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.


Shohin UK Bonsai Exhibition 2013 Video

A Great Video from winner Andy Jordan of the fabulous Shohin UK Bonsai Exhibition 2013. Set to be one of the Premier Shohin Events in Europe the very best trees from around the UK were shown, this short video shows some of the highlights

First Photos from the Shohin UK Exhibition 2013

I could not make it to the British Shohin Exhibition but My good friend Paul Bowerbank kindly let me use his photos for the blog

Wonderful book about Japanese Shohin Trees & Antique Pots with English subtitles

I was quite excited this morning as I took receipt of a beautiful book from the Japan Shohin Bonsai Association. My teenage son thought it was something for him when he saw the package as all the stamps were Manga Cartoon Characters. Even my Cat wanted to get in on the action when I was photographing for the blog!

I buy about 10 books a year most are from Japan and a few exhibition books from European events. My knowledge of the Japanese language is limited, confined to Bonsai terms along with “Hello” and “Thank you” so this limits my enjoyment to browsing the photos. But this publication differs as it has ENGLISH subtitles!
This book is more than a celebration of Shohin Bonsai, it’s an encyclopaedia of Shohin Bonsai pots and a real addition to any personal bonsai book library. The high quality photography and print are up there with famous ‘Kokofu’ Exhibition Catalogues. Perhaps the most ‘fun’ part of the book is that most photos of trees and pots appear to be ‘life’ size which is great because you can see the work done with the trees and fine detail in the pots, especially those with ‘scenes’ painted on the sides (and sometimes inside).

The book is published in Japan by the All Japan Shohin Bonsai Association as a celebration of their 30th anniversary. There are 363 Shohin Bonsai and antique pots which were registered as master piece of “Yuuga Bonsai, Bonki” 12 years in a row by the All Japan Shohin Bonsai Association.

I believe that this is only book published in Japan which explains in detail Japanese Shohin trees and antique pots with English subtitles.

This is where my book was purchased and it arrived in less than a week from when it was ordered