A sacrifice branch is any branch that assists in the development of a tree, but will not be part of the final design. Sacrifice branches are most commonly used to thicken the trunk. When the trunk reaches the desired size, the branch is removed. Some bonsai are developed with one sacrifice branch at a time. […]
Bonsai Development Series
The Bonsai Development Series is a group of posts describing techniques for creating quality pre-bonsai or bonsai stock.
In the last post we looked at the benefits of removing root sprouts on developing bonsai. We can take the same approach with water sprouts. Water sprouts are shoots that emerge from the trunk and generally grow straight up. If we don’t plan to use these branches in the final design, it’s best to remove […]
Although I typically wait until May or June to start working on deciduous bonsai, there are a few jobs that I try to do sooner rather than later. One of these is removing unnecessary root sprouts. Root sprouts, or root suckers, are shoots that emerge directly from the roots. As you can see from the […]
Not all sacrifice branches need to be big. Small sacrifice branches are a good way to thicken the trunk and close wounds on trees even when most of the branch work is complete. Here’s an example. Shohin black pine – 7″ (16″ with sacrifice branch) The tree above is fifteen years old from seed. I’d […]
The basic approach to developing material for bonsai is to first create the trunk and then focus on the branches. In between these two stages, it’s common to split the focus between the trunk and the branches. When focusing on the branches, the idea is to slow the tree down to produce fine growth. When […]