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.

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

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


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: 

French language – Language francaise:


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.


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.

Bonsai hedge pruning

Having a little fun yesterday, showing how NOT to prune your bonsai. Could be tempting to use an electric trimmer to shape the foliage pads. But it is not how bonsai is done. No shortcuts.

Johnny Eslykke shows the delicate trimming of a 30 year old boxwood and each small twig is trimmed by cutting between leaf pairs, to make the cut invisible. Clipping it like a hedge will just leave ruined leafs with brown edges, and not be the aesthetic appearance as it should be.

Azalea from cutting

Great weather for a sunday meeting at the Fuchi Bonsai workgroup in the garden of Torben Pedersen. Trees trimmed as it is the time for trimming early summer, early June, around  here.

I worked on several shohin that sunny day. One of them was a gift from Johnny, who grown an Azalea from a cutting started around five years ago. Today I took it one step further by cutting it back, restarting new growth with a future semi-cascade in mind. Lets see what happens later on.

Deadwood carving

Deadwood at bonsai always have a fascinating effect. The blend between the living and the dead reminds us about life and death as it is. The aesthetics of deadwood can be both very pleasing and sometimes overwhelming. Almost unnatural in its design with huge curled branches and trunks at Junipers. Like if it is from another world.

Deadwood at Juniper, Masahiko Kimura, Japan.

Artificial or natural deadwood?

No matter how artificial it can look in forms, for sure Mother Nature has done it already out there. What the bonsai artist have to do, is finding a natural form for the bonsai worked on. Junipers might have twisted and abnormal forms of deadwood, due to their living environment in harsh weather and mountains. Other trees are more quietly living, and their wood is soft and rots easily. This have to be observed and understood when applying deadwood as a feature of any bonsai.

Deadwood work featured in the first video in the new series about bonsai deadwood, Jin and shari.

New series

The latest, and the coming videos at the Kisetsu-en Bonsai Video Studio deals with just that. How to work with deadwood on bonsai, and what to take in to consideration aesthetically. Sign up and be with us when exploring deadwood.

New year – new visions – new name

(Edited January 14). A new year is often followed by new visions. This will be true this year, although we do not make big changes just because of the New Year. We do it when it feels right. That is now. 🙂

Bonsai collection

Changing the expression of the bonsai activities. Most know only about the current teaching and preaching for Shohin-bonsai, build up during the last 15 years. The collection is expanding with larger bonsai, and these will be part of the Bonsai Video Studio lectures released.

Website name change to Kisetsu-en

Maybe you have noticed a slight name change of the website. Changed January 1st, to express the new direction with a more varied selection of bonsai used for teaching. Large and small. Not just small, because we think a lot of bonsai enthusiasts have a much more varied view on bonsai. Not just being interested in one kind of bonsai, but in many different sizes and expressions. We therefore want to accommodate the need of knowledge of a greater variation of bonsai. So more people can enjoy the well produced (so we are told and glad to hear) and educational videos produced.

Inspiring videos

We want to have our focus on that, and during this coming season introducing much new educational content. Showing carving with power tools (up next in the Bonsai Video Studio), arranging larger forest plantings and so much more to look forward too.

The name Kisetsu-en means the Garden of the changing seasons. Fitting with the spirit of the nursery, covering a wide range of trees. We hope you like it. Feel free to sign up, and benefit from the videos already in the library. Get instant access, when signing up. Price is only 13 USD a month. New video aimed to be published every Thursday.

Carving a larger Cherry laurel bonsai for the upcoming video at
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