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© 2017 by Andrew Robson

  • Andrew Robson

Kousa Dogwood


We recently added a Dogwood (Cornus kousa) to our collection at RAKUYO. I've been wanting a dogwood bonsai for a while now, mostly because the town we live in (Milwaukie, Oregon - minutes outside of Portland) is known as the Dogwood City of the West.


This tree was imported by Joe Harris, which he used as a demo tree at a 2007 Bonsai Society of Portland convention in Vancouver, Washington. The tree then moved into the hands of Dennis Vojtilla, who spent many years building some excellent fine twigging.


I'm excited to take the reigns on this dogwood, and look forward to building my own improvements into the tree... starting with the silhouette. Inspired by a few old dogwoods I've seen in the Southeast United States, I plan to round out the silhouette over the years. This will happen mostly by growing out the current branching, especially the lower branches, and broadening the crown. Because this tree has a bulky trunk, it can aesthetically support some longer, thicker branching. Some improvements to the nebari are also planned, probably through subsequent years of root grafting.


Thanks to all the hard work by it's creators in Japan, Joe Harris for importing and resetting the structure, and Dennis for building up the twigging. This tree should develop quickly and be show ready within 10 years, a short time for a deciduous bonsai!