A trick for evaluating the design of bonsai with prominent deadwood features.
Today I’d like to share a single tip for styling shohin bonsai – focus on branch density. As you look at photos of shohin displayed at this year’s Kokufu exhibit, you’ll notice that all of the trees are full. There’s a good reason for this. Because the trees are displayed in groups, it makes sense […]
You can often tell the species of a tree by its shape. The tree below could be one of three different species – needle juniper, cryptomeria, or hinoki cypress. Looking closer at the foliage,we can see this is a hinoki, a species that’s commonly styled as formal upright bonsai with highly refined branch pads. Formal […]
When designing deciduous bonsai, one of the biggest decisions is how to form the branches. Some of the key considerations are the angle at which the branches emerge from the trunk (do they go up, down, or out), the basic movement (curvy or straight), and the silhouette or outline (pointy or round) of the tree. […]
One of the most valuable aspects of a visit to the Kokufu exhibit is the opportunity to study great trees in person. Just looking at a handful of pines, for example, can reveal very different approaches to creating branch structures and silhouettes. Let’s start by looking at four medium-size trees. The first tree has very […]