Summer is a good time to prune olive bonsai. By pruning when the weather is warm, I can expect olives to produce new growth until the weather cools in fall.
For two small shohin, cutback consisted of reducing long shoots and pruning to silhouette. Here’s what this looked like.
Shohin olive – before pruning
After pruning – 6.5″
I did minimal work as I want to keep the tree full this year until I can repot it. I may reduce some of the main branches to improve the structure of the tree down the road, but for now I’m working with the existing branches.
Since the tree is growing in a round pot, I turned it to see if there are other options for the front.
The back of the tree also looks good, but it doesn’t offer as good a view of the trunk.
A much younger olive got a similar treatment. I pruned long shoots in hopes of stimulating new buds that will make it easier to keep the silhouette small.
Olive – before pruning
After pruning – 5.5″
This tree offers a very different view from the back side.
I’ve considered using this side as the front, but the tree looks more like a stump of wood with a young tree growing behind it from this side. For now I’ll stick with the original front.
For a discussion about getting started with shohin, check out the recent episode of the Bonsai Wire Podcast in which Andrew Robson and I share our growing fascination with small trees.
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Gary McCarthy says
That’s a KILLER pot on the first olive!!!
scott chadd says
smaller bonsai are fun to work with. they offer a scale that makes for fast results from pruning. in addition, their size makes them easy to handle which is a great benefit for us older bonsai people.
John Schmied says
These are awesome Jonas. Thanks for the post.
btw: Can you please tell us the media are you using for these Olives?
Jonas Dupuich says
Thanks! I’ll likely use a shohin mix of about 50-60% akadama with the rest pumice.
Richard Dorfman says
I share similar sentiments to those of Scott. The only trees I’ve added to my collection in the last few years have been shohin and mame. Pure joy working in miniature and easier to manage while transitioning from Fall to Winter and Winter to Spring. Have also grown several mame starting from seedling over the last 6 years.