Just what we need…another bonsai blog…right?

Well, like it or not we’re here. 🙂  This will not be a blog like any of the others though, Backcountry Bonsai is dedicated to sharing our adventures with you as we explore the beautiful Rocky Mountains in search of world class bonsai material.      — Our back yard just happens to be the awesome Rocky Mountains!

Backcountry Bonsai is: Steve and myself.. Dan W.

Steve V.

Steve V.

Dan W.

Dan W.

We are passionate about bonsai, collecting yamadori and the great outdoors in general. This blog and our website are our contact with the rest of you, to share adventures and offer up trees that we’re collecting. We hope you will join us as we share our love for bonsai with you!

The Rockies are one of the best growing grounds for wild bonsai material in the country… maybe even the world. We hope to share some of this with you! Expect: Stories from our collecting/scouting excursions;  Pictures of trees that have been collected…will be collected…and some awesome ones that will stay right where they are; Development of our trees as we grow in this amazing art form; How to’s;… And much much more!

Many of the trees we collect will be up for sale and/or trade in the future. We love collecting yamadori and have a passion to make these trees available to artists and enthusiasts like you. Here are a few pic’s to hopefully get you excited!SAMSUNG





21 thoughts on “About

  1. Yes, there are many bonsai blogs on the Internet but none that I have found devoted to collecting in the Colorado / Wyoming region. I live in Colorado and would be very interested in your site as well as the possibility purchasing of trees. I wish you well and get the site going ASAP !

    • Thanks David! We’ve been busy collecting this spring, and we’re finding a lot of exciting trees! I’ll get some new posts up with plenty of pictures soon. And the site is still in production but I’m still planning on it being up this spring.

      • Where do you live? I went to my favorite collecting area last Sunday but didn’t have a lot of time to spend. I found about 6 good trees but all of them seemed to be cemented into the rock crevices. I am told that if you can’t free a tree in 10 minutes it will most likely be one that won’t survive.

      • The mountains are similar to what you have there in CO. The Rockies…lol. — That’s how it goes, you have to leave a lot of them there. Many of the best ones are not collecltible, you just have to cover a lot of area to find the few that will come out with a healthy amount of roots.

  2. Thanks fellas. Great pics of beautiful trees and love the information! Looking forward to much more. I live in middle Tennessee but was raised in the Rockies as a boy and miss them a lot! Keep it up… Don

  3. I have a Ponderosa I collected two years ago and the needles are turning a light green / gray color. This has happened to two other collected Ponderosa’s in the past three months. Any idea what it could be?

    • Honestly Dave, it’s hard to tell without seeing the tree. But I would start with some of the basics. One thing to consider is that were having a very hot summer… so make sure the roots are staying as cool as possible. Also check for any bugs like mites or aphids. From there, what is your soil made of? Does it stay wet or dry out? How much sun do your trees get? — Usually stress of one kind or another is what causes our trees to loose some of the vibrant color in their needles. — If they are going more of a straw yellow then I’d be very worried, but if things are just dulling then it’s stress from something. Some of our collected trees will go more of a dull green until they recover from collection and return to a happier green color. Does any of this help?

      One of the best things you can do is take the tree to someone in a local club there in CO who has a lot of experience with Ponderosa. If you’re anywhere near Denver I’d go to the Rocky Mountain Bonsai Society. There are quite a few members with extensive experience.

  4. So brilliant- a blog with wonderful Yamadori? I keep coming beck every week. How do I contact you to discuss getting a tree. Vermont is as cold as you guys, just not as high. Collected Larch are incredible, further north in Maine and. northern Quebec. Rodger

    • Hi Roger, I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog! My phone and email are listed on the home page of the blog, and on the “collected trees” page. Here’s my email again: backcountrybonsai@gmail.com

      I haven’t had much luck with larch here in Wyoming, but I haven’t tried them too seriously either. They certainly make beautiful bonsai!

      • Dan what about the tree below? Rodger

        Rodger Kessler Ph.D. ABPP


      • I included photo of a juniper, but it did not make it. I will figure it out and resend. Rodger

        Rodger Kessler Ph.D. ABPP


  5. Hello:

    Just found your link from Yengling Bonsai……..wondering if you ever come across Englemann Spruce or Norway Spruce?



    • Hi Daniel,

      We do find a few Engelmann spruce. I think I have two right now. We don’t have any Norway spruce around here. The other one we have that’s similar to spruce is Douglas fir.

  6. Just came across your website and enjoyed learning about you and the great state of Wyoming ! The time lapse videos by Nicolaus Wegner was also impressive! Looking forward to seeing what you have for sale next spring! Sincerely, another bonsai fanatic! Ed

  7. Dan, what is your travel schedule? The reason I ask, is, are you going out before or staying late? I would like to co-ordinate our schedule if possible so you are there.

    • Honestly I don’t have one yet. I’m happy to work with you though on either side though. Once Steve and I have a plan I’ll be sure to let you know. 🙂

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