A number of you wrote with questions about the techniques Kazuo Onuma uses to create his mini-bonsai last week. Here are some answers! Chojubai Onuma grows chojubai by starting young cuttings in round, plastic containers. After several years, he removes the containers and lets the soil – red lava in this case – fall away […]
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.
After developing the branches on a black pine for the past nineteen years, it was time to give the tree a haircut. Black Pine After reducing the apex When I acquired the tree twenty years ago, it was much taller. After showing it at Bay Island Bonsai’s second exhibit, I removed the top third of […]
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 […]
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 […]