Taking care to identify healthy buds before major cutback can make all the difference.
A number of you wrote with questions about the techniques Kazuo Onuma uses to create his mini-bonsai last week. Here are some answers! Chojubai Onuma grows chojubai by starting young cuttings in round, plastic containers. After several years, he removes the containers and lets the soil – red lava in this case – fall away […]
Creating branch ramification on shohin Japanese maples doesn’t happen quickly. After three years of producing short internodes, the tree is now ready for cutback to improve the silhouette and branch structure. (You can see the progress to date here.) Before I started pruning, I removed the old leaves. Shohin Japanese maple After removing the leaves […]
Last year I defoliated a shohin Japanese maple in an effort to stimulate back buds (see “Defoliating a Japanese maple“). The approach worked (see the “Follow-up“). This year I want the shoots that developed from these back buds to grow strong. To encourage this, I removed the leaves from the established branches and left the […]
The small Japanese maple below has proved to be quite vigorous. In an effort to slow the tree down and produce shorter internodes, this past year I pinched spring growth, applied very little fertilizer, and fully defoliated the leaves and cut back the branches in spring. Here’s the result. Japanese maple Overall there are lots […]