The “Swiss Dragon”



This is a photo of a very famous Mugho Pine from Switzerland, originally owned by one of Europe’s pioneers of Bonsai and Yamadori material, Pius Notter. The pine was christened the “Swiss Dragon” by the late John Yoshio Naka, who first styled this tree while visiting the home of Pius Notter in Switzerland.

This is a photo of the tree, many years later after it had been restyled for the new Millennium. It was this photo and several other photo’s of the pine that I sent, to a friend and customer of mine who was looking for a large Yamadori pine to add to his collection. With Pius’ blessing, the tree came to England.



This is the “Swiss Dragon” after I had worked on it for several days to prepare it for Ginkgo 5 in Belgium, Europe’s premiere bonsai event.

This tree has a special place in my heart. It has great history, it has great presence. This tree has witnessed so much in its life.

It was one of the first Mugho Pines collected by Pius Notter for his own incredible collection. It was styled and then worked on by the great John Naka over several years. Then it was completely re-styled for the new Millennium, and I was fortunate to assist and witness the transformation of this grand old pine. I have been more fortunate to have been given the task of looking after this wonderful tree at its new home in the UK.

Preparing this tree for the Ginkgo was an honour and labour of love.

Photograph courtesy of Bonsai Europe Magazine