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Kisetsu-en Bonsai Online Videos

Members. Ask your question and get a video response in an upcoming episode (and/or direct e-mail response).

Selected episodes are free to watch as a preview.

WINTER

December

December is the first month of the winter. Trees are going towards their winter sleep, and the time just before dormancy is the most important time of the year for pruning many deciduous species. 

4 videos are in the December package. 

Video 1. First, we look into the basic concept of Shohin bonsai growing. What trees to choose, techniques, aesthetics and display are among the topics.

Video 2. Winter care. Biological and practical winter care information.

Video 3. Fine pruning and wiring a Shohin bonsai Japanese maple. Showing in detail with explanations, improving a tree started from self-imported and pre-trained material 15 years ago. 

Video 4. Medium-sized Acer palmatum `Katsura` autumn pruning strategies and wiring for future detailed development. Bring a simple ordinary nursery stock on the path towards beauty with detailed techniques and 20 years + of care. 

Total duration: 1 hour and 40 minutes.

AUTUMN / FALL

November

November is the last month of autumn/fall. This month everything changes from being green, yellow or red, to dropping leaves and beginning dormancy.

In this episode, we look into the complex and interesting changes of the season. Practically we lay hands on slip potting a shohin forest offseason. Followed by part two in the process of air layering a Boxwood. Next shaping a Syringa as leaves drop. Also styling a shohin yew, and forcing new growth is on the table. We close this episode by answering our members Q&A; this month we selected a question about the benefits of using wooden boxes for bonsai training.

Duration: 1 hour and 43 minutes.

Autumn wiring - watering - fertilizing and Q&A

Q&A from Japan, Canada, and the UK. Dealing with various questions about brown needles at coniferous bonsai, roots, and soil problems at Japanese maples, + timing wiring for deciduous bonsai.

The watering and fertilizing strategy change when temperatures drop and days get shorter. 

This episode is dedicated to bonsai caretaking and the horticultural aspects of the art. We also take care of a common fungus related to the high humidity of autumn, powdery mildew, and how it can be treated. 

Duration 30:15

Wiring and timing

Wiring is one of the most used and precise tools to shape a bonsai. It is not without importance how the wire is applied, and in this episode, we go through different wiring techniques. From the basics to more advanced.

Learning how wire adds pressure on a branch, and the use of guy wires, and more.

Duration 30:05

Wiring and timing

Wiring is one of the most used and precise tools to shape a bonsai. It is not without importance how the wire is applied, and in this episode, we go through different wiring techniques. From the basics to more advanced.

Learning how wire adds pressure on a branch, and the use of guy wires, and more.

Duration 30:05

Yamadori Scots pine part 2 - styling

Yamadori Scots pine part 2 – we continue the progress in the second part of the Scots pine development. 
Styling based on the first work done in episode 1, and bringing the pine closer to the future look.
Wiring techniques and focus on telling a story with the bonsai design is on the workbench in this expanded episode.
Designing a bonsai demands a vision in your mind, not just shaping it like all bonsai. Find the soul within the tree and express it through the way the bonsai is styled. 
Duration at 41:31

Yamadori Scots pine part 1 - needle pinching and controlling growth before styling

Continuing the evolution of a Yamadori Scots pine (you can also watch the first styling process “Styling a yamadori Scots pine”) of this tree.
Scots pines are single flush pines, and in this episode the work is concentrated on preparing the pine for the next styling. We go in-depth with the caretaking of this specie, how watering and feeding control the growth, pinching techniques to add new growth, and more.
Duration 21:46

Yamadori Scots pine - first initial styling in 2018

First initial styling of a Yamadori collected Scots pine, Pinus sylvestris. Styled in 2018.

Q&A - Autumn fertilization and Quince repotting

Fertilization of bonsai in autumn preparing flowering in spring and dormancy strengthening trees is one of two topics in this episode.
Using organic fertilizers, how and when and for what purpose.
Fertilization of bonsai in autumn preparing flowering for spring and dormancy strengthening trees is one of two topics in this episode.
Using organic fertilizers, how and when, and for what purpose.
When is the best time to repot a Chojubai, Quince?
The second subject is about repotting Quince, also based on our member’s questions. Showing step-by-step how to repot, soil types, and fertilizing.
 
Duration 32:12

Q&A - Yamadori aftercare - training young pines - Juniper growth

Autumn arrived. This is often the season for tree hunting. Yamadori.
This week is dedicated to our members questions, and one of the bg ones to answer is about Yamadori aftercare. How to get your trees collected from nature or gardens securely and healthy through the firsts stages. 
We also dig in to Juniper care and early training of young pines. 

42:32

SUMMER

Healing scars at deciduous bonsai

Get the proportions and aesthetics right.
How to heal scars at deciduous bonsai, – so it looks natural. Timing and techniques are essential to developing a natural looking bonsai, where scars after pruning are in proportion and in harmony with the tree.
In this episode, a shohin and a large Japanese maple are worked on, with two different approaches. 
 

23:51

Creating a Saika

Saika is probably best described as a mixture between Kusamono, Saikei (landscape portrait), and a touch of Ikebana. 
Saika is a modern and light feeling of a landscape presentation often mixing young trees, with soft plantings and even decorative gravel.
Used in Japan to attract younger people to the art of bonsai.
In this episode, we look into upgrading the way of developing the modern Saika in a context relating to the traditions of bonsai.
A nice and beautiful summer feeling to your bonsai collection.
 

22:33

Maple summer care + Q&A

Summers might be hot and maples, especially Japanese maples, needs extra care during this time.
 
Controlling the inner growth is in focus, and we take a good look at how you can let the light reach the weaker areas of your bonsai, strengthening these parts. With the right techniques, we pre-develop the growth of the coming season and renewal of branches.
Also, the health of the tree is on the table, during periods with hot weather and demanding water flow.
Update on small Japanese Shohin forests is included.
Plus answering some Q&A. Please enjoy.

29:16

The creative bonsai display

For a long time, Morten Albek has studied the art of displaying bonsai. Especially Shohin bonsai displays have puzzled him and he often thought about doing something a little different. Still in respect of the origin.
In Japan burning the surface of the wood is used to preserve the wood for different constructions. Burned wood has a beauty of its own, showing both the details of the structure within the wood, as well as it has a special kind of black color soaking up the light.
 
In many Western countries, Shohin bonsai are displayed at the same exhibitions as the large bonsai. Often making the Shohin drown a bit among the large trees.
In this episode, we explore and get insight into the art of displaying and try out a new direction of displaying  Shohin-bonsai.
 

20:24

The deciduous chess game

Based on questions from our members we take a look at the strategies needed to understand, making a long term commitment to deciduous trees and their development. 

The Shohin forests creations are among the bonsai in this episode where we also go in-depth with:

  • planning the development of a tree
  • sacrifice branches
  • directional pruning
  • timing of pruning
  • deciduous physics
  • building up energy in a tree through long-termed growing strategies
  • health care

42:56

Growing young material in a colander

Using a colander will speed up the growth of a healthy root system. Applying the right techniques will help building up a stronger and thicker trunk for a future bonsai.

In this episode we focus on a young Scots pine, and how it will be prepared for the future.

Looking into the strategy of branch development and how to control the elongating sacrifice branch. 

25:06

Foliage trimming Itoigawa and Shimpaku Juniper

The Japanese varieties of soft scale leaf Junipers are popular for Shohin bonsai. And not without reason. They build dense and compact foliage clouds if treated correctly. Pared with the often dramatic deadwood and brown colored trunks, the contrasts are set for great impact.
In this episode, we look into

  • cutting elongated foliage
  • why not to pinch
  • timing
  • creating back budding
  • light and air
  • aesthetics

We continue answering members Q&A at the end of the episode.

30:16

Unboxing Thor Holvila bonsai pots

Ekstra video. View the unboxing of Thor Holvila pots. 

Thor Holvila makes bonsai pots with heart. Inspired by the ocean or the seasonal changes. You can visit him at his website www.holvilabonsaipot.com and Facebook www.facebook.com/HolvilaBonsaipot/

6:32

Air layering Boxwood for future Shohin bonsai

Air layering a piece of a tree is an advanced method to produce a new piece from a tree. In this example, the focus is on selecting a piece of a bonsai to be air layered, and step-by-step showing how to do it.

At the end of the video 2, X Q&A is answered. Azalea with leaves withering and die off, and a question about maintenance of the needle foliage at Juniperus ´Nana´. 

27:20

Adjusting balance and removing flowers at Satsuki Azalea

Controlling growth and balance the energy of Satsuki Azalea during summer.

Why flowers should be removed and how to do it. 

We also look into light and watering.

20:25

Raw material styling

Setting the bones of a bonsai.

It can be a great challenge to see through the mass of leaves and confusing branches, when styling a piece of raw material the first time.

In this 45 min. episode I carefully take you through the steps of

  • defoliation
  • semi-dormancy control
  • selecting the front
  • branch selection
  • setting the bones of a future bonsai
  • design aspects
  • wiring techniques
  • vision of the future shape

– and more.

45:25

Restyling a Shimpaku Juniper

Safety branches, wiring techniques and much more when restyling a Shimpaku bonsai. 

Bonsai, and especially Shohin bonsai, outgrowths their form after some time. Demanding that the bonsai artist take a second look, bringing the tree back in its previous form or adding a different design. 

Restyling a very small tree can be delicate work, and in this episode we go through the safety steps taken to ensure a healthy transformation.

26:36

Tosho Junipers

Shohin Tosho juniper, or needle juniper, and the strategies of first seasonal pinching and pruning. The new growth is controlled by the right timing and strategy of the next growth. Learn how to trim needle junipers and shaping foliage pads. 

Fertilizer strategies – light – open spaces – aesthetics, and much more, is also part of this episode focusing on needle junipers.

Q&A members questions answered. Root problems and fruits shredded by the tree.

29:49

Q&A special

This episode is dedicated members questions. How to place your maples so they get the ligth they need without leafs getting burned. Should you apply mosses or not during the growing seasons. The timing of arranging a bonsai forest with trident maples. And how to prune crabapples (or cherry trees), and silver birch.

29:08

SPRING

Japanese maple partly defoliation

When leaves are changing from soft and tender to mature, its time to adjust and thin out. Partly defoliation is an important technique to control growth and balance. Learn how to defoliate and keep your Japanese maple balanced.

31:45

Seasonal Vlog 2018-19

WINTER

Follow the seasons – February. We are half through winter. The importance of winter watering and exchanging gasses in the soil. Winter care and looking ahead towards spring.

14:43

Bonsai seasons. It is time to bring in trees for the winter, and to do some deciduous trimming. Deciduous trees are much easier to design when leafless. Branch structure can be viewed in detail when the naked truth is exposed. Therefore winter time is a great opportunity to work on these. In this episode an older Shohin  Chinese Cork Bark Elm is corrected, and weak spots are pointed out for future development.

21:30

Trophy 2019.

Shohin exhibition at the Trophy 2019, Genk, Belgium.

2:58

AUTUMN

October and book announcement: Shohin – Through the Seasons. 

6:01

Bonsai Green days in Ogrody Poland. A view of the exhibition and one of the Shohin workshops.

7:27

Bonsai seasons. Autumn sets through with bright yellow and red coloured maple leaves. Morten Albek looks in to the caretaking of Shohin and preparing them for the dormant season. A Shohin Yew is pinched to develop new growth, and detailed explanations of controlling growth and energy is part of this November edition of the seasonal report from the bonsai garden.

27:30

Bonsai seasons. October shows the beginning signs of autumn where deciduous shifts from green to yellow, brown or red leaves.Removing the wire from a bonsai in training, should not be made in one go, but in steps. Finally I arrange a Kusamono planting with dry tolerant grasses and plants.

29:38

FREE

Bonsai seasons. Slowly the trees are preparing for the dormancy season. Correcting foliage at a Shimpaku Mame bonsai, and finishing with a bonsai social meeting. Enjoy the September edition of the vlog.

24:45

Bonsai seasons. Bonsai exhibition in The Japanese Gardens in Denmark, with Fuchi Bonsai. 

03:33

SUMMER

Bonsai seasons. In this episode: Summer trimming Japanese maples. Introducing what is probably the longest and slowest bonsai demo in the world. Starting from this episode.

26:26

Bonsai seasons. Next step in th journey of the Potentilla is taken. And setting up a summer display that should turn our minds into some cooler weather this hot summer.

15:23

SPRING

Bonsai seasons. In this episode: New bonsai garden area established for a better viewing experience. Adjusting energy flow at deciduous, fertilizing and improving an old bonsai with one cut. And more… 

17:06

Bonsai seasons. Springtime in the bonsai garden. What to take care of after the winter, applying mosses, repotting and dividing accent plants, aftercare of bonsai styled earlier.

21:27

WINTER

Bonsai seasons. Report from the Bonsai Namaste event in Pune, India.

10:36

Bonsai seasons. February 2018. Refining a Shohin bonsai Juniperus chinensis developed from raw nursery material, and winter pruning a midd-sized Crab Apple.

26:25

Bonsai seasons. Exhibition, contest, traders area and International Demonstrators at the China Jue December 2017.

13:14

Bonsai seasons. Late autumn preparations before winter.

5:36

Introductions and basics

NB: Some of the content in this section is also available as part of the Bonsai Empire Shohin course.

Shohin intro. Introduction to the basics of Shohin bonsai.

THEME. The basics of the Shohin display explained.

THEME. The purpose of accents for bonsai. 

Bonsai pots. Why a bonsai pot is a special type of container for the art of bonsai. Practical and aesthetics.

THEME. The basics of displaying bonsai.

Theme + Q&A 2018

NB: Some of the content in this section is also available as part of the Bonsai Empire Shohin course.

The joy of growing bonsai.

Juniper deadwood. Working with powertools and by hand. Creating deadwood a Juniper shohin bonsai.

Japanese maple. Structural pruning done late winter to achieve a better distribution of branches.

THEME. The difference between deciduous and coniferous bonsai design.

THEME. Hard pruning of deciduous bonsai and developing shohin bonsai from mature material

THEME. Styling a Juniperus chinensis from raw pre-bonsai material.

THEME. The meaning and importance of age.

THEME. Seasonal repotting part one.

THEME. Seasonal repotting part two.

THEME. First initial styling of a Scots pine, Pinus sylvestris.

Q&A. I have collected a tree. It has shown signs of weak growth. How do I take care of it during winter?

3:34

Q&A. What to do if you have forgot to water? How to try rescuing your tree.

4:31

Q&A. I have a nice Lonicera nitida shohin tree. Can you clarify how this should be leaf pruned? Some suggest clipping often and others suggest letting it grow before clipping as with most bonsai. 

4:46

Q&A. This time questions about Camelia as bonsai and buying bonsai in Kyoto is answered. Below some relevant links thrown in with additional informations.

Toji Market in Kyoto

Koju-en Shohin Bonsai nursery in Kyoto

Import of plants in Sweden

Import plants to the EU

Takamatsu bonsai

6:30

Q&A. Q&A Video – Frosts and pots that cracks in winter. What to do?

3:06

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