A Review: Online Shohin Bonsai Course by Morten Albek

Morten Albek has a very relaxing voice perfect for introducing you to Shohin Bonsai, that combined with VERY high production values and detailed content make this course a pleasure to watch and understand.

The course starts with a 4-minute video overview of the course contents and from this short introduction, you quickly realise that the course will bring your shohin to a high level.

Pretty much most aspects of Shohin bonsai care and creations are covered including; Repotting, Pot selection, Wiring, styling, display and so much more.

I particularly liked the section on pot choice, Morten humorously stated that as bonsai artists we always buy beautiful pots even when we do not have a tree available to plant in them, this is so true! Did you know that the thickness of the pot wall affects the health of the tree due to heat retention? Morten explains in detail why!

Exhibiting bonsai seems like a ‘dark art’ to the inexperienced this section alone is worth signing up for. You can do that by clicking HERE

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