Recently I had this Japanese maple to work on

The tree after de-foliation.

The tree after defoliation.

The picture here is in fact the back. In the rush, I didn’t give it a lot of consideration to be honest and there is no direct back branch which, didn’t make it entirely obvious at a quick glance at the time.
Unfortunately I didn’t get round to taking a pic before it was de-foliated but, this tree has a good leaf character.

A couple of pic’s of the base at its front.



I then cut back the tree (to improve taper and shorter internodes) and proceeded to wire it.


This was the first time that I had wired a Momiji here, i was a little unsure what finish to go for and I tried to go for the more natural image of the branches rising as they reach the apex.

Once I finished Oyakata looked over the tree and did any corrections that needed to be made.


There were a couple of bigger cuts on two branches that were made that I should have known better and I need to be a little more aggressive on. Especially with a tree in development, as this one is.
There were some minor alterations on the lower branches but, otherwise little. Noticeably Oyakata preferred to bring the top branches more down. He said that he wouldn’t do this on all tree’s, it just depends on the tree. If the tree was more a more natural style/more tree like then maybe a different feel might be called for. At the end of the day it’s taste and if you look through kokufu books you can see all number of styles. The theory that all Japanese bonsai are “cookie cutter” is a complete myth and couldn’t be further from the truth.

Now the tree will push new late summer growth and will be de-wired after it’s spring flush has hardened next year.

Still quite a way to go for this tree but, hopefully it is going in the right direction.

As always, thanks for reading.

  1. Mike Jones says:

    Reblogged this on Bonsai-Passion and commented:
    A fantastic blog entry from John Milton in Japan.

  2. Dave Martin says:

    A nice article and a very nice result and don’t worry about the fact you should have known better that is what an apprenticeship is for. Keep up the good work, we eagerly await your next post.

  3. Shah says:

    Great work John when you work on a tree of that standard you realy have to know what your doing and you certenaly know what your doing look forward to you next post

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