Some of my exposed root pines are close to seven years old. They have long sacrifice branches to help thicken the roots. Although the fastest way to thicken the roots will be to let the tree grow freely all summer, I often prune this time of year to improve the branch structure. As an added […]
Bonsai Development Series
The Bonsai Development Series is a group of posts describing techniques for creating quality pre-bonsai.
For an overview of the complete bonsai development process, see "How to grow bonsai from seed or cutting."
The best strategy for creating junipers with interesting deadwood is to add twists to the trunk while the tree is still young. Some people begin by twisting young whips before they add movement. The alternative is to twist the trunk while setting the initial bends. Here’s what this looks like on a rooted cutting that […]
Tips for balancing vigor when using the cutback-decandling technique.
Reducing sacrifice branches can give you a lot of new growth – here are tips for redirecting young trees’ resources effectively.
There are two goals when developing pre-bonsai trunks: create interesting movement, and minimize flaws. Two of the most common flaws at this stage of development are awkward or inverse taper and scars on the lower section of the trunk. To keep these in check, I prune sacrifice branches before they get too big and thin […]