Creating a Shohin Taxus by cutting the tree in half

Finding a Shohin Yamadori Taxus that displays aged deadwood is very difficult, the solution is to either air layer or as shown here, reduce the height of the tree.

This lovely little 25cm tall Taxus had old deadwood that was weathered and full of character and the live vein well defined and after three years from collecting it had grown well and developed a strong root ball

In its present state it would NOT make a worthy bonsai as the bulk of the deadwood was at the top of the tree with a long straight narrow trunk away from the root ball. The solution was to dramatically reduce the size of the tree.

The live vein was easy to separate from the deadwood using a small branch splitter, this was used up to the point that I wished to saw through the bulk of deadwood. This deadwood was VERY hard indeed, I had to take great care when getting close to the live, one small jump and it would have severed it!

I put a wet tissue next to the inside of the vein and placed two 3mm copper wire struts the length of the vein, this was held in place with rubber tape (this will be removed once the tree is established)

The vein was then coiled close to the truck and the tree planted in an oversize pot to let the roots run. I did this work two months ago; the tree is thriving and growing well. No work on the foliage will take place until next year after the first flush of new growth has hardened off. The tree has been reduced from 25cm to 12cm more than half the original size.


5 comments on “Creating a Shohin Taxus by cutting the tree in half

  1. I find this technique very difficult. I didn’t expect cutting a tree in half is even possible. But you did a great job because it really just looks so fine. I’m glad the tree is still growing so healthy after the procedure you have done in it. Thanks for sharing!


  2. Tony an excellent transformation, I wonder would it have been less risky to make the saw cut before separating the live vein?
    I look froward to seeing this trees development in the future.
    Well done.


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