Bonsai Seasons 2022


At this page you find all seasonal tutorials + recorded LIVE Q&A. Every month has several topics and videos.

You always find the newest video at the top of the page.

Go back to the main BONSAI ON page.


The LIVE Q&A for December concentrated on two main topics. One subject was about how much trees cope with low temperatures and under which circumstances. 

Another topic zoomed in on two trunk styling options. based on a smaller container grown Yew.

Japanese Black Pines are challenging in the Northern Europe climate. The season almost behind us has changed the conditions to worse from a climate-environmental perspective, but a positive for the Japanese Black Pine which requires a warm intensive season to grow well.

This tree has grown well during the season when it was left to strengthen up. Now it is time to set the bones and look into the future with all the demands of fertilizing, sun, and warm weather. 

I go through all the design aspects, hands-on wiring, branch selection, and more in this episode.

On a snowy day in the Kisetsu-en bonsai garden of the changing seasons. Enjoy a moment of peace.


November 17 - 2022

Some topics we came around:

A LIVE Q&A focusing on crabapple flowering and the year cycle to maintain, develop and produce flowers and fruits. Also includes Wild cherry trees.

Questions about Chojubai (Quince) pruning keeping this in good health, winter care, and a lot more.

A link is inserted here for the graphic about the Crabapple yearly work schedule:

Crabapple and Cherry work calendar

Mame bonsai isn’t necessarily a quick shortcut to successfully creating a bonsai, just being small.

Achieving the smallest of bonsai demands as much patience and technical skills as for large bonsai. 
In this tutorial, I show the first and second steps in the process of creating the start of a Chamaecyparis Mame bonsai.

Mame bonsai is 4 inches / 10 cm and below measured from the rim of the pot. Therefore care must be taken to secure healthy growth in a limited space, as well as delicate styling in the long run.

This time focusing on autumn work at two different Korean Hornbeam, focusing on branch structure and with special attention on the important knowledge of pruning right so branches survive.

The Korean Hornbeam differs from most other deciduous trees, whereas also beech has a similar behavior we must pay attention to.


October 27 - 2022

Some topics we came around:

A LIVE Q&A focusing on Shohin displaying, beech pruning, the timing of severe trunk cuts for back budding, seasonal autumn care, and more.

Autumn time is the time to focus on deciduous bonsai that need aftercare, arranging branches and lighter pruning. When the green chlorophyll is broken down it is the perfect time to wire and adjust branches. There is a short time slot for this work though as you will learn in this BONSAI ON episode.
October in the bonsai garden.
Some of the jobs to do in October is looking at fertilizing and how it impacts the colours of deciduous and affects flowering trees in a long term.
It’s a fine time to adjust growth on Scots pine, selecting future buds for the next season and removing older needles to force new growth and let light in. And more…
This episode is a special from the Bonsai Live Show in Telford, UK.
A Shohin masterclass showing the transformation from a wide Juniperus chinensis transformed into an elegant slim tree, bringing out the best of the material.
Recorded on the scene with the audience.
The forest-style bonsai is one of the biggest challenges when it comes to the arrangement of branches and achieving harmony.
In this episode,
Morten explores how the second step towards a final arrangement is done. How a natural approach to the growth of a forest influences the design and growth challenges of growing trees on. a slap.


September 22 - 2022

Some topics we came around:

A LIVE Q&A with a lot of different topics to dive into. pot choice and an artistic approach to colours and pot style. Growing techniques and the usual weather talk 🙂 

The exposed root style is a special feature in the bonsai design tradition. In and out of fashion. Personally, I have always been fascinated with this style represented in coastal scenes often, where soil erosion exposes roots and adds that dramatic characteristic feature to a tree. 
In this episode, I show how I start the process of changing an ordinary garden centre stock, a Pinus mugo, from basic material to the neagari (exposed roots) style.
September officially is the month where we shift from talking about summer and look into autumn. 
But climate change adds an extra summer month to the actual meteorologically season.
This also adds other possibilities to our bonsai garden and how we plan the season. This and trimming growth before autumn leaves drop and feeding are on the table in this episode.


First initial styling of a bonsai we have followed for some time. Transforming an ugly boxwood medium-sized bonsai into a promising shohin bonsai.
We take the next steps after air layering and growing it healthy through spring. So far a process of over two years. Now we are dealing with the ultimate challenge of setting the main branches.


August 25 - 2022

Some topics we came around:

Pot choice for an excellent Hawthorn and maple pot choices plus a lot of different topics covering styling and beginners advices. 

The summer has been hot and still is. Therefore we look into caretaking of bonsai under hot and sunny conditions. 

How to get your trees safely through warm periods without damage. We also go through the compålex mechanisms of leaves and roots, to understand how we deal with the climate changes bringing more extreme weather to the gardens.

Scots pines, Pinus sylvestris are best off being repotted during late summer/early autumn to take advantage of the growing pattern of this species.
in this episode, a Yamadori Scots pine is repotted for the first time since collected in Norway four years ago. 


Creating a summer Kusamono planting to enjoy a summer display.


July 14 - 2022

Some topics we came around:

Random bonsai talk and topics like health care after spider mite attack on Pinus mugo, soil options and more.

When we reach the peak of the flowering at our Azalea it’s time to say goodbye.

Leaving flowers on for longer will weaken the growth of new branches and buds for the next season. Rejuvenating branches and roots is a very important part of keeping Satsuki azaleas healthy.

Pinching and pruning Yew, Taxus baccata.
The Yew is pretty good at setting new growth further back, but can improved tremendously by plucking old needles in mid summer.
We look at a young piece and an oldie and compare techniques.

An urgent repotting is the topic of this summer episode.
There are safe ways to come around a necessary repotting, and the method we show you are good for both old trees and bonsai that are needing a repot because of bad soil for example.


June 16 - 2022

Some topics we came around:

Wisteria pruning, Fukien tea and trunk thickening, ramification and development on Shishigashira and Kotohime maple cultivars, summer pruning of the first spring growth matured, and how to balance energy on young material growing strongly. And more…

It is important to understand the different techniques and timing of defoliation of deciduous maples. Not only the timing is crucial, but also what, when and how much to prune and pinch.

We partly defoliate two Japanese maples and one field maple and show techniques and the approach. Why what and when to defoliate partly in early summer.

The Crabapple, Malus, is a species having the ability to both bloom and carry small apples in late summer and autumn.
Keeping a crabapple healthy demands an occasional free spring growth to strengthen up the roots and skip flowering.
We look into the strategy of pruning after this first growth, developing the tertiary branching, and feeding strategy building up for this and the next year.
How to prune and control growth without defoliating, and strategic leaf balance. 


The bonsai bowler hat syndrome is a common mistake when designing bonsai. 
Especially for Shohin bonsai the bowler hat can be a quick solution and present a nice silhouette. 
But it misses the important design aspects and aesthetics of bonsai.
We look into that and use an older bonsai needing some corrections and a redesign to move it forward after a period of matureness and outgrowing its present form.

Candle pinching and controlling the growth for one-flush pines is made simple (I hope) but explained thoroughly in this episode. 

There are so many misdirections and/or misunderstandings when it comes to candle pinching and it´s effects of this.

Therefore we put it up simple and clarify what happens when you pinch and when you do not pinch in spring.

Covering Scots pine, Mountain pine and Japanese white pine.

A 100 year + Hawthorn bonsai has arrived at the nursery and is set up against a three year old Spruce. At the end, the job is almost the same. A new start and first important steps of styling and growth strategy no matter the age of the tree.

Also the transformation and future of a Boxwood Shohin bonsai is part of this spring episode.

Growth explodes in spring and this week we look into how we control bonsai growth by adding the right type of fertilizer, at the right time during the growing season.
We explain different strategies and fertilizer types to use for trees in development, refined and old bonsai, flowering trees and much more.

Explaining in-depth about NPK and what nutrients you will be happy to know about so you can make that perfect food for your bonsai.
The tree is the item that decides the choice of the pot. That’s how we learn it when we approach bonsai. But not this week at BONSAI ON.
As an exception we let the artistic organic shaped pot by Varga show the way. Challenging ourselves may lead to interesting designs. Creating a different expression using Acer campestre, field maples, grown for 1 – 5 years. Prepared for a bonsai forest.
Watch the full process and explanations behind this creative style of bonsai Thursday when we release the weekly episode for members.
Episode 3 shows the final transformation from the air layering process of a Cork Bark Elm. 
Managing the delicate operation of removing the air layer moss and arranging the roots when making the final step, repotting and distributing roots. 
Watch all 3 episodes here to get the full story and knowledge.


April 7 - 2022

Some topics we came around:

Follow up on previous pine decandling strategy. Japanese maple pruning strategies, and how to place trees in the garden. Metasequoia, Dawn Redwood pruning techniques. Pine needle cast and how to treat it. Japanese maple repotting challenges and planning growth at different levels.

Thursday in BONSAI ON it is time to go through some of the April jobs in the bonsai garden.
In this episode, we look into special leaf techniques to control the first growth of maples leaves and other deciduous trees.
We talk about watering and timing the fertilizing in spring. Enjoying creating a spring welcoming Kusamono planting at the end.
This and more for your bonsai inspiration before the weekend.

Two different species repotted in two very different pots. Choosing the right pot for a Chinese Juniper in Shohin size, and a Varga pot for an old medium sized collected Cotoneaster.

It repotting time and this episode shows how you can build your own slab or egg shell-shaped pot. Step by step we take you through the full process over three days.

The product used to build the shown slab and egg shell pot is from Make Make in Denmark. 

Information PDF here.


March 10 - 2022

Some topics we came around: This time we came around branching and pruning techniques, especially Hornbeam and Beech. Why we should group deciduous as single, two flush or multiple flush deciduous trees. To better understand the growth pattern of those species. Repotting timing on Beech and more.


Spring is here. Before we get overly excited and start repotting it is good to know what to do and when to do it. In this episode we go through the timing and jobs to do in early spring.

Styling a European Yew. The process of shaping a bonsai is captured in this lecture. Taking every step from the very start, selecting the front, working on deadwood with power tools, selecting and arranging branches, wiring techniques and the aesthetics involved.

An old homegrown Firethorn is on the table this week. The Pyracantha is an evergreen broad-leafed bushy shrub or small tree. We look at the styling and how to approach it as evergreen or deciduous styled bonsai?

The product used to build the stone is from Make Make in Denmark. 

Information PDF here.


January 6 - 2022

Some topics we came around: A big topic of the night was the strategies and techniques for two flush pines. Techniques to set new growth further back at the branches and candle cutting explained in detail and why one technique works against another. Feeding strategy, Scots pine, winter care and more are included in this LIVE Q&A. Very skilled illustrations from Morten was applauded as well 😉 


Listen to the podcast about the Nordic bonsai style


October 14 - 2021

Some topics we came around: How to rearrange and rec0ver a visually bad root system (nebari). Grafting root techniques and partial root restoring. Acer restoration and possible repotting tactics and soil sniffing! Multiple apexes and design solutions. Thickening the lowest branches and keeping top growth healthy and in shape and more. 


October 14 - 2021

Extended version – 1hour and 19 minutes.

Some topics we came around: Pot selection, pruning of deciduous bonsai, Ficus for bonsai, watering of Shohin and Mame, general care, feeding, wire scars and how to heal and cover wounds,  pine branch selection, Chinese quince bud selection and pruning, and much more. 



Extended version – 1hour and 19 minutes.

Some topics we came around: Pot selection, pruning of deciduous bonsai, Ficus for bonsai, watering of Shohin and Mame, general care, feeding, wire scars and how to heal and cover wounds,  pine branch selection, Chinese quince bud selection and pruning, and much more.



July 8 - 2021

This month we discussed some main topics about successfully air layering bonsai, pinching tow-flush pines, seasonal history and wiring. And a few other things. Watch or re-watch here.


June 17 - 2021

As talked about at the meeting links are added to Copper watering cans and fine hose attachment. 

Copper watering can at Maillot

Water noozle at Bonsaistow



May 13 - 2021


April 15 - 2021


February marks the beginning of the end of winter.

Video 1. It can be a cold month around here in Northern Europe, and care must be taken to store the bonsai well protected if necessary.

Video 2. The classy white pine of Japan.

Pinus parviflora is the main subject in this month tutorial, that both looks at styling a pine removing some flaws, and answering Q&A about back budding.

Video 3. Deadwood is one of the more dramatic features that can be added to a bonsai to improve the visual age of a tree. 

Deadwood as a stylistic feature is important but as important is the preservation of deadwood. Wintertime is a very good time to clean up and apply a new layer of protecting Lime-sulphur.


January. Midwinter is a perfect time to work on coniferous bonsai. Morten Albek styles two trees in these episodes, answers questions about maple bonsai and look into seasonal care.

Video 1. Bonsai care during midwinter.

Video 2. Transforming a bushy plant from a nursery into a future shohin bonsai. Hemlock is delicate to work with and we go through the processes of selecting branches and find the tree within.

Video 3. Styling and aesthetical choices are discussed during the transformation of a Juniper. 

Video 4. Q&A special focusing on Japanese maples and pruning tactics.

Total duration: 1 hour and 30 minutes.


We did a special video in the bonsai garden. A short movie in near darkness.

A short story of the spirit of bonsai.


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.



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