Cutting hard to start new Shohin bonsai

There are numerous ways to start a Shohin bonsai. Buying finished or pre-shaped material is a fast method. Developing from seed is the slowest way.

Then there is the in-between strategy which I have used a lot on deciduous trees especially. But also possible on some coniferous trees if the circumstances are right. What I will focus on in the Friday Live stream at our Shohin Bonsai School.

All live streams are available in the library within 24 hours after the Live stream ends.


Cutting back hard deciduous trees is a great way to change mature trunks into small trees, building up a new ramification. You skip the years to developing a trunk from seeds or cuttings but need to develop the ramification over time. I will show you the importance of timing the cut, and where exactly to cut to achieve the best possible back budding to build a new tree.

Several Shohin bonsai in the Kisetsu-en bonsai garden are developed using this method. I will give you my best tips to create stunning trees from larger bonsai or material otherwise useless or lacking potential as larger bonsai. Or simply because you want to create Shohin.

During the live stream, a larger Hornbeam forest will be transformed, and also used to show cutting strategies on the work table bringing a Callaicarpa into play.  The timing is now, and that’s why all education at BONSAI ON is timely and connected to the seasons. So we do things when they should be done.

Scheduled for:

LIVE – Friday, February 10 (8 PM) 20:00​ CET

Copenhagen, Denmark: Fri Feb 10, 20:00 / 8:00 pm
New York City, New York, USA: Fri Feb 10, 14:00 / 2:00 pm
London, UK: Fri Feb 10, 19:00 / 7:00 pm
Ontario, Canada: Fri Feb 10, 14:00 / 2:00 pm
Canberra, Australia: Sat Feb 11, 06:00 / 6:00 am
Mumbai, India: Sat Feb 11, 00:30 / 12:30 am
Santiago, Chile: Fri Feb 10, 16:00 / 4:00 pm

Missing your time zone? Let us know and we add it to the calendar.


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  • Dennis

    I have been using this method for about 4 years now, and I am starting to get some good results. Ii usually cut the bigger trees with good trunks back in spring. I live in Adelaide South Australia.

    • albek

      That’s great and a very well working method for Shohin. You probably also have a strong growing season with that climate of yours, making this method work pretty fast.

      • Dennis Stevens

        Our biggest problem is the summer heat. We get temps up to and over 40 degrees C . It tends to knock the small trees about and I have to mist 2-3times a day. They by a pond to contribute humidity on normal days. I got the idea from an article you wrote.

        • albek

          Great Dennis. Summer heat can be troublesome but with a good misting and some shading, and water underneath some trees, all can be good.

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