One of the most attractive qualities of deciduous bonsai when sensitively styled is the light and delicate appearance within the visual mass of the canopy. When hidden by a full canopy of leaves this beauty is lost to the viewer, but it's in winter that these species' structure which required many years of pinching, defoliating and wiring is finally revealed.
In this blog post a shohin tree makes it onto the bench for the 2nd time this season to be defoliated, wire which is biting in will need to be removed and we may need to do some branch selection. I will also discuss the appropriate use of tools and how to deal with scarring and the usefulness of sacrifice branches.
This is a story about a Japanese Zelkova with a humble beginning - a story I am sure you all have one similar to. Started from a little cutting a few years ago, this tree brings me a lot of pleasure although it is still some years away from being of a standard I would consider exhibiting it at.
A few weeks ago I defoliated this maple and it was featured in a blog post on this site along with some other Chinese maples. It has now recovered and so we are able to defoliate once again and work on the tree some more.
Chinese maples are my favorite bonsai material. They are suitable for both beginner and professional alike and are one of the species most suitable for bonsai cultivation. In this post I will use six Chinese maples as examples to apply leaf defoliation; show you how to wire branches to form basic branch structure; describe how to deal with cut scars, share some tips on root and approach grafting and show you how you can recreate an apex.
This Chinese elm started out as a bag tree from a local nursery. After field growing it and developing the trunk for some years I finally lifted and began styling it in 2013. The tree is now at the stage where branch structure is being developed. In this blog post we will defoliate the elm, trim the excessive growth and style the branches with wire.