When pre-bonsai are in the trunk-thickening phase, the work is simple – prune to avoid unwanted swelling and wire new shoots where you want movement. I’ve been doing this work on a batch of crabapples I started from seed for several years now. Young crabapple Trunk detail To encourage new buds along the trunk, I […]
Bonsai Development posts form the heart of Bonsai Tonight. Learn about varieties like Black Pine, Shimpaku and Japanese Maple, techniques like Decandling and Grafting and Air Layering, and bonsai features like Deadwood.
The pine below is several years out of the ground and is showing signs of becoming a bonsai. Japanese black pine In the past year, I wired the primary branches and made two grafts near the apex. This winter, I thinned crowded areas and rewired the branches. Here’s the tree after thinning. After pruning and […]
I was relieved when it was time to clean up the last azalea on the bench. A friend and I had thinned around forty trees over the previous few weeks (thanks Dylan!) but I was still looking forward to seeing how the last tree would turn out. It’s a mature ‘Kozan.’ Satsuki azalea ‘Kozan’ The […]
Two years ago I received a note from Pete in Virginia about his work grafting dwarf and cork-bark black pines. He was curious if his grafting was appropriate for bonsai so he sent me some samples to evaluate. I’ve enjoyed working with these trees and would like to share some notes about each. They are […]
I’ve been working on a root over rock black pine for the past two years. The tree was created by Eric Schrader (phutu.com) and is thirteen years old. Root over rock black pine The basic branches are set, but need refinement, and the new apex needs to thicken. To improve the branch structure, I thinned […]