Here’s a six year-old pine with a large sacrifice branch. Six year-old black pine It’s great that the sacrifice branch has grown this much, but it’s getting big relative to the future trunkline. Sacrifice branch Future trunk If I had reduced the sacrifice branch a year or two ago, it would have grown less but […]
Bonsai Development Series
The Bonsai Development Series is a group of posts describing techniques for creating quality pre-bonsai or bonsai stock.
For my young trees in development, I tend to focus on a single question during the growing season: do I prune now or wait until fall? Chinese quince – four years old from seed The goal at this stage is to develop the trunk as fast as possible. Because the sacrifice branches are well-positioned, I’ll […]
When developing material for bonsai, it’s best to avoid creating straight trunks and branches. Many varieties, however, naturally produce straight growth. This gives us two options: cut or wire. Cutting is often preferable to wiring as cuts can be used to create taper and angular movement. Wiring has its place too as it’s a quick […]
I’m working on a number of five and six-year-old pines. Several look like the tree below, with vigorous growth on the top half of the tree and smaller shoots below. Five-year-old red pine – 27″ I’d like to slow down the top half of the tree to encourage the bottom half to become more vigorous. […]
Few trees in my garden better demonstrate the use of sacrifice branches than the pine below. Black pine – six-years-old from seedling-cutting The large branch that grows up and to the right is the sacrifice branch. The small tree at the base of this branch is the future bonsai. The future bonsai As I noted […]