Bonsai Today

Online magazine for Bonsai lovers

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Styling

New kid on the block

Possibly the youngest bonsai artist to study in Japan and who probably stayed for the longest time...


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Masterclass

It’s a blast!

Mauro Stemberger styles a sabina juniper using a sandblaster...


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Shohin

Is this all?

Hiroki Miura works on a Chinese juniper

At first glance, the featured juniper has great looks; however, Hiroki Miura shows us that when we take a closer look, the tree is really a bit dull . . .


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Styling

The Grim

Bruno Proietti Tocca philosophises about his work on a savin juniper


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Styling

The Azuma pines

Daiki, the third generation Abe, works on seed-grown pines


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Summer

In the Palmatum of your hand

Leaf reduction helps to protect and to gain more ramification. One important technique to help deciduous trees during the heat of the summer is leaf reduction, or defoliation. This protects the internal branches. Here we look at several techniques that can be used. Partial defoliation and shoot pruning to improve…...


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Workshop

The big picture

Follow Martin Nielsen as he takes a simple tree to a bonsai with character It’s a quite an ordinary tree, a locally collected larch of around 70 cm in height, with a trunk thickness of about 5 cm. It is a tree with many possibilities, but with, perhaps, even bigger…...


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Shohin

Prickly situation

Jean-Philippe Hoareau (JP) works with the prickly juniper The needle juniper or Juniperus rigida, is a far more rugged tree than the Chinese ‘shimpaku’. Its deadwood is spikier and so is its foliage, too. You can get in a very prickly situation when working with this variety because of its…...


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Styling

Intimidated by its age

François Jeker styles a venerable 500-year-old Buxus ‘When about to style an impressive old Buxus like this, you are so intimidated that you approach it with trembling hands . . . Over the years, though, I have developed three assets in the bonsai field: imagination for the future design of…...


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Workshop

Upside down

From moyogi to kengai, Martin Nielsen can’t wait to try I got this tree some years ago from one of my old bonsai friends, Kurt Andersen. It’s a locally native tree, Juniperus communis of approximately 40 cm height. I always enjoyed looking at this particular tree, a tree that he,…...


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Technique

Between life and death

Carving juniper deadwood with Master Kunihiko Kanemitsu Kunihiko Kanemitsu, of the Okayama City Kanemitsu Bonsai Studio, presents a dramatic contrast between life and death within the confines of a pot. Natural raw material is almost non-existent now. Even field or container grown trees are harder to come by, like juniper,…...


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Masterclass

Amigos of the tejos

How to transform a ‘pig’ of a tree into a breathtaking cascade Kevin Willson had a few years stay in sunny Alicante, Spain, where marvellous material can be found. Dug from the surrounding mountains are yews, junipers and olives — all Mediterranean trees that require a different approach from the…...


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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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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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Technique

Don’t carve, but sculpt

Learn how to create natural deadwood with the methods of Andrés Bicocca The difficulty that a defect poses for some is, for me, an infinite possibility of creation. Many times it is used to cover some defect of the trees with branches or foliage; parts that have not been worked,…...


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Masterclass

French curves

With almost two branches only, Mauro Stembergercreates one of his best pines Mauro Stemberger’s very full agenda allowed just a tiny opening to work on one of his favourite trees, so he teamed up with his best students to create another stunning bonsai. As Mauro explains: ‘This time I am…...


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Spring

A date with spring

Spring tasks for native deciduous bonsai Repotting is the primary focus for bonsai enthusiasts during spring. However, there are a number of other tasks, often forgotten, that are worth carrying out at this time of year. The beginning of spring and start of the growing season when deciduous trees come…...


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Case History

Prisoner of time

The development of a Buxus sempervirens According to Marco Giannini trees develop into bonsai via a careful balance of technique and time. Respect for the original habitat where the tree once lived will make it look natural and give it even more tranquillity. First, I am going to tell you…...


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Styling

Just cut all the branches?

How to deal with upward-growing branches on a pine Impossible material with all its branches growing upwards becomes a fine bonsai. Toshio Ogawa notes the superb movement of the lower trunk and solves the problem of branches that are upward reaching. A red pine with no lower branches and an…...


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Masterclass

Hungry to learn

Salvatore Liporace reworks one of his finest bonsai. The first styling of this Juniperus chinensis ‘Sargenti’ has a long history which goes back 20 years when its top was 40 cm higher. Gradually it was pulled down with guy wires to create a more compact tree. The amazing spiralling trunk…...


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Masterclass

On the edge

Creative genius, Ryan Neil, turns bonsai upside down You can give Ryan Neil almost any kind of material to work on and he will create something special from it. Here Ryan is confronted by an extremely chunky yew that appears to have only faults. Ryan’s creative eye soon sees possibilities…...


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Step by Step

Yew can do it

A simple yew can be made into a stunning small bonsai in just a few steps. Michael Tran of Minoru bonsai guides you step by step in how to create a bonsai from a yew. Yews are a very robust and a great species for bonsai. Their hard wood makes…...


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Shohin

The little gem

Reworking a small juniper Alexandre Escudero is crazy about shohin bonsai. At the nursery of his teacher Hiroyuki Tanibata, he found a little gem of a juniper. Let’s together find the beauty lost on this Juniperus itoigawa and discover step-by-step how to rework a shohin-sized tree. I bought this Juniperus…...


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Masterclass

Back to the future

Bjorn Bjorholm reworks the tree he styled in Japan A bonsai is never finished, over the years it will mature, perhaps even grow out of its original style. This is what happened with a juniper that Bjorn Bjorholm styled in Japan a couple of years ago. Now it needs a…...


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