To Wake a Dragon

The most satisfying thing for me as a collector is to see trees I’ve brought from the mountain becoming the masterpieces I hoped they would. They aren’t just trees, they’re individuals, with stories and character all their own.

Every professional collector I know is extremely reverent of the ancient trees we walk among. We do what we do because these trees touch our souls, and I believe that they have the power to touch many souls. To me bonsai is a way to re-connect our souls with the beating heart of nature, and mountain trees provide a connection to the wild untamed side of nature that few experience first hand.

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These are just a few thoughts floating around in my head as I’m excited to share the story of one tree with you (my short part of that story). This Rocky Mountain Juniper (j. scopulorum) was one I found in the fall of 2014 and returned to collect in May of 2015. It was lying across the granite almost like a sleeping dragon, at least that’s how it appeared to me. After collection I knew I wanted to pot it standing up (like the dragon had risen from it’s long slumber) if possible, and it worked perfectly.. with a few box modifications. Cheesy I know, but hey I can’t help my overly active imagination.


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May 2015


That first summer the tree shed much of it’s interior foliage, but it simultaneously began growing vigorously at the tips. In 2016 it filled back in quickly with several inches of growth throughout the whole tree (not pictured).


September 2015


September 2015

Long story short, bonsai professional Bjorn Bjorholm acquired the tree and is masterfully creating the bonsai I hoped it would become!


(After wintering 2016/17 in Tennessee and spending 2017 with Bjorn the tree absolutely exploded with new growth!)

(Next two photo’s courtesy of Bjorn Bjorholm)



Be sure to follow Bjorn’s work if you don’t already! And check out his vlog for awesome footage of him designing the tree:

Look for more in the Advanced bonsai course he’s releasing with Bonsai Empire in May!

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The yellow version of our state flower. ‘Indian Paintbrush’ (Castilleja)


My hope is that the trees I collect will live on for decades, even centuries, calling people to a deeper connection with Nature. Nature is where my soul is revived. Nature is home. We don’t have to be at odds. It isn’t humanity vs. nature; It’s how deeply we realize and experience our undeniable relationship with nature. Bonsai can be that bridge; A bridge to deeper understanding, appreciation and connection.


One last thing. I’ve updated the website with a number of new trees. There will be some heavy hitters coming this spring too so stay tuned! 🙂

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Thank you all for your support of what we do! The bonsai community is full of great people, and we’re proud to be part of it! 🙂





7 thoughts on “To Wake a Dragon

    • Hello John, if your message is to Bjorn you may want to follow one of the link’s to his page and get in touch with him there. He really is a great artist! 🙂

  1. Pingback: Colorado Bonsai – Yamadori Bonsai Timelapse – Massive Rocky Mountain Juniper – Colorado Rocky Mountain Bonsai – Suiseki

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