A few new pot pairings, Part 2

Next up is a Syuzan. Suzuki Syuzan lived from 1928-1988, and was known for using high quality Chinese clays, and has many Kokufu appearances, mainly unglazed pots. This one is a larger Shohin size; 8″ wide, and deep enough for my top-of-the-rack JBP.

The bottom stamp is really cool, and almost as well-known as his tea kettle stamp. He must have liked this pot, as he also stamped the lower right on both of the long ends, ensuring it shows either way the pot is used.

The tree is a large Shohin corkbark JBP, ‘Hachi-Gen’ on its own roots. The current pot is a Shibakatsu, and is a little blocky and busy for the box top display.

This should be a slam-dunk pairing:

Last but not least, this Shuho, Tokoname pot is super rustic…a love it or hate it pot. Before you scroll down, take a look and consider how you’d pair it. 6″ wide, 2 3/4″ high.

Here is my pairing, a princess persimmon.

Picture it with a few orange fruits contrasting with the milky aqua glaze, nice.

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:


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.

Zelkova Air-layer outcome

I was hoping for the best, and expecting the worst. Even the parent tree had a very one-sided root system. Still…?

It was 2017 when I created and separated the layer, and in 2018 I wasn’t convinced it was strong enough for root work, so I delayed it to this spring. Glad I did, but I’d been curious how it worked out for 18 months.

The moment of truth…


So I pruned it back to a single plane, and what I hoped was live tissue. Then inserted a screw to anchor it to the pot, and trimmed the roots back a little.

Secured it to this pink Shibakatsu pot…

Packed the freshly-cut underside with sphagnum moss…

And topped off the tank with straight akadama.

Fingers crossed for better luck this time. Here is a shot in early May before the first haircut.

And in November at the end of the growing season. When then leaves fall, it will be time to carefully prune to direct growth.

So in November, an early hard freeze zapped the leaves of any chance for fall color:

So they were removed…

Branches were pruned so the terminal bud was facing outward. Thicker shoots were cut shorter, resulting in this:

And what was left was tied up for the winter: