Generating new shoots on Japanese black pines is easy. If a healthy tree is pruned, you can expect lots of new growth. Over time, however, crowded shoots can prevent light from reaching the tree’s interior. When this happens, the interior shoots we rely on for future primary branches can die off. The best way to […]
Bonsai Development Series
The Bonsai Development Series is a group of posts describing techniques for creating quality pre-bonsai or bonsai stock.
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. […]
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 […]