Bonsai Stuff

Bonsai Matsu - Scott Martin

A bonsai based podcast from Melbourne, Australia by Scott Martin from Bonsai Matsu. A diverse, informative and thorough podcast for everyone that loves bonsai!

All Episodes

The very first podcast of Bonsai Stuff from Bonsai Matsu!bonsaimatsu.comSupport the show (

Feb 2019

11 min 17 sec

Some thoughts on developing bonsai and practices as we head into Autumn in Melbourne, Australia.bonsaimatsu.comSupport the show (

Mar 2019

11 min 48 sec

In this episode of Bonsai Stuff I discuss some common issues you and your bonsai face during autumn in Melbourne, Australia. These include -* Watering* Sacrifice Branches and resource allocation* Feeding* Structural pruningbonsaimatsu.comSupport the show (

Mar 2019

13 min 15 sec

In this podcast I explore what it is about bonsai that drives and excites me every day. Bonsai offers a lot to many people around the world and I have found it very interesting to put thought into what motivates me as well as offering an insight on how to look at your trees a little differently. I hope you enjoy the podcast and see what we have in common.bonsaimatsu.comSupport the show (

Apr 2019

19 min 37 sec

In this podcast I talk about pruning, the technique I use and bonsai tool maintenance as well as the need to give each tree the respect they deserve. I also discuss how wire removal is an opportunity to learn and finally I break down my approach to bonsai review, step by step, every time I work on them. Should be an enjoyable listen for all bonsai enthusiasts.bonsaimatsu.comSupport the show (

Apr 2019

21 min 43 sec

In this episode I chat about my last month which included a National Bonsai Show focused purely on Australian Natives as bonsai, lots and lots and lots of work on pines, plenty of training courses, workshops and demonstrations. As well as being fortunate enough to have a tree selected to be loaned and on display at our National Collection in Canberra. I also talk with a long term customer and friend, Bayley about his take on bonsai and then look forward to the next month ahead. Enjoy!bonsaimatsu.comSupport the show (

May 2019

17 min 21 sec

In this podcast I explore my process of managing issues that arise with my bonsai and more specifically trying to find the cause of the issue as well as it's treatment. I also discuss the "First Wire" concept for developing bonsai and the buzz it gives me. And finally finishing with the true secret to successfully developing bonsai. bonsaimatsu.comSupport the show (

Jul 2019

23 min 8 sec

With repotting season in full swing I discuss root health, pots, pot size as well as the soil mix I use. Bonsai is not a static art form and we should embrace that fact. It is also a very personal art that needs to only make one person happy, you! Enjoy the podcast.Support the show (

Jul 2019

22 min 19 sec

Developing bonsai is like building a house, one brick at a time. I discuss different ways to avoid your development and the development of your bonsai from stagnating. As we head into spring in Melbourne, Australia and the repotting season draws to a close, it is important to stop and smell the roses (or cherry blossoms) too. It's a great time for a fresh start! bonsaimatsu.comSupport the show (

Aug 2019

25 min 51 sec

This podcast focuses on some of my Dos and Don'ts of bonsai. I also focus on how I approach the working and fertilising of my bonsai in Spring always keeping in mind whether it is development or refinement that is my target. This is definitely not about the so called 'rules' of bonsai but more an approach you should consider. And never forget why you started in bonsai in the first place, because you enjoy it and you always should!Support the show (

Sep 2019

24 min 38 sec

Well Spring is here and I have put together a six step approach to a successful season. I also talk about the "Thin Red Line" of bonsai and what your focus should be. Bonsai life is a good life for all of us and we are all part of a strong, kind community and that is very reassuring and comforting. Oh and now you're part of the Australian Bonsai Crew too! Enjoy.Support the show (

Oct 2019

23 min 52 sec

In this jam packed podcast I discuss decandling Japanese Black Pines, Defoliation when to and when not to, Summer watering and protection for your bonsai as well as the need to do a health assessment before doing anything. I also talk about how I develop young stock and what my thought process is. Having things go wrong is bonsai happens, just try not to get disheartened. I talk about what happened to me and how I 'got over it'. And to finish, we talk about Australian natives as bonsai and just how good they are. Enjoy and thanks for listening.Support the show (


Dec 2019

32 min 18 sec

In this episode I introduce a segment called 'What's on the Bench?' which is for a large Needle Juniper that's been in development for 5 years. I find Summer a perfect time to undertake juniper maintenance and there's a few important areas that cannot be missed. I also discuss managing Japanese Black Pines after decandling as the new buds have emerged. I run through a disaster that happened recently to one of my large bonsai that was blown off it's podium! From misfortune comes opportunity, I suppose...Support the show (

Feb 2020

30 min 26 sec

This episode is packed with information! I discuss how I shape pads and work the pad profile. Also when you look at a cluster of buds and new growth, how do you decide what you keep? This is a really common issue and I'll discuss the Process of Elimination I use when pruning these areas. It's really easy and will be a great help.On the bench this episode is the Cedar. They are a really common bonsai and I discuss how I maintain and develop the species. They make a brilliant bonsai and should be part of everyone's collection. I also talk about what my plans are for the coming month in my garden and what the start of Autumn means to my bonsai. How good is bonsai???Support the show (

Mar 2020

48 min 32 sec

This is a really practical podcast where I talk about wiring your bonsai which is quite interesting considering it's a non visual medium! As we stroll through Autumn I discuss deciduous colouring and the importance of feeding your trees well. It's finally time to start working on your pines also. I run through my process of which trees to start with first and then progress through my collection. Balancing your bonsai through needle distribution and how we can manage the resources of a bonsai is an interesting discussion too. With so much happening around the world at the moment, it's nice to stop and smell the fertiliser... Enjoy the podcast and please reach out via Instagram or Facebook. There's no What's on the Bench in this episode, I just got carried away with wiring so next episode I'll make it up to you.Support the show (

Apr 2020

37 min 9 sec

In this podcast, as we head into the depths of Winter in Melbourne, Australia, pine season is about to finish and just over the horizon, repotting season starts. No rest for the wicked they say... We discuss soil mix, air flow and positioning, what happens when you experience a set back and that your focus shouldn't necessarily all be about right now. Planning for the future should be the goal with your bonsai. I also chat about proportion and it's importance with everything bonsai.'On the Bench' this episode is the humble Chinese Elm, a worthy staple of many collections and a valuable partner on your bonsai journey. It's a tree that will show how your skills have developed over time.Enjoy, stay positive and take care!ScottSupport the show (

Jun 2020

31 min 18 sec

I walk you through the repotting of a Trident Maple live and explain each of the steps involved. Pot preparation, soil mix, tree removal, working the rootball, cleaning the trunk, securing your bonsai, repotting frequency and so much more. Repotting correctly is crucial to successfully developing your bonsai. Repotting live makes a riveting podcast...Support the show (

Jul 2020

37 min 56 sec

When the fundamentals are incorrect, you're not giving yourself a chance. In this podcast I run through the fundamentals of repotting, resource allocation, watering, feeding, positioning which comes well before styling and design. I walk you through Repotting Aftercare to ensure you maximise your bonsai's strength and there is also some chat that not all bonsai stocks are created equal and what to look out for. The On the Bench species for this podcast is the humble Hawthorn and how they offer perfection in imperfection to bonsai enthusiasts. Enjoy as always and check out my YouTube channel too!Support the show (

Aug 2020

23 min 6 sec

What's on the bench this episode is the Scots Pine and how brilliant they are as bonsai. I also chat about the turbulent times in bonsai, jumping from one season to the next and the commitment and maintenance needed. As repotting comes to an end, I always like to reflect on the season that was and look at what was done right and what needs improvement. Bonsai has come a very long way in the last 20 years but is all progress necessary? When should we stop the search? Can we be better? The thought of 'Is Progress Negative?' is discussed too. Enjoy the podcast and thanks again!Support the show (

Sep 2020

37 min 20 sec

This episode is raw and exposing. Sometimes the best lessons in life are the ones that are learnt the hardest. So as a snapshot for this podcast, I'd been to Japan in 2012 and returned home to practice the skills I'd been taught. Racing in head strong and focusing on the process and not the impact, I paid the price, well the Japanese Black Pine did unfortunately. I don't think there has been another tree that has been more beneficial to my development than this bonsai. Taking it to the brink and bringing it back over and over and over has reinforced the need for determined patience and perfect application of good techniques. Any way, this is me, exposed and vulnerable and just like everyone else that love bonsai. Enjoy!Support the show (


Oct 2020

43 min 24 sec

So 2020, what more do we say? It's been a year of learning for me and I break it down for you. I also discuss the issue we all come across eventually, the 1 to 2 Conundrum. Every year the basic guide is 1 branch turns into 2 branches. So the amount of work effectively doubles year on year on year...and do you have the time needed to maintain that many branches? I've got 6 options for you to work through.Record taking for your collection made easy too. What I do and why it works and how it helps with my styling choices. And I work through my plans right now and where my focus is.Finally, my New Year's resolution! Bring on 2021.Support the show (

Dec 2020

36 min 4 sec

Welcome to 2021 and welcome back to the third season of the Bonsai Stuff Podcast. In this podcast I discuss my processes and thoughts while performing the yearly maintenance on a Shimpaku Juniper. This is a very common species for bonsai and I break down exactly what I do and why.  This is like a 'Show and Tell' podcast and you can see the Shimpaku here - the show (

Feb 8

54 min 45 sec

The beauty of any artwork is from the perspective of the viewer. In this podcast I discuss the  perspective of not just you but other bonsai artists and enthusiasts and how we can use this to not only improve our bonsai but view them differently too, in a positive way. Sometime familiarity with design techniques can lead to simply brushing off an artists work as repetitive but it's not. It simply means the approach to the design process is consistent. I don't think there is a right or wrong, just a different perspective. BUT, when it comes to design and horticultural principles, horticulture always wins. Enjoy the podcast!Support the show (

Apr 1

43 min 28 sec

In this podcast I interview Jarryd Bailey from Montane Bonsai  based in Tasmania, Australia. We discuss Jarryd's bonsai path as well as the development of his nursery. Yamadori and the use of Australian Native species as bonsai are hot topics. This is a really enjoyable podcast with one of the truly knowledgable and nice blokes of Australian Bonsai.Support the show (

May 16

59 min 35 sec

This episode is a bonsai chat between three Australian Bonsai professionals. Sam Thompson who's based in Canberra, Jarryd Bailey (from the last podcast) near Hobart, Tasmania and me in Melbourne, Victoria. We all have different climates and environments we care for our bonsai in so we manage them differently and the timing for key work must happen at different times of the year. So we dig into that a little to give you a new perspective and maybe help provide an insight as to why. It's a freindly, interesting podcast that I'm sure you will enjoy!Support the show (

Jun 15

56 min 33 sec

In this podcast I chat about refinement work as opposed to the initial development work on a new bonsai. Is Refinement work boring? Sure it's essential but is it satisfying? Also, how do you prevent yourself from changing the development path for your bonsai so they can eventually reach their full potential. So much to discuss... There's an interesting perspective on wiring and how it's used as a badge of honour. Enjoy and Happy Bonsai!Support the show (

Jul 3

36 min 48 sec

I've been thinking a lot lately about bonsai development as I come to the end of my main repotting season. Primarily about how the development of bonsai happens best when they are the strongest and that their strength comes from their roots. So my focus for the last two months has been on ensuring I do the very best I can to ensure my bonsai reach the next stage in their development. In this podcast I go through some of the lessons I've learnt over time and some that I'm still learning. I also chat about 'Forced Resdesigns' and how you can manage that and yourself through the process. I hope you enjoy and Happy Bonsai!!Support the show (

Aug 26

57 min 16 sec

Spring is definitely in the air and our bonsai are loving it! In this podcast I discuss the fear or hesitation of exactly what to do and what the impact of procrastination is on your bonsai. Remember, doing something is far better than doing nothing! I also discuss fertilising approaches to bonsai at different stages and most importantly the correct application of good techniques while always keeping your bonsai's health as your primary focus. There's always lots to do with bonsai in Spring and one of the most important is watering. I chat about a technique I called particle loading which sould be interesting. Enjoy and happy bonsai!Support the show (

Oct 6

41 min 58 sec

Coming towards the end of Spring here in Melbourne, Australia and how best to harness the initial burst of new growth prompted me to focus on the goals I had set for every single one of my bonsai and to not just automatically start tearing into them and pruning wildly. In this podcast I discuss my focus and how I use this to set a bonsai plan for development. I also discuss beauty in bonsai and where we find it. Having a plan to develop the best bonsai in the world is a good start for any bonsai!Support the show (

Nov 24

47 min 26 sec