In 2001,  we did a major pruning and repotting  into a 3' long x 2" wide x 8" tall plastic tub as reported in www.fukubonsai.com/4a3b2.html.   At that time,  the tree was formally assigned to Michael Imaino to lead the training.  Michael joined Fuku-Bonsai thirty-one years ago in 1983 and this was one of the first trees that he participated in creating.  It is a less common Dwarf Schefflera variety 'Manila Ripple' in which the leaves have a wavy "rippled" edge.  The tree grows more vigorously with larger leaves that do not easily reduce and is more suitable for larger bonsai.

              The tree was created as a tropical version of that famous Simpaku Juniper in Japan named "Dragon Flying Through the Clouds"  which is about the same size as our version that was created by cementing several large rocks around the base of a carved Ohia-Lehua tree section.  Several long air-layers were planted around the base, woven up with each one positioned and trained to be a branch.  Whearas Dragon Flying Through the Clouds" was one of the first masterpiece bonsai I studied (and got to see twice in Japan), it's said to be hundreds of years old.  Hawaiian Spinning Porpoise is just 31 years old but already impressive and in need of a display pot. 




        Although it's been 13 years since we last did major work on the tree,  the tree has been continuously pruned in the Chinese manner ---  allowing it to grow vigorously to produce a lot of growth, then pruned back hard.  This method thickens trunks, branches and roots much master compared to Japanese bonsai that are kept perfectly groomed.  First remove all leaves and new growth emerging from under older branches.




          Then greatly shorten or remove new growth coming out of the tops of branches.  Allow the branches growing outwards from the trunk or the old branches to grow long.  The prune these back after they have thickened.  New grow appearing out of these newer branch sections are the most desirable as they help to create a more complex branch structure. 





           After a quick rough pruning, the tree is brought to this appearance and repotting begins.




                Media along the edge of the tub was loosened with picks and the tree is tipped on its side and the tub was removed.  A support block held up the tree as the top side of the root ball was pruned.  Note the 18" wide cement base that held up the Ohia stump and support rocks. 





            With a pick,  Michael quickly cracked the rock that was held with cement to remove the rocks that had held the 5" to 6" diameter tree stump upright for 31 years. 




           Some of the rock and cement base removed are shown on the cart and Michael is water blasting the bare-rooted tree.  It is our practice to remove as much of the old potting media as possible,  although the portions that were removed dry are rescreened and reused along with new media.





         Michael is shown with the much lighter now bare-rooted tree on a turntable.  The roots are now large enough to hold up the bonsai.




         We've created wood training pots with 1x6 sides and bottoms (with 1/2" spacing between) on three 2x3's running across the bottom.  The inside is lined with 6 mil clear plastic sheet which is slit between the bottom support boards for drainage.  A screw in the center of each side allowed Michael to securely tied down the tree from each side. 


                   Three hours later, the tree is in a new pot and ready to move out into a more formal display area.  The Fuku-Bonsai Cultural Center has amongst the most varied of all bonsai collections including Japanese Bonsai (pines, junipers and temperate climate trees that will survive in tropical Hawaii),  Chinese Penjing (generally tropical trees trained with penjing philosophical concepts and traditions),  Hawaiian Tropical Bonsai (tropical trees trained into tropical multiple apex- arched branched shapes including an extensive collection of Ficus and banyan bonsai)  and Fuku-Bonsai's specialty True Indoor Bonsai.

                   Many of the trees are larger older plants and these include Memorial Trees in the Mid-Pacific Bonsai Foundation's Hawaii State Bonsai Repository that were donated by the families of past bonsai masters.  These memorial bonsai must have distinctive styling and trained by those who made significant contributions to Hawaiian Bonsai.  The Foundation will not generally not accept just any bonsai regardless of it's "value" if it has a history of having been sold and passed through several hands. 

         Mid-Pacific Bonsai Foundation and Fuku-Bonsai, 2014