After growing a trunk to the desired size, the next step is creating primary branches. And the bigger the trunk, the bigger we can expect these branches to be. The main challenge is that most trees want to invest resources in the upper branches as they receive the most light. If we let upper branches […]
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."
Bonsai Development Series #26: Focusing growth in a single sacrifice branch
For the last few years I’ve been pruning my young pines down to a single sacrifice branch. This slows growth but allows me to fit more trees on the bench. Decandling time is a good time to do this work because it gives me the opportunity to slow down branches that are gaining too much […]
Bonsai Development Series #25: Pruning exposed root pines
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 #24: Twisting young junipers
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 […]
Bonsai Development Series #22: cutback-decandling techniques for young pines
Tips for balancing vigor when using the cutback-decandling technique.