A bonsai is said to lean forward when its apex lies in front of the base of the trunk. For example: Pine viewed from the left side – the apex is over the front edge of the pot. A forward lean is common to many, many bonsai in Japan. I don’t know when or why this […]
Styling bonsai gives trees their charm. Read the posts below to learn about the artistic decisions we make when working on bonsai.
Some years back I dramatically shortened the trunk on the black pine below to create a small sized bonsai. Shohin black pine I regrew the apex from a branch that pointed forward. As a result, the apex wasn’t centered close to the base of the trunk. I figured this was fine as I’ve seen a […]
“Omoshiroi” means “funny” or “interesting” in Japanese. It can be used to convey respect or mockery – which makes it a useful term for bonsai. During a Bay Island Bonsai workshop hosted by Daisaku Nomoto, I brought in a red pine forest I’d grown from seed. Nomoto found the grove to be omoshiroi. He took […]
One of the last trees I worked on at Aichi-en last fall was a mid-sized white pine. My styling guidance was simple – I was told to make the tree look nicer. Beyond that, Mr. Tanaka told me not to cut too much. Cutting large branches can trigger vigorous growth and one of the primary […]
The USPS unveiled a new series of bonsai stamps last month. The artist, John D. Dawson of Hawaii, came out to Sacramento’s McKinley Park for the “first day issue” rollout. Had I known, I might have attended. I first heard about the project 18 months ago when the USPS wanted to license the image of […]