Kifu size matters

Usually, we say that the seasons end when we enter wintertime and trees are packed away more or less. But at the same time, we enter a new season of activities.

During winter there still is a lot we can do. Work on coniferous especially is a good time spender during winter. Deadwood styling is also with doing in winter. Then there are preps for exhibitions and maybe some time to catch up on techniques in books or on video.

The video library at Kisetsu-en grows every month, so maybe it’s an idea to spend some time watching some of those videos from before. Videos are grouped in different sections, so it should be easy to find what you need.

The Kifu challenge

New videos are added on December 1st and this time a major theme is styling a Kifu sized Pinus sylvestris. Kifu is a size category of bonsai where the size limits are (give and take) 23 – 35 / 8 – 12 inches. These measures seem to be a little floating, so don’t be too rigid about that.

This size was introduced after many Shohin bonsai couldn’t stay in the same size forever. Therefore this category was evened to make space for those trees.

I find this size very attractive for people who don’t chase down mountains and collect huge trees. The Kifu size has its own charm and can express both elegance and power with the right material at hand.

The styling of this Scots pine collected in the Norwegian mountains 2 and a half years ago, is really interesting. The transformation of some trees can be very easy and straightforward. But this one puzzled me for some time.

Several options are available, which will be discussed in the video going online tomorrow. Especially the old natural deadwood had to be brought forward and that gave some challenges to the design and demanded some special techniques.

All are available in this 55 minutes long detailed video.

Other videos are published as well. Looking into winter storage and seasonal care of your bonsai. In our series about bonsai species Morten Albek this time presents the sticky but beautiful Firethorn, Pyracantha.

All released December 1st. If not a member yet, please sign up for 5 days free trial on our 1 and 3-month memberships and join the Kisetsu-en bonsai spirit.

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