April 6, 2023

Simplified Protocols for Yamadori Collection, Aftercare, and Initial Bonsai Training - A Honeysuckle Raft Case Study.

            In preparation for the 2nd Annual CBS / Columbus Recreation & Parks Department Invasive Honeysuckle Yamadori [Wild Bonsai] Dig event, I wanted to put to words a very simplified protocol for how to take a freshly dug yamadori from the forest and how to begin to train it as a bonsai tree. Obviously, the speed of development varies based on the species and health of the tree and some steps may even occur at seasonally different times especially if you are in a different climate than me here in USDA Hardiness Zone 6, Ohio, USA. Noting that these exceptions are bound to hit you at some point, let this be a starting point and take it for what it's worth. To exemplify that protocol, let's follow the development of my extra large honeysuckle raft yamadori which I rescued from culling in a local Columbus park at last year's first invasive removal collaboration. You can read about our previous experience hosting that event here, and you can see other examples of renowned honeysuckle bonsai here


  1. Event Description - 2nd Annual Columbus Bonsai Society / Columbus Recreation & Parks Invasive Yamadori [Wild Bonsai] Dig
  2. General Protocol for Temperate Deciduous Species Yamadori Collection
  3. General Protocol for Yamadori Aftercare
  4. General Protocol for Initial Bonsai Training - First Repot, Early Pruning, etc.
  5. Honeysuckle Raft Case Study
    1. Spring 2022 Digging
    2. Fall 2022 Pruning
    3. Spring 2023 Repotting + Pruning
  6. Announcements
    1. I officially applied with the state of Ohio to start a nursery. Contact me to enroll in my first workshop on Tanuki! See details here. The second workshop will be on Sunday, 4/23/23 from 12pm-3pm. Contact me if you would like to request an additional date.
    2. 4/15/23 - 2nd Annual Invasive Honeysuckle Wild Bonsai Dig with CBS and Columbus Recreation & Parks @ Castro Park. This is a free event. Sign up here.
    3. 4/16/223 - Columbus Bonsai Society Meeting - I will be presenting on the ins and outs of digging Yardadori/Yamadori/Wild Bonsai. All are welcome. See event details at www.columbusbonsai.org.
    4. Seeds are available here.
My extra-large honeysuckle yamadori raft, now freshly repotted into its first training bonsai pot.