if it ain't fun,

it ain't bonsai!

Golden Arrow Bonsai

"Let Yourself Go Wild"

Ancient Collected Trees

Andrew Smith, 22473 Alpine Acres Dr., Deadwood, S.D. 57732 605-342-4467

This is Page 10

Driftwood and stone slabs

An ancient spiral staircase to the sun.

Naturally weathered driftwood is often used for making a Phoenix graft, or tanuki. It is also used in ikebana, and as a bonsai accent.

Making a Phoenix graft is a fun way to create an ancient and beautiful looking bonsai in just an afternoon. To make a Phoenix graft a young, flexible tree is inserted and grown into a groove carved into a piece of driftwood, creating a tree with an aged character from a plant with youthful vigor. Design options are only limited by your imagination. The specimen at left is one I made several years ago using two spruce seedlings attached to a piece of juniper driftwood.

The Wood

I use a couple different kinds of wood, all of which have been naturally preserved in their own resins, are highly rot-resistant, and have already been exposed to the elements for at least several decades. Although the wood already has a weathered character, it can be further enhanced with carving. Newly carved areas will turn gray to to match the rest of the piece after a few months outdoors.

Rocky Mt. juniper: Used for cedar chests. Light, but very hard, even brittle. Very rot resistant. The most popular for Phoenix grafts.

Utah and common juniper: Similar to Rocky Mt juniper, but even lighter.

Ponderosa pine: Heavier and more resinous than juniper. Grain pattern may be more intricate and irregular, but not as spiraling as juniper.

Right: A decorative piece of driftwood from an ancient juniper on display at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens.

I can carve the groove and attach mounting hardware and wood preserver to the base of  any piece on this page for $25.

Special: Order several pieces together and take $5 off each additional piece. Shipping will usually be at the cost of the largest piece and then up to $5 for each additional piece. Additional pieces will not always require additional shipping.

Item # D1: Ponderosa pine. Price $45. Shipping $35. Comments: Stone imbedded in trunk.


I have a little more driftwood, but it's almost all pine right now. I'll put more juniper wood up as soon as conditions allow getting out to collect some.


Natural stone slabs for bonsai

Item # SS1: Stone slab. Black basalt from Wyoming. Slightly curved.

Approximate size: 33"x9".

Comments: I imagine a narrow grove of spruce trees in this.

Price: $125. Shipping: $50.


Item # SS2: Stone slab. Black basalt from Wyoming. Very slightly curved.

Approximate size: 24"x12".   Price: $40. Shipping: $30.


Item # SS3: Stone slab. Wyoming shale. Very thin. Slightly curved.

Approximate size: 17"x6".   Price: $25. Shipping: $15.


Item # SS4: Stone slab. Black Hills slate. Very thin. Flat.

Approximate size: 12"x27".   Price: $65. Shipping: $35.


Item # SS5:

Stone slab. Wyoming shale. Very thin. Flat.

Approximate size: 15"x21".   Price: $55. Shipping: $35.


Item # SS6:

Stone slab. Wyoming shale. Very thin. Flat.

Approximate size: 8"x14".   Price: $25. Shipping: $15.

Item # SS7:

Stone slab. Wyoming shale. Very thin. Flat.

Approximate size: 10"x16".   Price: $30. Shipping: $15.