A night photo of a Shimpaku from Peter Tea’s latest post. Apologies for the missing half of the pot. Peter’s original photo that shows the whole pot is below.
We been featuring excerpts from Peter Tea’s Journey of a Bonsai Apprentice at Aichi-en Bonsai Nursery, Japan, for a while now. Peter is in his second year now, and the quality of his work, the range of topics he explores and his informative, easy-to-read writing style make for one of the very best bonsai blogs on the planet.
I think Peter’s latest post is particularly good. Not only is the tree quite distinctive, with it’s fractured-at-the-base shari and easy to look at, with its graceful, fluid movement, but the detail and clarity of the information presented on cleaning up and styling Shimpaku is some of the best you’ll find. Best of all, you can easily apply what you glean from Peter to any Shimpaku, and really, to almost any juniper (especially junipers with scale-type foliage).
One of many simple and instructive photos (supported by equally simple and instructive text) that Peter provides. In his own words “Here we removed some of the green branches. Now that some of the competition is gone, these kept branches will start to extend faster than if we left all the green.”
Another example. “Lets say that the branch is too long and I want to develop a new terminal end. Now is a time I can cut the terminal end off and pick a new leader. By doing this, we also help develop taper in the branches. So now it’s not just about length and having lots of branches, we need to have taper as well. Cutting back is how we achieve that in Bonsai.”
The uncropped after photo. You can see more excellent photos and informative text on Peter’s blog.