Monthly Bonsai Magazine

At this page you find the seasonal monthly video magazine. Every month has several topics and videos.


Use the expand button at the playbar to expand full video. Close window with esc at your keyboard.



During winter there still is a lot we can do. Work on coniferous especially is a good time spender during winter.

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. 

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.

At Kisetsu-en we 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

Also 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.



The wonderful colours of autumn may peak in November, if not already present.

It´s time to slowly prepare for the winter season. Most deciduous can be wired shortly after leaves have dropped or removed as they wither. 

Fertilizing has ended.

We look into the following topics this time:

Headlines for November are

Seasonal care

Species of the month: Pinus mugo

The Nordic Bonsai Style + podcast

Clump and raft style bonsai (Q&A)

Prunus mume strategy (Q&A)


Autumn progresses. Daylight gets shorter and temperatures drop. Colours slowly will change on deciduous trees.

Rainy days may cause bonsai to be too wet, the wire might bite in at coniferous trees expanding and it´s time to take actions on pines for next seasons growth.

October also shows the beauty of berries at Cotoneasters, this month selected species from the Kisetsu-en garden.

Headlines for October

October seasonal care.

Species of the month: Cotoneaster

Scots pine needle control and back budding

Wire on – wire off. Healing wire scars.

Bonsai prepared for display. The devil is in the detail.


September announces Autumn. Growth is slow and we add the final fertilizers for many trees.

Still, time to do the last pruning, and as always we look into the seasonal important jobs to do in the bonsai collection.

Headlines for September are:

September seasonal care.

Species of the month: Japanese maple

Shohin time limits and age

Air layering Elm part two: Separation

Techniques for Japanese black pine buds and Japanese white pine needle control.

LINK TO ARTICLE: Species suitable for air layering.



August is a little like spring. Just slower and without the power of spring growth. There still is a lot of actions you can do with your bonsai in the final period of summertime.


Seasonal care and special tips about controlling the growth after the semi-dormant period, feeding and more.

The species of the month: The Itoigawa and Shimpaku Juniper.

The special theme on Mame-bonsai.

Creating your first Mame bonsai from simple material. The first steps.

Handling the candles on Japanese black and Red pines. How to control growth and achieve back budding.


July is a semi-dormant period for bonsai. Seasonal care and maintenance, therefore, needs to be focussed on slower growth and controlling this.

It also opens a door to work with your bonsai in different ways.


Seasonal care Fertilizing, watering and summer styling.

The species of the month: Shrubby Honeysuckle, Lonicera nitida.

Q&A on forming foliage pads.

Q&A – Decorating your house with bonsai. Practical and aesthetics when displaying bonsai in your home.

Styling Spruce. Picea, Spruce, needs some extra attention during the summer. Special pinching technique is important to know. First styling of a primitive nursery stock you can find in most garden centres.


Kisetsu-en Bonsai Magazine – June. 

Summer is here. It´s the green growing season. In the June edition, we focus on 5 different topics, but as always a lot of extra information is shared on the way.

Followed up by Zoom meeting June 17 for members.


Seasonal care with attention on fertilizing and maple pruning especially.

The species of the month: Hawthorn.

Q&A on field maple challenges, and an overview of maple techniques.

Juniper repotting. Changing the expression of a bonsai by shifting pots.. 

Styling. Setting the bones and long term planning of a Yew for shohin.


Flowering bonsai can be a wonderful view in spring. This month the Q&A fills a good part of the show, and there are lots of tips and growing advice.


Seasonal care and special tip about controlling spring growth at Japanese maples for shohin.

The species of the month: Prunus avium.

Q&A with extended air layering techniques, growing instructions for Hinoki Cypres, cutting a forsythia back for Shohin and much more.

Saikei landscape with flowering forest.


List of species recommended for Shohin bonsai



Kisetsu-en Bonsai Magazine – April. Temperatures are rising and soon the leaves will pop. 

This month we look into the ongoing seasonal caretaking and continue investigating how to feed bonsai. 


Specie of the month: Yew.

Air layering techniques.

Mixed forest.

Seasonal care.


Spring. Probably the busiest time of the year in the bonsai garden. Therefore this edition is longer than usual, to get you started well with the growing season.

An in-depth introduction to fertilizing bonsai.


Seasonal care.

Deadwood at deciduous bonsai.

Tool care is part of keeping your bonsai fit.

Seasonal care for deciduous and flowering bonsai. 

Repotting and nebari development.


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

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