July 9, 2000 Tempe, Arizona
25"H [63.5 cm] tree, main trunk estimated to be 50 to 60 years old,
in a 19"W x 14"D x 5-1/2"H [48.3 cm x 35.6 cm x 14.0 cm] pot.
"Dug in June 1987 and then
initially shaped at a John Naka Tucson workshop that Fall. Moved
into a smaller wooden box the following January, the tree was tilted slightly
to the left. Most of the active branches and front trunk died back
on their own and became jin or shari, deadwood then treated
with a preservative lime sulfur solution. Most of the present branch
structure only existed then as sleeping buds. Transplanted into its
current bonsai container in the summer of 1991. In the Spring of
1997, this tree flowered as a bonsai for the first time."
[fromDesigning Dwarfs in the Desert, pg. 76, which also has both a b&w photo of
the recently dug tree and the tree in blossom]
This was the cover tree for the American Bonsai Society's Fall 1999 issue of Bonsai Journal (Vol. 33, No. 3, caption on pg. 92), color photo by Lohman Studio. This specimen had been selected by Chase Rosade at the ABS '99 Symposium in Tucson to receive the Rosade Bonsai Studio's Design Award.
After the photo on this web page was taken in July, the top several inches were cut off as a restyling began to make the tree appear larger in proportion to the trunk.
"One note of bad news -
my big creosote died this fall [late 2003]. Don't know why, just
kicked the bucket. Sure enjoyed it for the time it was healthy.
"...small branches would die and eventually a whole primary branch would be dead. After a while I repotted it in case new soil would help. When I took it out of the pot I didn't see any strong, healthy roots. It seemed to be very unhappy about something, but nothing I tried helped."
(Per personal e-mails from Max Miller to RJB, Jan. 10 and Jan. 26, 2004)