On a recent trip to Japan I visited two specialist nurseries; one that is well known and has won many awards in Japan for their shohin, and the other is a bonsai professional that specialises in Satsuki Azalea.
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.