 

Tachigi

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Graydon, Have you ever seen his demo work up close in person or his trees for sale at demos?
 

Bonsai Nut

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I just bought Steve's black pine book a couple months ago. He personally signed it - a nice touch :) Though no single book has completely unravelled the mysteries of the black pine for me, Steve's is a definite nice addition to my library.
 

Graydon

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Graydon, Have you ever seen his demo work up close in person or his trees for sale at demos?
Good question, sorry I missed this a few days ago. I have not, hence my excitement for the 2 classes this January.

I have helped sign many people up for these classes and requested photos of the stock trees coming. I didn't get this years (2007) trees but he did send me shots of next years (2008) master class trees. I have attached one below. Kind of hard to make out everything from one shot. Gotta love the soup can scale. Mmmmm mmmmm good!

I helped him move and load all of his stuff at the end of the Carolina Expo. Man did I have several trucks full of nice stuff from maples and azaleas and other stuff. At one point I had like $15,000 of imported azaleas in the bed... thought about making a run for it... but I strive to be a good boy. When we finished loading he thanked me with a few smaller azalea stumps that he had been working for a while. Nice person and a nicer gesture.
 

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Graydon

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Graydon, Have you ever seen his demo work up close in person or his trees for sale at demos?
The classes were this past weekend. The black pine workshop was a sellout, the red pine was met with less enthusiasm (there's a back story on why and I won't share the story - but I will say it exposed me to the politics in bonsai - and I am not too impressed with the politics at all).

Steve was a blast. He's a great teacher (well, he is a teacher for a living so...) the information presented was very good for beginners and intermediate people. The class was a majority of beginners - and that was nice to see. I'll admit I was a little bored with the material (the information not the stock). It was nice to see people that have never owned a pine at the class, excited to have the opportunity to learn, work with good material and walk away with a tree in progress.

The trees were very nice. For field grown stock that was dug in August it was well established and looked healthy. The black pines seemed to range from 1.5" to 2.5" in caliper. The red pines were larger in caliper and overall size. Everyone left with good size trees that are well on the way to becoming great trees as long as they follow the outlined future work.

I took my camera and got a few shots but as usual I got side tracked and forgot about taking photos until it was over. Attached are a couple of Steve and one of the participants working on her tree.

We had a surprise visit from several people, one being Brent. I spent a good part of the day shooting the breeze with him and the others - good times.
 

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bonsai barry

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The classes were this past weekend. The black pine workshop was a sellout, the red pine was met with less enthusiasm (there's a back story on why and I won't share the story) -

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Too bad about the Red Pine class. I like red pine, I've seen some fine feminine red pine. I'd like to work more with them, but I think they need a colder winter than what I have.
 

darrellw

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Too bad about the Red Pine class. I like red pine, I've seen some fine feminine red pine. I'd like to work more with them, but I think they need a colder winter than what I have.

I'll second that! I'd love to get a hold of a couple of nice red pines!

-Darrell
 

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