After more than twenty years of growing pine bonsai from seed, I noticed a big difference between red and black pines this year. Red pines are harder. Specifically, red pines are less likely to develop small shoots in the tree’s interior that can be used to create primary branches after thickening the trunk. Here’s an […]
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."
I’ve often sat in front of trees and wondered if it’s a good time to prune or if I’m better off waiting. Even when the trade-offs are clear, it can be difficult to figure out the best approach year after year in a young tree’s life. One of the best ways to overcome this is […]
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 […]
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 […]