One of my fourteen-year-old pines is a lot bigger than the others. Beyond some selective pruning the last few years, I’ve mostly let the tree grow freely. This year, it’s time to select a branch to continue the trunk line. Why this year? After looking at the options for the future front of the tree […]
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."
The basic idea of sacrifice branches is a simple one: develop sacrifice branches in order to thicken the trunk and then remove them when the trunk reaches the desired thickness. The application of this idea is where things can get tricky, so let’s start with a simple example. My goal for the pine below has […]
There’s a lot to try to keep in mind when shopping for field grown material. It can be easy to focus on the lower part of the trunk and think, “This looks nice, I can fix the rest later.” The fix may not, however, always come easily. At a glance, the pine below has a […]
One of the most common questions I hear relating to the development of pine bonsai has to do with the lower branches: What should I do with them? The answer is fairly simple – keep them. There are, however, some details that may come in handy. Let’s look at an example. The pine below is […]
When trees are growing quickly, it’s not uncommon to find wire marks along the trunk. Wire marks above the first branch For young trees early in the development phase, it’s not much of a problem when the wire cuts in at the base of the trunk. Cut marks cause swelling and swelling near the base […]