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Advanced Techniques

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Bud Grafting on Japanese Black Pine

Grafting is a valuable tool for improving one’s bonsai, but it is sadly misunderstood, and therefore, underused. A prominent bonsai master known worldwide has often been heard to say that his teacher didn’t graft, so he doesn’t either! There [...]

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Dealing with Difficult Roots

The conventions taught in the United States through books, magazine articles, and “Master Weekends” for decades have mostly dealt with the treatment of either nursery stock or pre-bonsai stock. Both types of tree can tend to possess compacted root masses in the shape of their respective pots. Nursery stock is mass-produced with size and [...]

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Needle Therapy

Some have found fault with Japanese black pine as bonsai material because they typically have needles longer than ideal for smaller trees. Until recently, the technique to shorten needles was to withhold water and fertilizer in spring, until the needles had hardened off. This technique weakened the tree, causing branches [...]

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Preparing a Tree for Exhibit

The whole of bonsai is this: it is an art with its ultimate end in display. In other words, the whole point of bonsai is to display the tree. How can that best be done? What kind of setting actually shows a tree to its best advantage? And specifically, [...]

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Repotting an Established Bonsai

The purpose and necessity of repotting bonsai is axiomatic, and need not be repeated here. However, there is some confusion about the best way to accomplish this crucial task. In this article, we will examine in depth every aspect [...]

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