Bonsai blog Morten Albek

Color shifts

Color shifts of the autumn keeps amazing me. Year after year I am flabbergasted by the beauty the leaves produces. Especially puzzling is when the same species changing colors weeks apart. Where some Japanese maples, Acer palmatum, are in yellow, red and orange clothings, others are still full green.

This is often related to varieties within the specie, that will develop different genetic codes when sown by seeds. When light decreases the tree goes toward shedding the leaves and the green will be broken down. Then the reddish, yellow and oranges hidden beneath will shine. Colors will be even more vivid in colder periods.

Shohin book offer includes shipping

There is a lot of hours behind the writing and making photographs for a book. Editing chapters right now to be ready for print.

Some good news from the Publisher Esprit Bonsai. And good news for Shohin bonsai fans. My book “Shohin – Through the Seasons” is available for a special price for the English copy.

31,90 € for English version, and price includes book reservation and postage fees, until the 31 January 2020.

On rainy days – like right now, I have a good cup of coffee and go through each page, so the result will be best possible. Look forward to have the printed copy in my hands later.

https://shohin-europe.com/shohin-through-the-seasons/

Developing and correcting a Shohin bonsai

Patience with bonsai is a well known subject. Developing a Shohin bonsai through 14 years pays off when the plan is right. I always lowed the rough bark at the Cork bark elm, Ulmus parvifolia Corticosa.  It was mainly because of this feature I back in 2005 bought this small tree. Since then I carefully developed it.

Originally I just wanted to make a better ramification and add a more interesting feature to the tree. Changing it from a mass produced broom style tree, to a tree with its own characteristics.

2005. The pre-bonsai material as it looked when I purchased it.

Changing style and opinion

The first long time project was to thicken up some of the lower branches especially. To add the aged appearance of a tree with thick lower branches, tapering towards the top of the tree. As well as tapering at each branch. Always having in mind that a branch is thickest at the base and slowly tapers towards the end. Adding a natural appearance.

In 2006. One year after the first initial styling.

Correcting a fault

At the first stages I created the tree as informal upright tree. At that time a lower first branch was right and an important feature of the tree.

After some time I decided to change the tree into a more leaning positing, giving it more interest. Keeping the lower branch in the new position proved to be a mistake. I fell in love with the lower branch dropping down created at the earlier stages of the training. I always fancied this feature at another three. At a Juniperus chinensis where I developed the same key feature. Working very well at that specimen.

 

2010. After five years training, developing the main branch at the left.

The fault at the Cork bark elm, is that it simply isn’t a realistic feature. A low branch beneath the canopy will be shaded out and die eventually. Maybe not at a bonsai where the light reaches the inside, but we have to keep in mind that it is resembling a large tree in nature. In nature such a branch will rarely survive. Therefore its doesnt work and I decided to remove it after some considerations.

2018. Ulmus parvifolia `Corticosa` with the lower branch still in place.

Achieving a simplified and much more harmonic result. Shohin bonsai is, due to their small size, always presenting the tree in a more simplified and suggestive manner, than when designing larger bonsai. Still it is of importance to keep the natural large tree in mind when styling the bonsai.

Bonsai is an ongoing learning experience, and trees develops and changes constantly. Mostly for the better. 🙂

 

Shohin bonsai preparations and Vlog 17

Slowly the autumn moves forward. Temperatures drops and it is time to stop feeding the trees. I remove all used organic fertilizers at this time to let the trees slowly slow down and get ready for dormancy.

Japanese maple in autumn clothes.

Deciduous trees will slowly turn their leaves into brilliant autumn colors when it gets colder. Autumn is  great pleasure for me. I enjoy the silence and fresh air.

Bonsai Radio Show

Less silent was Monday morning. This week I went to a national Radio broadcaster to record three episodes for a Japanese culture show running 3 hours every Sunday morning. In Danish only, so i am sorry I can’t share it with you. But we talked about bonsai as culture, how to care for a bonsai, exhibitions and much more. Although  48 minutes seems very short. I had so much more to say 😀  For Danish readers it is available live from Sunday 13th between 09:00-10:00 or as podcast at https://www.24syv.dk/programmer/sukiyaki

Morten Albek (left) with Radio presenter Kristian Ditlev Jensen. Official photo: Radio24syv

Video

Finally the newest Vlog 17. Watch it here 🙂

 

New bonsai book. Shohin – Through the seasons.

The English and french version of the new book “Shohin – Through the Seasons” is now ready for preorders for the English and French language. The book is launched in February 2020.

It has been a great pleasure writing a new book, after my first Shohin – Majesty in miniature was sold out a long time ago.

Four chapters

The book has four main chapters, each dealing with the seasons; spring, summer, winter and autumn. Taking care of the trees, techniques and styling. Each chapter ends with the the display of the season, and how to display Shohin bonsai.

The book is now ready for pre orders in English and French language. 

Order your book today and save 30%

English edition can be ordered here: https://www.esprit-bonsai.com/A-18531-shohin-through-the-seasons.aspx 

French language – Language francaise: https://www.esprit-bonsai.com/A-18515-le-shohin-au-fil-des-saisons.aspx

 

New Shohin bonsai book on its way

It’s a great pleasure to announce that I have e new Shohin bonsai book on the desk soon. At the Trophy in Genk last year the publishers of the Esprit Bonsai asked me if we could do a reprint of my first book. Originally published by Stone Lantern in 2008. I was really not in the mood for a reprise. So many new things to tell, and is was though more than ten years ago it was published. There would be a need for some updates.

Shohin bonsai seasons

After one day of thinking I returned and asked if we could do a totally new book instead. And Michéle from Esprit Bonsai agreed immediately. Therefore I have used most of the time since then to write a lot of new material and some rewriting of the parts needed to be covered again.

The book follows the four seasons and in each chapter there is a lot of basic and advanced growing advices and examples. As well as each chapter finishes with explanations on displaying Shohin bonsai.

I will keep you updated as soon as preorders, prices and so on are in place. That will be soon. I look so much forward to see it in print.

The book will be released February 2020 and available at the Trophy too.

Here a few photos that (maybe) will be included.

Have a great Sunday.

 

Shohin Bonsai talk at the Trophy

At the Trophy in Genk, Belgium, I made a talk about Shohin Bonsai. Invited by Bonsai Empire who set up a fine event with several bonsai artists. Please enjoy. If you want to sign up for the Shohin course at Bonsai Empire you can do it here: Bonsai Empire Shohin lectures.

Bonsai garden tour with Larry on camera

Larry Benjamin and his wife Rose, paid us a visit this summer. And Larry brought his video camera to make a record of the Kisetsu-en bonsai garden. It was a pleasure having you here Rose and Larry.

Video

Larry has been so kind to let me share his video. Here is a small tour and some random stories about trees in early stages and some that have been with me for more than 20 years. Take a tour and enjoy Larrys video.

Bonsai No 9

We are doing it again.
For the 9`th time in a row, the Fuchi Bonsai group (three people), are making our small show at the Japanese Gardens in Broby, Denmark.

Right know I am going through the bonsai collection. Selecting what to bring, and make a final trimming.

We always manage to attract a good number of guests. Hopefully we can do it again. The exhibitors are Torben Hornstrup Sottaku Pedersen, Johnny Eslykke and my-self – Morten Albek

Note there is a entrance fee to the gardens.
Join us at De Japanske Haver, Vøjstrupvej 43, 5672 Broby.

 

Pruning a tiny mame bonsai Juniper

The tiniest of bonsai, the mame-bonsai, needs extra caution when pruning. Do not trim them regularly, because it will weaken the growth and health. Letting especially evergreens grow a little out of shape before trimming, making the new growth produce energy is essential.

Trimming right

Trimming is done by pruning and pinching. Pinch out the middle and develop the side shoots. Making a nice branch division and natural appearance.

After pruning. Juniperus communis `Green Carpet`. Height 7 cm.

Pruning further back is done by cutting above a sleeping bud or new side growth. Do not prune behind any green, because the branch will be lost. Secure all branches have approximately the same amount of foliage to secure the balance of energy throughout the tree.

This small Juniperus communis Green Carpet is made from simple nursery stock. It measures only 7 cm / 2,75 inches from the lowest part to the top. Video and gallery below.

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