Repotting 2020

Spring is well under way a bit earlier than usual at Shibui Bonsai. The Chinese elms are always the first to shoot and some have had green buds since July. Now many trident maples have joined in pushing out their tiny red buds.

All that movement means it is time to get on with repotting any trees that need it this season. I usually start with the smaller shohin sized bonsai. I have found from experience that these little trees do not do well over summer if they start with a pot full of roots. Repotting every spring has meant they stay healthy and alive.

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Fused tridents

Many of us want thick trunks as quick as possible. Fusing tridents together is one way to achieve trunk girth.

Trees that are held tightly together while they grow will eventually fuse and merge together as the cambium layers unite. Eventually they will be grafted so well it can be hard to tell the trunk was once separate trees.

There are a number of different variations on fused trunks. Here I will look at just a couple that I have played with.

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Better trident nebari

I have posted this technique before but to save you searching through old posts here it is again.

The principles of this technique are that most trees have the ability to grow new roots when circulation of sap is restricted. When the new roots emerge above the plate they are forced to grow out horizontally to the edges before diving deeper into the soil. This gives us a great start to a shallow, spreading nebari much prized in bonsai. As an added benefit, when trees rely solely on lateral roots the base of the trunk expands to give a buttressed trunk base which in turn gives your tree much better trunk taper. 2 great bonsai assets for the one simple technique.

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