The Noelanders Douglas Fir

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I had the privilege of taking a Douglas Fir workshop with Marc Noelanders, from Belgium, in June last year. (If you aren’t up on bonsai shows in Europe… know that the Noelanders Trophy is probably the biggest European show and has quickly grown in world-wide recognition.) — The workshop was in Denver at the ABS/BCI convention.

This was the tree I picked. I managed to choose the one tree that needed the most wiring… All I have to say is that I wired like a mad man to get enough on the tree for Marc to style it by the end of the 4hr workshop. I think I was one of the last to get a choice but I’m still very happy with this tree. — It was collected in April of 2007, by Todd Schlafer in Colorado. (Visit his site here: The tree is very healthy with plenty of feeder roots in good soil. — I re-potted it this spring into a Sara Rayner pot..(Also purchased at the show.) (Visit her site here:

Now that it’s over I wish I would have taken pictures of the re-potting process for you, but alas, I was short on time and it was more important to get the job done. I think the planting angle will need to be adjusted slightly next time the tree is re-potted, but I’m happy with how it turned out. I’ll likely lose one branch toward the apex but there are enough good branches that I should be able to fill the area again within a year or two. (top right… you should be able to tell in the picture that it’s a bit sparse.)

Here is some history (including the listing picture from Todd’s site) and pictures of the tree in progress:

Marc was a great teacher and a lot of fun to learn from! Thanks Marc, Todd and Sara for all of your contributions!

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