To shohin or not to shohin
This Juniper was from the Sacto Convention in 2016 from Ted Matson's workshop. The foliage was reduced by 80 percent! and then allowed to grow out again which it did very vigorously. It was originally designed as a chuhin, about 15" when it would be "finished". However, someone suggested to airlayer it and have two shohin. There are two black lines barely visible on the trunk. One is just below where the trunk takes off to the right even with Ken's chin and another about an inch below that even with the zipper pull on Ken's shirt.. That 1" space is where the airlayer will be created.
Brenda's Japanese Boxwood July 2017 (left) successfully grown out from a heavy cut back. This is what was shown at the 2018 Shohin Seminar. Very healthy but, the critique was that there is no ramification or refinement. Compliments on the proportion, basic structure and the moss. Photo 2 is the result of the next logical step, wiring, cutting back small branches and some small branch removal. You can see the branches wired over to harden in a lateral position to support secondary and tertiary refinement. By the end of this year the tree will make significant strides toward its final silhouette and establishment of the main branches.
Youpon Holly before and after. Huh? In the first photo the top half of the tree is being held in place. It was cut about halfway down the trunk...the white line on the trunk. So the funny people sat the cut off top down on the tree to show the new tree when the top is re-grown. Pretty nice in the very short term. The tree will be re-potted lower in the pot to hide the big roots.
This Juniper, after initial styling, looked a bit like a pinwheel with over-sized jin. Lots of potential choices. The jins were reduced by 1/2. Branch removal was done based on the cloth hiding the existing branches. Now movement has been established. The jins and branches are more in proportion; very important in bonsai and critical in shohin.
The chopstick shows where the "head" comes off. This is needed to reduce the tree so when the apex is grown out the tree will within the shohin height requirement. Nerifolia's back bud nicely so with Eric's expertise with them, a new apex is not too far in the future.
Peter helping Ken with some refinements for his beautiful Elm.
Peter and Cristina in deep conversation about her Japanese Black Pine. This is a sweet little tree. Can't wait to see it in a bonsai pot soon.
Shohin Seminar 2018
Itoigawa before and after. Eliminated most, not all, branches. Let the runners stay to motivate back budding, then the runners will be cut back to bring the tree into size. Ted Matson, as always, taught another great workshop. One of the many excellent instructors at the seminar.
JBP start, needle plucked and then final needle pluck and branch removal. Now we wait.
Ron and Jaya working with Jonas on their pines. My baby! Jonas did his usual excellent instruction. Easy to follow this guy.
Kusimono workshop was excellent. Beautiful plantings by Brenda and Cristina. Lucy Sakaida-Judd is amazing!!!
Janice working hard with Sam Adina. Shirley very happy with her Olive. NICE tree.
Janice after all of the pruning and wiring. Excellent! Shirley with her "finished" Olive and a dozen or so cuttings destined for pots one day.
Bob intently listening to Redwood guru Bob Shimon. Great workshop.
Abe's before and after with very nice Shimpaku junipers. This this is only the first stage of development. The branches will back bud and then will be able to be shortened as will the apex.
Got to this group a little late for b and a. This Shimpaku has a very nice old jin and is easily a shohin.
A learning moment. One of the negatives of having too many students at one time is that the instructor's are forced to be in a big hurry. Quality suffers. While creating dead wood, a main branch was accidentally damaged and had to be removed. This changed the front and significantly reduced the foliage mass. Later, the foliage was reduced further and many of the newer tiny green branches were incorrectly cut back leaving no buds for the tiny branches to recover with. So losing the branch and the over trimming is a challenge for the tree to overcome. It was suggested to re-pot the tree in two months, even in this now weakened state. This could be done but, being a Juniper, the tree should not be re-potted until it fully recovers and shows strong growth....lots of back budding and running branches, probably next year. Nonetheless, pleased with the initial styling, the owner sees this as a nice shohin. The trunk will be fattened up in a shallower and wider, growing pot.
Photos of the exhibit are on FB
Shohin Study Group
SDBC member Charlie Mosse lets you know of interesting bonsai posts from around the web but especially shohin topics as he is leading the shohin group.
Shohin Racks & Stands