Autumn arrives at Shibui Bonsai a little earlier than many parts of Australia. Many of my maples have dropped their leaves so I can see the tangled mess of shoots that have grown over summer. In order to make them look good and to make room for new shoots to grow next spring they all need a good hard winter prune. Continue reading
Banksias are iconic Australian plants – the fact that they also adapt well to bonsai is a bonus. I have seen some really great banksia bonsai on display at shows in Melbourne and Canberra and cannot understand why we have not been growing more of these. Continue reading
When winter comes the leaves fall from deciduous trees making it much easier to assess the structure and ramification of your bonsai. The branches of a good bonsai should have plenty of sub branches and shoots to make it look like a real tree but if the shoots are a tangled mess the tree does not look its best and inner shoots will gradually die out.
How you prune will depend on the stage your bonsai is at but there are a few points that will help develop and maintain really good branches. Continue reading
It is June at Shibui Bonsai and that means winter. We have had a few light frosts so far this season but this morning was probably the coldest yet.
Here in Australia we do not have to contend with really severe cold that growers in some other areas get. My cold hardy trees stay outside without any protection all winter without any ill effects, in fact I think it might even be good for them. Low temperatures help to induce some trees to flower better and I hope that some of the pests and diseases will also be killed during cold weather. My ficus, which are NOT cold hardy, live in the unheated poly igloo which provides enough protection to get them through the winter here. Continue reading
We regularly hear of special pruning techniques for bonsai but before rushing off to try it out you should ask: What is the aim of this technique? And, possibly more importantly: At what stage in the life of my bonsai should I use this technique?
As I see it, a bonsai goes through a number of phases in its life.
First phase is ‘Growth’.
Second phase I call ‘Development’.
Then as the tree is close to ‘finished’ it goes into ‘Maintenance’ phase
Each of these phases have different aims and require different techniques to bring about the desired outcomes. Continue reading