Shohin Japanese Maple winter pruning and wiring

I have had this little clump for about 3 years. The mature bark is starting to form, and it has a good base starting to show that “turtle back” look. During the growing season, it has been pinched, and during the winter it has been pruned, but I have not wired it yet. As it started the winter:

Close- up of the base and bark forming:

Some heavy areas to address, largest trunk:

Pruning at the red line:

Back left trunk:

Pruning at the red line:

Pruned back:

Wired:

Placed and evaluated:

Adjustments needed:

Finished for now:

Transitions are softer now, and the tree has some balance from side to side. It will be repotted again in spring, and the work for 2020 will include building some ramification, and addressing the apex of the tallest trunk. Pot, Koyo.

Sumo-Shohin trident maple winter pruning

I’ve been working on this one for about 15 years, in and out of the ground, several heavy chops, plenty of rot and putty, and even a few grafts. Finally, it’s starting to look like a grotesque fat little trident. No good fall color this year, thanks to a quick drop down to 22f just as fall color was coming on. So the leaves were stripped, and here it is:

It was defoliated this summer for a chance to prune it, but still quite a few shoots grew out and away and imbalanced. The goal is to trim back to even-strength branches, bifrucating pairs, and shorter internodes. Starting with this:

Pruned like this:

To finish up like this:

Next spring, the challenge will be to shoehorn it into a proper Shohin pot.

Taking it from the 10″ wide Ino down to about a 6.5″ wide Koyo. I think it can get there, and then it will be suitable for a Shohin display.

A night shot:

…and the likely future planting angle, turned just a bit to the left:

The Ino pot is one of my favorites, so I’ll be eager to find a new pairing…maybe the Chinese Quince…

Happy Thanksgiving to the bonsai folks on this side of the pond, and happy birthday brother!

Alabama Bonsai Society‚Äôs Carolina Expo Display

Our club decided to show a Shohin display for this year’s Carolina Bonsai Expo, a great regional invitational show held annually in Asheville, North Carolina at the Arboretum. Over the last couple posts, I shared show prep on a black pine and a Shimpaku juniper; both trees were part of the Shohin display. Our club was invited to participate by submitting trees to be part of the display. Here is what we came up with.

Top: corkbark Japanese Black Pine, Shibakatsu pot

Middle left: Shimpaku Juniper, Chinese pot

Middle Right: azalea in painted pot

Lower left: Japanese Maple in Koyo pot

Lower right: crabapple, ‘sargentii’ in Roy Minarai pot

Accent: mixed planting in Sharaku pot

Outside right: Itoigawa juniper in Bigei pot

And so the cleanup began.

And here are a few photos from the show, from Karin R. and Wayne F.