Bonsai Today

Online magazine for Bonsai lovers

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Workshop

The monster elm

The story of an elm found abandoned in a field. Would it survive? Martin Nielsen tells the story of how he created a bonsai from an elm, wondering if he could keep it alive. Then, once it showed growth, he started to make plans for its development. I have a…...


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Shohin

Seas of Green

An exploration of Premna, one of bonsai’s biggest tropical stars Premna is a genus of tropical and sub-tropical species native to southeast Asia, Africa, and some islands of the Pacific Basin. It is extremely popular for bonsai in countries such as Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, and China. Offering many fine qualities…...


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Shohin

No right or wrong way

Yukio Hirose looks at the many options for displaying medium-sized trees We asked Yukio Hirose (Yamato-en) to create a few different displays using kifu-sized trees (35 cm maximum height), using both deciduous and coniferous species. There is no right or wrong way when displaying trees, it is a manifestation of…...


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Case History

Bonsai timetable

Bartoz Warwas knows that a good plan is the key to bonsai success Before Bartoz explains his timetable for planning the development of bonsai, he will tell you the story of a European hornbeam that has been with him for more than 10 years In all probability, we are living…...


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Styling

The Greek oracle

Elsa Boudouri styles a Juniperus sabina rastrera Greek enthusiast Elsa Boudouri is self-taught and became inspired by bonsai when she was 14. She mainly works with native varieties, like the medium-sized sabina juniper. At a very early age Elsa had her first contact with the art of bonsai, but because…...


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Shohin

Little princess

Orihime and Maihime are two maple varieties with very tiny leaves With the discovery of a very small-leafed variety comes a new chapter for the maple bonsai. Mr Katsumi Komiya (Shofu-en) guides you through the specific techniques needed for small leaf maples There are a number of very small-leaf varieties…...


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Shohin

Think ahead

Get the most from your trees by making corrections for the future. Harumi Ishii (Ueharu-en) specialises in shohin of which refinement is a key element, so ugly cuts or disordered branch settings need to be addressed. Using two examples, Mr Ishii shows you here how to cope with these problems…...


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Masterclass

Is it a gamble?

Masahiko Kimura is challenged by a huge yew. In a corner of Masahiko Kimura’s bonsai nursery is a yew planted in the ground. The trunk is slender and of a feminine appearance. The top section has great potential as bonsai, both from a deadwood perspective and branch placements. If air…...


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Shohin

You can’t own it

The Gafu-ten exhibition brings together those who love these tiny bonsai Every year in January it is time for the major shohin exhibition in Japan, the Gafu-ten. Shohin lovers from all over the country and beyond, gather in the large halls of the Miyako Messe in Kyoto. Here the best…...


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Tree guide

Melaleuca

Western Australia, a diverse landscape with unique bonsai flora For many years the iconic trees native to Australia were not considered suitable for bonsai, but over time with increased knowledge, understanding, research and a bit of trial and error, several unique Australian species are increasingly being sought after as bonsai…...


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Profile

The big adventure

The bonsai passion of Olivier Barreau It was in a garden centre and it was love at first sight. Soon after Olivier saw his first bonsai he was collecting trees himself. Following an apprenticeship at Salvatore Liporace’s bonsai studio in Milan, his bonsai adventure took wings What was your training?…...


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Gallery

Gallery

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Profile

Fan of naked trees

The bonsai passion of Sergio Cuan A huge fan of deciduous trees, Sergio Cuan, at first thought that bonsai might be just too difficult to grow. Sergio Cuan Born in: Havana, Cuba Married to: Laura Cuan Children: Isabella and Madeleine Education: Bachelor in Fine Arts, the Pratt Institute, New York…...


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Seed

Stewartia

The challenge is to create a finished tree starting from scratch How to create bonsai from cuttings, grafting and other methods using interesting and unusual species. With the help of illustrations we will see how to take a piece of material through to completion. Here we are making a group…...


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Report

Hand held

Andrew Sellman travels to Japan to see the shohin at the Gafu-ten Shohin has always fascinated me, there is something magical about being able to hold such an exquisite piece of living art in the palm of your hand For shohin lovers like myself, the Gafu-ten, of all Japanese shohin…...


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Masterclass

The survivor

Rebirth of a juniper that survived the Tohoku earthquake The Sanriku Coast is a dramatic, rocky shoreline with countless bays, cliffs and coves that stretches for over 300 kilometres along the Pacific Coast from just north of Sendai to Aomori. On March 11, 2011, the strongest ever recorded earthquake in…...


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Step by Step

Short cut

Why are black pine needles so short? With the guidance of shohin expert, Hiroki Miura (Miura Baijyu-en, Osaka) the Japanese popstar, Ayaka Yamamoto, learns how to shorten needles on pines. In comparison to larger trees, why are the needles on bonsai black pine so short? For a tree in nature…...


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Tree guide

Portulacaria afra

Styling and caring for Portulacaria afra Jerome Kellerhals’ bonsai garden is in sunny Florida, where he mainly works on semi-tropicals. Here he is going to talk of styling and caring for Portulacaria afra, known as dwarf jade, or elephant bush because of its African origin.The dwarf jade is a small-leaf,…...


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Masterclass

Too thick to bend?

Manuel Germade deals with a tough case — a Buxus with unbendable branches. Working on a tree that’s long, slender, with a fantastic curling trunk seems like perfect material. But there is just one downside, you can’t bend its branches because they all grow vertically. A challenge for Manuel, he…...


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Case History

Tale of the stump

How a stump became an elegant chokkan-style bonsai Martin Nielsen tells the story of how he managed to convert the stump he dug from the forest into one of most appreciated native trees exhibited at shows across Europe. It has been an amazing process with great experiences along the way…...


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Technique

Mind the gap!

The problem of poor roots on a pine can be solved Can you improve the root base of a pine, just as you can with deciduous trees? A good question, so it seems a good idea to have an article on the improvement of a piece of material with poor…...


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Winter

The busiest time

Harry Harrington’s tasks for native bonsai during late autumn With the growing season left long behind, November sees the last of the leaves fall from our deciduous bonsai, as average day temperatures and light levels drop. The daily chore of watering our bonsai collections has almost finished; however, it is…...


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Propagating

The firethorn

The challenge is to create a finished tree starting from scratch How to create bonsai from cuttings, grafting and other methods with interesting and unusual species. With the help of illustrations we will see how to take a piece of material through to completion. Here we are making a twin…...


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Pots

The spaceship

Thor Holvila tells us how his ideas come to life As a professional potter, commissions are a big part of my daily work, but as an artist I also have ideas about pots that I want to bring to life and develop. One of these is the pot here that…...


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