Mountain Meadows Nursery - why are you not visiting yet?

Bonsai Nut

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For me, bonsai is 50% tiny trees, and 50% the amazing people I get to meet. Today, I had the privilege of meeting Michael Balogh of Mountain Meadows Nursery. I happen to be a talker. Mike is also a talker. Two talkers meeting at a conifer nursery?! For me it was nirvana! Mike is super knowledgeable in all things conifer as well as east coast natives. I found myself taking mental notes of numerous cultivars with which I was unfamiliar. I love it when I see trees that I have never seen before!

Mountain Meadows Nursery is located about 20 minutes north of Asheville, NC. They do not ship, but are well worth the drive (at least for me) from several hours away. Make sure to check their hours ahead of time - they are open to the public Thu-Sat, but are generally welcoming other days of the week if you call ahead and set up an appointment.

I think I was there two and a half hours. I ran out of time and started to panic :) Too many cultivars, too little time :) All I can say is that I walked away with some awesome trees that I see a great future in. A blue shimpaku? A variegate? Uncounted hinoki cypress cultivars? Japanese white pine cultivars? Mike has them.

Walking into the nursery... FWIW in west NC right now the JWP are dropping their old needles, so it is pretty easy to see the JWP by their brown inner needles.
mm1.jpg

Dwarf conifer heaven...
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Pics speak louder than words...
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I got lost in the numbers of hinoki cypress cultivars. I have a soft spot in my heart for hinoki cypress and Japanese white pine... and Mike delivered!
mm4.jpg

No, those are not unhealthy Japanese black pines. Those are white variegate Japanese black pines... that are way past the dragon eye cultivars many of us are familiar with.
mm5.jpg

If you are anywhere in the area, I highly recommend a visit. Make sure you are driving an SUV at the minimum, or perhaps a pickup. This place is legit. A nursery for nursery lovers. I will be back soon!

Mountain Meadows Nursey

mountain-meadows.jpg
 
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SouthernMaple

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If you go, let me know I'll join ya! Come up through Charlotte and I'll drive the rest of the way!
The Asheville bonsai club is doing a field trip up there on the 17th and I think I will sign up for it. Also I would like to meet more bonsai nut members, so let me know next time you are planning a trip up there.
 

Bonsai Nut

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The Asheville bonsai club is doing a field trip up there on the 17th and I think I will sign up for it. Also I would like to meet more bonsai nut members, so let me know next time you are planning a trip up there.

Yes Mike told me all about it. Given coronavirus there hasn't been anything happening in the bonsai club scene yet this year. Everyone is social distancing, so things like club meetings, exhibitions and field trips have been canceled. I just heard that the arboretum opened back up.
 

Bonsai Nut

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@bonsainut, I can imagine that as a former Southern Californian, you having the ability to keep JWP must be eurphoric!

Yes, I am loading up on JWP. Spent a lot of time talking JWP cultivars, grafting and understock selection. He uses a fair amount of Pinus strobiformis, which he was calling "western white pine" but in California we knew as "Mexican white pine" since it does not grow on the west coast - only in central Mexico and a few patches in the Arizona and New Mexico mountains. Regardless, it is a very close match from a bark perspective and the grafts were fairly indistinguishable even on young stock.

The other itch that I am scratching is Japanese maple. You can barely keep them alive in Southern California - and they almost require total shade, shade cloth wind protection, and softened water. Even then you rarely get fall color - the leaves crisp and die rather than slowly fade. The fact that JM thrive in landscape here is awesome!

I am going to have to figure out a protection plan for my tropicals and Mediterranean species though...

It is hard to meet people in the SE bonsai scene in the middle of a pandemic. I am used to going to shows and exhibitions and hanging out with bonsai folks. It is tough meeting people on a one-by-one basis out here. I'm ready for this pandemic to end! FWIW the entire time I was at the nursery both Mike and I were masked up.
 
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Leo in N E Illinois

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@Bonsai Nut
I saw Pinus parviflora 'Pent. Azuma' - this is my favorite cultivar of JWP. You really need to try one. They have marvelous blue foliage and a "yatsubusa" style multiple bud pattern. I'm not sure it is classed as yatsubusa, but it certainly has more buds per whorl than normal forms of JWP. Its a great cultivar. The "Pent" part of its name was a hold over when some botany people thought there were 2 species of JWP, Pinus parviflora and Pinus pentafolia. The confusion was sorted out long ago, there is only one species of Japanese white pine. But the clonal name was registered with the "Pent" prefix to the "Azuma" making for an awkward clonal name. But it can't be changed.

None the less, 'Pent Azuma' is my favorite JWP.
 

Cofga

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I have several bonsai from Mike and my yard is full of his trees. He really knows his stuff and was President of the Am. Confier Society in the past. Well, worth a visit. He specializes in a lot of dwarf conifers. Another good nursery sort of on the way from Charlotte is Appeldorn Nursery in Bostic NC. He grows a lot of conifers a well as J. maples. I got my big hinoki and C. blue spruce from him.

BTW if you go by Appeldorn take cash or checkbook. He is located in an electronic black hole and has very limited ability to process credit cards. Last time I was there we had go home and mail him a check!
 
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JoeR

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Man i forgot you moved to NC! How have I not heard of them?? Sounds like I'm making a trip that way when I get some time off work!
 

JoeR

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Yes, I am loading up on JWP. Spent a lot of time talking JWP cultivars, grafting and understock selection. He uses a fair amount of Pinus strobiformis, which he was calling "western white pine" but in California we knew as "Mexican white pine" since it does not grow on the west coast - only in central Mexico and a few patches in the Arizona and New Mexico mountains. Regardless, it is a very close match from a bark perspective and the grafts were fairly indistinguishable even on young stock.

The other itch that I am scratching is Japanese maple. You can barely keep them alive in Southern California - and they almost require total shade, shade cloth wind protection, and softened water. Even then you rarely get fall color - the leaves crisp and die rather than slowly fade. The fact that JM thrive in landscape here is awesome!

I am going to have to figure out a protection plan for my tropicals and Mediterranean species though...

It is hard to meet people in the SE bonsai scene in the middle of a pandemic. I am used to going to shows and exhibitions and hanging out with bonsai folks. It is tough meeting people on a one-by-one basis out here. I'm ready for this pandemic to end! FWIW the entire time I was at the nursery both Mike and I were masked up.
I think Mr. Maple/Mr. Ginkgo is also somewhere in western NC, if youre looking for Japanese maple cultivars. I havent been but have heard plenty of good things about them
 

Bonsai Nut

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I have several bonsai from Mike and my yard is full of his trees. He really knows his stuff and was President of the Am. Confier Society in the past. Well, worth a visit. He specializes in a lot of dwarf conifers. Another good nursery sort of on the way from Charlotte is Appeldorn Nursery in Bostic NC. He grows a lot of conifers a well as J. maples. I got my big hinoki and C. blue spruce from him.

BTW if you go by Appeldorn take cash or checkbook. He is located in an electronic black hole and has very limited ability to process credit cards. Last time I was there we had go home and mail him a check!

I've been out to see Bruce - he is a lot closer to me than Mike is. I appreciate that they each have their specialties. When I went to visit Bruce it was earlier in the year and I hadn't gotten all my bonsai moved from California yet, or my benches set up, so I was only able to buy a couple of trees.

@Bonsai Nut what do they have for those of us that don’t like needles? :)

He's got more hinoki cypress cultivars than I have seen anywhere. I snagged one that was naturally growing in a semi-cascade form. I also picked up two shimpaku cultivars I had never heard of, and a strange J. horizontalis that came from a tree that had been struck by lightning and started throwing weird foliage. And then as I was on my way out, he showed me a cool P. parviflora "Adcock's Dwarf" I had to buy :) I honestly had trouble deciding what to buy because the selection was so good. I could return there today and come away with six more trees that were just as interesting.
 
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SouthernMaple

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Yes Mike told me all about it. Given coronavirus there hasn't been anything happening in the bonsai club scene yet this year. Everyone is social distancing, so things like club meetings, exhibitions and field trips have been canceled. I just heard that the arboretum opened back up.
Actually the Asheville club will be having its second club meeting since april on sunday where we will have a demonstration by the amazing Danny Coffey, we have a great outdoor venue and everyone wears masks and social distances, also the arboretum has been open since June.
 
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Jcmmaple

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I’ve been wanting to get up there, they look like they have great material. I was going to get a Shimpaku, any other suggestions. I need some green in collection, all I have is deciduous at the moment.
 

Dav4

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Yes, I am loading up on JWP. Spent a lot of time talking JWP cultivars, grafting and understock selection. He uses a fair amount of Pinus strobiformis, which he was calling "western white pine" but in California we knew as "Mexican white pine" since it does not grow on the west coast - only in central Mexico and a few patches in the Arizona and New Mexico mountains. Regardless, it is a very close match from a bark perspective and the grafts were fairly indistinguishable even on young stock.

The other itch that I am scratching is Japanese maple. You can barely keep them alive in Southern California - and they almost require total shade, shade cloth wind protection, and softened water. Even then you rarely get fall color - the leaves crisp and die rather than slowly fade. The fact that JM thrive in landscape here is awesome!

I am going to have to figure out a protection plan for my tropicals and Mediterranean species though...

It is hard to meet people in the SE bonsai scene in the middle of a pandemic. I am used to going to shows and exhibitions and hanging out with bonsai folks. It is tough meeting people on a one-by-one basis out here. I'm ready for this pandemic to end! FWIW the entire time I was at the nursery both Mike and I were masked up.
Dude, you'll be sick of @Adair M and me once the pandemic allows things to go back to normal. The next Silhouette show in Kannapolis will be EPIC... and I'm not just talking about the trees and displays ;) .
 

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